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RE: [802SEC] +++EC Motion+++ Rules Change Ballot on Roll Call Votes

Mike / All,

This is a difficult one for me.  I am leaning toward voting approve, but have not quite made up my mind.  Below are a couple of comments.  Before voting, I'd be interested in hearing any further comments on my comments.


Regarding the moratorium on LMSC P&P changes:

The point was that I did not want to run any additional ballots.  I wanted to focus on reorganizing the rules, and reorganizing 802.  I felt like I would be wasting my time changing the rules if in fact they were going to be drastically reorganized.  If someone else want to run ballots.... power to them!

On Block voting:

Block voting is not just the concern that one organization dominates the working group.  Rather it is the responsibility we generally have to vote and participate as individuals rather than as members of a "block".  This term block does occur in our P&P (See section 3.4.1).  However it is used specifically in reference to the EC.
Similar guidance can be found in the CS P&P for any PAR that requires voting by individual experts, as explained in the following:

" Individual Expert
The default requirement for CSSC membership is a direct and material interest and willingness to participate in the activities of the CSSC, and attendance of at least two (2)  of the three (3) previous regularly-scheduled CSSC meetings, except in the case of newly formed CSSCs, for which voting privileges shall apply to all eligible attendees at the initial three meetings.  Membership also may be granted on the basis of written participation, provided that the CSSC P&P specifies the detailed circumstances of such grant.  Multi-day CSSC meetings shall not be interpreted as multiple CSSC meetings for purposes of achieving membership. Except for Organizational Representatives, CSSC Members shall participate in committees in a manner consistent with their professional expert opinion as individuals." 

Note especially the last line.  Since all of our PARs to date conduct voting as "Individual Experts" I believe this guidance should in general hold within our WGs, as well as at the EC where it is expressly mandated by our P&P.  I believe chairs (in addition to the responsibility of determining if a group is "dominated" by an organization) have a responsibility to monitor and respond to complaints that persons are not voting as individuals.  I think the EC has some responsibility to try to ensure the CS P&P are enforced within 802.  

Regarding the issue of Roll Call Votes within the WGs of 802

Well I guess this is the crux of the matter.  While I'm not formally voting yet, I wish to share with people what I am struggling over.  Robert's rules does not only give situations where roll call votes should be applied, it expressly states when roll call votes should not be applied!  Robert's Rules (Newly Revised, 10th Edition of course) states (page 405 of the big gold book):

"ROLL-CALL VOTE.  Taking a vote by roll call (or by yeas and nays, as it is also called) has the effect of placing on the record how each member or, sometimes each delegation, votes: therefore, it has exactly the opposite effect of a ballot vote.  It is usually confined to representative bodies, where the proceedings are published, since it enables constituents to know how  their representatives voted on certain measures.  It should not be used in a mass meeting or in any assembly whose members are not responsible to a constituency."

The real question is do the members of 802 represent constituencies?  I have heard the argument made that by definition we are not a representative body because we are required to act as "individuals".  And our membership in 802 is not associated with our "constituency" but rather with our person.  If I change jobs, my membership in 802 carries with me.  So one might argue (as people have) that I clearly have no constituency.  While I see merit to this argument, I would argue otherwise.

Members of congress act as individuals too.  They can vote however they like.  If their constituency does not like their vote, tough.  The vote stands and there is no way to take it back.  However, the delegate can be recalled, or simply not re-elected. So the recourse of the constituency is not to send the delegate to congress.  This is exactly why they sometimes need a record of how the delegate voted.

The same is true for most of us. The simple fact of the matter is that we generally don't pay our own expenses, and in such cases I believe we are in fact delegates. When I attend 802, it is always paid for by someone other than myself.  As such, I represent the interests of that entity - my constituency.  Yes, I have the responsibility within 802 to vote as an individual and professional expert.  And I do.  But the fact of the matter is that my opinion often aligns quite well with my employers.  And I suspect that if my employer believed sending me to 802 meetings was not in their best interest (because the action I would take run counter to their needs) then my employer would not send me.  In fact I have often used my membership in 802 as a selling point - I display it prominently on my resume.  And I have been considered for job opportunities largely on the basis of my participation in 802.  I would not chose employment by a company or persons who's view run counter to my!
  own.  But, if I did chose to be employed by someone, I would view them as my constituency.  If they are paying the bills, they certainly have the right to know what I am doing.  

I recognize that not everyone in 802 is funded to attend.  However the vast majority are, and as such do have constituencies.  So once again I cite Robert's Rules (same reference as before):

"Ordering a Roll-Call Vote.  In a representative body, if there is no legal or constitutional provision specifying the size of the minority that can order a roll-call vote, the body should adopt a rule fixing the size of such a minority...."

Thus I believe we should fix the size of such a minority.  Whether that minority is 20% or 25% really does not matter much to me - but I think we should have a value on the books.

Concerning the rights of the Chair vs. the Rights of a Minority

Last meeting was an interesting meeting for me.  I saw the minority in one TG (with process being conducted by the WG chair and most WG members present) call for a role call vote, and lose because they did not in fact have a majority.  The chair did nothing.  In another WG, I saw a motion defeated to amend the rules to set a threshold minority for a role call vote.  I believe the chair of that WG is now on record as being against such a rule in general.  I even saw a WG member try to make a motion for a directed position, and the WG chair ruled it out of order because it was on a procedural matter, and chairs decide procedural matters.  In the end the issue was resolved to everyone's satisfaction.  But in 3 different WG, I saw actions last meeting that caused me concern on the right's of the chair, vs. the rights of a minority (or even majority).

