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Re: "constitutional protections"
- Date: Fri, 13 Nov 1998 17:50:19 +0100
- From: "Collignon" <Collignon@netbay.net>
- Subject: Re: "constitutional protections"
I agree with you, in Barcelona i have asked to change in this way, in my
opinion the Bernard T proposal is unaccetable for many support
De : Kent Crispin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
À : email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc : email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date : vendredi 13 novembre 1998 08:17
Objet : "constitutional protections"
>At the Barcelona meeting Bernard T. (representing ccTLD interests)
>proposed the following numbers for representation of constituencies
>on the Governing Committee:
> Registries: 8
> Registrars: 3
> Network connectivity etc: 3
> Commercial users: 2
> Trademark interests: 0 (ex officio standing committee)
> At large: 3
>The primary motivation for the obvious unbalance expressed in
>Bernard's proposal, as he expressed it, is a fear that the competing
>interests would essentially gang up on the registries. That is, (to
>put it in egocentric terms) the intent of having such a large
>representation is not my desire to control others, but rather my fear
>what the others might do to me.
>The problem identified here is commonly known as "the tyranny of the
>majority". It is the major problem with popular democracy.
>Bernard said that an alternative that would perhaps be acceptable
>would be to have a smaller representation, but to also have some kind
>guarantees built in that that would prevent the majority from
>running roughshod over registry interests. These guarantees might
>be called "constitutional protections (CPs)".
>There are several substantial advantages to a CP model. CPs are:
> - Well-modulated: CPs can be constructed to exactly fit the issues
> of interest to a particular constituency.
> - Not a zero sum game: protecting constituencies by adjusting
> representation is intrinsically zero-sum -- every representational
> unit added is a unit subtracted from someone else. Adding
> constitutional protections for one group, on the other hand, doesn't
> necessarly reduce the power of another group.
> - Flexible: There are mechanisms for changing CPs -- super
> majority votes, and so on. These mechanisms are much more
> difficult to engage than usual decision making processes, and are
> seldom employed. But they are available in the case where there
> is very widespread agreement that something needs to be changed.
>There are a couple or relatively minor disadvantages to a CP model.
> - First, it enables what has been called "the tyranny of the
> minority", where, through the power granted by a CP, a minority
> blocks some change that a large majority wants. For example, if,
> through a CP, a constituency were given a veto power on budget
> decisions, that constituency could hold the rest of the
> organization hostage and get its way in matters not related to
> budgets. This problem can sometimes be dealt with by careful
> construction of the CPs, but probably cannot be totally eliminated.
> - Second, a CP model adds complexity to the decision process --
> perhaps a lot of complexity. Without a CP you take a vote, and if
> the vote meets the quorum and majority requirements, the decision
> is made. But CP's require enforcement and interpretation, and this
> additional mechanism could be considerable.
>On balance, however, the advantages seem to me to far outweigh the
>disadvantages, so I would like to propose that we work from the
>premise that we will have a CP model. More than that, I would argue
>that some form of CP model is actually inevitable, and we would
>probably be better off starting with that explicitly in mind. (*)
>Presuming that we start from a CP model, I would further propose that
>we adopt a "constituency-blind" representational model, where every
>constituency gets the same number of seats.
> Registries: 2
> Registrars: 2
> Network connectivity etc: 2
> Commercial users: 2
> Trademark interests: 2
> At large: 9
>Each of the 5 defined constituencies will potentially have a set of
>CPs associated with them -- certain issues about which they have
>special powers or protections. The apparent unbalance with the At
>Large group is really an illusion -- the At Large group represents
>every other possible constituency, but at the same time has NO
>specific CPs (**) associated with it -- it can't, because, by
>definition, it doesn't represent any *particular* constituency.
>Furthermore, the At Large group is large enough so that meaningful
>geographical constraints can be applied.
>This model hinges on the Constitutional Protections involved. If we
>decide to go this route, the debate should shift from the "number of
>representatives" to "what special rights and powers should be assigned
>to each constituency".
>This would, in my opinion, be a healthy development. It would force
>us to look at specific policy areas and concerns, and take us away
>from thinking in terms of power politics.
>(*) It is inevitable because, when you think about it, very
>unbalanced representational models create a strong force for some
>kind of guarantees for the rights of those not so well represented.
>(**) There may be general CPs that apply to every member, regardless
>of further membership in a constituency.
>Kent Crispin, PAB Chair "No reason to get excited",
>email@example.com the thief he kindly spoke...
>PGP fingerprint: B1 8B 72 ED 55 21 5E 44 61 F4 58 0F 72 10 65 55