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Re: [names] The rigging of the ICANN board elections

At 10:12 AM 10/13/99 , Joe Sims wrote:

>actually, this post reflects a fundamental misperception of how the
>democratic process actually works.  The election process that was selected
>by the DNSO was deliberately chosen to resemble what happens in political
>conventions, where (at least historically) candidates joust for support in
>sequential rounds until there is a coalescence around a winner.  This is
>generally accompanied by a lot of horsetrading back and forth; does Mikki
>Barry really think that Vice-Presidential candidates have not commonly
>resulted from trading their support to a particular Presidential candidate?
>The notion in her post that the only true democracy is one that is
>characterized by direct popular elections of course ignores the fact that
>the most successful democracy in history, the United States, has never had
>such elections.  It also apparently ignores the reality in any
>organization, from the Congress down to the smallest school board, that
>elections of officers or the passage of resolutions or legislation is
>almost always the product of  what she derides as "horse trading."  This
>confusion between some persons' view of political utopia and the way the
>real world actually functions is a major reason for the unhappiness of Ms.
>Barry and some others with the way ICANN has functioned.  Utopias exist
>only in fiction and imagination.

The rigging of these elections has more to do
with the composition of the Names Council (the
only people who can actually vote), than with
the horse trading that is going on between them.

Karl has often pointed out how 6/7ths of the
Names Council is dominated by business interest,
how 1/7th represents large, non-commercial orgs,
with ZERO representation for Domain Name Holders.

This is absurd!

It was ICANN's decision to use this constituency
model, one that had absolutely no ties to any
objective standard, that has resulted in the
gaming of the DNSO.

So, while utopias may exist only in fiction and
imagination, they *are* valuable ideals to live
up to.  The U.S. Constitution is one such ideal.

Here's how one long time participant in these
debates relates ICANN's scheme to the U.S. system:

>If a constituency model was used for government in the U.S.,
>you would see people voting for what are called "lobbyists"
>and the House and Senate floors would be populated with
>people not tied back to land (IP addresses) or communities
>of people (domains), you would see those chambers populated
>by people claiming to be "the Senator for Health Care" or
>the "Representative for the Environment"....now, try to set up
>elections and make people feel represented as they vote for
>people into those seats...it would be a mess...as you have with
>ICANN...the people might get interested in a constituency but
>it is too abstract and indirect to remain interested and not
>the foundation one would build a democracy on...of course,
>Jon Postel and the ITAG where probably not interested in a
>democracy...and ICANN will not be one using the constituency
>based model...

So, even if Joe can justify the horse trading,
he can't justify who's doing the trading!


Jay Fenello,
New Media Relations
http://www.fenello.com  770-392-9480