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Re: [ga] Message from the Chair

On Tue, Jan 25, 2000 at 03:57:33PM +0100, Harald Tveit Alvestrand wrote:
> There were two assumptions that I saw as invalid:
> - That the GA is identical with the membership of the ga discussion list
> - That the GA is not a decision making body

I think that assumption is very well founded, modulo odd definitions
of "decision making body".  Could you point out the clauses in the
ICANN bylaws you think might grant the GA decision making powers?

It is my belief that the bylaws have been very carefully crafted to 
eliminate that possibility.  I should also point out that they were 
crafted that way, not because Joe Sims doesn't like the idea (though he 
doesn't), but because there is a large and influential body of 
opinion that firmly believes that the GA should not have "decision 
making power".  

Observation 0: The underlying cause of this situation is not Joe Sims or
the bylaws, but that large and influential body of opinion.  Joe and 
the bylaws make convenient targets, but it is a waste of bullets to 
shoot at them.  In fact, taking pot shots at them is worse than a waste 
of bullets -- while it may be emotionally satisfying, it is 
stragegically damaging.

Observation 1:  Changing that large and influential body of opinion is 
not going to be an easy.

Observation 2:  "Not a decision making body" does not imply "not 
effective".  That is, it is perfectly possible for the GA to be 
effective without it being a decision making body.

The model for the GA was the IETF.  The IETF is not per se a decision
making body, yet it can be extremely effective.

> There needs to be a decision sooner or later about how the GA makes 
> decisions, but this decision has, IMHO, not been made, and the list rules 
> should not prejudge that - either one way or the other.

I suspect you are mixing two notions here -- decisions by a particular
group of people who happen to consider themselves as participants in the
GA, and "decisions by the GA".  The latter is an oxymoron.  The former is
of course possible, but those decisions have no formal weight in
the ICANN context. 

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