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[council] Observers at NC meetings

The gTLD Constituency discusses items on NC meeting agendas prior to
every such occasion. The constituency's representatives on the NC then
put the constituency's views forward during the NC meetings and vote
according to prior agreement. Sometimes this works just fine. Other
times it doesn't. I assume that both the procedure and resulting
experience are shared by us all.

If a question is called in a form that differs from what is expected
on the basis of pre-meeting publication, it may be difficult for NC
members to predict how their constituencies would feel about the final
form of a modified motion. To be sure, it is within our mandate to
exercise individual judgement while at the table - indeed, it's our
obligation - but this doesn't free us from accountability to those who
put us there. Again, this means that sometimes things may take a wrong
turn from one or more perspectives. Anything that we can reasonably do
to minimize the likelihood of this happening should be of obvious

In times past, listen-only channels were made available to anyone who
wanted to follow NC deliberations in real time. Whatever other purpose
this might have served, it made it possible for NC members to confer
with their constituencies in real time, thus enhancing the likelihood
that formal action taken by those at the table could reflect changes
in constituency viewpoint in light of what was said during the

Is there any possibility of our reestablishing some form of auditor
participation in NC meetings?  At the very least, it might be worth
providing this functionality to constituency chairs. (Perhaps a
similar approach might reduce some of the critical aspects of the
number of seats on the gestational Mk II councils?)

As an alternative, given that we have significantly decreased the
interval between our meetings, perhaps we could routinely defer to the
next subsequent meeting any vote on a motion that is called in a form
or manner not posted prior to the meeting at which the motion is


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