[arin-ppml] AC term limits? (Was: Curious about consensus)

William Herrin bill at herrin.us
Sun Apr 24 21:25:12 EDT 2011

On Sun, Apr 24, 2011 at 5:51 PM, Scott Leibrand <scottleibrand at gmail.com> wrote:
> Have you discussed with any members of the PDP committee the
> possibility of adding term limits to the PDP?

Hi Scott,

Term limits are a last resort intended to rebalance a system that has
exhibited serious failure. They declare, in effect, that the process
is so corrupting of the folks who participate in it that it is
necessary to override the voters' judgment and remove the participants
after a limited time.

'Tis much healthier to redress the imbalance at the source and then
let the voters decide on a case by case basis when someone has been
there too long.

Leo points out a well-understood phenomenon: insiders' viewpoints
necessarily drift away from that of their constituency. That's not
inherently a bad thing - the views drift in part because of group
think (a bad thing) but in larger part because the insiders have more
and better information to work with and have had the opportunity to
carefully weigh it all (a very good thing).

For a group charged with leading a community process or representing a
community, that drift can be a disaster. For a group charged with
facilitating a process directly driven by individuals in the larger
community, the drift can be a strength rather than a weakness -- it
brings perspective to a process that might otherwise be driven by
popularity alone.

> In that sort of
> environment, limiting the pool of available candidates with a term
> limits rule could make it a lot harder to find enough qualified
> candidates.

That's generally solved with a one-out rule. After X terms, you have
to sit one out before you're eligible to run again. No qualified
candidate is permanently removed from the pool and the idea is that
during your one out you get back in touch with the people you're

With the AC's current modus operandi, 3-years-in, 1-year-out would be
entirely appropriate. However, if the core imbalance in the AC's role
is corrected then such term limits would be an unhelpful distraction.

In my opinion.

Bill Herrin

William D. Herrin ................ herrin at dirtside.com  bill at herrin.us
3005 Crane Dr. ...................... Web: <http://bill.herrin.us/>
Falls Church, VA 22042-3004

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