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Mike and SEC members,
This e-mail addresses the roll-call vote issue in 802.20 and my interpretation of what the 802.11 operating rules (Revised July 20, 2003)actually do say (I leave to Stuart to correct any nuances I may be misinterpreting).
First the 802.11 rules:
1. Section 184.108.40.206 detailing responsibilities of the WG chair lists, s one of the responsibilities:
* Maintain roll call list.
2. Section 6.3 of the rules states (Emphasis added):
6.3 Voting Tokens
Votes on motions during WG and TG meetings shall use a voting token, unless a roll call vote is requested by a WG voting member or directed by the WG Chair.
3. Section 9.3 with respect to secretarial duties states:
Do not include names, except for movers and seconders of motions unless a roll-call vote is ordered.
Any reasonable reading of the rules clearly indicates that roll call votes can be conducted and recorded. I would also assert that Section 6.3 implies that a single member can request a roll call vote. Also by having the phrase "is requested by a WG voting member or directed by the WG Chair" as a single clause it implies to me that both a voting member request and order by the chair have the same force. I.e. I believe the 802.11 rules allow a roll-call vote to proceed on the basis of a request by a single member.
Sure 802.11 does not as a routine take all its votes as a roll call vote - but again that has never been suggested by or for any group.
Since I made the motion to have the roll call vote I would like to give the full history of this below. In the interest of fairness it would be nice if individuals when they present a factual story relate the whole story.
At about 4:15 pm I introduced a motion to allow a 20% minority to request a roll-call vote. The chair first tried ruling that motion out of order. After several members of the group strongly challenged that assertion, discussion of the motion was allowed to proceed. At about 4:42 a vote on the motion was taken and the motion was defeated 26-39-1.
It was at that point that I requested a roll-call vote be taken on the previous motion. Discussion was allowed to proceed until a vote was taken at 4:59 pm (between 10 -17 minutes after the motion was first made). The motion, as expected, was defeated 44-25-0. The chair could have ordered a roll-call vote and it would probably have not taken any longer the disussion plus voting time.
As far as using roll call votes as a tool to slow down work, I believe they are a singularly ineffective way of trying to accomplish that. A roll call vote, when requested or ordered, only delays the work by the amount of time it takes to call the roll. The roll-call can actually be done quite efficiently. If used frivolously, a roll-call would generate considerable ill-will for very little gain. There are many more effective ways, including ones using Robert's Rules that can be used to delay work. Also on technical issues a 25% minority can halt progress by simply voting no. Also the assumption underlying the statement that roll-call votes would be used to delay work is based on an assumption that the majority is voting for progress. In actuality the majority may be the side that is voting against progressing the work or against an efficient work group structure, so that if that is caused by strategic voting, a roll call would actually accelerate progress. So as a delaying tool, roll-call votes are useless and in some cases may actually accelerate work by discouraging strategic voting.
So in the words of Jerry "Given the real objective is a standard approved by consensus - - at least 75%" 20% is, therefore, not a "small minority" but a quite significant minority and allowing this minority to request that the nature and balance of the "consensus" be determined is entirely reasonable.
So with Mike's proposed safeguard on the amount of time spent on roll call votes I see no problem in allowing a 20% minority to request that.
Also as was pointed out at the meeting and as the 802.11 rules seem to imply other WG's allow roll-call votes to proceed on a single members request.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of Jerry1upton@aol.com
Sent: Tuesday, December 09, 2003 3:37 PM
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Subject: Re: [802SEC] +++EC Motion+++ Rules Change Ballot on Roll Call Votes
Regarding 802.20, voting is done with colored sticky-labeled tokens that are changed for each session. Voters raise the tokens and counters announce the results as the parts of the room are counted. If the count looks confused or very close, then people are asked to raise their tokens again for another count.
Since the formation of the working group, I cannot remember any roll call vote request made to either the two co-vice chairs or the chair.
There was a motion made to have a roll call vote in November. This written motion was made immediately following the vote on creating a roll call vote operating rule in 802.20. The vote on this motion occurred at 4:49PM in the Thursday meeting with a scheduled adjournment at 5:00PM. The group still had a next meeting planning item to cover including a requested short presentation by Bob Love. Since the motion was immediately made and time was very short, I let the group decide by token voting whether to go through a roll call. The group decided 44 to 25 not to have a roll call. For any further details, I refer people to the draft minutes of the November session which are posted on the 802.20 site.
Regarding the Roll Call ballot, my past experience is roll call votes are done when there is a question of the previous voting. If a member of the body questions the count of a voice vote, or a quick hand raise vote or questions the voting rights of people with or without tokens. Using token voting and having people keep their hands raised during an methodical and accurate count usually takes care of any issues.
If the vote will be particularly sensitive or potentially contentious, then I always prefer a written ballot. A written ballot allows people to more easily vote the individual views without peer or organizational pressure.
My other experience with roll call votes is they can be used to run out the time on an agenda item. For example if a group of people do not want a particular agenda item to come to the floor, then roll call votes in large bodies are used to stall until the the time runs out much like debates that are not managed by the chair. Clearly allowing a small minority of people(20%) this opportunity is not in the spirit of consensus. Given the real objective is a standard approved by consensus - - at least 75%, doing multiple roll call votes will not add value to the process.
Additionally, I apologize in advance for not checking with Stuart Kerry on his current rules. However, I remember seeing in the minutes of the March 2002 802.11 Plenary a statement that roll call voting was impractical and discontinued given a current voting membership of 291. Again 802.11 uses voting tokens.
Therefore, I currently vote disapprove on the proposed rules change.
