RE: [gnso-consensus-wg] Some Thoughts on the Bicameral Model
- To: "Gomes, Chuck" <cgomes@xxxxxxxxxxxx>, <gnso-consensus-wg@xxxxxxxxx>
- Subject: RE: [gnso-consensus-wg] Some Thoughts on the Bicameral Model
- From: "Milton L Mueller" <mueller@xxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 21 Jul 2008 11:55:08 -0400
Thanks, Chuck, nice attempt to lay out and clarify the issues. MY point by
>* I prefer what someone I think called the '1-house divided' model
>that I understand to mean the following: We still function as one
>Council but votes on the Council are counted by houses.
MM: I agree with this.
> * The Non-Contracted Stakeholders have two Stakeholder
> Groups each having equal votes excluding any voting NomCom reps: 1)
> Non-Commercial Users; 2) Commercial Users.
MM: Yes, maintaining parity among the commercial and noncommercial users would
be an unbending requirement for us and ALAC as I understand their position.
We (NCUC) have made clear our feeling that there is not really any need for
Nomcom reps on any side of the user-contracting party aisle, but also that we
are willing to compromise on that to reach agreement. We have also made it
clear that the role most consistent with the actual purpose of Nomcom would be
to appoint the chair, which is where independence is most needed.
>* Each house determines for itself how many Council
>representatives it will have with a general goal to keep the size of the
>Council to a minimal size as recommended by the BGC WG.
MM: This would be a mistake; we should agree here on how many seats and not
create future opportunities for political games and manipulation and create
more needless work for everyone. I'd say no more than 6 on the user side would
> * Note that other variations of this could
> work, e.g., 3-3-1.
Right, the number is not as important as the fact that an independent Nomcom
rep is thrown in there as a tiebreaker and independent perspective. I reiterate
my strong feeling that it is unacceptable and even absurd for Nomcom to insist
on a specific proportion of the votes.
I find Avri's insistence on a specific number for Nomcom, as if it were a
"constituency" or special interest group that deserves parity of
representation, to be wrongheaded and not even consistent with the original
basis for having nomcom. Nomcom's only function is to introduce independent,
non constituency based perspectives. Nomcom is not an "interest" or stakeholder
group that deserves a specific quantity of representation.
>* Non-Contracted Stakeholders:
> * 8 Non-Commercial Reps
> * 8 Commercial Reps
> * 2 Nom-Com Reps
> My suggestion would be that the NomCom select
>one rep each from the Non-Commercial and Commercial
>communities who are not currently associated with any Non-Contracted
> Stakeholder Groups.
These numbers may be ok and may be too big. We can discuss. If 8 for each SG
turns out to be the right number, then 2 Nomcoms might be needed; if a smaller
number then one would do.
>* I personally think that 8-8-2 would
>create two large of a Council so I would prefer smaller numbers but I
>believe this should primarily be the decision of the Non-Contracted
I share your worries abotu the size but given the heterogeneity of user
interests relative to contracting parties it might be ok. If by "the decision
of the Non-contracted Stakeholders house" you mean that you will defer to our
agreementin this process, fine; if you mean that the numbers would be set later
through some political wrangling among the two SGs, I'd say no, let's settle it
now, or give the Board agreed principles with which to settle it.
>* An alternative to Avri's model would be to seat NomCom
>reps at the Council level as we do now rather than at the house level; I
>am not sure that is any different but I suppose it depends on how we
If there is any case for Nomcom seats it is a case that involves having them
engaged in the house discussions at all times.
>* All policy work - 60% of both houses; this includes but
>is not necessarily limited to consensus policies as defined in
>registry/registrar agreements, best practice positions, and GNSO
>responses to direction requested from the Board or other ICANN entities
>(e.g., New gTLD policy, ICANN Travel policy, etc.).
Not sure I agree with this.
>* My basic assumption is that a simple majority
>for any policy decisions of the Council is unacceptably low to call
Not necessarily; if there is a majority of BOTH houses then it is more than a
simple majority; it shows support across contracting and user parties. I think
60% may give a specific contracting party constituency an effective veto, or
something uncomfortably close to it.
> At the same time, I don't think we want to
> create grid-lock either.
Everyone in favor of gridlock, raise your hand!
>* Council leadership
> * Independent, non-voting chair
I'd be willing to let the chair vote, to break ties or cross threshholds
>* I prefer the approach of the NomCom providing a
>slate of possible chairs and the Council selects the chair from that
Hmm, here I may be a hard-core Nomcom supporter. I hope Avri is smiling. It may
be best to have Nomcom select Chair on their own. If independence/neutrality is
the goal, it makes more sense than dealing with dominant coalitions among the
>* The NomCom role in this regard could be combined
>with identifying possible chairs for working groups.
Yes, another good function for Nomcom. Independence will be absolutely
essential and that is nomcom's only value-added. No need to connect this to the
>* Two vice chairs, one each elected by each of the two
I see no need for this. Chair assistants could be appointed ad hoc.
>*I still like the proposal that Jon put forward: "At the
>end of the current term for Seat 14, Seats 13 and 14 both may not be
I prefer the idea of just having the two houses elect a rep, but am flexible on
Bottom line: Devils or no, let's not get too stuck in the details. The two
house proposal solves a lot of the distribution of power issues that many of us
are concerned about. If we can hammer out a basic proposal along with a
disclaimer to the Board that says, "there may be devils in the details, and the
angels [cough] in this WG leave it to you to identify them in your
The two-house proposal could be a major step forward and it would be absurd to
get this close to a solution and then fail based on small details or petty