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Re: voting membership rules


I agree with all of Tony's interpretations.


p.s.  An observation: It seems to me that learning to interpret 802 voting
rules has become a sort of 'right of passage' for new chairs and memebers.
Is this bad?  I'm not so can be seen as a measure of how
interested in our rules people are.

At 09:42 AM 9/24/99 +0100, Tony Jeffree wrote:
>Roger -
>Your message annotated, preceeded by >>
>At 23:56 23/09/99 -0600, Roger B. Marks wrote: 
>> Gentlemen:
>> I am a rookie Working Group Chair in need of some advice.
>> In constructing rules for 802.16, my greatest challenge is voting rights. I
>> simply can't decipher the 802 rules on this. Several of us spent over an
>> with Jim Carlo in Montreal without resolution. I've been worried that I am
>> overcomplicating the situation, but I have concluded that the situation in
>> inherently complicated.
>> I have looked at some other WG rules and have not found a clearer
>> explanation. I'd like to know more about how you interpret the rules in
>> group.
>> Here are the key 802 statements:
>>> "... Thereafter, voting membership in a Working Group is established by
>>> participating in the meetings of the Working Group at two out of the last
>>> four Plenary sessions... Membership starts at the third Plenary session
>>> attended by the participant. One duly constituted interim Working Group or
>>> task group meeting may be substituted for the Working Group meetings at
>>> of the two Plenary sessions."
>> "Membership is retained by participating in at least two of the last four
>> Plenary session meetings. One duly constituted interim Working Group
>> may be substituted for one of the two Plenary meetings."
>>> One of the key statements that you have missed is that the Chair also has
>the power to grant membership as he/she sees fit.
>>> The rules are not entirely clear as to which meetings constitute "the last
>four".  When you are at a Plenary meeting, does that meeting count as one of
>"the last four"? or are they the four most recent (and completed)
>plenaries?  I
>believe that the correct interpretation is the latter. 
>(1) First let me put off the question of interims and make sure I understand
>the basic idea. I understood from Jim that lists are updated only in
>conjunctions with plenaries, that new members are added at the opening of the
>plenary meeting, and that expired members are deleted at the end of the
>plenary. I think that these statements follow from the rules.
>Here are a couple of simple scenarios and my interpretation of the rules:
>Meeting:     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9
>Attendance:  x  x  x  -  -  -  -  -  -    x=attendance
>Status:            v         n            v=becomes voter; n=becomes nonvoter
>>>I believe this is correct.
>Meeting:     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9
>Attendance:  x  x  x  -  -  x  -  -  -    x=attendance
>Status:            v            n         v=becomes voter; n=becomes nonvoter
>I think I understand everything to this point.
>Here's a slightly more interesting case:
>Meeting:     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9
>Attendance:  x  x  x  -  x  -  -  x  x    x=attendance
>Status:            v            n    v    v=becomes voter; n=becomes nonvoter
>Here someone loses voting rights after meeting 7 and regains them in time for
>meeting 9.
>One scenario that also follows from the rules is:
>Meeting:     1  2  3
>Attendance:  x  x  -     x=attendance
>Status:            v     v=becomes voter; n=becomes nonvoter
>In other words, you become a voting member at the third plenary even if you
>don't attend it. I think  the requirement that people petition for membership
>at the meeting is in conflict with this rule, so I don't plan to implement
>petitioning requirement.
>>>Wrong.  The granting of membership occurs at the start of the third plenary
>attended (assuming the "last four" rule has been satisfied); so in this case,
>the individual will gain voting rights only on attendance at plenary
meeting 4
>or 5.  This is clear from the first passage you quote.
>(2) Now we introduce the interim meetings, and things get trickier. The
>is that the rules don't specify WHICH interim meetings are eligible. For
>example, if someone comes to an interim in 1981 and then turns up this
>November, does he become a voter the next time he shows up at a Plenary? A
>typical example is this: a guy comes to a March Plenary and a May interim. Is
>he a voter in July? Does this violate the clause that "Membership starts at
>third Plenary"? It seems to; you could establish voting membership from
>in 4 months. How do you guys handle this?
