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Re: [apnic-talk] Election reforms

Subject: Re: [apnic-talk] Election reforms
From: Terry Manderson
Date: Wed, 24 Mar 2010 22:49:32 +1000
Hi Naresh,

On 22/03/2010, at 11:54 AM, Naresh wrote:

> Dear All,
> Before proposing the policy, I had promised to explore the voting process 
> being followed across all other 4 RIRs and accordingly had researched into 
> this aspect.  The analysis is being forwarded herewith so that one can refer 
> to the same and it may help in reaching conclusions.

I would hope that any proposal would also come with rationale and evidence 
attached. I can't see myself hunting back a couple months to find your email as 
a reference.

> No RIR has proportionate voting strength but for LACNIC and there also the 
> magnitude is not like that at APNIC (1-65 per member). All these RIRs realize 
> that proportionate voting strength is against equality which is the basic 
> essence of internet. Would reiterate here that Internet is the leveler and 
> not the divider. Yes, instead we should welcome/explore the proportionate 
> representation. It is very important for engaging stakeholders from all 
> fronts so that every APNIC member, having different understanding/challenges, 
> is given the due consideration.

To be honest I think the argument that equality of the internet should be 
reflected in voting power for the board of the APNIC secretariat is probably 
weak. I think better to suggest that since IP addresses and other internet 
resources are not "owned" by the organisation to which they are allocated the 
base membership fee of AUD 1180 constitutes the member proportion and the 
remainder of the membership fee appears more as a service fee. Otherwise any 
organisation will simply say "I pay more to the secretariat as a membership 
fee, therefore I demand greater representation in selecting a board with which 
I am comfortable and believe will ensure proper running of the secretariat and 
its affairs"

I also question if the APNIC region is mature enough across the board to run as 
a '1 member 1 vote' mechanism.

> Proposed Election reform point No. 3 regarding the ‘Term duration’ is 
> actually connected to abovesaid point 2 only because if we have to engage 
> more stakeholders, we have to limit the terms.  Forwarding the gist of the 
> by-laws being followed at ICANN;

I'm not sure I would use ICANN's by-laws as the only centre for substantiation.

What do the other RIRs do? (not saying APNIC should follow them, but you used 
them as an example earlier.)

> …3. At least one month before the commencement of each annual meeting, the 
> Nominating Committee shall give the Secretary of ICANN written notice of its 
> selection of Directors for seats with terms beginning at the conclusion of 
> the annual meeting.

Are you suggesting a nominations committee as well? and how is that committee 
What happens to your 'limited term' arrangement if the nominations committee 
cannot furnish a suitable candidate?

Don't get me wrong, I like the general idea of a nominations committee as it 
acts as a filter to ensure that candidates are indeed qualified - but it does 
still come with its own issues. Sometimes nominations committees can create an 
indoctrination effect which simply solidifies a group-think situation.

> Undoubtedly, the methods and processes being followed at APNIC are 
> satisfactory but the contention is that one has to not only act fair but also 
> be fair in appearance and our maturity lies in giving chance to others than 
> continuing for decades together.

If it is the case that fairness is not obvious without question then I can't 
see how "processes being followed at APNIC are satisfactory".

My observation so far is of a lack of maturity in dealing with a corner stone 
situation which might have the downside of members (and stakeholders) loosing 
trust in the board, secretariat, and election process. But does that mean an 
extensive reform needs to happen? There is this saying.. "don't throw the baby 
out with the bath water"..

> We can certainly further debate but shall keep in mind the highest number of 
> emerging economies are in APNIC region and that’s the next billions of 
> Internet users….new ecosystem of Internet with different kind of 
> stakeholders- some may be election shy, the others may be language shy and so 
> on– there is a need to handhold, to engage/motivate them….they can and shall 
> be leading. Lets open up and allow them…it’s their turn….

Its noble of you to want people to have their turn. I personally would be 
reluctant to allow candidates onto the EC that need hand-holding, or need 
external motivation ... that strikes me as a recipe for a weak board. That is 
something that any proposal would have to address completely in my opinion.

> Shortly, an election specialist/expert wud propose the policy for kind 
> consideration of the community.

As I understand it, while the community gets to consider it. A change like this 
must go to a member vote, under the current voting system.

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