[NA-Discuss] Bottom Up Action Procedure

Thompson, Darlene DThompson1 at GOV.NU.CA
Wed Aug 24 19:35:04 UTC 2011

For the consideration of the term “consensus”, I would suggest we go with the terms of our Operating Procedures which define what that means in the NARALO context:  https://community.icann.org/download/attachments/2264679/NA-2007-1-1rev1+NARALO+Operating+Principles.pdf?version=1&modificationDate=1286813556000


Darlene A. Thompson
Community Access Program Administrator
Nunavut Dept. of Education / N-CAP
P.O. Box 1000, Station 910
Iqaluit, NU  X0A 0H0
Phone:  (867) 975-5631
Fax:  (867) 975-5610
E-mail:  dthompson at gov.nu.ca<mailto:dthompson at gov.nu.ca>

From: evanleibovitch at gmail.com [mailto:evanleibovitch at gmail.com] On Behalf Of Evan Leibovitch
Sent: Wednesday, August 24, 2011 3:20 PM
To: ebw at abenaki.wabanaki.net
Cc: Thompson, Darlene; na-discuss at atlarge-lists.icann.org
Subject: Re: [NA-Discuss] Bottom Up Action Procedure

A few comments

> Once consensus is achieved,

What kind of consensus? Are there no issues for which voting is appropriate?
Who is a consensus-capable contributor?

I can think of no issue -- outside of elections -- for which voting is preferable to consensus in the NARALO/ICANN context.

Consensus has worked to ensure that, whenever possible, minority views are accommodated rather than just rolled over by majority vote. The ability to use consensus for so much indicates a level of professionalism and maturity that indicates willingness to compromise and work together in a way that I consider preferable to confrontational votes in almost every circumstances. Contrast our workings to, for instance, LACRALO, where even small details can be subject to meticulous and hotly contested votes.

I can't speak for Beau, but IMO (and when I was chair) *every* contributor is "consensus capable". The process rewards participation and awareness. This process was even surprisingly resilient to attempts at trolling and gaming. It is an organically-developed process of which our region should rightfully be proud.

> the Chair requests that the ALAC discuss the matter.

For those NARALO originating issues which concern one or more other RALOs,
in principal, though the coordination could be direct, and therefore not
involve any non-elected person, and also not depend upon a process model
that may frustrate the purpose of RALO-to-RALO communications.

The Chair (or any other member of NARALO for that matter) is able to raise an issue in the At-Large mailing lists. There are no restrictions as to who may raise an issue -- an ALS rep or individual member who may be frustrated by regional leadership's unwillingness/inability to escalate an issue is *always* welcomed to take it direct.

Freedom to speak does not guarantee you'll get listened to, and regional support is of course an asset, but the forum is open and any ICANN-relevant issue is fair game.

For those NARALO originating issues which do not concern one or more other
RALOs, reference to ALAC is optional, not manditory.

> Discussions and spearheading of the matter at the ALAC level should be
> promoted by the region's duly elected ALAC representatives.

Agree. With the proviso that the elected representatives may be instructed
where the elected representatives do not support the NARALO issue in
question, or alternatively, that we come up with a proxy exception to the
process so that its general purpose in electing its representatives does
not prevent its specific purpose in refering a NARALO originating issue to
a body to which it elects representatives.

In my experience, the issue is rarely that the elected ALAC reps are *against* the NARALO position -- indeed, one would suppose that they're part of the consensus behind the position. The problem as I see it -- that was the case in the matter that caused this issue to be raised -- is that the elected reps may lack the expertise and/or passion to give the issue the advocacy it deserves.

Years before I became an ALAC member I routinely attended ALAC meetings in a non-voting capacity, to advance issues I believed important. I worked to get them on the core agenda (rather than tacked on at the end as Any Other Business) by asking the ALAC Chair directly. I would be invited to the part of the meeting discussing the issue, advance the point and answer questions, then leave the call after the issue had been acted upon. This can be done by ANY NARALO member, not just the Chair -- though, again, having regional support certainly helps advance the cause.

Am I trying to deflect responsibility in my role as elected ALAC rep? I can only offer in my defence that I am already overwhelmed with region-neutral issues such as applicant support and broader issues related to the gTLD program and ICANN Future Challenges. I have a limited amount of cycles and am more than happy to work with advocates of NARALO issues to help them advance these issues ALAC-wide. But I can't always do it myself.

The people who advance an issue through NARALO consensus should also be ready to themselves help advance the issue globally. It is not shirking responsibility to state accurately that someone with passion and expertise on pre-registration (for instance), who has driven the issue at NARALO, can make the case for action at ALAC far better than Gareth or I can. There were also some communications issues, as Gareth thought -- and I can fully understand how -- that the issue had not received closure at NARALO.

Olivier mis-characterized the weariness of Gareth and me at the end of the last ALAC meeting as "lack of support" (and said so in a followup). Support take many forms, and sometimes that support means working with others rather than "going it alone" on issues on which I claim little expertise. Much work needs to be and there are very few people carrying the load.

- Evan

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