[alac] [Fwd: Re: [governance] RALOs without halos]
-------- Original Message -------- Subject: Re: [governance] RALOs without halos Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2006 12:54:55 -0800 From: Bret Fausett <fausett@xxxxxxxxxxx> To: governance@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx References: <s3d43737.073@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Another way to think of the At Large structures -- ALS > RALO > ALAC -- is simply as a series of relationships designed to share information. The thought was to build on existing structures, and create loose relationships among them (a la Linked In or Friendster or Orkut), so that information from ICANN could be distributed quickly to people interested in receiving it, and then, so that information could be collected and forwarded to ICANN. The only real responsibility of the RALOs is to be a conduit for information and place people on the ALAC. There's absolutely no expectation that they spend money or travel. E-mail is sufficient. It was designed to be light-weight and inexpensive, and its power was to come not from any bylaw guarantee but from the power of its ideas and input. This model, a shell of the original At Large concept, is what the ICANN Board decided in Ghana, rejecting the proposals of its own blue-ribbon Bildt Committee and the independent NAIS.
Many of those working within the ALAC were involved in the various At Large Studies and once were deeply committed to ICANN's original idea of empowering Internet end-users and electing half of the Board. I don't think the belief that ICANN should have a stronger, more empowered At Large has been abandoned by any of us working within the ALAC. We are simply working within the limited structure given to us by ICANN. After Ghana, the only alternative was to abandon ICANN altogether or attack it from the outside.
I fully understand and appreciate the view that complete rejection of the ALAC concept might have been preferable as a symbol to ICANN of the At Large community's significant dissatisfaction with the Board's vote in Ghana. I also fully understand and appreciate the other view that it was better to work within the very limited role given to us by the Board than to leave ICANN without any At Large involvement at all. What I do *not* understand is why the people who want a more empowered At Large are directing their criticism at the members of the At Large Advisory Committee, as though we're apologists for ICANN's damnable actions in Ghana. When we want to achieve the same objective, but have differing views on how to best achieve it, we should see ourselves as allies, albeit working on different fronts.
The RALO structure created in ICANN's 2002 "reforms" is a joke. It asks people to invest huge amounts of time and energy to build organizations that have no power. It is predicated on the notion that hundreds of thousands of domain name registrants, to whom a domain name represents a $20/year investment, are going the spend the equivalent of $10,000-$100,000 a year on organizing, traveling and jawboning -- in order to elect people to Councils who elect people to another Council who participate in the process of selecting a minority of ICANN's Board members.