The chair is an important position in any WG or TG.  They set the tone for the work in progress, and are often critical in it's successful completion.  In general, I favor the chair having a lot of power.  However, we already have rules on the books protecting the majority specifically against the powers of the chair.  Personally, I think the rules might need some cleaning up as some chairs may not believe the power of a directed position extends to procedural matters (I think they do but I believe the rules are unclear on this issue).  Similarly, I think it is sometimes appropriate to defend the rights of the minority against the rights of the chair.  Especially since Robert's Rules explicitly recommends having a rule in this area, and given what I have seen happen last meeting in 3 different working groups, I believe we need this rules change very badly.


Matthew Sherman, PhD
Senior Member Technical Staff
Office: +1 973.633.6344

-----Original Message-----
From: Mike Takefman []
Sent: Friday, December 19, 2003 12:14 AM
Subject: Re: [802SEC] +++EC Motion+++ Rules Change Ballot on Roll Call

Roger, Carl,

thanks for responding. Thanks also Stuart, although this
reply is not directly a response to your email.

I have actually never heard of the use of roll call votes to
distinguish between voters and non-voters prior to Geoff's
email and as I responded to him, I believe Robert's
already has options for the chair to deal with that
situation and certainly groups such as dot16 have
found other ways. So in my view, this change is not about
that issue.

As to your contention about block voting not being prohibited
I believe it is an issue of imprecise language and interpretation
of such.

I agree with you that the rules do not mention block voting.
They do mention domination by an organization. It is my
contention that when people speak of block voting, it is
shorthand for "domination by an organization". The term organization
is not defined, this is KEY. This allows 802 the latitude to
determine what constitutes an organization, it need not
be restricted to a single corporate entity.

As you point out, e) gives the chair the
responsibility to determine this and go to the SEC. The
rules change provides the minority with an option to
determine this if the chair is unwilling to call a roll
call vote.

This IMO is one of the reasons that Robert's suggests that
every group have a rule that allows the minority to get a
roll call vote, since the chair does not have the power
to do so under Roberts.

I look forward to the CR session, it should be fun.



Roger B. Marks wrote:
> I vote Disapprove.
> We have heard about the use of roll-call votes to separate voters from non-voters. Each WG has a need to handle this problem, and each has a long tradition of solving it effectively. In 802.16, for instance, we use voting tokens. For us, this a more efficient solution than roll-call voting.
> We have also heard that a forced roll-call voting is somehow tied to "block voting." However, "block voting" is not prohibited, or even mentioned, in the P&P. The P&P simply gives the WG Chair the authority to "Determine if the Working Group is dominated by an organization, and, if so, treat that  organizations' vote as one (with the approval of the Executive Committee)." Since the Chair makes the procedural decisions, the Chair already has the power to order a roll call vote if that will assist his or her determination or help prepare supporting material for presenting a case to the EC.
> Since I see no need for this P&P change, I am, by default, opposed. We seem to have reached a general consensus that our P&P should be less, not more, specific. It was also my understanding that we (informally) agreed to operate under a rules-change moratorium while Mat revises the P&P format. Because of that moratorium, we put even high-priority rules changes on the back burner.
> Finally, there is the question of the possible negative impact of this rules change. I certainly see such potential. The proposal would allow 20% of the membership to force a group to spend up to 20% of its time counting the roll (not to mention the time administering the motion to initiate the roll call vote). That is, in my view, an unacceptable inefficiency of process. And the real cost to the group's progress can be much closer to 100%. For instance, in 802.16, we finalize the group's progress for the week in a dense Closing Plenary. Giving up 20% of the Closing Plenary to roll calls could cost us much more than 20% of our week's progress.
> The WG Chair has a lot of responsibility and can't carry it out without the ability to manage the agenda. This P&P change would make the agenda even more unpredictable. It could also easily backfire and result in a WG being "dominated by an organization" whose tactic is to force roll-call votes.
> Roger
>>Dear EC Members,
>>as per the motion at the November Plenary closing
>>EC meeting I am starting a (35 day)  ballot on
>>the proposed rule change. I am extending the ballot
>>to account for the upcoming US Thanksgiving holiday
>>(and yes Canada has such a holiday - its just a month
>>I will be running a face to face comment resolution session
>>during the January Interim Session to try to finalize
>>the language. I believe sunday night is the best time
>>to hold such a meeting, but I am open to other suggestions.
>>The language you will find enclosed is different (and
>>I believe improved) from what was shown at the EC meeting.
>>1) It attempts to provide better sentence structure
>>(less of a run-on sentence).
>>2) It addresses an issue brought up to me personally
>>by one of the 2 dissenting voters to the rules change
>>motion in terms of insuring that roll call votes cannot
>>be used as a delaying tactic.
>>Personally, I have only seen roll call votes used in dot17
>>sparingly and they have in fact helped me determine when a group
>>was attempting to block concensus / progress. As such, there
>>has never been an issue with their use as a delay tactic,
>>but I do have sympathy for such a concern.
>>Michael Takefman    
>>Distinguished Engineer,       Cisco Systems
>>Chair IEEE 802.17 Stds WG
>>3000 Innovation Dr, Ottawa, Canada, K2K 3E8
>>voice: 613-254-3399       cell:613-220-6991
>>Attachment converted: TiDrive:802.0-RollCall_P&P_Revisi 1.doc (WDBN/MSWD) (0023B7AD)
>>Attachment converted: TiDrive:802_RollCall_P&P.pdf (PDF /CARO) (0023B7AE)

Michael Takefman    
Distinguished Engineer,       Cisco Systems
Chair IEEE 802.17 Stds WG
3000 Innovation Dr, Ottawa, Canada, K2K 3E8
voice: 613-254-3399       cell:613-220-6991