MAJOR ISSUE: "Concentration of power"

Hallam-Baker, Phillip pbaker at
Thu Jun 26 18:59:26 CEST 2003

Brian writes:

1. The IAB as an advisory board for WG formation (and in practice for many
major IESG decisions)
2. The appeals process
3. The recall process (never tested, for some reason)
4. Payback time, i.e. the NomCom process.
Now, it's possible we need *more* checks and balances, of course.

The problem with all the above is that they are exclusively top down
approaches. NOMCON is just as top down as the rest of the structure.
Consider the requirements for membership of nomcon, you have to attend two
IETFs and commit to attend a further two - including one likely to be held
abroad at a potentially expensive to attend location and on top commit a
substantial amount of time. If you look at the members of past nomcons you
will see they are mainly existing members of the establishment or pretty
obvious aspirants to join the establishment.

The problem here is that the IAB is appointed in the same way as the IESG
and is just as unaccountable. The great fear of the process designers
appears to have been mob rule, or worse any form of decision making that
would make appointees accountable to a constituency of any sort.

The Nomcon is not a check for the simple reason nobody knows what the
composition will be. The chances that a randomly selected group of people
will do something radical is actually quite slim. It only happened a couple
of years ago because someone got selected for nomcon who was determined to
shake things up. 

The appeals process is for some reason regarded as the nuclear option. I
suspect because one time it was used the IESG took it on itself to censure a
member for having the temerity to make an appeal.


More information about the Problem-statement mailing list