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Re: [wg-d] More Robert's Rules: Streamlining Voting
Something else should be discussed here as well: The issue of
silence, and what it means in this process.
As I proposed it, silence should be equated thusly:
* Silence during/after the call for consensus should be interpreted
* Silence during the search for support to an objection should be
interpreted as dissent with the objection.
* Silence during the formal vote should be interpreted as abstention.
If there aren't enough votes to reach majority, then either everyone
disagrees but doesn't want to go on record saying so, or no one's
paying any attention. Either way, the vote fails and there's no
consensus. Which is appropos, since if there aren't enough people
to reach simple majority, or enough people willing to support the
call for consensus, then the call should not have been made, and the
challenge to the call succeeds.
There's still one problem with this, and that is: The Chair could
call consensus when the one known dissenter is unable to respond.
In this instance, if there's actually enough support for the position
that there isn't consensus on the issue, someone else should be
willing to challenge the call.
This leaves the door open to the possibility that the only person
left with the ability to challenge the consensus isn't able to
respond. In this instance, the number of challenges each person
received was too low. We'd have to be careful to ensure that
one side cannot trick another into depleting the challenges of
every opponent in order to railroad a proposition.
This may sound too much like a game than a deliberative process.
In a sense, it does. However, there are similar and much worse
abuses committed in exactly the same way using parliamentary
procedure, or *any* set of formal rules. In every body, there's
going to be one person who thinks they can play the rules to
their advantage. Short of ejecting these people, there's not much
that can be done about that. And I *will not* advocate something
like that, because who decides what's abuse, and what's an honest
attempt to maintain fairness?
(actually, there are *instances* where I could be persuaded to go
along with this, assuming there's *always* a double-chair system,
both chairs agree on the ejection, and there's support of the body.
I'm not ready to agree with it in general, however.)
Mark C. Langston Let your voice be heard:
Systems Admin http://www.icann.org
San Jose, CA http://www.dnso.org