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Re: [discuss] Unofficial minutes June 11 1999 Names Council Meeting

On Fri, Jun 18, 1999 at 08:19:09AM -0700, Randy Bush wrote:
> i suspect that the above can be generally agreed.

I think so, too.

> the following is
> likely more contentious, but i think worth discussing:
>     to minimize the bad effects of the above issues, representation in
>     constituencies such as the ncdnso should be as open as possible.  but
>     those who are proposed for seats on the bodies such as the names
>     council should not have serious conflicts of interest.
>     this is not be meant to exclude parties from the constituency, but
>     rather to prevent parties, no matter how well-intentioned, from
>     *formally* representing small players while also having hats of other
>     major interests or players.

I tend to think concretely.  Here's a couple of possible impementations, 
if I understand correctly:

Any entity may join and vote in any constituency it wants, but may
only nominate office holders from one constituency. [Extreme]

Any entity may join and vote in any constituency for which it meets
the *general* qualifications (for example, an Intellectual Property
law firm could join the "business constituency", because it is a
business), but may only nominate office holders from one
constituency.  [Moderate]

We can contrast these examples with the current situation, which is
that the membership criteria are variable, can be quite strict, but
you can nominate and vote in any constituency you can join. 

The first one fails, I think, because everyone would join every
constituency (not an a priori bad thing, but fairly contrary to the
basic idea).

The second one should work, but I'm not sure it accomplishes the goal
you describe, because the constituencies still have membership
requirements, and it is still conceivable (likely?) that there are
coherent groups that don't fit in any current constituency. 

Backing up a level, there are a number of well-known problems with a
constituency-based system, and, in fact, the only advantage I can see
for it is that a selected set of minority interests are protected. 
However, the argument is that in this particular real world case,
those protections are very important.  For example, registries will
always be a very tiny minority, numerically, yet their interests and
expertise are very important in the DNS.

Relaxing requirements for membership, such as you suggest, is a way
to deal with some of the problems of constituencies, but I don't
think you go far enough.  I have always advocated an extreme case,
which is that there should be a constituency with NO membership
criteria at all except existence as a legally recognized entity,
either a natural person or a legally recognized fictitous person like
a corporation.  That was the "at-large" constituency.  It was opposed
by the ccTLD registries and the IP interests, and got dropped on the
cutting room floor.

But I still think it's a good idea -- it could be accomplished, 
essentially, by changing the character of the General Assembly to be 
more like a constituency.


Kent Crispin                               "Do good, and you'll be
kent@songbird.com                           lonesome." -- Mark Twain