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[ga] Re: Byfield on GA Reform / comments

On 2002-09-09 16:10:01 +0200, Thomas Roessler wrote:

>Ted Byfield has posted some comments on the second implementation  
>report and my remarks about it.  See  
><http://www.icannwatch.org/article.php?sid=938>.  My response is  
>available in my weblog.

... and here:

   At IcannWatch, [1]Ted Byfield has taken up my brief comments on the
   ERC's [2]Second Implementation Report and its suggestions about the
   GA's future. Bad enough, Ted gets much of this wrong: The ERC does
   indeed move into the right direction, as I wrote.

   First of all, when I say that the ERC is moving, then I have in mind
   from where it is coming: From the [3]blueprint's recommendation that
   the GA should be (1) a cross-constituency meeting place and (2)
   moderated. In particular, the blueprint's GA does not provide for any
   participation by members of the general public; this is in line with
   the [4]Names Council's recommendations on the matter. The second
   implementation report seems to say good-bye to this idea of a forum
   exclusively reserved to constituency members.

   Second, what does moderation (or proper moderation) mean? When reading
   the second implementation report, it doesn't look like the ERC
   actually wants to get into micro-managing discussion lists. Thus, I'll
   take this not to be meant in the technical sense, but rather as "do
   what it takes to facilitate reasonablen discussions." That's an
   approach which I, at least, can certainly live with.

   Third, what about the idea of having the ALAC sponsor a General
   Assembly? Assuming that the ultimate goal is to have a canonical forum
   for intelligent public debate about ICANN issues, this makes a whole
   lot of sense. While many may be skeptic about the ALAC's success, the
   perspective is certainly the right one - as long as there is some
   reasonable home for this kind of discussion in the mean time, and in
   the case that ALAC fails in one way or the other. The second
   implementation report actually provides for such an interim home, by
   basically saying that the GNSO should continue to maintain the current

   The single difference concerns the role of the GA's chair: Currently,
   this function actually shows up in ICANN's bylaws; in the future, it's
   most likely doomed to die. Instead, the second implementation report
   vaguely talks about list managers/moderators which would have to be
   appointed by the Names Council. Byfield emphasizes that power (such as
   it is, in this context) would be transferred from elected
   representatives to interim appointees - as if this was a change. It
   isn't. The current practice of letting the GA elect its chair isn't
   codified in [5]the current ICANN bylaws, either - article VI-B section
   2 (i) actually determines that The NC shall elect the Chairman of the
   GA annually.

   Wrapping up, the new recommendations basically boil down to giving the
   status quo another chance, with the perspective that the GA is
   ultimately transferred to the responsibility of the ALAC, and with the
   desire for stronger moderation. Compare that to declaring the GA
   "closed shop" like in the blueprint and the Names Council's

   In my view, the most important questions which remain for the close
   future are these:
     * How can the General Assembly (and, later, the ALAC) participate
       directly in the Names Council's deliberations? Would it, for
       instance, be realistic to reserve space for an ALAC liaison on the
       Names Council, and to use (for instance) the GA chair as a
       placeholder for the time until ALAC is operational?
     * How can the General Assembly (and, later, the ALAC) participate
       directly in [6]policy development?


   1. http://www.icannwatch.org/article.php?sid=938
   2. http://www.icann.org/committees/evol-reform/second-implementation-report-02sep02.htm#2C1b
   3. http://www.icann.org/committees/evol-reform/blueprint-20jun02.htm#GNSO
   4. http://www.dnso.org/clubpublic/council/Arc10/msg00273.html
   5. http://www.icann.org/general/bylaws.htm#VI-B
   6. http://log.does-not-exist.org/archive-0208.html#02082213231030015387

Thomas Roessler                        http://log.does-not-exist.org/
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