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Re: [Membership] Choosing an elephant? Shall it be pink or grey?

At 01:44 PM 3/14/99 -0600, you wrote:
>Joop Teernstra wrote:
>> ...proportionality in the at-large board selection is automatic
>> as long as we have a one-person one vote system.
>No.  It depends upon the mechanism  (i.e. how we can use our vote.)  In
>head-to-head, winner take all systems, one coalition can elect all.  That
is the
>best way to facilitate "capture."


I just don't get it. "One coalition can elect all". First of all, there is
no coalition. The voters (not yet existing) are amorphous. There are no
parties (yet).
Should there be? I don't know. The voters cannot make coalition deals  with
each other without (party) leaders. There leaders are likely to be the very
people that will stand for election as board members.
Are you saying that they should come (or should not) to pre-election common
platforms, i.e. a coalition? 
Don't forget, we are talking about the at-large membership. The minority
interests have guaranteed representation through the SO's. 
What is left , is likely to pretty uniform in their wishes. Why do you
prefer to think of them as a collective of minorities?
 The at-large members are likely to be the customers of the special
interests, so , reasonably, they want to have their own representation on
the board, rather than be represented by people from the Registries, IETF or
TM community. 
If they decide to form a common block in ICANN and elect a total of 9
directors to look after typical customer interests, would you call that capture?

When you talk about head-to-head, winner takes all, you are thinking about
district- or party votes. We are still free of that.

<part snipped>
>But, think about this.  Where the system allows us to choose an array of
>rather than just one out of the array, we can make many discrete choices on
>issues.   The system can aggregate those issue oriented choices into a
>picture of our constituent parts--i.e. resulting in proportional

Well, yes, of course. You know that I have always advocated the right to
multiple votes on multiple candidates. I even want an approval voting
system, so that voters can also give candidates negative ratings, that have
to be overcome by more positive votes.
I don't want to play semantics with you , Eric. My point was that the system
is mechanical up to the point that human beings are elected. Then the
proportionality shifts to each individual, who has the option of reflecting
a multiplicity of voter preferences all in one multifaceted stance. He knows
that he is elected because of his pre-election stance, and that will guide
his post-election behaviour (or so we hope).

>> Why "the real objective," Eric?  Do we first have to define "communities"
>> within the at-large voter group? Quantify them? Create boundaries?
>To the contrary.  A proportional representation system works exactly the
way you
>want.  In the complex world of many issues, it allows us to vote for
>rather than parties.  It allows us to choose those who best reflect our
>and aspirations, rather than delegating such decisions to organizations
which can
>not faithfully represent the views of every member on every candidate (or
>And, it allows people to seek office who are not simply beholden to the
managers of
>professional organizations, but to individual constituents, as well.
So we agree. And I think we have been talking at cross purposes. I did not
realize that you are seeing the at-large voting public also as possibly
represented by organizations. I though we agreed already on Daniel's model,
where organisations can vote, but only like individuals and not to the
exclusion of individuals.

>> >...How do you get diversity without proportional
>> >representation?  And, what kind of diversity do you get from "head-to-head"
>> >winner take all elections?  Which is more conducive to capture?  Which less?
>> >
>> Are you afraid that the 9 Board members are going to be a monolithic voting
>> block?
>We are tasked with avoiding "capture."  Everyone is afraid of it.

Oh, c'mon, Eric. Only those who fear to lose their hold on the status quo
are afraid of it. 

>> Maybe that will be so, but only in accordance with the wishes of the
>> voters.
>Which voters?  Do we want a system in which 50.1%  of the voters elect 100%
of the
I do not think that option exists under the present bylaws.

>> ...Capture (and failure of ICANN) will occur if we fail to create a large
>> enough membership. That is the key issue.
>Lets assume:
>1. that a large enough membership will prevent capture; and
>2. that you can not attract enough members to accomplish prevention.
>What is plan "B?"
There is no plan B. But it is a good question.
For me, failure to attract large numbers of members means failure of ICANN.
Any plan B, based on a will of a few thousand enthousiasts is built on
quicksand. Capture by a few well aimed moves will always loom large.
Please do not focus on any plan B. (unless it is a plan B, based on the
failure of ICANN--say, a portrayal of a bit of stark internet reality)  

>> Proportionality is the straw man.
>Again, this is a matter of definition. If we seek proportionality, that is
the real
>objective.  If we don't, we don't.
>If tyranny of the organized "majority" is what we need and want, there are
>mechanisms available to accomplish that purpose.  And, some will proudly
call the
>product "democratic."
Now you are playing semantics, with a tinge of demagoguery. You know how I
feel about tyranny of an *organized* majority. Please look back at the
"people's republic of ICANN" thread.
But is 9 directors, freely elected from a *non-organized* voters' body
tyranny of a majority?

>It is simply a matter of setting our objectives and carefully devising the
>mechanisms for accomplishing them.
 Your objectives are still not clear to me. You do not want to classify the
voters into interest groups, but you do see them as representing minorities
by necessity. You do want proportionality in the elected candidates, but you
remain fuzzy about "proportional to what".
I see the at-large voters as broadly homogenous and am willing to put my
trust in their resulting choices.
As long as we have large numbers of them.

from the end of a very narrow pipe,