[At-Large] Fwd: Re: [Chapter-delegates] New version of ICANN At-Large Review - ISOC Chapters role and future

Dr. Alejandro Pisanty Baruch apisan at unam.mx
Tue Feb 7 01:01:23 UTC 2017

Hi all,

almost everything in this description is not true. It has been debunked almost to the point of exhaustion over around fifteen years. Olivier's summary is spot on. We may be spared a repetition of the flame wars by skipping adjectives like "hysterical"and other unnecessary mischaracterizations of the counterparts. 

ICANN was indeed very fortunate to get very good Directors elected from Asia-Pacific, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and, in some unexpected ways, from Europe. In all regions the basic flaw was the "truck in your own electorate" that substituted the basics of an election in which the full electorate is able to participate and registered, then have their votes counted. I'll spare everybody the rest of the details.

The way forward now is to acknowledge what has failed in the implementation of the design and fix it, instead of throwing away the baby with the bathwater. The first question we must ask ourselves is whether we are serving the principles and interests of individual Internet end-users; second: if not, how and why; and third, how to ensure we do.


Alejandro Pisanty

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Desde: at-large-bounces at atlarge-lists.icann.org [at-large-bounces at atlarge-lists.icann.org] en nombre de Karl Auerbach [karl at cavebear.com]
Enviado el: lunes, 06 de febrero de 2017 15:12
Hasta: at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org; Olivier Crepin-Leblond
Asunto: Re: [At-Large] Fwd: Re: [Chapter-delegates] New version of ICANN At-Large Review - ISOC Chapters role and future

On 2/5/17 1:39 PM, Olivier MJ Crepin-Leblond wrote:

I want to take strong issue with certain words:
> ... the Review asks for a return to an
> unstable, free for all, system based only on individual members speaking
> for themselves only, a system that was shown to fail miserably as it
> generates conflict with no safeguards whatsoever and favours those with
> a bigger mouth than anyone else. The ICANN version 1 experiment failed
> noticeably in the early 2000s, with ballot stuffing in wide practice and
> mailing lists that were filled with flame wars fuelled by socio-paths.
I have a rather different point of view.

I see the year 2000 elections as having been very successful (despite me
winning the North American seat.  ;-)

These were not unstable processes, they were not a free for all.

And yes, individual members did speak for themselves.  What is wrong
with that?  Is it worse than the present ICANN system in which many
people get amplified power by acting under the guise of multiple
stakeholder roles?

Did it fail miserably?  To the contrary.  In the main I would say that
the directors who filled those five seats were among the best that ICANN
has ever had.

Was there conflict?  Yes.  But may I suggest that the better word is
"debate'.  Electronic debate is, unfortunately, a world in which
etiquette an softness of expression has been lost.  I, too, regret that
loss. My cures for that are tri-fold: more face-to-face contact (it's
hard to be as rude to a person one has met), tolerance of poorly formed
expressions from others, and more care to speak only as strong as is
necessary in order to make sure that an intended point is made.  This
issue is amplified by cultural differences - we Americans, for example,
tend to speak more strongly and directly than do others from cultures
that put greater weight on indirect expression.

"ballot stuffing"?  I think you are referring to the fact that in some
of the regions corporate and national actors tried to induce employees
to vote in certain ways.  Perhaps that happened, but that might be
called "persuasion" rather than "ballot stuffing".  And that was
certainly not what happened in the North America region - indeed in N.
America the intellectual property industry candidate did rather poorly.
And the remedy for fears of excessive persuasion have historically been
to increase voter privacy and anonymity, not erasing the use of elections.

Were there "safeguards"?  Of course there were.  At the end of the
debate ICANN's board voted and decisions were made.  That is a rather
significant "safeguard".

I do not know what you were meaning to say about those with "bigger
mouth".  There certainly were loud moths during that era - no less than
today.  And they were richly favored.  But those mouths and favored
recipients were not those who participated in the individual election
process.  (I think we all can draw up lists of those who profited over
the years through ICANN - and I'd be surprised if any of our lists
included loud voices among the individual voters of year 2000.)

Discussion was not among socio-paths.  I do admit we do have people,
then and now, who argue their points with excessive personal abuse.
There were one or two people who we came to understand were a bit off
kilter - the famous Jeff Williams for example (however, I spoke to him
on the phone several times and in that mode he was actually somewhat
rational.  ;-)   However, his presence, and the presence of others like
him, is just part of our world, not an aspect of a system of decision
making based on individuals casting votes.

On the other hand discussion then was among a larger number of people
than those who participate today.   It seems also that more of the
meetings then were face-to-face.  And in my region there was a
continuous dialog - online, telephone, email, and physical meeting -
between our regions director (me) and the community.  In my own case I
made sure to keep the channels open in both ways by maintaining an open
diary of my ICANN decisions (which is still on-line.)

There were some difficulties during the year 2000 election, particularly
in the voter registration system.  Those difficulties were enhanced by
ICANN through ineptness, and perhaps more.  Those difficulties would
have been easily cured had the process not been cast aside and never
allowed to continue.

I do not understand the persistence of the hysterical faux, almost
defamatory, characterizations of the year 2000 ICANN election and the
acts of those who held the directors' seats as a result.

I, speaking as an individual - strongly believe that ICANN should return
to a system based in the individual franchise.  I strongly believe that
ICANN should return to the original promise that a majority of director
seats would be filled by the public.

I do not see the ALAC system as a success.  The ALAC system has had
nearly 15 years to grow.  Yet even with funding from ICANN and the
support of about eight full-time ICANN staff, the ALAC has not yet
reached the vibrancy or size that the open electoral system reached in
year 2000 in a couple of months.  And I perceive that because of the
ALACs near-byzantine complexity that its power has been reduced to a
degree that it has no prime-mover role in the making of of ICANN policy;
that the ALAC has been reduced to a role in which it sits by as the
house is designed by others and is left to comment on minor matters such
as whether the paint color on the trim is to be robin's egg blue or sky

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