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

Roberto Gaetano roberto_gaetano at hotmail.com
Tue Jul 17 20:00:42 UTC 2018


PS: to me, it is well articulated

On 17.07.2018, at 20:35, sivasubramanian muthusamy <6.internet at gmail.com<mailto:6.internet at gmail.com>> wrote:

Dear Barry,

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

From: Sivasubramanian M <6.Internet at gmail.com<mailto:6.Internet at gmail.com>>
>​He calls experts and civil society as lobbyists?  Civil Society is Civil

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

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

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