[ALAC] Review: ALS certification and decertification votes
alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca
Sun Oct 5 01:14:29 UTC 2014
This has been a good set of interactions. We now seem to be down to
two options. Everyone agrees that de-certification votes and
certification votes where there is a specific RALO recommendation
should be standard open votes.
Where we differ is how to treat votes where the RALO could not
develop a specific recommendation.
a) Some ALAC members feel that to reduce chance of harassment, or to
ensure that the ALAC members votes as he or she really believes is
the correct choice, the vote should be secret, except that if the
decision is challenged or likely to be challenged, At-Large Policy
Staff and the ALAC chair have access to the actual votes to enable
then to, after the fact, develop a rationale for why the vote went as
it did (still keeping the actual votes confidential).
b) Others feel that if a person is selected for the ALAC, they must
be willing to vote according to their conscience, make public what
that vote is, and deal with any repercussions.
I have said I can live with either outcome, and I can.
However, I will share my personal view of this. For my own vote, I am
solidly on the "b" camp (you will recall that it was my asking why
votes were no longer open that started this discussion).
However, I think that things are not as simple as voting for what I
personally would want. We are setting rules for the ALAC and must do
so to ensure the best outcomes in future certification votes.
It is clear that there are some ALAC members who might feel
uncomfortable with announcing their vote, potentially in opposition
to some members of the community. Even if there was no one on the
current ALAC who felt that way, the tone of the discussion so far
implies that such a position is a reasonable expectation for some
ALAC members. Given that, there is a reasonable probability that such
ALAC Members might react by changing their vote to result in the
least conflict or confrontation, or they would abstain. That could
alter outcomes allowing an ALS to be certified that a majority of
voters felt would not be a credit to At-Large.
Treating these ballots as secret, in my opinion, is the best choice
to help ensure that all current and future ALAC members vote with
what they believe to be the "right" answer.
Nothing precludes any ALAC member making their own vote public if they choose.
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