[governance] MSism and democracy

parminder parminder at itforchange.net
Sun Jun 12 00:46:24 EDT 2011

McTim, my response are below

On Wednesday 08 June 2011 08:08 PM, McTim wrote:
> On 6/8/11, parminder<parminder at itforchange.net>  wrote:
>> Dear Bertrand,
>> Thanks for engaging with this discussion. I have always been very keen
>> to get a serious discussion going on this subject, and rather to the
>> contrary of what you say, it is the multistakeholderism (MS) enthusiast
>> who have run away from probing questions both of (1)  the principled and
>> logical basis of their beliefs and stances and (2) the precise working
>> models of governance that they propose. I hope in this present
>> discussion they, and you, can answer such questions.
> I for one have answered # 1 and 2 several times, it just seems that you
> ignore the truth of my replies.

I dont ignore 'the truth of your replies'. The problem you always seem 
to speaking about a personal definition of 'internet governance' which I 
dont share and neither does largely  the world, as also the IGC. For you 
IG is developing standards, protocols and processes for management of 
critical internal resources, or the logical layers of the Internet, and 
*nothing else*. All your replies correspond to this personal definition 
of Internet governance, which simply does not correspond, for instance, 
to all the work so many people here are doing vis a vis the IGF.

Your 'working models' correspond *only* to this narrow definition of 
Internet governance. And I am almost always referring to the broader, 
more political IG issues. You never ever acknowledge the governance 
needs of these issues which most concern most of us here, much less come 
up with working models for them. So, you are as guilty of the 'deep 
silences' I spoke about. And your repeated references to 'I am right now 
working on the Afrinic list' and 'why dont all of you come and join us' 
simply do not speak to the issue I am raising here.

Tunis agenda had a good phrase for the distinction we are talking about 
' public policy issues pertaining to the Internet, but not in the 
day-to-day technical and operational matters, that do not impact on 
international public policy issues.'

Maybe we can call the 'the day-to-day technical and operational matters, 
that do not impact on international public policy issues' as Internet 
Administration (IA) to distinguish them from the wider and more 
political IG issues that are the main concern of most of us, and of the 
IGF etc.  However, before this semantic (or is it just semantic?) 
problem is sorted out between us, I cant see how a meaningful dialogue 
can be pursued.


>> I have quite often stated my problems with  MSism as it mostly gets
>> spoken of and practised in IG arena, including at the recent CoE meeting
>> during the panel discussion moderated by you.
>> Your email raises two specific issues, the first one is
>> "what I am missing in your very critical comment ("/it is very much the
>> wrong direction/") is the proposed alternative;"
>> The alternative is the original corrective to the shortcomings of
>> representational democracy. This is what is spoken of as deepening
>> democracy or what we may also call as participatory democracy
> I see the current IG regimes as examples of participatory democracy.
> I am doing it as I type this email, participating remotely in the
> AfriNIC Public Policy meeting,
> <snip>
>> Deeper or participatory democracy is about getting in voices that are
>> less powerful and less heard otherwise into the political processes. Can
>> you honestly say that this is what the MS model in IG is doing
>> currently?
> I can.
> look at http://meeting.afrinic.net/afrinic-14/index.php/register/participant-list
> Do you think that Farm Radio International, SchoolNet, Village Telco,
> Mission Aviation Fellowship, Freedom Fone, Kenya Telecentre Network,
> World Vision Niger, Transparency International, Biovision Foundation,
> Grameen Foundation, Centre for Internet and Society, etc on the above
> url ARE NOT examples of less powerful voices?
>   I do not think so. I think it has become a cover or a
>> legitimising device for increased influence on policy making of those
>> who are already very powerful, with which I mean the big businessin the
>> digital/ IT/ Internet space. There are numerous examples of this, and
>> what is more problematic is how such huge transgressions to political
>> and democratic propriety are routinely responded to by 'deep silences'
>> on the part of MSism upholders.
> I've never been silent on this ;-)
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