>>>The substitution rule (you can substitute one interim for one of the
>plenaries) is reasonably clear on this, but I agree, if there has only ever
>been 1 interim and that occurred in 1981, then there is the possibility of
>mis-interpretation.  I believe that what the rule should clarify here is that
>the only interim attendances that can be substituted are the ones that have
>occurred during the time-period betweem now and the first of the last four
>plenaries.  In other words, the test for gaining membership becomes:
>>>"If you are building membership, and you are attending a plenary meeting,
>you have either attended two out of the last four plenaries or have attended
>one of the last four plenaries plus one interim meeting that occurred in
>between any two of the last four plenaries, then you have achieved voting
>>>Similarly, for maintaining membership:
>>>"If you have either attended two out of the last four plenaries or have
>attended one of the last four plenaries plus one interim meeting that
>in between any two of the last four plenaries, then you have maintained your
>voting status."
>One of the rules I'm considering is allowing an interim to substitute ONLY
>the preceding Plenary.  This would require a minimum of 6 months to gain
>rights. If I don't do this, I'll probably let the interim credit be
applied to
>either the preceding or following Plenary but not to any other.
>>>I believe that is a tighter constraint than is currently applied in other
>(3) This is a comment, not a question: I think that the rules should be
>to take into account the existence of and importance of interim meetings.
>many other groups, we are planning three interims a year. People can maintain
>membership by attending two out of four plenaries, which is three meetings
>every two years. Three out of twelve, in my opinion, is insufficient to
>continued voting rights.
>>>This seems at variance with your statement on substitution.  If you believe
>interims and plenaries are of equal importance, surely you should be
>in the direction of giving equal credit for attendance at either.  If you are
>suggesting a "mininum time served" rule should be imposed, then it would be
>better separated from the meeting rule.
>The voting rights rule reduces the incentive for people to attend
interims. At
>our interim last week, we ended up with less than a quorum. It didn't hurt us
>much, but it could in the future. For instance, my project plan has us making
>our key decisions at a May 2000 interim. If we don't have a quorum, we could
>have real problems.
>>>It is not unusual for interim meetings to be non-quorate; this does not
>the working group from functioning.  If decisions need to be taken, then the
>interim meeting's decisions can be ratified at the next plenary (if the issue
>can stand a 2 month delay) or ratified by email ballot (if more urgent).
>I'm getting off the topic, but I'd appreciate any advice on how I can keep
>being completely hosed if I don't have a quorum. Right now, I have two ideas:
>-Make decisions by letter ballot.
>-Get the inactive voting members off the rolls by:
>    -deleting members who fail to vote in letter ballots.
>    -offering inactive members the option to resign.
>    -ensuring that the rules are interpreted to delete inactive members. See
>(4) below:
>>>I don't see anything to prevent you doing all of the above.  But as
>earlier, non-quorate interims do not prevent work from being done.
>(4) For a new WG, 802 doesn't include any specific rules except that:
>> "All persons participating in the initial meeting of the Working Group
>> voting members of the Working Group." 
>> >>I believe as WG chair you have the right to define such a rule if you see
>> fit (see my comment above).
>Strictly interpreted, the rules says that my voting members (who became so by
>attending last July) will lose their voting rights at the end of the November
>plenary if they don't attend; they will not have attended two of the last
>Of course, there have only been two, but the rules don't provide any kind of
>allowance for that. One might say that one of two is enough, given that there
>have only _been_ two. However, I prefer the stricter interpretation and
>plan to
>use it. Note that people who lose voting rights after November can regain it
>fairly quickly:
>Meeting:     1  2  3  4
>Attendance:  x  -  x  -      x=attendance
>Status:      v   n    v      v=becomes voter; n=becomes nonvoter
>>>Not quite...I believe the strict interpretation is that he/she only
>becomes a
>voter at meeting 4 if he/she attends the meeting and it is a plenary (see
>earlier).  But as this is a startup situation that is not handled by the
>I guess you get to call the shots.  (Typical software bug handles
>normal cases, but not the exceptions...)