[Community-Discuss] Questioning - The AfriNIC voting system that disenfrachases most members

Owen DeLong owen at delong.com
Sat Jun 2 22:51:18 UTC 2018

> On Jun 2, 2018, at 10:24 , Noah <noah at neo.co.tz> wrote:
> On Sat, 2 Jun 2018, 6:32 a.m. Owen DeLong, <owen at delong.com <mailto:owen at delong.com>> wrote:
>> On Jun 1, 2018, at 10:34 , Ornella GANKPA <honest1989 at gmail.com <mailto:honest1989 at gmail.com>> wrote: 
>>> And members are saying "We are happy with the outcome" (I am, anyway). The only folk that should be commenting on this are the voting membership.
>> Why is the former board member and board chair so nervous about the scope of this discussion?  This is a matter of concern for the community at large. This is not a remake of the elections. Or maybe,  it is time to listen to the other 1409 members who did not vote?
> If you chose not to vote, then really, you’ve effectively asked us not to listen to you.
> Dear all,
> The exchange above is from a different thread and I thought it would be great to also discuss another challenge we face as members.
> I dont believe that majority of AfriNIC members (90%) chose not to vote in elections because most are disenfrachased by the AfriNIC voting system which only allows members in good standing to vote which to me is pointless.

The only way to not be a member in good standing is if you aren’t paying your bill. Are you saying that members who don’t pay their bills should still retain their voting rights? That’s absurd IMHO.

> The fact of the matter is that NO single member ever seizes from being a member before or after the various AfriNIC elections save for the members whose membership has been terminated.

I think you mean ceases rather than seizes. Assuming that’s the case, I would argue that if you aren’t paying your bill, then you should either be treated as a member not in good standing (you loose some or all of your membership privileges, including voting, but remain a member), or, your membership should be terminated.

Any organization which wishes to no longer be a member is free to return their address space and resign from the organization.

Saying that no member stops being a member unless their membership is terminated is sort of like saying no cars stop unless someone stops them. It’s true, but it doesn’t mean much.

> In fact I also think that most members dont even feel motivated to vote or be involved in AfriNIC affaire because the organisation AfriNIC seems not to give them the appetite or reason too.

In which case, it appears that they are in such a state of apathy towards the issues that they do not wish to offer opinions on the matter(s) for us to listen to. In effect, I would say that is a request that we not listen to them, as I stated above.

> I also tend to think that not so much outreach is done to sensitive members about the importance of voting and how this affects the organisation that serves then and I am not sure if this is done deliberately.

Please define “sensitive members”. In any democratic process, decisions are made by those that show up. I don’t think anyone is deliberately making an effort to disenfranchise anyone else here. If you think there are productive ways in which participation and suffrage could be improved,  please elaborate.

> I have therefore never seen the rational behind the denial of the opportunity to vote just because a member has delayed paying their annual membership fees.

Why should one be allowed the privileges of membership if one has not met the obligations of membership?

> Penalties were introduced to cater for that purpose and the denial of voting rights should not be an additional method of disenfrancising members.

When you give suffrage to members that have not met the obligations of membership, you make it cheaper and easier to engage in the art of organizational takeover, among other problems. You’re also effectively encouraging other members who actively support the organization to stop doing so.

> We need to fix this so that the over 1000 members whose annual membership payment either come in late for one reason or another can also have a voice as they still remain members even after elections and indeed make the payment inclusive of penalties.

One option might be for them to find a way to pay on time. Another option might be for AfriNIC to offer some form of ability to change your renewal date for a fee + prorated charges. However, offering suffrage to those who have not met the obligations of remaining a member in good standing is not, IMHO, a good solution as I feel it incentivizes wrong behavior.

> Can the board task AfriNIC to reach out to its membership base with information about;
> 1. Members rights to vote and why they do it.
> 2. The importance of nominating good candidates to the various leadership positions.
> 3. The importance of participation in the PDP activities
> 4.The importance if querying the organisation performance in terms of finance, human resources, service delivery among other things.

I think this would be good.


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