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[ga] RE: Consensus on consensus?


You have stated:  "I acknowledge that very few in the ICANN process have 
seemed to "get" the idea of consensus", and you have noted that "the point is 
NOT to make rules where there is substantial, principled disagreement from 
those with a stake".

My question to you is this:  even if every single person in this Assembly 
"got" the idea of consensus, why would we want to function within this 
environment if the Board itself is incapable of "getting" the same concept?  
A case in point... the Names Council by unanimous vote passed a resolution on 
the reservation of geographical and geopolitical names.  
http://www.dnso.org/clubpublic/council/Arc06/doc00010.doc  Discussion leading 
up to this vote included the following arguments:

Your comments assume that one can define "rights to strings" in a mechanical 
fashion; i.e., by preparing a list and then removing those names from DNS.  
That is wrong. It's bad policy, it won't work, ever.
     We went through this in talking about a list of "famous trademarks," 
remember? Such a practice was soundly rejected by the Internet community, and 
even the more intelligent members of the trademark bar recognize it as a 
disaster in the making.
     We all know how governments behave. To governments, the name space is 
another piece of territory, and they want to carve it up and draw boundaries 
on it and stick their flag in the middle. That process is fundamentally 
inimical to the growth and development of the Internet.  We need to reject 
that whole mentality. 

This was a clear case of principled disagreement with the views of the GAC.  
How did the Board react to this resolution?  Rather than NOT making a rule, 
they convened a joint Board/GAC Committee (the .info Country Names Discussion 
Group) to route around the DNSO, and followed up by passing resolutions in 
Accra in defiance of the DNSO position.

If the Board remains at liberty to ignore "consensus" (whether you consider 
this example, or the rejection of the .org Task Force recommendations, or the 
blatant actions taken by the Board with respect to the VeriSign 
renegotiations), then why should the rest of us pretend that we are working 
within a "consensus framework"?

You wrote that consenus "requires that those required to follow the rules 
must agree to abide by them".  Apparently the Board does not seem to feel 
that they are required to "follow the rules".  Rather than remanding policy 
recommendations back to the originating SO (if they have issues with the 
recommendations), the Board instead proceeds to craft it's own policy even 
when such decision-making is not justified by the need for "prompt action" as 
stipulated by our Bylaws.

Consensus only works when everyone is on the same level playing field and all 
play by the same set of rules.  How do we reform ICANN in such a way that 
obligates the Board to respect consensus?
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