Talk:Affiliations Committee/Rules of Procedure/draft

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For the motion and resolutions.[edit]

Not sure we need a mover and a seconder. But hey, why not. If the committee gets much bigger, that might come in handy. We should allow outside people to bring motions forward. I am not sure about the "meeting" thing. We might waant to reflect on ways to vote before we leave out any other voting procedure than "meetings". Something like:

  1. For a motion to be considered by the committee it must be brought forward to a committee vote by a mover and seconder.
  2. Any person not pertaining to the committee may present a motion to the committee, it should then be seconded by two committee members in order to be brought forward to a committee vote.
  3. A motion will become a resolution if it receives a majority of votes of members present at the meeting.
  4. Each committee member present at a meeting is entitled to one vote but, in the event of an equality of votes on any question, the chairperson may exercise a second or casting vote.
I think it would be a good idea to allow people external to the committee to bring forward motions/proposals - it's a great way to show that we are trying our best to operate in a transparent way. The idea of advisors being able to move and second a motion but not vote is also another good idea.
hmm, not sure whether allowing people external to the comittee to bring forward motions/proposals would be that a good idea. --H P Nadig 00:22, 9 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Hari, I'm interested why you don't think it's a good idea? notafish }<';> 09:23, 9 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I think it is a good idea because it gives people outside the committee a formal process for bringing proposals to the committee. Something that seems to be of concern among Wikimedia users (after reading last weeks open meeting transcript) whether or not the "community" will be left out in the cold. This gives the community the opportunity to have their say. The simple fact is if the proposal is without merit, it won't get seconded.
The only other way to do it would be through a Wikicouncil (which we do not have), whereby a council member is given the right to bring a proposal to the committee (as a representative for those who want the proposal bought forward) as he/see sees fit (similar to a member of parliament) - The problem with this is that it adds yet another level of complexity - Nathan Carter (Talk) 01:22, 9 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]
After considering other voting procedures - I think it would be best if we left the voting process open to outside of meetings. I am not sure how this would work, but we have a mailing list - we could have motions submitted there and voted on by members, this is probably quicker than waiting until a meeting to get work done (especially for trivial matters) - Nathan Carter (Talk) 22:57, 8 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]
yes, leaving the voting process open to outside of meetings is a very good idea. Mailing list can surely be made use of for that. --H P Nadig 00:14, 9 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, we've been thinking about that. There are pros and cons to the idea.
  • If votes are only through meetings, and we meet, say, once a month, this might unnecessarily delay the vote on an urgent or trivial matter.
  • If votes are through meetings though, it also gives an incentive to the committee members to be prsent at the meeting, and allows things to get done in a very efficient way. ie. you're here, you can vote, you're not, you can't. This allows for decisions being reached quickly and efficiently.
  • If we implement email vote, there have to be very strict rules about it. It may seem good now, since we're all involved and interested and ready to participate. What if a motion is moved and seconded, and one of the members never votes? (no time, email landing in spam folder, an evil wish to stall the process...). I would be in favour of something like: "preferred voting method: meeting. Exceptionnally, votes can be cast by email on the mailing list, if that is accepted by a majority of the committee members. The motion is moved, seconded and put to the vote per email. Members have X days to vote, after which the motion will be accepted or rejected if a majority of the voting members has been reached."
Yet this is difficult to implement. What if a motion is voted by one person only? notafish }<';> 09:34, 9 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Here's a proposal - We allow votes via the mailing list for urgent or simple matters. All committee members are to vote within a pre-determined number of days (say a week). If a single member fails to register a vote, the motion is put forward at a committee meeting where it will be decided upon by those who are present. The only problem is that it essentially gives a member the power to veto motions for a short period of time by ignoring them and forcing them to go to the committee meeting. We should probably also have a three way vote - yay, nay or send to meeting - Nathan Carter (Talk) 00:17, 10 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I like your proposal TWO. Others? notafish }<';> 13:36, 11 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Voting procedure[edit]

  1. Decisions are made at the majority of members present at the meeting
  2. Advisors can be movers or seconders, but cannot vote on a motion.
  3. other?

