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RE: [802SEC] The 802.20 election procedure for July

Mat -

Very well put.


At 23:11 04/04/2003 -0500, wrote:

>At the end of this response to your e-mail, I have attached a collection
>of what I feel the relevant rules are in SA and LMSC documents.  I
>invite others to find relevant blurbs I might have missed.  I will
>loosely refer to this collection of relevant snippets as the "block
>voting" rules, even though the term "block" only occurs once in the
>whole thing.
>The term "Block Voting" is in common use within 802, and has been for as
>long as I've been around.  I would loosely summarize Block voting as
>instances where groups of organizationally related individuals vote
>based on directives from an organization rather than based on their
>personal professional opinions.  I think we all would agree that this
>would be inappropriate behavior for IEEE 802.  It is something we want
>to avoid and discourage.  But as you point out, it can be very hard to
>detect.  The real question is what should we do to avoid this?
>In general we tend to model our WG voting rules after the sponsor ballot
>rules.  While sponsor ballots are pretty much open to any expert who
>wants to participate (participation includes joining the SA), limits may
>be placed on the number of experts from a specific category or firm who
>can participate.  Note that each expert from a category or firm might
>have voted as an individual, and might have held opinions that were
>quite different from other experts in that category or firm.  But the SA
>chooses not to risk the possibility of abuse which they might have to
>detect after the fact.  Rather they limit the potential for abuse by
>design and state that participation by "blocks" of experts should have
>limits. These limits are INDEPENDENT of INTENT!  Nobody is asking will
>the members of these blocks vote an individual or group opinion.  Rather
>the possibility of such a thing occurring is limited by design.  And
>while as a whole all the individual experts are welcome to participate,
>it is clear that participation may be curtailed based on what firm they
>work for or organization they belong to - regardless of intent.
>So I disagree with your suggestion that we are saying there is a "burden
>of proof" on anyone that the rules have or have not been broken.  Rather
>there is a burden upon us (the leadership and participants of 802) to
>set up voting processes such that abuse is discouraged by design.  On
>the sponsor level, there are certain key pieces of information that are
>collected to help design a ballot process that discourages "block"
>voting.  Participants are required to provide information, such as their
>firm, their name, and what interest group they represent in order to
>participate.  This is not to prove or disprove wrong doing.  Rather it
>is to facilitate the design of a process where block voting is unlikely
>to occur.
>Ultimately, I think it falls to the chair of the WG (perhaps with help
>for the WG and the EC) to develop processes that implement the intent of
>the LMSC and SA rules.  Both sets of rules are quite open on what
>techniques can be used to achieve the desired goals.  I find the process
>Mike suggests to be within those rules, though I'm not sure I support it
>exactly as is for 802.20.  But as long as it is stated up front as the
>process we will follow, I think it is a valid process.
>"Block Voting" Rules in IEEE SA and LMSC:
> From the SA Standards Board Bylaws:
> Sponsor balloting group
>Potential dominance in sponsor ballots as evidenced by an unduly high
>proportion of individuals from a single firm and/or organization or from
>a particular balloting classification is unacceptable, counter to open
>and fair participation by all interested parties, and deprecated by the
>IEEE-SA Standards Board.      .............
>.........  An organization is an entity that represents broad-based
>membership interest. This includes not only standards-development
>organizations but also other types of organizations such as a government
>agency (federal, state, provincial, or local), user group, or trade
>association. It should be noted that individual firms are not considered
>to be organizations.
> From the SA Standards Board Operations Manual
>5.4.1 Balloting group
>The balloting group shall provide for the development of consensus by
>all interests significantly affected by the scope of the standard. This
>is achieved through a balance of such interests in the balloting group
>membership. Balance is defined as the avoidance of dominance by any
>single interest category.  ..............
>........  Sponsors are required to classify the relationship of each
>member of the balloting group relative to the scope of standards
>activity (for example, producer, user, and general interest). Where
>appropriate, additional classifications, such as "testing laboratory" or
>"academic," may be used. This decision should be based on the effect the
>standard may have on participants not already recognized by the primary
>classifications. ORs
>are classified in relation to the interests of their organization.
>Individuals are classified based on their technical background, which
>may be related to their employment, job functions, or experience.
>.......... No group (classification) is permitted to constitute 50% or
>more of the balloting group membership. Care shall be taken to ensure
>that all classes of interest are represented to the extent possible.
> From the LMSC P&P
>3.4.1   Voting Guidance
>It is expected that LMSC Executive Committee members will vote as both
>professionals and as individual experts, except under the Directed
>Position provisions of Procedure 8, and not as a member of any affiliate
>block (organization, alliance, company, consortium, special interest
>group, etc.).  If substantive evidence is presented to the LMSC Chair
