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Re: [council] Open action item - SCI Review of Council Voting Threshholds

  • To: "James M. Bladel" <jbladel@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Re: [council] Open action item - SCI Review of Council Voting Threshholds
  • From: Amr Elsadr <aelsadr@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 22 Apr 2016 23:08:09 +0200
  • Cc: WUKnoben <wolf-ulrich.knoben@xxxxxxxxxxx>, GNSO Council List <council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • In-reply-to: <D33FF6AD.BBF4E%jbladel@godaddy.com>
  • List-id: council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • References: <D33D8375.BB8CA%jbladel@godaddy.com> <03B38BFD4994484AAD60789E5829EC6D@WUKPC> <D33FF6AD.BBF4E%jbladel@godaddy.com>
  • Sender: owner-council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx


I honestly don’t recall this topic being associated with the Spec. 13 issue. I 
may be wrong, of course. I can’t recall the details right now. For my part, I 
believed (and still do) that the Council made a bad decision on Spec. 13, but 
am not sure how a different voting threshold would have changed the outcome. I 
must be missing something. Maybe Mary or Julie can help with this, but did the 
idea to review the voting thresholds originate from a discussion on the 
Council, or did the SCI itself recommend that the voting thresholds be reviewed?

In any case, since cross-community working groups are relatively new and 
becoming more and more common, it may be worthwhile considering adding voting 
thresholds specific to CCWG recommendations to the operating procedures. 
However, I believe the Council itself needs to agree to this before deferring 
the details to the SCI. To me, a simple majority to adopt recommendations with 
the gravity of those produced by the CWG-stewardship and CCWG-ACCT isn’t a very 
comforting thought. I believe the Council should require more agreement than a 
simple majority to adopt recommendations such as these.



> On Apr 22, 2016, at 10:42 PM, James M. Bladel <jbladel@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Thank you, Wolf-Ulrich.
> Comments from anyone else?
> Thanks—
> J.
> From: WUKnoben <wolf-ulrich.knoben@xxxxxxxxxxx>
> Reply-To: WUKnoben <wolf-ulrich.knoben@xxxxxxxxxxx>
> Date: Friday, April 22, 2016 at 6:53 
> To: James Bladel <jbladel@xxxxxxxxxxx>, GNSO Council List 
> <council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Subject: Re: [council] Open action item - SCI Review of Council Voting 
> Threshholds
> Hi,
> as I wasn’t on council when this was raised as a potential item for the SCI 
> to review maybe others have more insight on this.
> In principle I see justification for a review after a voting scheme has been 
> in use for a time period long enough to become acquainted with its 
> implications. But I’m unsure what “long enough” could mean here and whether 
> the council has already got to this level. I’m also of the opinion that a 
> review – if required - shouldn’t just focus on the thresholds rather than the 
> entire scheme.
> In summary, I’m not against but would be happy to hear concrete rationales 
> before final decision.
> Best regards
> Wolf-Ulrich
> From: James M. Bladel
> Sent: Thursday, April 21, 2016 2:05 AM
> To: GNSO Council List
> Subject: [council] Open action item - SCI Review of Council Voting Threshholds
> Council Colleagues -
> Donna, Heather, and I have been working with Staff to do a bit of “spring 
> cleaning” on our Action Items list. One of the open items from last year 
> calls for the SCI to review GNSO Council Voting Thresholds.
> The default voting threshold for the  GNSO is a simple majority,  >50% of 
> each House.  Some specific votes (see ICANN Bylaws, Article X, Sec.3(9)) 
> require a different voting threshold such as, for example, a “supermajority” 
> threshold or an affirmative vote of more than one-fourth (1/4) vote of each 
> House or majority of one House (create an Issue Report). All the current 
> non-standardvoting thresholds relate to votes that are linked to a Policy 
> Development Process, including for example: terminating an existing PDP, or 
> modifying a PDP recommendation before sending it on to the Board.
> Currently, any vote that is not specifically excluded defaults to the simple 
> majority vote. There was some discussion a while back (regarding Council 
> adoption of Spec 13) that passing some motions with a simple majority were 
> equivalent to amending existing (2007) PDPs, which would require a 
> supermajority. 
> Also, Council noted that we were frequently voting on situations that weren’t 
> otherwise covered, including motions related to the IANA transition and 
> Accountability work.  Some suggested that these topics warranted a 
> supermajority threshold, and the Action Item to send this over to the SCI was 
> born.  The Councilors who initially raised this issue have since moved on, 
> and we completed the votes on IANA and Accountability using our existing 
> procedures, so this item has been marked “pending" for several months. 
> But I’d like to disposition the action item one way or the other.  So, if you 
> believe this topic is still a concern and would like to volunteer to take the 
> lead (see attached SCI Review Request), please respond by Friday 22 APR.  
> Otherwise, if there’s no further interest,  we'll close out the action item. 
> Thanks—
> J.

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