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Re: [ga] RE: "The reform committee continues to refine itsproposals..."

Roberto Gaetano wrote:
> A lot of people have tried to debate with ideas, to make comments on the
> different fora, to present their points in a democratic and polite way.

Well said, Roberto.

Participation has to lead somewhere. For folks, like me, who have been
looking for an At Large mechanism since 1998, every path has been a
dead-end. Do you have any idea how many person hours have gone into the
Membership Advisory Committee (1998-99), the Membership Implementation Task
Force (1999), the Advisory Committee on Membership (1999), the At Large
elections (2000), and the At Large Study Committee (2000-02)? And where are
we now? Heck, even a rat comes to learn which doors give the electric shock.
But here we are, doing it all over again, with efforts like icannatlarge.com
(978 members: http://www.icannatlarge.com/view.php?sortorder=chrono) and the
At Large Organizing Committee.

The fact that people have stuck around longer than less sentient animals
would have under similar circumstances is a testament to their goodwill,
their desire to assist ICANN (not tear it down), and the belief in the
importance of ICANN's mission.

So the proof is really in the results this time. I can see one path
implementing the Blueprint that would be a dramatic improvement over the
status quo, on all fronts. But I'm skeptical that we're going to see an
ICANN 2.0 that is anything more than a rearrangement of the same players,
with the same skeptical ears listening to the same frustrated voices, only
operating with different titles and in newly named fora. If that happens, I
think ICANN can pretty well write off seeing informed participation from
anyone, ever. We've got to find a way to get intelligent people from the
"outside" into the ICANN mainstream, and we have to ensure that informed
participation translates into tangible results.

If I read Mr. Cohen's post to the General Assembly on Friday without the
obvious signs of stress that he peppered into it, I hear him asking for a
more civil tone of debate and an acknowledgment on the part of participants
that debate ends at some point and we all move on to the next issue. Good
ideas. But they ought to go both ways. By the time of the Shanghai meeting,
ICANN will be four years old. Throughout each of those four years, the Board
has been told by a significant chorus in the community that it needed a
strong At Large presence. It hasn't yet turned all of that input into
something tangible. We're now too far down the road to continue to take an
experimental approach to the At Large. Let's implement something meaningful
and then, by all means, move on to ICANN's real work.

   -- Bret

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