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Re: [wg-c] Election of co-chair
I have one caveat to Javier's summary (and I think this may address some
of Milton's concerns): RFC 2418 states that the chair evaluates the level
of consensus. But the chair, in making that determination, should use "a
show of hands, humming, or *any other means on which the WG agrees*." That
is, if the WG should decide that the Chair must determine consensus by
looking to the results of a vote held on each issue, then that is the
procedure the Chair must follow. That's consistent with the principle that
"working groups are autonomous and each determines most of the details of
its own operation." I agree with Milton that the WG needs to address how
it will determine consensus.
At 10:22 AM 7/24/99 -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.
>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. Policy disputes are often
>zero sum games, or are often perceived as such by the contesting parties.
>Standardization committees of the IETF are not compulsory and almost always
>involve groups that come together for the express purpose of arriving at an
>agreement. The two situations are hardly comparable.
>To say in this situation that a Chair shall have unilateral authority to
>determine what consensus is could be little more than a thinly veiled power
>grab by a particular faction. This is especially true because this committee
>has never met--and as far as I know *no* IETF committees do anything
>substantial without having met at least once. And don't forget that the vast
>majority of members on this committee have never expressed an opinion at
>would like to know how anyone could reasonably determine what a
>under these circumstances.
>The other problem is that IETF guidelines contemplate ONE chair for a
>committee. When the guidelines say "the Chair shall determine the consensus"
>what happens when there are two chairs and they don't agree?
>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,
>select its own chair. Therefore it does not need the involuntary selection
>Chair by the Names Council.
>I propose these conclusions:
>a) by holding an election for Chair we will be discarding our current
>selecting a new one, unless we explicitly agree to accept the current chair
>designated by the Names Council.
>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.
>c) No conclusions of any sort will be arrived at prior to a face to face
>meeting of this committee in Los angeles in November.
>Javier SOLA wrote:
>> I seems that we have two candidates to the position of co-chair who have
>> accepted their nomination: Kent and Jonathan.
>> It does not seem acceptable to me to include in a ballot somebody who has
>> not accepted (given his/her permission) to be there by accepting the
>> nomination. If any other of the nominees wish to be put in the ballot, they
>> can say so today, otherwise I will post a ballot tomorrow with these two
>> names only, and then leave three days for the members of the WG to vote.
>> Votes will be posted to this list, to avoid getting into complicated voting
>> I will count the votes on the morning of Thursday July 29th and post a
>> result. Anybody else who wishes to post an account of votes can also do so.
>> I agree with Kent and Jonathan on the functions of the Chair, which can be
>> summarize in trying to figure out what the consensus (or rough consensus)
>> of the working group is, assuring that discussion takes place, and assuring
>> that the agreements are communicated to the Names Council.
>> There are also management functions such as organizing meetings, mailing
>> lists, etc.
>m i l t o n m u e l l e r // m u e l l e r @ s y r . e d u
>syracuse university http://istweb.syr.edu/~mueller/