Re: [ncc-charter] Charter revision

From: Kent Crispin (
Date: Fri Aug 18 2000 - 15:51:47 PDT

  • Next message: Milton Mueller: "Re: [ncc-charter] Charter revision"

    On Fri, Aug 18, 2000 at 01:48:04PM -0400, Milton Mueller wrote:
    > Dany:
    > Thanks for your comments.
    > Comments below. Bottom line: I cannot accept your proposal for Adcom
    > replacement unless it is modified in some way to meet the objections set out
    > below. We all agree, I'm sure, that the charter committee should go back to
    > the constituency unified. We don't want to have to debate these issues on
    > the list. So let's try to find some mutually acceptable compromise.

    If necessary, we can debate this stuff on the list. I don't want to be
    held hostage to unanimity.

    > The "Adcom" replacement method means is that voters have no idea who will
    > replace the person they vote for.

    "No idea???" There are only two possibilities...

    > > Second, having some ballot with two names and others with one name is not
    > > fair, even if the second name is not mandatory. I understand that your
    > I see no "unfairness." Everyone has the same chance to put forward a
    > replacement candidate. If they choose not to, it is their choice, and voters
    > can take this into consideration. How is this unfair?

    Because some candidates may genuinely not have a reasonable choice for
    an alternate.

    > > Last, your proposal will induce an over representation of the 2-names
    > > region (not in the NC meeting, since we are talking of replacement
    > > proposal) in the running of the constituency.
    > No. This is just mistaken on your part. The replacement candidate is not a
    > formal member of Adcom.

    No, it is not a mistake at all. The alternates would be in a
    privileged position relative to other volunteers, precisely because
    they were next in line as NC rep.

    > Just to show you how meaningless this objection is, both Kent and I are from
    > the same region. We are both active in Adcom meetings.

    Neither of us has the status of being next in line as a NC rep.

    > Let me outline some of the problems with this method. I don't think they
    > have been discussed enough.
    > First, when you have a replacement election, it means that people from other
    > regions already represented on the NC play an unusually large, and unfair
    > role in selecting the candidate from the unrepresented region.

    NC representatives are explicitly not supposed to be representing
    regions; they are explicitly supposed to be representing the whole
    constituency, and the whole constituency should always vote on them. If
    anything, this is an opportunity for *more* fairness, since it means
    that the candidates must appeal to the whole constituency, rather than
    depending on a narrow regional base.


    > Second, one consequence of the above is that people who should resign may
    > not resign, in order to avoid the loss of power or position. Kathy was
    > willing to resign because she knew she was not capable of meeting the
    > obligations and thought I would replace her.

    Sorry, but I don't believe that either you or Kathy are that naive.
    Andrew's statement was decisive and clear; the charter was rejected;
    your name was not on the ballot.

    > It would have been pretty easy
    > just to hang on to the position.

    Then she should have done so. The consequences are not anywhere near
    as dire as you make them out to be. I noticed that Kathy did put out
    a position paper after she resigned.

    > I am not saying that she would do that, but
    > lots of people might do it. And that is definitely bad for the NCC. People
    > who are unable to perform should resign immediately, and the replacement
    > system makes it more likely that they will do so.

    I consider this effect almost totally inconsequential. If we had an
    approved charter an election could be complete in 45 days.

    > Third: YJ got over 40 votes in the last election. You, Dany, as next in line
    > in Adcom, got 18 votes from completely different people. If YJ resigned,
    > someone who got less than half as many votes from completely different
    > people takes her seat on the NC.

    ...for a short interim period until an election can be held. At which
    time, the 40 voters in question will be in a position to reassert their

    > This just doesn't seem right to me.

    As Dany pointed out, it is quite common for NC members from other
    constituencies to miss conference calls; reading the archives of the NC
    list it is quite clear that things do not happen at a frantic pace. You
    seem intent on converting the office of NC rep into a very big
    confrontational political deal, when instead it should emphasize
    collaboration and consensus. If the adcom is doing its job it should be
    finding the consensus of the constituency as a whole, just as the NC
    should be finding the consensus of the DNSO as a whole. It really
    shouldn't make that much difference who attends the NC

    Kent Crispin                               "Do good, and you'll be                           lonesome." -- Mark Twain

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