[Community-Discuss] [members-discuss] Accountability assessment - bylaws changes

Andrew Alston Andrew.Alston at liquidtelecom.com
Tue Sep 20 05:27:59 UTC 2016


We need to stop for a moment and look at reality – not wishful thinking.

Firstly – I am hearing talk of rough consensus – and while consensus is applicable in many areas, I am far from convinced this is one of them.  The ONLY place consensus has in this regard is to get a vague indication of which way the vote may go on a particular issue.  However, you can get total consensus on this list and beyond – and still stand a good chance of things not passing.

Why is this – consensus is defined as being reached when all substantive objections have been addressed.  However, a substantive objection has to have meaning, that is to say, there is some validity in what people are objecting to.  And those can all be addressed, but when the non-substantive,  the illogical, the uninformed, the emotional, or whatever, arguments come into it – those cannot be taken into account in consensus.  However, to accept or reject bylaw changes is not done by consensus. It is done by *super majority* vote.

So, get all the consensus you like, you have a VAGUE indication – but nothing more than that – because if people on the day go “I don’t like this, and it’s not worth arguing about, so I will simply argue with my vote”, and they vote no, things still won’t pass.

So, let me now talk about committees – for what purpose?  So that the “committee” can propose something and people just accept it?  So that the “committee” can judge consensus somehow better than one person? So the “committee” can take all the inputs and collate them into some nice document better than one person can?

Guess what – it’s all meaningless – because at the end of the day – no matter who proposes, no matter what form – if members like the PRINCIPLE behind the change, they will vote in favor of it.  If they don’t, no matter who proposes it, they will vote against it.  And committees, individuals, whatever, it’s all meaningless if on the day, the *SUPER MAJORITY VOTE* does not pass.  That means for every 1 vote that is cast against, there must be 3 votes for. This is not a feel good game – this is the law.  In the same way, any individual can bring something to the floor and once its n the notice of meeting while it can be discussed on the floor, the resolution *CANNOT BE CHANGED* other than basic minor edits – it can only be withdrawn.

Yes – I like the idea of consensus to gauge what may or may not pass – and I believe that is what Alan has been trying to gauge before putting things to the floor.  End of the day though – it’s a nice idea, but has zero impact on the outcome.


From: Arnaud AMELINA <amelnaud at gmail.com>
Reply-To: General Discussions of AFRINIC <community-discuss at afrinic.net>
Date: Monday, 19 September 2016 at 22:14
To: General Discussions of AFRINIC <community-discuss at afrinic.net>
Cc: "members-discuss at afrinic.net" <members-discuss at afrinic.net>
Subject: Re: [Community-Discuss] [members-discuss] Accountability assessment - bylaws changes

+1 @Alain

2016-09-19 19:56 GMT+00:00 ALAIN AINA <Alain.Aina at wacren.net<mailto:Alain.Aina at wacren.net>>:

Let’s fix the process and better organise this critical review of the bylawsl. I do support the idea of a committee .


On Sep 19, 2016, at 4:25 PM, Bope Domilongo Christian <christianbope at gmail.com<mailto:christianbope at gmail.com>> wrote:

Dear CEO,
[speaking as a member of the community]
Following last week discussion on the accountability review and others points raised by the community which was not in your original document, here my response.

1.  On the Accountability Review.
This review is from an independent AFRINIC's accountability review which identified areas need to be improved. Improving RIR accountability is very important in this context of IANA stewardship transition where the community will be exercising important role in the oversight of the IANA functions.
So it is very crucial that the community gives this discussion the required attention and the consensual approach is more needed.
It will be unfortunate if we did not follow these important improvements due to lack of consensus.
2. on the Process
It was expected that the community discuss, express view and concern thereafter the Leadership will do his best effort to build consensus. Consensus here is strictly in the sense of RIR practices mean The Rough Consensus Model [1].
Ideally, people shall be encourage to comment on the list for the sake of archive and off list contribution should be discouraged and not accepted.
That why some members of the community suggested the creation of a committee to lead the process.

3. On the discussion.
Community has expressed views on each points. As expected there were convergences and divergences. For example, points 3,4, 5 had active and intensive discussions while reading may sound like profound disagreement. We shall now entire to the consensus building mode by opening the disagreement views and addressing one by one then we'll build ROUGH CONSENSUS.
Another example, on point 11, there was no objection, but some suggestions even propose more such as "Registered Members only MUST never amend the bylaws, ..." and The proposed amendment should be published not less than 60 days and not more than 90 days before, with the provisions for more members to comment online and in any meeting held during the consultation period"
4. On the other points.
Beyond the 12 points, some areas of improvements were suggested.
For example, https://lists.afrinic.net/pipermail/community-discuss/2016-June/000350.html lists some of the points
[1] https://www.nro.net/about-the-nro/rir-accountability on section 1.4


On 19 September 2016 at 17:03, Andrew Alston <Andrew.Alston at liquidtelecom.com<mailto:Andrew.Alston at liquidtelecom.com>> wrote:
I agree with the sentiments as echoed by Boubakar below.



From: Mike Silber <silber.mike at gmail.com<mailto:silber.mike at gmail.com>>
Reply-To: General Discussions of AFRINIC <community-discuss at afrinic.net<mailto:community-discuss at afrinic.net>>
Date: Monday, 19 September 2016 at 10:39
To: General Discussions of AFRINIC <community-discuss at afrinic.net<mailto:community-discuss at afrinic.net>>
Cc: "members-discuss at afrinic.net<mailto:members-discuss at afrinic.net>" <members-discuss at afrinic.net<mailto:members-discuss at afrinic.net>>
Subject: Re: [Community-Discuss] Accountability assessment - bylaws changes

On 18 Sep 2016, at 23:44, Boubakar Barry <Boubakar.Barry at wacren.net<mailto:Boubakar.Barry at wacren.net>> wrote:


We can of course think of advantages we can give to associate members  to acknowledge their commitment and support. But I would not support giving voting rights to associate members. I would rather be for removing this membership category instead.

Boubakar +1

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