[ALAC] ALS certification and decertification votes

Evan Leibovitch evan at telly.org
Thu Oct 2 16:44:25 UTC 2014

On 2 October 2014 11:08, Salanieta T. Tamanikaiwaimaro <
salanieta.tamanikaiwaimaro at gmail.com> wrote:

> Secret ballots on decertification are not transparent.
> There should be utmost transparency involved in processes such as
> decertification.

​On reflection, I have the following change of tack.

I agree on open votes for Decertification because it is a serious​ act of
disenfranchisement. By the time a vote comes up there must be compelling
reason to do this, it must not be taken lightly.

However, on certification, for better or worse some recent instances have
become incredibly politicised, with even the RALO itself unable to properly
advise the ALAC on a way to proceed. In these instances, I would prefer a
closed vote that enables ALAC members to vote on the merits of the action
rather than risk acrimony amongst people they will have to work with. As
Alan has said, this is now close to the realm of a personal election, and
IMO this is a specific instance in which privacy trumps transparency.

So, on reflection, I suggest this:

   - Decertification votes are always open.

   - Certification votes are open UNLESS the RALO does not provide
   definitive advice. Then Alan's protocol applies.

- Evan

> On Fri, Oct 3, 2014 at 1:37 AM, Alan Greenberg <alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca>
> wrote:
> > On our last ALAC call, Olivier brought up the subject of whether ALS
> > certification and decertification votes should use secret ballots (such
> as
> > we used for personnel votes) or not, and it was decided to discuss the
> > issue on the mailing list.
> >
> > The history is that most ALAC votes are open and it is disclosed who
> voted
> > which way, with the exception of personnel votes and others that the ALAC
> > explicitly decides should be secret. We have made such a decision of rare
> > occasions. The only example I can recall is when we voted on whether to
> > file objections to the .health new TLDs and we did so to avoid any
> > harassment of ALAC members who voted for such objections.
> >
> > A couple of years ago, a change was made to certification and
> > decertification votes to change them from open to closed because of one
> or
> > more objections filed by applicants. There is also a concern that a
> > rejected application could lead to harassment of those who rejected it,
> and
> > a concern that people might not vote honestly if the result was public
> > (similar to the reason for secret ballots on personnel votes).
> >
> > I think that this concern should be considered.
> >
> > However, under our rules and the ICANN Bylaws, ALS certification and
> > decertification decisions may be appealed to the Board. As such, we
> should
> > be in a position to explain why a decision was made.
> >
> > Accordingly I offer the following proposal.
> >
> > ALS certification votes shall be conducted in such a way that there will
> > be no public disclosure of how ALAC Members voted. However, the details
> of
> > how ALAC Members voted will be available to ICANN At-Large staff and the
> > ALAC Chair to allow them to conduct private interviews with voters to be
> > able to put together a rationale for why any particular decision was
> made.
> >
> > Comments?
> >
> > Alan
> >
> > _______________________________________________
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> >
> > At-Large Online: http://www.atlarge.icann.org
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> > Advisory+Committee+(ALAC)
> >
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Evan Leibovitch
Toronto Canada

Em: evan at telly dot org
Sk: evanleibovitch
Tw: el56

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