[ga-review] Individuals' Constituency
I wish to express my personal views on the subject of an Individuals'
Constituency. Many of you will recall that within the Review Working Group
I was an advocate of dissolving the current Names Council constituency
structure. My views have not changed. However, that being said, let it be
known that I will not impede any efforts made to enhance representation in
the DNSO, and that I am willing to assist others in formulating the best
possible way to launch a new constituency.
In my estimation, a report on this topic should begin with:
1. citations on the expected role and function of individuals as delineated
in relevant documents - the Green Paper, the White Paper, various Memoranda,
etc. Perhaps some of you could begin to research this history and provide
2. the history of past efforts to establish such a constituency within ICANN
3. the history and preliminary conclusions of the Review Working Group on
4. the need for such a constituency
5. that which will differentiate this constituency from others (addressing
issues such as "uniqueness" and "representativeness")
6. addressing barriers to entry: funding, establishment criteria/procedures
7. an explanation of why circumstances are now more favorable for the
introduction of such a constituency than in the past - essentially, what has
changed that now warrants reconsideration?
8. an explanation of why the introduction of new constituencies is to be
favored over the abolition of the constituency structure and the adoption of
an alternate structural approach to representation.
The report should conclude with a compelling determination as to which
"body" shall represent such individuals (IDNO or another), and should
present a well-defined charter for such group (stipulating the parameters of
I would like to begin my commentary on this topic by addressing the issue of
which "body" should be representing individuals.
As I look at the "ICANN World", I see attempts that have been made to bring
individuals into the fold. I have noted the at-Large elections in which
anyone with an email address was given the opportunity to participate in a
process leading to the election of representatives (the relative success of
this venture is another issue). I have noted that any individual with an
email address may participate in the Public ICANN Forums (whether the Board
actually reads such comments is again another issue). I have also noted
that any individual with an email address may participate in the activities
of the General Assembly of the DNSO.
Within ICANN, individuals already have a "voice"; what they are missing is a
"body" that confers "voting rights" within the Names Council, and which may
assure that their voices are thereby heard.
We, as members of the General Assembly, have a similar problem. We are, by
definition, a collection of individuals drawn from the general public in a
process "open to all". We are probably the epitome of "representativeness"
(with highly vocal advocates on both sides of every single issue). We are a
"unique" institution, one that is prepared to accept the burden of the
consensus-building process mandated by the ICANN ByLaws. Yet we do not have
a voting voice in the Names Council - under the current ByLaws we can't even
elect our own Chairs. As such, it is understandable that we sympathize with
those that seek to establish an individuals' constituency because we suffer
from the same set of problems... we research and tackle issues that affect
individuals and the general public, but we have no "vote".
It is my contention that a suitable "body" to represent the needs of
individuals already exists, a "body" that would most likely be acceptable to
a Board already predisposed to the possibility of change - that body is the
General Assembly of the DNSO.
I would like to see the GA petition the Board for acceptance as a
Constituency in the Names Council.
Let the discussion begin.
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