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[AfriNIC-rpd] NomCom at AFRINIC-16

Owen DeLong owen at
Fri May 18 14:55:07 UTC 2012

Some comments from an outside observer who doesn't have a dog in this fight...

These are merely my own observations and opinions. The community is welcome to take or leave them as they see fit. It is not my intent to push any particular agenda or express support or opposition to any particular candidate or electoral process.

1.	I'm not sure I understand the talk of solicitation. To me, the idea that a candidate cannot ask people
	to vote for him/her in an open and transparent manner seems rather silly. At best, it leads to an
	uninformed electorate picking candidates almost at random and/or by criteria unrelated to the
	issues since they probably haven't gotten to know much about the various candidates or their
	positions in the process. At worst, it leads to candidates doing so in private through back-room
	deals. Since all of this is forced underground and would disqualify or taint the candidate if exposed,
	it tends to lead to situations where candidates have nothing to lose by taking less ethical approaches
	to asking people for their votes.

2.	Proxy limits... I don't see the value in limiting the number of proxies a candidate can hold. I think
	it is quite clear that anyone who hands their proxy to a candidate is doing so as an expression of
	support for and trust in that candidate. Of course the candidate is gong to cast those proxies
	in favor of him/her self, but, I'm sure that's what the voters intended when they designated the
	candidate as their proxy. This is not a case of the candidate electing themselves, this is a
	case of the candidate facilitating the enfranchisement of their supporting constituency.

	I think that enfranchising additional voters is generally a good thing, if it is done in an open
	and transparent manner within the rules and with appropriate safeguards for the community.

3.	Electronic voting is a good thing so long as it can be implemented with appropriate safeguards.
	I think AfriNIC has shown great diligence in their implementation of electronic voting and is to
	be commended. Hopefully electronic voting will eliminate the need for proxies and I would
	suggest that once electronic voting is properly deployed, proxies should probably be phased

4.	In general, it appears to me that virtually everyone who participates in AfriNIC does so
	from a place of genuine intent to serve the community and work for the general and
	overall good of Africa, the internet, and the community in general. As such, I think the
	community would be well served to move towards an assumption that people are
	working in good faith until there is evidence to the contrary.

	As an example, the PDPWG Co-Chair discussions yesterday and today ultimately
	resulted in what I believe to be a very good outcome. However, the community
	spent a great deal of time arriving at that conclusion based on what appeared to
	be innuendo, suspicion and mistrust. It is my opinion that the community would
	better serve its own interests if it were to focus more on developing good policy
	than on minutiae of how that policy is developed.

I have really enjoyed my time here in The Gambia and I thank AfriNIC and the community
for their hospitality. I hope to see you all again soon.

Warmest regards,


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