[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
Re: [wg-d] More Robert's Rules: Streamlining Voting
On 13 August 1999, "Antony Van Couvering" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>1) I think the "limit number of objections" is a morass we will be sorry
Perhaps. It's a suggestion to get discussion moving on how to expedite
the voting process.
>2) How the vote if framed is very important. I assume that you are looking
>at the "do you like this, Yes or No" type of vote.
Well, with this *particular* case, I was discussing the determination of
consensus around an issue, and the formality of that determination. If
everything went smoothly, the informal determination of consensus would
prevail. Otherwise, a more formal vote would occur, in which the question
would be something along the lines of, "Do you agree with this, Yes or
>However, there may be a different kind of vote, such as choosing one between
>2 or more options.
Very true. However, this type of vote would not occur for the purposes
of determining consensus around an issue, because the Chair(s) would always
announce the appearance of consensus around a particular issue, not
around several alternatives.
>Or instead of choosing just one, we might want to look at expressing
>preference, which does tend to preserve the real feelings of the assembly.
In these instances, the consensus model fails, unless the Chair(s) simply
guess at which of the issues has the most support, and declare consensus
>Roberts Rules don't contemplate this sort of voting at all (as far as I
>know), but we should.
I believe that Robert's Rules handles it thusly:
Someone submits a proposal. There's informal and possibly formal debate.
Someone may or may not object to the proposal. Someone may or may not
amend the proposal. Ultimately, the proposal is voted up or down, either
in original form or as amended.
If the proposal fails, anyone is free to offer up an alternate proposal, and
the process starts again.
However, there is something called "Division of the Question", which is
a Motion that allows each part of a proposal to be considered seperately.
There's no reason why that proposal couldn't be a set of alternatives,
although it would be very uncommon in more traditional deliberative
bodies. Again, it's just a formality, really. It's a formal method of
expressing that you'd like each bit of the proposal taken seperately.
In fact, most of Robert's Rules are just formal methods of expressing
the things we all express in Working Groups today. Robert's Rules
introduces a process wherein disputes can be resolved if someone
disagrees with an expression. They can be as cumbersome or as
incidental as the body is willing to make them.
The one catch is that, once someone takes the process to a more formal
level, as long as it doesn't violate any of the rules, the process must
stay there until resolved in some manner. This is another aspect of
the fairness of it all. If someone is capable of invoking one of the
more formal procedures, everyone agrees to carry on at that more formal
level to resolve the issue. Otherwise, you'd just be ignoring the rules
This introduces an interesting social dynamic to a group such as ours,
although it's present in any deliberative body operating under Robert's
Rules: It's in everyone's best interest to get along, because the
alternative takes longer due to the more formal nature of the interchange.
(This is also where you start to see the tactic of filibustering to delay,
or to change the quorum count and/or balance of power in the room. It's
also why the Chair gets to declare things Dilatory and similar -- to prevent
such tactics. Since it's very difficult to play the bodycount in an
e-mail body, I don't think tactics like this will arise, because their
benefit is significantly diminished.)
The one thing to keep in mind in all of this is that a system like this
puts an additional burden on the Chairs. I.e., the chairs are going to
have to do daily work on the group, to ensure the process is running
smoothly. But then, that's what the Chairs are supposed to do, anyway. :)
Mark C. Langston Let your voice be heard:
Systems Admin http://www.icann.org
San Jose, CA http://www.dnso.org