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Re: [wg-c] Election of co-chair
On Sat, Jul 24, 1999 at 10:22:17AM -0400, Milton Mueller wrote:
>I do not agree entirely with the IETF guidelines for a chair.
>The IETF guidelines have many useful aspects that we can adopt but also are
>derived from an entirely different context, one of technical coordination. They
>contain elements that are not appropriate for political and economic policy
>decisions of the sort this committee will be making.
>The key difference is that policy decisions are compulsory and of necessity
>involve people who have no incentive to cooperate.
That's true, but it is far less relevant to the actual powers of a
WG than you state. WGs do not produce policy. They produce policy
recommendations, and where there is significant dissent, they are
*required* to report it.
That is precisely the import of "minority opinions" notion. The goal
(though not stated in this way) was to make the WGs like the IETF,
by converting their output from a "compulsory" mode to an
It is also worth noting that IETF WGs are quite frequently intensly
contentious, and sometimes do involve issues with large political or
policy implications. For example, the IETF has made many decisions
that have a direct bearing on encryption policy -- the creation of
an Internet standard that requires strong encryption can directly
contradict aspects of current USG encryption policy.
> The other problem is that IETF guidelines contemplate ONE chair for a
RFC2418 explicitly mentions that there may be two chairs.
> When the guidelines say "the Chair shall determine the consensus"
> what happens when there are two chairs and they don't agree?
Then you don't have consensus. However, given that the DNSO WGs
have "minority opinions", the obvious procedure in divided
situations is to send the camps off to produce their particular
"minority opinion", and incorporate them in the document.
There is the possibility that one or both of the chairs is
deliberately obstructing progress. That would be grounds for the NC
to reconstitute the WG in some way.
>One of the good things about the IETF guidelines is that they assert the
>autonomy of the committees, which means that this committee, if it adopted
>those guidelines, would determine its own agenda, its own operating rules, and
>select its own chair. Therefore it does not need the involuntary selection of a
>Chair by the Names Council.
The chair(s) must be specified in the charter, and the charter must
be approved by the Area Directors. Area Directors are perfectly free
to suggest WG chairs that they deem acceptable.
> I propose these conclusions:
For the record, I don't agree with any of them.
>a) by holding an election for Chair we will be discarding our current chair and
>selecting a new one, unless we explicitly agree to accept the current chair
>designated by the Names Council.
Pointless. The NC should approve the chair selection, in any case.
>b) The Chair will not have the ability to determine consensus on his/her own.
>Votes must be taken on each issue, and the committee might want to fix a
>specific threshold, such as 66% majority.
We would require a one week voting period for each vote, of course.
One of the lessons that we get from the IETF guidelines is that
forward progress is actually a desired goal...
Kent Crispin "Do good, and you'll be
firstname.lastname@example.org lonesome." -- Mark Twain