[discuss] What kind of "governance" do you want? (was Re: What is MSism?) practical considerations

joseph alhadeff joseph.alhadeff at oracle.com
Sun Mar 30 21:41:28 UTC 2014


While I appreciate the discussion that has been going on between folks 
on the list, I wonder if we are losing focus on the practical 
implications of some of these issues?  I apologize if this has been 
discussed in one of the many posts to this thread, I have not been able 
to keep up with all of them.

What is the democracy we are discussing?  What percentage of the 
population is concerned with, or knowledgeable about, Internet 
Governance/Msm?  It seems like our proposed town hall is already a 
self-selected, though perhaps not completely representative, group. 
Furthermore, there are operational dimensions to some Internet 
Governance functions which need expertise and efficiency for continued 
stability and operational functionality.  These are not the remit of 
straw polls or many other democratic processes which by definition take 
time and deliberation.

There may well be number of topics which could benefit from a broader 
and more inclusive societal dialog, but that is not all topics or issues.

While I know the word "role" has baggage from previous controversies 
where roles were used to needlessly limit participation, can we agree 
that context remains relevant and not everyone is capable of 
participating in each conversation/action/mechanism?



On 3/30/2014 5:18 PM, 'Andrew Sullivan' wrote:
> I think this is my last remark on this topic, since I'm no longer
> convinced we're making progress.  But just so it's clear why I think that:
> On Sun, Mar 30, 2014 at 12:07:02PM -0700, michael gurstein wrote:
>> premises and insights. Rather I would have the feeling that their support is
>> more in the form of finding a methodology for continuing and deepening the
>> deep corruptions of which they are so evident beneficiaries and which folks
>> like you and I are increasingly disgusted with.
> […]
>> nged-the-political-game.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0> " recently? Even deeply
>> flawed (accountable) democratic systems have better outcomes for the 99%
>> than ones controlled by plutocrats.
> […]
>> As for proposing a system of governance (representation), I think starting
>> from traditional democratic structures and processes and then adding
>> capabilities (as for example technology enhancements) and adjustments so as
>> to reform the system's operations is probably the place to start.
> The above appears to be saying that, whatever "MSism" is, it tends to
> include those who have funding to participate; the passages do not say
> why things might be different in "traditional democratic structures",
> though your email provides the case of the US _Citizens United_
> decision as an example of pernicious influence of money in decision
> making.  I don't think you've addressed at all the point at that least
> some multi-stakeholder examples are set up to encourage broad and deep
> participation by interested parties (I think I've asked you more than
> once to address this point).
> Your mail seems to be arguing that, since the influence of money is
> generally pernicious, and since "MSism" encourages participation by
> people with sponsorship, and since there is a pernicious influence of
> money in traditional democratic systems like representative
> democracies, therefore we need more traditional democratic systems in
> Internet governance.  It's possible I've overlooked some important
> subtlety, but to me that position is deeply incoherent.
> Finally, I still don't get why Internet governance can't use the
> mechanisms that have worked so well for other decision-making on the
> Internet.  That seems to me the biggest flaw in the above kind of
> argument.  The ways in which vastly different interests regularly come
> together on the Internet and work out their differences and thereby
> make progress for the Internet is an important bit of evidence in
> favour of that style of working.  It's been effective.  That should be
> one of our most important values: does an approach work?  It works for
> technical decisions, yes, but it also appears to work for policy
> issues: it's how RIRs work out their policies.  Without addressing
> this fundamental question of, "Does it work?" those who agree with the
> position you seem to be espousing will continue (in my opinion) to
> have a very weak argument.
> Best regards,
> A

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