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Re: [wg-d] Robert's Rules
On Sun, Aug 08, 1999 at 10:48:52PM -0700, Karl Auerbach wrote:
> The ramifications of this simple step are significant. It means that when
> there is a large scale agreement, i.e. true consensus, the process can
> move very quickly and without anyone feeling left out. But when there
> is a lack of real unaniminity, there is a process through which
> unambiguous decisions can be made without risk of a misconstrued notion of
> consensus and without leaving any latent resentment that the decision was
So, would you therefore claim that this situation (a lack of real
unanimity) never happens in the IETF?
> The certainty provided by the rules does come at some cost -- that of the
> possibility of obstructionism by those who force everything to a full vote
> simply in order to cause delay.
How do you deal with the observed fact that there are those for whom
delay is a positive good?
> But I would suggest that that is a cost
> we ought to be more than willing to pay in order to obtain wide spread
> agreement that the decisions were made fairly and thus need not be
However, voting simply will not create that widespread agreement.
You postulate that the only time when voting is needed is when there
is widespread disagreement, conditions when the vote will be, by
definition, very close. Given the size of the WGs, that means that a
handfull of votes are at issue in every one of these cases. I can
easily call up a handfull of my friends, and have them vote, and, in
fact, that is already happening in these WGs. Therefore, the
emphasis on voting will simply not create any feeling of fairness.
In fact, it is more likely to be a distraction, as people jocky to
find other people to vote.
It is much simpler and cleaner to simply recognize that a rough
consensus does not exist, and work from there. The whole point of
"minority opinions" or "dissenting opinions" was to give a mechanism
by which consensus could bifurcate without destroying the process.
I would like to point out that I don't make these statements in a
vacuum, nor through fuzzy newage (rhymes with sewage) attachement to
"rough consensus". Contrary to your assumption, the decision
processes of the DNSO were debated at *great* length during the DNSO
formation process, including voting schemes. You chose to sit out
that debate, and now we are simply repeating it.
Kent Crispin "Do good, and you'll be
firstname.lastname@example.org lonesome." -- Mark Twain