Chair, IEEE 802.20
In a message dated 11/25/2003 5:21:17 PM Eastern Standard Time, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
> thanks for the improvement, I am happy to add
> the obvious language fix and will think how to
> integrate the additional instructions on
> Between your examples of 1) and 2), I find 2)
> to be the more problematic issue and the one
> requiring attention since I believe Roberts
> provides the chair with the necessary tools
> to fix 1) without an explicit rules change.
> I will look it up so I can cite the relevant
> In particular, I have forced votes to be held
> again when I failed to recognize a voter and then
> reiterated that only voters may vote and the count
> was different.
> So let us discuss 2).
> For example, in dot17, roll call votes were
> used on several occasions to see if LMSC
> rule 220.127.116.11 e) was being violated. In 1 such
> case, it was clear that the rule was being
> violated and this allowed me to sit the
> the entities involved down and read them the riot
> act. Problem solved by next session!
> The total number of roll call votes in 17
> was low and there was only one occasion
> where I thought the request for a roll call vote
> was spurious and left it to a group vote, otherwise
> I granted the request. In that one case, my recollection
> is that it would not have hit the 20% mark. I am more
> than happy to have my hands tied and hold such a vote
> in the future.
> As to the need for this in other working groups.
> I said in the EC meeting that I am acting on a concern
> from my former vice chair (Mr. Love) about the use
> (or lack thereof) of roll call votes in dot20. I leave
> it to him and other members of dot20 to highlight
> why they see the need for such a rule.
> I see the main use of a roll call vote is to get people to go
> on the record and not so much to delay the process. As
> I am sure some people will point out, there are better
> procedural methods for delay. However, since *some*
> people were concerned with roll call votes being used
> to stall, I put in a remedy for that situation.
> Personally, I can't imagine why a chair would refuse
> to allow a roll call vote except to keep things
> moving along. I can imagine why a group of voters
> might want to avoid a roll call vote. It is in the vital
> interest of IEEE 802 (and IMO IEEE) to insure that
> people do go on the record for issues of importance
> to the WG. Furthermore, as my failed EC motion shows
> I believe this change should be implemented prior to the
> start of the March 04 meeting.
> Geoff Thompson wrote:
> > Mike-
> > (DISAPPROVE at this point)
> > I applaud your attempts to fix this. I am not sure that it is a
> > tractable problem for reasons that I will outline below.
> > But first the trivial fix:
> > Change from:
> > A roll call vote can be held at the discretion of the chair.
> > Change to:
> > A roll call vote may be held at the discretion of the chair.
> > And you need to add that a motion and a second is needed to call for a
> > roll call
> > (and, I would hope that the vote could not be by acclamation)
> > But further than that, I'm not wild about your test criteria.
> > I believe that the problem in the Exec is that a roll call represents
> > two different situations.
> > Situation #1
> > Occurs in fairly large groups without voting tokens.
> > Occasional problems arise when non-voters participate in a vote.
> > There are two remedies to this situation
> > a) A caution from the WG Chair and a re-vote.
> > b) A roll call vote
> > Requests for a roll call vote from the floor have traditionally been
> > honored.
> > Requests for a roll call vote have been very infrequent.
> > Situation #2
> > (This is somewhat speculative since I am not in these groups. I welcome
> > supplemental or corrective information)
> > Occurs in groups with voting tokens
> > These groups have less of a problem with non-voters voting.
> > There are situations where there are strategic voting issues with voting
> > in a secret ballot vs a "public" roll call vote.
> > A request for a roll-call vote can be used in this situation to slow
> > things down or to force members to vote "on the record".
> > My feeling is that we need to (1) recognize these differences and (2)
> > come up with a solution that harmonizes or clearly differentiates these
> > 2 situations rather than trying to lump them into the same pot.
> > At this point I don't have a particular idea on how to do that, but I
> > believe that is the place to start.
> > At 11:33 PM 11/24/2003 -0500, Mike Takefman wrote:
> >> Dear EC Members,
> >> as per the motion at the November Plenary closing
> >> EC meeting I am starting a (35 day) ballot on
> >> the proposed rule change. I am extending the ballot
> >> to account for the upcoming US Thanksgiving holiday
> >> (and yes Canada has such a holiday - its just a month
> >> earlier).
> >> I will be running a face to face comment resolution session
> >> during the January Interim Session to try to finalize
> >> the language. I believe sunday night is the best time
> >> to hold such a meeting, but I am open to other suggestions.
> >> The language you will find enclosed is different (and
> >> I believe improved) from what was shown at the EC meeting.
> >> 1) It attempts to provide better sentence structure
> >> (less of a run-on sentence).
> >> 2) It addresses an issue brought up to me personally
> >> by one of the 2 dissenting voters to the rules change
> >> motion in terms of insuring that roll call votes cannot
> >> be used as a delaying tactic.
> >> Personally, I have only seen roll call votes used in dot17
> >> sparingly and they have in fact helped me determine when a group
> >> was attempting to block concensus / progress. As such,
> >> has never been an issue with their use as a delay tactic,
> >> but I do have sympathy for such a concern.
> >> cheers,
> >> mike
> >> --
> >> Michael Takefman email@example.com
> >> Distinguished Engineer, Cisco Systems
> >> Chair IEEE 802.17 Stds WG
> >> 3000 Innovation Dr, Ottawa, Canada, K2K 3E8
> >> voice: 613-254-3399 cell:613-220-6991
> Michael Takefman firstname.lastname@example.org
> Distinguished Engineer, Cisco Systems
> Chair IEEE 802.17 Stds WG
> 3000 Innovation Dr, Ottawa, Canada, K2K 3E8
> voice: 613-254-3399 cell:613-220-6991