wet-behind-the-ears whippersnapper seeking advice on building a nationwide network

Owen DeLong owen at delong.com
Fri Sep 23 08:01:23 UTC 2011

> The NomCom acts as a filter, of sorts.  It chooses the candidates that the membership will see.  The fact that the NomCom is so closely coupled with the existing leadership has an unfortunate appearance that suggests a bias.  I'm unable to say whether the bias exists, is recognized, and/or is reflected in the slate of candidates.  But it seems like an easy enough thing to avoid.

This statement ignores the existence of the petition process and the relatively low threshold required to get a candidate not approved or selected by the nomcom onto the ballot if there is even a very limited desire to do so.

> As for my use of "existing establishment":  I'm of the impression that a relatively small group of individuals drive ARIN, that most ARIN members don't actively participate.  I have my own opinions on why this is, but they aren't worth elaborating at this time - in fact, I suspect many ARIN members here on NANOG can speak for themselves if they wanted to.  In any case, this is just my impression.  If you would rather share some statistics on member participation, election fairness, etc, then such facts might be more useful.

My inclination is that the lack of participation generally indicates that the majority are not upset by the way ARIN is doing things. I know that the beginning of my participation in ARIN was the result of my deciding that some of the ways ARIN was doing things needed changing.

>> ARIN's bylaws firmly place control of ARIN into the hands of its members.
>> if you think that's the wrong approach, i'm curious to hear your reasoning
>> and your proposed alternative.
> One of ARIN's governance strengths is the availability of petition at many steps, including for candidates rejected by the NomCom.  Likewise, as you noted, leaders are elected by the membership.  For these reasons I previously noted that "ARIN has a pretty good governance structure" and I continue to think so.  It could be improved by increased member involvement, as well as broader involvement from the community. (For instance, policy petitions should include responses from the entire affected community, not just PPML.)  But my criticisms should be interpreted as constructive, and are not an indictment of the whole approach.

OK, so you are aware of the petition process after all. That makes your statement at the top of this message somewhat perplexing.

I agree that increased member participation would be a good thing.

I do not believe that including petition responses from people who aren't willing to join PPML even if it's just long enough to support the petition in question would be useful. It takes almost no effort to join PPML, support a petition, and then leave PPML if you are that determined not to participate. Further, I think that it is reasonable to expect at least a modicum of participation in the policy process in order to participate in the petition process. Requiring supporters to be on PPML at the time they support the petition seems like a reasonable threshold to me. Finally, absent some mechanism such as requiring a PPML subscription, it might be somewhat difficult to avoid petition stuffing.


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