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Re: [ga] Another Membership Study - Berkman Center Representation in CyberspaceStudy (and MAC)

Every word of this from Bruce James I believe to be entirely correct,
but the term "legally accountable" needs clarification.  The SOs, GA,
and so on are all advisory bodies that have no policy making role --
nothing in the By-Laws says that the Directors must do anything any
such bodies say to do.  Where the accountability comes from is the
"bottom up" dictates of the USG (DoC) and the "public benefit"
requirement of California law. (Taken alone, the By-Laws define the
very epitome of a dictatorial oligarchy that "has no members" -- that
bit still slays me: if you have no members the initial Directors get to
have 6 year terms! -- but fortunately the By-Laws do not fully define
ICANN -- the USG and State of California do so also, so if anyone
wants any recourse from anything, those are the places to go.)

One other aspect of this I'd like to mention, though, is this new study
of the at-large, which I also think to be superfluous. I'd like to draw a
distinction between that kind of rehash and the thing I proposed
today, which also involves an expenditure of time, namely, that we
should do a systematic Proposal -> Motion -> Vote thing rather than
keep rushing in with new motions.  This at large thing can serve little
purpose but to delay decision making; my "PMV" thing also delays
decision making, but the time involved is spent in getting the ducks
lined up, which is a kind of "moving forward" so as not to waste time
later; that in repeated studies seems to have little purpose -- what part
of its "work product" does anyone expect to have "new news?."

Bruce James wrote:

----- Original Message -----
From: "Karl Auerbach" <karl@cavebear.com>
Sent: May 20, 2001 17:12

On Sun, 20 May 2001, Ben Edelman wrote:

>...  I appreciate the
> critique in <http://www.atlargestudy.org/forum_archive/msg00002.shtml> --
> that the ALSC needs an "in-depth consideration of the benefits and goals
> At-Large involvement"...

This is one of the reasons why I consider this current "At-Large Study
Committee" to be not particularly relevant and somewhat of a waste of time
and money.

The existance of the at large is simply not a matter that is open to

The power of the at-large to directly elect a meaningful set of directors
in elections not subject to management/ICANN manipulation is simply not a
matter that is open to question.

The power of the at-large to be the body to which the corporate entity of
ICANN shall be legally accountable is simply not a matter that is open to

If one thinks that questioning the "benefits and goals" of the at-large is
a legitimate task, then it stands to reason that such an inqury must also
equally question the benefits and goals of the Supporting Organizations
and of ICANN itself.

> I think it's interesting and quite enlightening to revisit the
> thoughts and worries of two years ago in the context of current
> discussions.)

Much agreed.  But I go further and suggest that that prior work is more
than sufficient.

By-the-way, I note that the quote in
http://www.atlargestudy.org/forum_archive/msg00002.shtml contains a
perceptual error - that participation in an at-large is somehow a
compensation for denial of entry into decision making parts of the
Supporting Organizations.  This fact of the matter is that the SOs and the
at-large are utterly distinct kinds of entities.  The former are ICANN's
"primary" vehicles for policy development and the at-large has no policy
role at all.  Consequently, the existance of an at-large should never,
ever be considered as some sort of substitute for a full role for
individuals in the various Supporting Organizations.


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         Bill Lovell


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