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Re: [discuss] Individual representation

On Sat, Jun 26, 1999 at 11:50:05PM +0000, William X. Walsh wrote:
> The simple fact Kent, is that you oppose individual representation in
> the DNSO because the most substantial opposition to your
> CORE/ISOC/Trademark agenda will come from grass roots individual
> participation.

Your understanding of the facts is incorrect.  I don't oppose
individual representation in the DNSO.  I have argued for it from the
beginning (*)

But the issue is a little deeper than being "for or against"
individuals.  It is a matter of "balance".  It appears that the idea
of "balance" may not be something you are familiar with, so let me
explain just a little bit:

My belief has been for some time that undifferentiated unlimited
individual representation should be in about equal balance with
defined constituency representation (**).  It doesn't matter how the 
balance is achieved, and it doesn't have to be achieved through 
symmetrical structures.

This has not much to do with how the the particular constituencies
are defined -- I don't really care too much about the exact
definitions of the constituencies, nor do I care about the exact
number of constituencies.  The only important thing is that the
constituency capture a rationally defined, coherent portion of the
interest space, and that they form a modest balance from the 
beginning (something that, arguably, they don't do now).

The value of the constituencies is that they provide longer-term 
stability.  In fact, for example, intellectual property interests 
have a clear and moderately unified perspective on the situation, 
and I don't expect that it will change very much or very rapidly.  
INTA is a large, bureaucratic organization that does everything by 
committees.  We can expect that the business constituency and the 
non-commercial constituency will also be dominated by large, 
slow-moving organizations.  That's good.

The danger an open-admission individual representation is capture. 
This is a very clear and present danger.  The ICANN membership
committee recognized this problem, but their only solution was that
the membership should be large.  Unfortunately, there is no evidence
at all that these issues are important to more than a *tiny*
population, and it just doesn't seem very likely that the membership
of ICANN is going to be very large.  Therefore, any large corporation
can capture the individual membership.  There is no significant
defense.  Therefore, there should *never* be a situation where an
open individual group can control more than half the board.

We are just at the halfway mark now, in direct individual 
representation.  The influence of the General Assembly on policy 
adds some to that weight.  Hence my contention that at this point 
individuals already have more than half the power in ICANN.

On the other hand, it would be very difficult to capture *all* the 
individual votes.  So in practice the balance tips back some to the 
other side.  But there are so many intangibles that it is hard to 
see exactly where that balance currently lies.

Hence my statment that I am not sure whether some kind of 
individuals constituency for the DNSO is necessary.

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