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[rpd] Potential policy proposal - impeachment as part of appeal?

Andrew Alston Andrew.Alston at
Mon Dec 3 04:09:39 UTC 2018

Hi All,

Before I put this into a formal policy proposal, I would like to discuss on the list to get views and see if it is possible to find common ground on something so that if there is common ground, the policy written  can be done so in the correct manner.  If the indication of general support for what I will propose below seems to be here, then I will also issue a general invite to anyone who wishes to co-author with me on this policy.

Basically - I was looking at the appeal process, and the grounds on which an appeal can realistically be made and upheld.  The appeal process surrounds decisions made by the PDP co-chairs.  The PDP co-chairs effectively make two decisions -

  1.  Was their consensus to push a policy to last call
  2.  Was their consensus to move a policy out of last call and recommend its ratification.

While it is possible to appeal a decision NOT to move a policy through (where the chairs have declared no-consensus existed), it is almost impossible for such an appeal to be upheld - since an appellant would have to prove that there had been no objections had remained entirely unaddressed by the authors since the inception of the policy - and if an appeal such as this DID succeed - then the policy I have in mind becomes even more relevant - because it is almost unfathomable that in the face of unanimous support with no dissent a policy does not move forward.

In the other case, the decision involves moving a policy forward to the subsequent stage - and a gauge of consensus.  The globally accepted consensus definition is pretty simple - consensus is reached when no substantive objections still exist that have remained unaddressed by the proposers of the policy.  That is to say - every objection does not need to be necessarily resolved - but it must be at minimum addressed and there must be a record of the response showing that the objection has indeed been addressed by the authors of the proposal.

I would argue that a co-chair should *NEVER* be in a position where they are overturned on appeal based on this - it is the duty of the co-chair to note the objections to a policy and to judge if each objection has been addressed by the authors - and if any substantive objection remains sustained and unaddressed - quite simply the policy cannot move forward.  While it is on the far realms of possibility that a co-chair new to the job could err, and get overturned once, it is totally beyond the realm of understanding that a co-chair err's in this manner more than once - and demonstrates a total disregard for the process, the definition of consensus or both.  As such, any co-chair that is involved in more than two appeals that are upheld has demonstrated themselves unfit to remain in the co-chair seat and should be automatically impeached and removed, and become ineligible to hold the co-chair seat for a minimum of a period of time which can be debated.

Therefore - this is the policy I am considering proposing - in the event of any co-chair being overturned on a decision relating to moving policy forward from proposal to last call, or from last call to final approval before board ratification, shall be automatically removed from their position and be ineligible to run again for PDP co-chair for a period of X years (I propose 5, lets debate this).

Now, I would like to hear from this list thoughts regarding this - and if there are people out there that would support such a proposal.



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