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RE: [Membership] ICIIU Comments on M.A.C. Recommendations of 4-26-99


You wrote:

> 2.  At-large membership is open to both individuals and
> organizations, however, no organization that has a right to
> designate or otherwise directly vote for an SO Director may register
> as an at-large Member.  "Organization" shmean any institution
> officially recognized as a legal persona under the laws of the
> nation where it claims legal residence.  Individuals who are members
> of the SOs or their constituencies are welcome to join the
> at-largemembership.  The most feasible protection against capture by
> interests that are not representative of the the user
> community at large is to enroll as many Members as possible. 
> Comment: Where does this leave the ICIIU? We are signing people up
> for the Non-Commercial Domain Name Holders constituency of the DNSO,
> since we believe that at least some Internet-related non-profit
> organizations represent users and therefore should have a voice in
> that constituency; but at the same time it would seem that our place
> is in the At-Large membership, by this definition of it. How do we
> resolve this problem? Should we drop out of the NCDNHC, and wait to
> become part of the At-Large membership? Wouldn't it be a mistake to
> leave the DNSO entirely in the hands of organizations, and
> commercial ones at that? At the same time, isn't it wrong for a
> strictly independent user-oriented entity like the ICIIU not to be
> involved in the At-Large membership? How can we solve this?
What about inviting ICIIU Members to join individually the At-Large
Membership, and join as ICIIU the NCDNH Constituency?
ICIIU will get a vote in the constituency, and Members get an individual
vote in the At-Large.
I am assuming that other similar organizations (ISOC, AUI, ...) will follow
a similar path.

> 3.  It is not recommended that membership fees be assessed at this
> time.  If membership fees should be assessed in the future, they
> shall reflect the economic differences of the various geographic
> regions.
> Comment: As in our commentary to the previously posted M.A.C.
> recommendations, we believe it is a mistake not to charge membership
> fees as this will make it virtually impossible to define the
> membership or deal with it administratively, and we strongly feel
> that an individual who does not make at least a token financial
> commitment to the organization will not take membership responsibly.
I did not comment before on this issue, but I agree with you.

> 9.  At-large voting shall be on the principle of
> one-person-one-vote.  An organization shall be limited to casting
> one vote on behalf of the entire organization.  Individuals who vote
> for SO Directors in their capacity as representatives of SO-member
> organizations shall also have a right to vote for at-large Directors
> in their personal capacity as at-large Members.
> Comment: This is, in our opinion, an unworkable method of voting. It
> will permit the election of At-Large directors who have won only a
> very small percentage of the votes (a candidate could be elected
> with, say, five votes if all others have only four or less, in a
> membership of hundreds), and it paves the way for ballot-box
> stuffing by large organizations or companies who send their members
> or employees to the At-Large membership only for taking part in the
> voting (which is also favored by the lack of membership dues).
> Although these provisions of the M.A.C. may be motivated by popular
> and democratic ideals, we believe they will in practice have the
> opposite effect from the one they were designed to accomplish.
While I recognize that the risks you point out are real, I think that if the
membership is not only At-Large but also "large" ;>), i.e. in the order of
magnitude of the thousands rather than of the hundreds, the system will work
reasonably (in particular if we *do* have membership fees, even if nominal).