[At-Large] [lac-discuss-en] Vistaprint is abandoning .vista

sivasubramanian muthusamy 6.internet at gmail.com
Tue Jul 17 18:35:40 UTC 2018

Dear Barry,

On Tue, Jul 17, 2018 at 4:21 AM <bzs at theworld.com> wrote:

> From: Sivasubramanian M <6.Internet at gmail.com>
> >​He calls experts and civil society as lobbyists?  Civil Society is Civil
> >Society.
> I'm not sure it's useful to pick at wording in a quote unless it
> really discredits the point being made but yes civil society employs
> lobbyists, certainly in the US.
> Does anyone doubt, for example, that in the US the Roman Catholic
> Church doesn't lobby against abortion, or Planned Parenthood for the
> status quo of the same issue? And many other organization also of
> course.
> I'm not sure if you're trying to say such groups shouldn't be
> considered part of "Civil Society", or you're saying they are but they
> don't lobby?

Yes, they do.

> Reading you note perhaps you're just interpreting "lobbyist" as a
> perjorative which it's not, at least not in the US.

I must admit, to some extent, but pejorative is too strong.  There are
cultural differences here.  The word 'lobby' gives me a picture of a
professional (individual or firm) that deploys more than proportionate
resources and influences in the corridors of the legislative assembly to
bring about an undue advantage to its principals. In the US, lobbying is
probably acknowledged and its influences factored in, which is probably why
it is an accepted practice. (To be fair, in other countries influences are
exerted less visibly, that is beyond the scope of this thread).

What I said about lobbying in ICANN was a bit too strong. Having admitted
that, this wasn't to imply that that a certain stakeholder or an entire
group shouldn't forcefully present its position around the table. Around
the table in the multi-stakeholder process, one stakeholder group has all
the liberties to push for a cent per registration as ICANN fees, but the
process requires equal liberties to another stakeholder group to argue for
the fees to be raised from 43 cents to four dollars. Then a balance arises.

But if the influence of one stakeholder group is disproportionately
increased to the extent of occupying the other seats apart from what are
already reserved for that stakeholder group, in direct and indirect ways,
then there is a problem. I was alluding to that.

Stakeholders arrive with their own positions, perhaps unfair to other
stakeholders. The process brings about a fair solution, fair to all
concerned. With this as the intended magic of the process, it is not
necessary to lobby across the table or in the sidelines. It is enough to
arrive here, state your position.

Most of what you say about lobbying happens to be in the legislative /
inter-governmental context.  This is a different model. It is meant to work
differently. There are distortions at the moment that need to be addressed,
not by dismissing the entire process summarily.

In making this argument, I am still not articulating parts of the arguments
well, apologies.

Sivasubramanian M

> But they are generally highly interested parties and shouldn't in
> general be legislators or similar (judges, etc.)
> But they have every right, within certain boundaries, to lobby those
> with legislative and legal power.
> Which is why we try to keep the two roles separate and consider role
> confusion and conflicts of interest a problem.
> As to experts of course many are paid to be advocates.
> I personally worked in research in occupational health and sat at a
> table with a major insurance company's hired expert.
> He was absolutely brilliant. As I recall he held a law degree, a
> medical degree, and a PhD in chemistry. The issue was industrial
> exposures to toxic chemicals and the insurance company's liability.
> Some of the points he raised were devastating to the current arguments
> though could eventually be answered.
> And we (Harvard) also employed a full-time economist (PhD) whose job
> was primarily to model the effects of occupational health legislation
> on the industries involved often reporting before the US congress when
> relevant legislation was pending.
> Was he a lobbyist? In a sense, perhaps a lobbyist for facts and
> numbers in opposition to scare tactics such as some safety measure
> would put a large number of people out of work. I think the
> petrochemical, mining, and similar industry would label him a lobbyist
> of sorts.
> --
>         -Barry Shein
> Software Tool & Die    | bzs at TheWorld.com             |
> http://www.TheWorld.com
> Purveyors to the Trade | Voice: +1 617-STD-WRLD       | 800-THE-WRLD
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