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Re: [wg-c] Agreement on method for consensus determination
On Tue, Jul 13, 1999 at 05:20:34PM -0700, Mark C. Langston wrote:
> Until such time as the Secretariat adds me to wg-c-1 and wg-c-2, I'll have
> to post this here.
I think general discussion, such as this, should be on the wg-c
list, and not posted three times to each of the other lists.
> Finally, who runs the voting mechanism/votebot? I would very much
> prefer that this be a neutral party.
No trusted third party is necessary. This is a small body, and a
roll-call vote on the mailing list is completely adequate. The list
is archived; the vote is a matter of public record; every member can
see their own vote in that record, and every other members vote;
every member can check the tally, and every external person can
check the tally.
Roll call voting is frequently used for committees and other small
Here are sample rules for a formal vote: the chair opens a voting
period of at least a predetermined minimum length (in our case a day
or so would be sufficient), and will fabricate and mail a ballot to
the list. Each member sends their vote (a reply to the to the ballot
email) with their choices marked. At the end of the voting period
the chair tallies the votes, and announces the result. For rigor,
the tally may be posted for challenge for a day, so that if someone
disagrees they can challenge the result.
In practice, however, the formal procedure should not be necessary
very often. In a working consensus management model, the chair
proceeds by looking for dissent, not looking for agreement, because
you work from agreement to agreement continuously. The chair
typically asks "is there any objection?" rather than putting things
to a vote, and if any objection is voiced, the objection is
discussed until the issue is clear, in which case either a rough
consensus will be apparent, or a vote will be called.
Kent Crispin "Do good, and you'll be
email@example.com lonesome." -- Mark Twain