[governance] [process] the IGC charter

William Drake william.drake at graduateinstitute.ch
Mon Jul 14 05:41:12 EDT 2008


On 7/13/08 8:06 PM, "Avri Doria" <avri at psg.com> wrote:

> - there is no intrinsic harm in asking people to say they agree with
> the charter.  in fac as a step between elections as a way to include
> mew people as members it is a good idea.

> - The charter requires that the vote be sent to all subscribers and
> that in the act of voting they (re) affirm their membership as CS and
> in the IGC as defined in the charter.  To use this list as is proposed
> by the coordinators, to define who can receive a ballot, is in breach
> of the charter as i read it.

Avri is right that the charter says this, there can be no denying it, it's
clearly stated.  However, I also think it's a real flaw in the charter, one
which I wish in retrospect we'd debated more seriously when we wrote the
thing. I recognize that there are those who prefer the caucus to be an
amorphous blob---in McTim's words, a "zenlike/anarchic" space one can decide
to be in or not "in the moment" depending on the weather, whether they had a
nice lunch and are feeling mellow, etc.  But a grouping based on this
shallow a level of commitment to shared values and positions is unlikely to
be able to agree or achieve much of anything, and indeed the caucus has
struggled post-WSIS in part because of it.  It's certainly not how I thought
of the caucus when I joined five years ago (suspect the same holds for some
others here), nor is it the zeitgeist of other, more effect ICT-oriented CS
coalitions one could name.  Sorry if that sounds insufficiently postmodern.

Personally, I would favor establishing a separate space for those want to be
in the caucus and do public interest advocacy and leave the gov list for
broader multistakeholder debate and mud slinging.  I think this would be
liberating both for people who want to be in a real coalition and for people
who don't and don't want to read angst-ridden sausage making threads.  But I
suspect I'm a minority of one on that.

In any event, while I supported Parminder's suggestion of polling to see who
thinks they're in the caucus and would like to know that myself, I cannot
see how the caucus as it is can follow an election procedure that is sharply
at odds with the explicit wording of its charter.  So I'd follow the rules
for the election and afterwards try to see if those who've affirmed their
membership can't have a useful discussion of what they want the caucus to be
and perhaps amend the charter if there's sufficient support for that.



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