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Re: [Membership] Considering unfamiliar ground
At 07:32 12/02/99 -0600, Eric Weisberg wrote:
>Joop Teernstra wrote:
>> As the voting for the ICANN board will be a voting for individuals, rather
>> than parties (that can have "list members")
>> my preferred voting system would be a system whereby people can express
>> their preferences, both positively and negatively.
>> A Yes or No vote on each candidate and the yes votes are divided by the no
>> votes. (rational approval)
>I was interested in this concept when you first raised it, but
>have a gut reaction and a concern. Neither represents a studied
>or definitive answer.
>My GUTS tell me that this proposal is too great a departure from
>the generally known and accepted to be considered by this group.
>We are so inundated with data (much of which is considered "noise"
>by the recipients) that we lack the ability to even taste, no less
>digest a new food. We have expended little effort to seriously
>consider, no less study a substantive issue, to date. We tend to
>just spout off (myself included).
In other words Eric, your gut is scared of the unknown. Mine too.
But we also have a unique obligation and opportunity to improve and to look
at new idea's. There is also the Berkmann Center, offering study.
The old systems of FPP and STV are all compromises that have arisen in the
past to take both parties and territorial immobility into account. Even
proportionality. What proportionality do we need, when we have no
constituencies and no classes?
The past never had the processing power to weigh a ballot form with 40
In cyberspace we can reduce voting itself to its purest forms. And give
the voter the maximum input.
I do not see any hi-jack danger in a preferential voting system itself.
The hijacking danger is in the structure of the organisation that tries to
limit the voter's input in the decisionmaking. A Council dominated by
forceful individuals (perhaps in the pay of special interests), who
constitutionally need only token reference to the general membership. A
nomination committee from within a Council. Co-optations, rather than
elections. This sort of structure corrupts, even if it doesn't start out
>My CONCERN: If it is our purpose to afford each interest group a
>chance to elect representatives, why give opposing interests
>(especially larger ones) a mechanism for vetoing (or otherwise
>affecting) such choices?
How could weighing voter's preferences for candidates give any interest a
>Does this system have a disproportionate and significant effect
>upon smaller constituencies, especially if their "representatives"
>are vocal or their positions "unpopular?"
No, I don't think it would have such an effect.
>constituency be free to choose its own representatives without the
>"approval" of those who may oppose their interests?
If there are no constituencies the question need not be asked. If you are
talking about the naked struggle of interest between registries and
customers, I believe that registries dominated (run) by their customers are
a good thing.
If you think of the TM lobby: let them field their candidates and let's see
how persuasive they can campaign.<g>
If the initial results would mean oppression of any kind, with an open
ICANN and a strong incentive to join (anger) this imbalance would quickly
right itself again.
Again, the openness of ICANN is more important to fight for than any
particular voting system.
>AN ADDITIONAL THOUGHT and a QUESTION:
>THE THOUGHT: I suspect the nature of the organization and purpose
>of the election is significant in determining the propriety of
>such a dual test system.
For instance, this mechanism may be
>ideal for choosing party candidates to stand for general
>winner-take-all election, as it eliminates candidates who will
>suffer from negative votes.
It is also ideal for selecting a "parliament" of 50 -100 members from
thousands of candidates.
Imagine your STV, amplified with 40 or 50 voting options on each ballot.
>THE QUESTION: Does this system result in pablum (a board lacking
>pointed thought or willingness to question the "popular" will)?
No, nothing of the kind. You select a dud board when you elect dud
By electronic means, the will of the membership can be expressed a lot more
easily and cheaply than with a physical election.
We can have elections (expressions of confidence) every six months. Many
decisions can be made by referendum.
Please think some more about it.