I still think this is misdirected energy.
But, in the interest of finding a reasonable compromise and
moving on, let me make a suggestion:
(1) We let the current text and resolution style stand,
so that bylaw changes don't become a gating factor [note
(2) We ask the current, sympathetic, helpful,
supportive, ISOC Board to consider a bylaws modification
that does not single out the IETF Administrative Entity
by name (which starts making me nervous for other
reasons). It should instead define some category of
semi-independent entities which have affiliated
themselves with ISOC [note 2] and that provides that an
ISOC decision to withdraw from an agreement with such
entities, or to attempt to unilaterally change such an
agreement, requires some specified supermajority or
other special action [note 3].
Whether they will occur (be created) or not, one can imagine a
number of activities that might fall under such rules, including
various social projects that might be developed as cooperative
relationships with, or divisions of, ISOC rather than directly
controlled by the ISOC Board. And, in each case, the idea of
ISOC terminating or rearranging the agreement without due
consideration and relatively strong consensus would be, at best,
troublesome. So a bylaws provision that, for such situations,
divorces are harder to have performed than marriages, would
probably be in ISOC's broader interest.
Would that more or less solve the problem you are having/
[note 1] While I am as anxious as anyone else to get the
important aspects of the BCP right, I am also anxious to get
this process over with and get on with what we are doing. If a
bylaws change will take a long-ish time, I'd like to figure out
how to move forward without queuing on it if that is at all
[note 2] While I don't think coming up with an appropriate
definition is horribly complicated, I'd assume it will require
some discussion, consultation with lawyers, and so on.
Throwing that problem over the wall to ISOC is another way to
avoid queuing the reorganization process behind this issue
(sorry, Lynn, Fred, and others). If people want to wordsmith
it, let it be on an ISOC list.
[note 3] My experience with Boards that change previously-agreed
directions is that forcing careful consideration rather than
permitting decisions in the heat of a passing moment is actually
better protection than supermajorities. So I would advise the
relevant ISOC folks to think carefully about whether, e.g., an
"approval at two meetings at least a month apart" or "approve at
meeting, post for comments by the membership, approve at a
second meeting after time for comment" provision might serve the
perceived need here better than fussing with supermajorities and
quorums. But I'd prefer to make this a problem that ISOC
debates, rather than the IETF.
--On Thursday, 13 January, 2005 17:10 -0600 Pete Resnick
> On 1/13/05 at 5:25 PM -0500, Leslie Daigle wrote:
>> . but I disagree that there was considerable support for
>> filling the <<>> with by-law changes in ISOC.
> I think you're right that there wasn't overt support for
> by-law changes. On the other hand, I think there was at least
> some group of folks posting here that thought "a majority vote
> of the ISOC Board" (i.e., a resolution) was insufficient. They
> can speak for themselves.
>> The filling of <<>> that seemed to have support (though, as
>> you restated today, you don't agree with it) is the passing
>> of a resolution to undertake the role outlined in the BCP.
> I'm not that this is a fair characterization of the
> discussion. Brian certainly stated something akin to this.
> John (though he did say that he thought I was misdirecting my
> energies with regard to where the risks lie) did seem to
> indicate that he thought it was a fine idea that it would take
> more than a simple vote to undo the agreement. Eric seemed in
> full agreement with me. Fred and Geoff (and Brian to some
> extent) indicated concern that by-law changes would take some
> time. Others I have a hard time knowing exactly what they
> (Side note: Someone mentioned to me today, and I think I
> agree, that it would probably be sufficient for the ISOC Board
> to pass a resolution now to do <<something that would take
> more than a simple majority to undo>>. This is more about
> future folks undoing the agreement, not current folks
> assenting to the agreement.)
>> That said, let me offer a few thoughts on why I specifically
>> don't think a by-law change is what you want. The by-laws
>> deal primarily in the mechanics of ISOCs structural
> Not so of Article VI, sections 2 & 5, which seem somewhat akin
> (though less specific) to the kind of thing I've been talking
>> I know you would look to a lawyer to provide the specific
>> wording, but I'm trying to grapple with what sort of a thing
>> would be inserted here to meet your need: something that
>> says "ISOC will support the IETF per the structure outlined
>> in BCPXX" seems vastly out of place.
> Loosely following the structure of VI.5: "The Society will
> maintain a supporting relationship of the IETF administrative
> operations as outlined in BCPXX".
>> What I really think you're looking at is the articles of
>> incorporation, which spell out the purpose and reason for
>> ISOC's existence and operation.
> I did have a look at them, and (as you say below) I think they
> seemed a little too broadly scoped to fit the sort of thing
> that would make me comfortable.
>> So, why not a resolution, then?
>> a future ISOC BoT could adopt a resolution to change or
>> nullify that support with little warning and less than a 4/5
>> majority vote.
> I think that sums it up.
>> But, the truth of the matter is, if the ISOC BoT has gotten
>> to the point where that seems like a reasonable course of
>> action, we (the IETF, ISOC,the Internet at large) are in
>> such deep doo-doo in our relationship that the action is not
>> the bad news.
> As I think I've said before, I have seen in many organizations
> the ability of leaderships in organizations to (occasionally
> in the course of their existences) be composed of a
> significant handful of disruptive and problematic folks. Not a
> majority of the leadership, but just shy of one. And I've seen
> those disruptive and problematic folks occasionally shout loud
> enough to convince just one or two of the "good" folks to join
> them in a squeaker of a majority to vote for utterly stupid
> things. Usually their ability to do that is short lived (both
> due to the "good" people figuring out that their ideas are
> stupid and their inevitably short tenure), and the
> organization itself survives the period of silliness. But I
> can't remember a time where the "bad" people have gotten a
> super-majority (like 4/5) to go along with them.
> This just seems like one of those times where we want that
> extra road block in the way for a few people doing utterly
> silly things. For the IETF side, we've made a BCP (which will
> be a pain for us to get consensus to change). I want some
> similar commitment from ISOC.
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