>that this provision is violated, the LMSC Executive Committee will meet
>to consider what, if any, action to take on the presented evidence. Such
>action may include any action up to and including a recommendation for
>removal from office.
> Establishment
>..... Working Group members shall participate in the consensus process
>in a manner consistent with their professional expert opinion as
>individuals, and not as organizational representatives.
> Working Group Chair's Authority
>....... the Working Group Chair has 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).
>Matthew Sherman
>Vice Chair, IEEE 802
>Technology Consultant
>Communications Technology Research
>AT&T Labs - Shannon Laboratory
>Room B255, Building 103
>180 Park Avenue
>P.O. Box 971
>Florham Park, NJ 07932-0971
>Phone: +1 (973) 236-6925
>Fax: +1 (973) 360-5877
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Roger B. Marks []
>Sent: Friday, April 04, 2003 1:23 AM
>To: Sherman,Matthew J (Matthew)
>Subject: RE: [802SEC] The 802.20 election procedure for July
>We don't have rules against block voting. What we have is a statement
>that the "Working Group Chair has 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
>People from the same organization tend to vote alike. Is this a
>shocking statement? Is this something we need to be embarrassed
>about? I don't think so.
>There is no burden of proof on individuals to show that they are
>voting with an independent mind, and there is no burden of proof on
>organizations to prove that their members think independently. People
>from the same organization are allowed to vote the same way. This is
>not against the rules!
>A Working Group Chair will not find it easy to conclude that a group
>is "dominated by an organization". And that's the way it should be.
>This rule is, and should be, reserved for extraordinary cases. I
>don't even know what kind of cases they are; I can imagine only a
>few. Maybe a company gets over 25% of the membership and consistently
>holds the Working Group over a barrel.
>And, as I have said before, I still believe that, if we want people
>to act independently of their organization, we ought not to take roll
>call votes. People won't cross the boss if there is a written record
>of it.
> >Roger,
> >
> >I agree as do we all - One member, one vote.  The problem is when
> >members vote as organizations.  This is loosely termed in our rules as
> >"block voting".  How can this be evaluated without data to do so?  This
> >is not about counting votes as organizations.  It is about collecting
> >data so that we know the members are voting as individuals and not
> >organizations.  How do you propose we account for block voting if we
> >don't know what organizations people represent?
> >
> >Mat
> >
> >Matthew Sherman
> >Vice Chair, IEEE 802
> >Technology Consultant
> >Communications Technology Research
> >AT&T Labs - Shannon Laboratory
> >Room B255, Building 103
> >180 Park Avenue
> >P.O. Box 971
> >Florham Park, NJ 07932-0971
> >Phone: +1 (973) 236-6925
> >Fax: +1 (973) 360-5877
> >
> >
> >-----Original Message-----
> >From: Roger B. Marks []
> >Sent: Friday, April 04, 2003 12:35 AM
> >To:
> >Subject: Re: [802SEC] The 802.20 election procedure for July
> >
> >
> >I am strongly, stridently, opposed to voting by organization or
> >asking people to declare allegiance.
> >
> >What next: we ask Working Group members to disclose their investment
> >portfolios, and those of their brother-in-law? Maybe a blue-ribbon
> >SEC commission (the one that is supposed to "analyze the results")
> >can interview each working group member and decide what in which
> >interest group pigeonhole they belong?
> >
> >One member, one vote. That's the way we do business in 802.
> >
> >Roger
> >
> >
> >>Hi Everyone,
> >>
> >>This is an outshoot from my WG initial membership interpretation
> >>effort.  An issue I have heard raised a number of times from LMSC EC
> >>members is the question of what procedure should be followed for
> >>elections by 802.20 in July.  Personally, I think it is
> >>inappropriate for us to "force" them to use a specific procedure.
> >>On the other hand, clearly people in 802.20 are wondering "what they
> >>can change" that would improve the chances of their officers being
> >>confirmed next time around.  Based on reflector discussions to date,
> >>the election procedure itself seems to have been a concern at least
> >>to some EC members.  Given that, I think it might make sense if we
> >>"recommend" a procedure that might address the concerns of these EC
> >>members.  In my mind we could make a motion recommending a
> >>particular procedure, and have this presented to 802.20 at the
> >>upcoming interim.  Mike Takefman has put forward the most detailed
> >>election procedure I have seen suggested to date.  Extracting from
> >>one of Mike's recent e-mails that procedure would be:
> >>
> >>Everyone who attended 75% of the initial session gets to vote in
> >  >July. All consultants should declare who their client is. The
> >  >elections (and probably every other vote) should be by roll call.
> >  >The SEC should then analyze the results as both 1 organization 1
> >  >vote and straight and determine if any difference in result would
> >>occur. If the vote is reverse on a 1 company 1 vote basis, then
> >>that vote should be taken as final.
> >>
> >>Personally, I'm okay with everything but the last step.  From
> >> of the LMSC P&P I believe the WG Chair's job is 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)."
> >>
> >>I'm not sure if the last step in Mike's process is the best way to
> >>do that.  What do other people think?
> >>
> >>Mat
> >>
> >>Matthew Sherman
> >>Vice Chair, IEEE 802
> >>Technology Consultant
> >>Communications Technology Research
> >>AT&T Labs - Shannon Laboratory
> >>Room B255, Building 103
> >>180 Park Avenue
> >>P.O. Box 971
> >>Florham Park, NJ 07932-0971
> >>Phone: +1 (973) 236-6925
> >>Fax: +1 (973) 360-5877
> >>EMAIL: