[governance] FW: TP: city government exercising policy on Google Applications / consumer rights / Consumer Protection Act / trial period

Kerry Brown kerry at kdbsystems.com
Thu Jul 14 15:19:24 EDT 2011

I take offence at the Hitler reference.

You have your beliefs about the democratic process by which CIRA is
governed. My beliefs are different. CIRA is governed solely by the members
electing the voting board members.  Ex-oficio board members advise, not

It looks like we will not come to an agreement. It is fine with me that
our opinions are different. Despite your claim to the contrary this does
feel like a personal attack. Because of this I'm done with our

Kerry Brown

On 11-07-14 10:35 AM, "Paul Lehto" <lehto.paul at gmail.com> wrote:

>On 7/14/11, Kerry Brown <kerry at kdbsystems.com> wrote:
>> CIRA's board of directors is democratically elected by CIRA members.
>> Membership is free to anyone that registers a dot-ca domain. All
>>members get
>> one vote regardless of how many domains they have registered. There are
>> three ex-officio non-voting appointed directors. All voting directors
>> elected by the members. One of the ex-officio directors is a
>> of Industry Canada. The Canadian government through Industry Canada
>>plays an
>> advisory role to the board. The other non-voting directors are the CEO
>> John Demco the founder of the dot-ca registry when it was operated by
>> volunteers working at UBC.
>Unless  you are claiming that CIRA does nothing that affects or
>impacts users of the internet (as opposed to .ca registrants) the
>above membership structure is still quite undemocratic by completely
>disfranchising users.  On top of that, the structure  you identify
>heavily weights the right to be heard (via ex officio membership) to
>industry and the corporation and its founder.  Anything more
>restrictive than one person one vote for ALL GOVERNED or affected is a
>system that disfranchises and creates an aristocracy (rule by a few or
>a subset of all) rather than a democracy (rule by all the people).  It
>would seem that everyone would realize that despite the fact that a
>few .ca registrants are "ordinary folks", a system where only .ca
>registrants can be members and thus vote is a system that (1) gives
>votes to non-humans that are also non-voters in a real democracy
>(corporate registrants), and (2) is an aristocracy weighted in favor
>of those with above-average money and property (domain name
>registrants) and completely disfranchising users as a whole.
>I do realize that CIRA is touting that in the last year (i.e. in
>CIRA's 10th or 11th year of operation) CIRA was begun a general
>listening program and accepts, for the first time in its history, some
>types of feedback from mere non-voting users and others.  Anything
>less than real democracy (like CIRA) is an animal which one may call
>anything they want, but that can't call it democracy.  Certain aspects
>are "democratic" but it ain't democracy.  I won't throw out a name
>myself because there's a risk it could be perceived as name-calling.
>But it is what it is, and what it is ain't democracy.  It's delegation
>of governmental power to a basically unaccountable corporate
>aristocracy of some sort.
>I'd be happy to indulge you with the truly formalistic step of
>starting a new thread with a new name involving CIRA so as to not be
>"off topic" but I don't think (right now) that you should have to
>defend an entire thread based in significant part on your job or
>status with CIRA, even though that job is so coincidentally topical to
>how the conversation has evolved here in this thread.  Please accept
>my assurances that I intend nothing in the way of a personal attack
>here in any way -- I'm firmly convinced  you are a nice guy and
>intelligently got involved in CIRA in all good faith to be in the game
>of internet policy and rulemaking.  My one and only basic objection is
>that, however, is just that the structure in which you got involved
>and are committed to remaining involved in is fundamentally
>undemocratic in very significant ways, and you defend those shortfalls
>based on values like efficiency that are classically associated with
>non-democratic practices of government.
>In a democracy, efficiency is OK as  a value provided one very
>fundamental (and usually satisfied) precondition is met:  That the end
>or goal of the project is consistent with the objectives and
>principles of democracy and self-government as opposed to aristocracy
>or plutocracy.  That basic precondition is defeated the moment any
>level of government gives away its power and responsibility to a
>private person or corporation without retaining 100% of its oversight
>power AND providing all the standards and rules of operation such that
>it can be fairly said that even though "power" be delegated, it is
>really being exercised at the direction and control of the government,
>via those standards and rules.  But as to the procedure of arbitration
>for example, the CIRA rule that no domestic or foreign law or
>legislation may be used in a CIRA arbitration even if all the parties
>and the arbitrator agree means (beyond any serious doubt) that CIRA
>arbitration procedure has broken completely free of democracy's
>control, and therefore lost the legitimacy that only democracy can
>CIRA not being democratic, it's not appropriate to wish CIRA to be
>"efficient" in accomplishing its goals for governance, since those
>goals are not fully democratic.  Here again, Harry Truman put it very
>well when he said of his corporate-supported opponent:
>"Hitler learned that efficiency without justice is a vain thing.
>Democracy does not work that way. Democracy is a matter of faith--a
>faith in the soul of man--a **faith in human rights.** That is the
>kind of faith that moves mountains--"   Human rights is key because
>they are possessed without precondition by all humans, and equally so.
> Picking and choosing who gets a say (registrants, but not users)
>inevitably leads to either social discord or even violence, because it
>disrespects the humanity and interests of those whose voice is not
>recognized or heard.
>Paul Lehto, J.D.

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