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[gnso-osc] GNSO Council Proxy Procedures

  • To: "'Gomes, Chuck'" <cgomes@xxxxxxxxxxxx>, "'Philip Sheppard'" <philip.sheppard@xxxxxx>, <gnso-osc@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: [gnso-osc] GNSO Council Proxy Procedures
  • From: "Ken Bour" <ken.bour@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 04 Apr 2011 17:07:15 -0400



I would like to take a stab at providing my perspective since I worked
closely on these procedures while the GCOT's was active.  Rob and I have
discussed these matters today to ensure that our memories are
accurate/consistent on a number of points. 


.         The concept of voting direction, as written in the GOP, is
provided by an appointing organization -- not any Councilor.  Because the
NCAs do not have an appointing organization (as defined in the GOP), we
recall that the GCOT Work Team (WT) left their decisions to conscience.
There is nothing in the procedures prohibiting the Council NCA from
accepting advice, counsel, or even direction from a House NCA, but it would
not be binding since the Council NCA was not appointed to the position by
that individual.  Theoretically, the Nominating Committee could give such an
instruction, but we recall that the GCOT WT did not believe that Committee
was in any position to act in such a capacity on a routine basis.  


.         I believe that the language you cite in your note is from the
proposed modified GOP version offered by Philip.  Based upon OSC list
comments recently, my impression is that the committee's preference would be
to remove ALL voting direction from the official proxy procedures, subject
to being entirely and exclusively governed by the applicable SG/C Charter.
I don't know of any SG/C Charter that allows an individual Councilor to
"instruct" another Councilor how to vote whether via proxy or any other
procedure.  If one Councilor did "instruct" another regarding a vote, I
cannot imagine on what basis it would be binding.  Based on the recent OSC
list feedback, Staff is working on a second proposal, which we hope to
transmit shortly, that would eliminate all of the current constraints
regarding proxy voting and, instead, revert to whatever rules are contained
in the appointing organization's charter.  We hope that a focused and
limited set of amendments will eliminate the need for a more wide-ranging
set of changes that could create their own unintended consequences.  


.         Multiple proxies.  We recall that the GCOT WT wanted to emphasize
the importance of attendance at formal Council meetings; moreover, there was
an interest in preserving the "one man, one vote" concept.  A proxy entitles
a Councilor to vote twice, especially if there is no binding direction being
provided.  Not incidentally, the absentee balloting procedure also went
through a similar discussion.  You will recall that the GOP now provides
only a few narrow motion types for absentee balloting and, again, the
intention was not to make absence an attractive or easy an option.  The GCOT
WT wanted to create flexible voting remedies for the incidental absence
situation, but was mindful to keep a focus on regular and consistent
attendance by Councilors.


.         The current GOP limit of one proxy per Council NCA follows the
same limitation that is true for each SG Councilor.  If, for example, the
RySG had two Councilors absent for a meeting (quorum rules notwithstanding),
the attending Councilor could still exercise only one proxy vote per motion.
The other absent Councilor votes would be recorded as "absent." 


Staff welcomes Ray or any other GCOT WT members to correct or clarify our
collective memories on this topic. Of course, we are happy to try to answer
any additional questions you have on this topic.  




Ken Bour


From: owner-gnso-osc@xxxxxxxxx [mailto:owner-gnso-osc@xxxxxxxxx] On Behalf
Of Gomes, Chuck
Sent: Monday, April 04, 2011 2:57 PM
To: Philip Sheppard; gnso-osc@xxxxxxxxx
Subject: RE: [gnso-osc] GNSO Council procedures - avoiding abstention -
proxy vote - approval by April 15


I have some questions regarding Section 4.5.3, part b, Proxy Voting:

.         Paragraph ii says "The Council NCA will vote "Yes" or "No" or
"Abstain" according to conscience."  Why is there not an option for the
abstaining NCA to give instructions for how he/she wants to vote like there
is for SG Councilors?  Note that paragraph i for SG Councilors says "The
Proxy Holder must vote "Yes" or "No" according to either a) an instruction
from the appointing organization or b) an instruction from the absent
Councilor, or in the absence of an instruction c) the Proxy Holder's own
conscience."  Is there some reason why the following should not be
considered by paragraph ii: "The Council NCA will vote "Yes" or "No" or
"Abstain" according to an instruction from the absent Councilor, or in the
absence of an instruction the Proxy Holder's own conscience."

.         The next to last paragraph of this section says: "Mutiple proxies.
A GNSO Councilor is not permitted to be a Proxy Holder for more than one
vote for any specific motion. . . ."  What is the reason for this
restriction?  What happens if the NCAs for both houses are absent in the
same meeting and want to give their proxy to the nonvoting NCA?  One way of
resolving this possible scenario is to all the nonvoting NCA to hold up to
two proxies in the case where both voting NCAs want to submit proxies.
Another way would be to allow one of the house NCAs to assign a proxy to an
SG Councilor in the applicable house.




From: owner-gnso-osc@xxxxxxxxx [mailto:owner-gnso-osc@xxxxxxxxx] On Behalf
Of Philip Sheppard
Sent: Thursday, March 31, 2011 5:12 AM
To: gnso-osc@xxxxxxxxx
Subject: [gnso-osc] GNSO Council procedures - avoiding abstention - proxy
vote - approval by April 15


For approval April 15


As the OSC may be aware Council raised some concern with the current rules
on proxy voting.

Proxy voting is allowed as one remedy to avoid an abstention.

The source of the concern was that the Council rules assumed the existence
of procedures in Constituency charters that were not universal.


I attach a proposed version that avoids this assumption while retaining the
essence of the proxy option.

I have also taken the opportunity to simplify language in this section to
avoid ambiguity.


Please may I have your approval to recommend this change to Council?

Deadline is April 15.


Philip Sheppard

OSC Chair

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