[ppml] Consensus and voting: a proposal

Edward Lewis Ed.Lewis at neustar.biz
Mon Oct 2 09:19:22 EDT 2006

At 5:52 -0500 10/2/06, Bill Darte wrote:
>  I believe that Owen is correct in his observations.

Me too.

>  The straw polls at meetings are a means to provide tangible
>  evidence of consensus, and are useful in that.  But, only

I think Bill meant this (supported by a later statement):

s/consensus/consensus of those who bothered to show up and bothered
to raise a hand/

(If not: Bill I apologize.)

>  after there has been debate on the ppml long before the
>  meeting and a presentation and opportunity for discussion in
>  the meeting prior to and often complicated series of poll
>  questions posed in such a way as to 'tease' out the
>  subtleties of support.

That is an important point.  The reason policies have to be in
the  process well before the public policy meeting is to provide
opportunity for discussion before the meeting is held.  By the
time we get to the straw polls, they are the tail of the
discussion "dog."

>  I might add that there are Board members and AC as well as
>  some who attend meeting regularly who are 'contrarian' and
>  offer the 'devil's advocate' position for consideration.
>  Also, in meeting assessing consensus, individual AC members
>  will often bring up opposing points of view that might be in
>  there experience, but were unexposed by others on the ppml
>  or in the meeting.

The BoT and AC are not volunteers but rather elected (albeit
uncompensated) representatives of the membership responsible
for the appropriate due diligence in approving a policy change.

I.e., they do (and are expected to do) more than what a volunteer
is expected to do.  AC and BoT members have to do things or
they face the wrath of the membership (not get re-elected).

>  Many of the AC, perhaps all, are not happy with the polling
>  process, not because it is not valuable, but because it
>  represents only those in the meetings...and most often, only a

This revelation affirms my faith in the elected AC - the straw
poll (note how John Curran introduces them) is just an indication
of what folks in the room think and is used as input to the AC.
It is not, not, not a vote.  (Another clue - the audience is the
open policy meeting, not the membership.)

Setting aside any assessment of the way the IETF works, the IETF
is hardly an appropriate model for the running of ARIN.  The
problems sets are different even if there is a large cross-over
Edward Lewis                                                +1-571-434-5468

Secrets of Success #107: Why arrive at 7am for the good parking space?
Come in at 11am while the early birds drive out to lunch.

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