[Cabal] Instant Messaging Freedom, Inc.

Sean Egan seanegan at gmail.com
Wed Nov 22 01:10:06 EST 2006

On 11/21/06, Ethan Blanton <elb at psg.com> wrote:
> I fully support the idea of soliciting public comment where
> appropriate, but I do not think that tying the board's vote to a
> simple yea/nay is wise.  From a practical standpoint, of course, it is
> a non-issue -- any board member could simply submit a modified
> proposal as a separate voting item.  Making a public statement that no
> amendments would be allowed would, however, paint this in a very bad
> light.

Hm. What I intend to achieve is that once voting starts on a proposal,
that proposal no longer changes. So far, in just hours, we've had
three different versions of one of the proposals in the same thread,
with votes to two of them. If we're to do this over e-mail, it is
going to be really, really hard to keep track, I think.

(For those playing at home, the "incidental expenses" proposal
originally permitted expenses up to $20 without explicit approval. I
then ammended it to raise the limit to $50 to cover bank fees. Ethan
than suggested that we keep the limit at $20 and special case bank
fees to $50 or 5%).

My thinking was that the proposals could be discussed, and ammended in
public, and then the final result of that could be decided on.

An alternative would be to use Robert's Rules of Order:
1) propose and second the motion
2) discuss the motion
3a) propose and second an amendment
3b) if not acceptable to original proposer, discuss and vote on the
3c) return to (3a) as necessary
4) Call for vote on the (amended) motion
5) Vote yes/no on the motion
6) Votes are counted at a pre-agreed time/date (late votes are rejected)
7) If vote fails, optionally return to (1) to propose alternative motion

That seems like a lot of procedure to cover over e-mail, but it's
probably doable. I'll try that flow next time we have something to
vote on.

> In practicality, I don't foresee this being a problem; however, I
> think it is a dangerous policy.  Basically, I do not believe that the
> board should be beholden to discuss every issue publically before a
> vote (if nothing else, because it may not always be possible,
> particularly if legal issues arise), and I do not believe that every
> issue which *is* made public (which I truly believe should be as many
> issues as possible) should have to bounce back to a public list every
> time an amendment is called for.

I don't see it as a problem either. Also, I wouldn't necessarily
discuss *everything* in public, first. I'm sure the public doesn't
care that officers should be allowed to purchase postage. I'm not even
sure we had to vote for it... it just seemed like fun.


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