Some English speaker help me here to put this together so it's not redundant ;-)

And I changed a few things directly in the text of the rules of procedures. notafish }<';> 22:13, 8 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I like that :) - Nathan Carter (Talk) 22:57, 8 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Added an alternate scenario for dealing with motions[edit]

I have added an alternate set of rules for dealing with motions. It allows us to approve or deny motions via the mailing list if everyone votes. Because the motion can be forced to be decided at a meeting, I also added a rule so that a single member can request it go to a meeting (I had considered stating if 2 members wished for it to happen, but only one of them would have to ignore it and it would go to a meeting anyway).

I don't think it is the best we can do so I'd love to hear some suggestions - Nathan Carter (Talk) 10:02, 11 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Public vs. private meetings, lists[edit]

Looks good so far. Could you say a few words about whether you intend the mailing list to be public or private (as well as other communication channels)? Note that internal-l, which is private, already has chapters as part of its stated purpose, so I would expect that private discussions be taken there -- but please correct me if I'm wrong.--Eloquence 00:51, 12 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]

The chapters committee has set up an email address (not really a mailing list) which allows communication between its members. The email address is unmoderated and will be until it is ridden by spam. Private discussions will be taking place between the committee members and advisors privately, not on internal-l or any other place. The irc channel is public. The voting meetings will be private, and include the motion movers if necessary. Other public meetings can be envisaged if necessary. notafish }<';> 12:34, 12 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Initial rewrite[edit]

I've condensed the very long and often redundant series of lists into a handful of concise paragraphs, making only one significant policy change pending discussion—namely, giving the chair a tiebreaking vote. This is a swell idea when you have a large organization that often finds itself split down the middle, but we're talking about a committee of five. (Consider: a meeting is convened with the minimum quorum of three, a vote is called, and one person abstains. It's one-on-one, and the chair now wields an inordinate amount of power.) I would rather see these votes deferred, as with mailing list votes, until a larger quorum can be established. Austin 06:21, 13 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]

We discussed scalability when we had a chat on IRC at the weekend. I think that the rules need to be a little long for clarity's sake - Nathan Carter (Talk) 11:14, 14 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I'm not sure what point you mean to put across by simply stating that a discussion took place. If the contents of said discussion are relevant to the topic at hand, please, elaborate for the benefit of those not present at the time. As for "length" vs. "clarity," I laconically refer you to the definition of "concise." Austin 12:17, 14 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Actually, I find this really good. Nathan, look at it this way. If we hadn't worked our as*** off on the long version, Austin would never ever have had the material to make this whole thing concise ;-). However, I agree with Nathan that scalability is of the essence. This said, I believe Austin's rewrite does not change the quintessence of what we wrote. I added paragraphs so that looks clearer, but I still like it. ;-) notafish }<';> 13:13, 14 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]
We had a discussion on IRC as we wrote the original set of rules and procedures, basically the result of that discussion was the rules and procedures that you see here. Having said that and re-reading the new version around 5 times - your version captures everything we had already written but is much shorter. The addition of the section headings has really helped to make it easier to read. The part of most concern to me was actually the mailing list votes, I read too much into it after reading your comments. My bad :). My *opinion* is that mailing list votes are going to be more useful than meeting votes for matters that don't really require debate. Usually those matters need to be dealt with quickly and I think the mailing list is the best way to achieve that :) - Nathan Carter (Talk) 21:01, 14 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I share your belief that mailing list votes will (paradoxically) be of more use when quick decisions need to be made. My language does imply a preference for actually meeting when possible, this having been problematic in certain other areas of the organization, but I was careful to leave the basic procedure intact. Austin 22:56, 14 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]
As I said, I read too much into it. The rules look great and I think they will serve us well - Nathan Carter (Talk) 06:04, 16 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Considering the troll debate that's going on here, should we add a sentence of some kind that says that the Board of the Wikimedia Foundation can "resign" someone if they feel like it? It seems to me very clear that the board approves of new members, but we don't give them the possibility of dissolving the committee if they get mad at us or something :-) notafish }<';> 10:22, 16 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]
It was previously implied, but not explicitly stated where it should be. I've rewritten the section on membership to correct this. Austin 12:11, 16 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Perrrrrrrrfect. notafish }<';> 13:04, 16 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]