[governance] FW: TP: city government exercising policy on Google Applications / consumer rights / Consumer Protection Act / trial period
toml at communisphere.com
Thu Jul 14 21:45:16 EDT 2011
As an advocate for public interest city-TLDs I was delighted to see this
"tax" thread start. While it seems to have drifted from Taiwan to
Canada, it has been illuminating and much appreciated. Not sure if it's
appropriate to "fan" in here, but I just have to say thank you,
especially to Paul, Michael, Kerry, and Parminder. And to Roland,
Roxana, Daniel, Norbert, McTim, Philippe, Salanieta, Jean-Louis,
Sonigitu, Avri, Lee and of course Milton.
Really great conversation.
On 7/14/2011 8:57 PM, Paul Lehto wrote:
> On 7/14/11, michael gurstein<gurstein at gmail.com> wrote:
>> in my limited
>> observation [CIRA] would seem to me by most conventional standards to be at
>> least reasonably "democratic".
> I'm published in the area of political theorists of democracy, so
> perhaps I'm not clear. Here's something I hope is ultra-succinct
> relatively speaking, and shows why I'm not off base.
> The very definition of democracy in modern times is rule by the people
> (self-government), based on one person/one vote and universal suffrage
> (all adults voting).
> The very definition of aristocracy, as Montesquieu (one of the most
> famous political theorists of the world since the 1700s, a Frenchman)
> wrote, is rule by less than all the people. (I.e. Rule by some
> fraction of all the people, especially rule by an elite.)
> Now Mike, when you point to a subset of the people affected by CIRA
> (domain registrants) and note that they can be voting members if they
> wish, but ignore the mere user who is also governed to some extent by
> CIRA, and then call that exclusion "reasonably democratic", you're
> really saying that a largish aristocracy is "reasonably democratic."
> But no user encountering .ca domains and affected by the TLD policy
> but who can not vote on policy like domain registrants or on directors
> like Mike Gurstein or Kerry Brown would ever call a structure like
> CIRA "reasonably democratic." (Not if they took the subject of CIRA's
> authority seriously, yet couldn't vote on it.) Such a person would
> say they have no vote, complain they are disfranchised using their own
> words for that, and note somehow that they are basically ruled by
> domain registrants and CIRA who do have votes and say. CIRA and these
> domain registrant members are the superiors of internet users (who
> have no say) and this aspect is not "reasonably democratic."
> There's lots of room and even necessity for compromise in the vast
> majority of political issues, but not on the most fundamental issues
> like democracy (or not), or freedom (or not) or whether or not you or
> I should have a vote on things affecting us.
> It's a simple definitional reality: Because aristocracies by
> definition are rule by less than all the people affected by laws, if
> you take the fundamental parts of democracy like who can vote on a
> piecemeal basis, and thereby give the vote to less than all the
> people, you have, by definition the very essence of aristocracy, not
> To call this piecemeal aristocratic outcome "reasonably democratic"
> because some affected can vote (registrants) and some affected can not
> vote (users) is to put way too kind a gloss on the undemocratic and
> aristocratic nature of any system that allows one big or small class
> to vote, and denies another big class, like internet users, the right
> to vote. That's the CIRA model.
> All the happy talk about multistakeholderism hides the ugly realities
> of denying voices and votes to classes of people, while often giving
> voices and votes even to some non-humans and non-voters, like
> The purpose of the Truman quote, and the purpose of *Truman's*
> invocation of Hitler, is to show that we do not want efficiency unless
> we agree on the process's end result or goal. If the train is headed
> down the wrong track, no rational person wants efficiency! That
> efficiency just sends us faster and further down the wrong track.
> Nothing personal, as I said before, was intended by any of my
> comments. But Kerry Brown has taken offense nevertheless. I am sorry
> he has done so. But I do not think there is any way out of a
> conclusion that CIRA is a form of aristocracy, not democracy, and
> because I believe that Kerry Brown believes in democracy, but probably
> never went through analysis like the above, the implication that the
> restructuring of CIRA in the way it is, is causing him to be
> participating in a form of non-democratic corporate governance is not
> just a charge that has a certain sting to it, but an unavoidable
> conclusion once one knows the basic difference between aristocracy as
> being rule by less than all the people....
> Paul Lehto, J.D.
> P.S. I fully understand the distinction you try to make with ex
> officio members. If you re-read my message, I recall clearly intending
> to draft that message to say these ex officio members had an enhanced
> "voice" or right to be "heard" -- which they do have by speaking at
> meetings and being recognized much more so than an average audience
> member. I did not say or mean to imply that ex officio members had a
> formal vote, by definition they do not. I was pointing to yet another
> difference in relative political power, not on the level of actual
> votes since ex officio members don't have them, but on the level of
> who has access to time at meetings to get their ideas out, if they
> wish to do so. Clearly, ex officio members have a privileged status
> with respect to that. That is basically why they are ex officio to
> begin with -- to hear from them based on prior experience, status,
> etc. So, while I think a careful reading of my text would be clear, I
> do see how one could mistakenly conclude that I misunderstood the role
> of ex officio board members.
> I was appointed in the past as parliamentarian for an annual bar
> association business meeting attended by most of the Supreme Court and
> in which many of the states' best lawyers argued over various motions
> and measures. I only mention that to hopefully put to rest any
> inference that I don't completely understand what an ex officio member
> is, they are common in bar association membership organizations in
> various states.
> Paul R Lehto, J.D.
> P.O. Box 1
> Ishpeming, MI 49849
> lehto.paul at gmail.com
> 906-204-4026 (cell)
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