Talk:Wikimedia Canada/Proposed by-laws/Membership

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Canadian only voters?[edit]

I know of at least one landed immigrant that I've recruited onto the list; I'm not sure why a member can only vote if they are a Canadian citizen. I checked the model laws, and they don't have any such restriction. Unless there is a pragmatic reason I'm missing, then I'd like to see this opened up. Historybuff 15:31, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

Do they have "worker status" or "residence status", or anything like that? (I don't know the proper terms.) We should also consider foreign students studying in the country. -- Zanimum 17:19, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
Personally, I think that residency OR citizenship should be all that's required. But regardless of what we decide, the clause should be clear in whether it is only Canadian citizens, or include things like permanent resident--Padraic 19:15, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
Not a problem. I agree with you. I had planned to deal with this in the definitions section. I didn't use the word citizen, knowing full well that "person" has much broader application, and can even include corporations and trusts. Eclecticology 23:38, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
I don't think we need an interpretation section for the by-laws, this is unnecessarily complicated. Why not just include the proper definitions in the by-laws themselves?? e.g. "1. (a) Membership shall be open to any Canadian person who accepts the principles of free and open access to information. (b) A Canadian person is defined as i. citizen ii. resident.." --Padraic 18:03, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
I put this in the Alternatives section. --Padraic 18:12, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
Maybe I'm just thinking too far ahead, or I've drawn up too many by-laws in the past. A definition can be put anywhere in the by-laws, but where it could be applicable to several different sections it is better placed in a separate section. If it turns out that we don't need it elsewhere, I will be glad to make the change that you suggest. Eclecticology 20:20, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

Zanimum - "Landed immigrant" is permanent status (as per the Government of Canada legal terms). They have all the rights of Canadian Citizens, save voting in elections. I'm happy to broaden the definition more, but since there was no definition of "Canadian person" it sounded most like citizen. I also think we have to think about ex-pats who are living abroad -- they may want to support or be affiliated with the Canadian chapter. Historybuff 14:52, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

  • Could we not simply limit membership to people who currently reside in Canada and have done so for at least 12 months? Alan.ca 08:03, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Draught[edit]

Why this spelling? Is this the Canadian spelling? I've always seen in spelled "draft". I realise draft/draught are homonyms, but I've only seen this spelling with beers. -- 17:19, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

What? You oppose my innocent trolling? It wasn't going to be in the by-laws anyways. :-) The Globe and Mail Style Book does recommend the American spelling for all cases including beer. Still, the English spelling does give a certain dignity to beer. There are also a few obscure uses, where the English spelling could be used, as in a draught (=20 lbs.) of eels. We in North America would also never play drafts but checkers. :-) Eclecticology 00:08, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

"The member has been expelled by a vote of 2/3 of the directors."[edit]

I'm a bit concerned about the proposals to allow the directors to expel members - this seems problematic given that the members elect the board, and maybe even impeach directors. If the board were in trouble, it could simply strip its opponents of membership, not a good thing. I know that we need to prevent the membership being unjustly stacked - so why not just allow membership to be stripped by a supermajority of other members, not the directors? --Padraic 18:06, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

Your point is well taken, and there can be problems either way we go. I would hope that we never have to use this provision. How practical a membership decision is depends on how big we allow our membership to become. Two-thirds of all members wouldn't work if most of our members do not make a regular appearance. Many situations where this provision would apply would likely involve matters of confidentiality that would be best not aired in public. For example, if the treasurer were to be associated with a disappearance of funds it would not be wise to make a public spectacle of this, especially if the evidence is not strong enough to support criminal charges. But we still need to protect our finances. Making such accusations public could itself be actionable libel. Perhaps an expelled member could have a right to appeal to the general membership, but only if he waives his rights to take any legal action for what anyone might say during the public process. Rogue boards can be a big problem. I'm currently dealing with a situation of the sort, (It has nothing to do with Wikipedia.) but it leaves me appreciating the delicacy of such matters. I'm certainly open to look at others' ideas about how to deal with rogue boards. Eclecticology 20:49, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

I think we really have to AGF for the board. Remember, the board members are simply members, and the members nominate/vote on the board. The board members do take on a legal responsibility, and they have to be aware of how that impacts them. Most nonprofits have a hard time filling out their boards, from what I'm aware. With staggered terms and a proper Annual General Meeting, I hope we can address any outstanding issues that there may be. Historybuff 02:19, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, what is "AGF"? --Padraic 17:01, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
AGF = Assume Good Faith. I can't be sure that we will be unable to fill the directors positions, but it is at least a cause for concern. Some people have offhandedly agreed to serve on the board, but I'm not sure that they understand what that means, or that it means accepting legal responsibility for the chapter. Participation in these discussions about the by-laws could be one factor in determining who our initial directors will be.
Staggered terms for directors are acceptable, and that should be a part of the directors discussion. Meetings also are a part of yet another section, and we will need to work out what we want to do about Annual General Meetings. Getting together for an in-person may not always be practical when you take Canadian geography into account. Eclecticology 05:32, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Sorry for my TLA (three lettered acronym) there. I'll try to be less cryptic going forward. I've had three people express interest to me in joining the board. I think that is great, but I think we need something like 6 or 8 directors (at a minimum, legally).

For the AGM (annual general meeting), we probably have to see what the law says. We probably need a certain number of members present physically -- but I do know that proxy voting can occur. We also need to clarify if for meetings of the board, a majority have to be physically present in one location. If not, then that does simplify things (and I hope we can have cross Canada board members). Historybuff 06:58, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

How do we end discussion on a bylaw?[edit]

Do we have a timeframe, a vote, poll for consensus?

To keep the process moving forward, I'd like to limit the time, but I'd obviously like to draft bylaws that people are comfortable with. Historybuff 07:03, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Corporation as a member[edit]

I think we may be making a mistake by allowing a charity to have corporate or trust voting members. I propose we either exclude corporate/trust members or restrict their membership to exclude voting privileges. Alan.ca 08:01, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

I agree that this could be a concern. If people wish to sign up as individuals they will get voting rights however corporations should not. That would give those with a cooperation in effect two votes.--Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 18:36, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

McGill[edit]

McGill recently created a University club for Wikipedia. [1] I recommend that we associate ourselves with University clubs. And hopefully more will start. By the way has anyone has contact with any of the people from McGill?--Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 18:36, 24 February 2010 (UTC)