[Cabal] Instant Messaging Freedom, Inc.

Ethan Blanton elb at psg.com
Wed Nov 22 10:23:03 EST 2006

Sean Egan spake unto us the following wisdom:
> 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.

The incidental expenses proposal is, actually, a big factor that went
into my making this statement.

> (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%).

In this case, I think the vote was simply called too early, which will
happen from time to time.  Particularly with most of us having day
jobs (or the equivalent), proposals probably need to sit around for
24-48 hours before any vote is called, to give everyone time to have
processed them and thought about the consequences.  Robert's rules is
probably overkill, although we can certainly try it.

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

I think this is great when it works, but amendment by the board should
be left open.


> 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.

I think a vote is good, because it involves expenditures.  As the
party who will be responsible for reimbursement, I appreciate that I
am covered by a recorded vote.


The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws [that have no remedy
for evils].  They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor
determined to commit crimes.
		-- Cesare Beccaria, "On Crimes and Punishments", 1764
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