Seconding the motion
Clearly there is divided opinion on nominated members. There are advantages and disadvantages on both sides of the table.
We are faced with a challenging situation -- the elected members contested an election based on the Draft policy under which we were elected. While levels of engagement in the policy were disappointing low -- this was nonetheless developed as an open policy with considerable time for comment and inputs from the community.
Reopening the policy for consultation before the Council is duly constituted in accordance with the procedures of the policy which elected us creates a precedent which undermines democratic process -- namely, that elected members can change policy without adhering to the requirements for changing the policy. Moreover, opening the policy for consultation creates reasonable grounds for any elected member to challenge the election results. This could potentially mean declaring the elections null and void -- which I don't think is in the best interests of the WikiEducator project.
The best way to move forward in this scenario is to get a clear mandate from the Community by means of a referendum on the issue of nominated members before the first meeting of the full Council and then action the constituted Council to implement the mandate of the Community.
A tough challenge to be sure -- but think that its important for democratic process to honour the basis and foundations on which we were elected.
Wayne, I don't see what you see. Bronwyn's motion is to implement the Draft Policy - but to implement it as a bare minimum and in a way so that people like me can't scream about non elected and even non Users coming onto the Council. By Nominating 4 people, we achieve the minimum members. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that IS a constituted Council right? Or do we still have to select an Executive Committee? If the EC is required, then the concern that Bron's motion attempts to address is less of a concern because the EC would only be made up of Wikieducator Users, mostly Elected Members, and probably Nominated Members who (if we go with Bron's Motion) are close to Elected Members anyway. So we have a compromise.. we achieve a constituted Council, we avoid the issues and concerns I have raised, and we are now able to address the problems in the Draft Policy.
With regards to your concerns about the Executive Committee, a few points:
- The draft policy does not require the establishment of an EC -- it merely provides the authority for Council to establish an EC should it decide this is necessary as well as the minimum requirements to prevent against "stacking" of the EC. So the decision to establish (or not establish) an EC is by normal resolution of the Council, and no amendment to the draft policy is required should council decide against an EC.
- In the event that Council decides that an EC is required -- the draft policy has a number of clauses to prevent the Council from "stacking" the EC, including for example:
- A requirement for the full council to pass a resolution detailing the authorities ceded to the EC. This means the Council decides what the EC is allowed to do and what it is not allowed to do;
- The Council decides on the requirements for being eligible to serve on the EC -- therefore your concerns are addressed because Council can specify by resolution that only Elected Members may serve on the EC. In fact Council could apply additional and more stringent criteria for serving on EC (in the event that an EC is established). The draft policy makes a very clear statement that: "Members [of EC] must have demonstrated real and sustained contribution to WikiEducator to serve on the Executive Committee."
- There is a further protection in the draft policy in the unlikely event that the Council attempts to stack EC with non-elected members by specifying a minimum standard that requires a majority of elected members on the EC.
Yes, you are correct that nominating 4 people will achieve the minimum numbers for constituting the Council. That said, the intent of the draft policy was to constitute a Council of 25 members. The minimum requirement of 4 was designed as a mechanism to avoid a majority of nominated members in the event that the election only achieved 7 elected members (the minimum number of elected members required on Council). Doing a little math -- lets assume that we only achieved 7 elected members and council appointed 4 nominated members -- that would have resulted in a 57% majority for elected members. Now that we have achieved 15 elected members, the maximum number of nominated members is 10 which results in a two-thirds majority of elected members on the full council. There are a number of elected members who are in favour of nominating 10 members -- so we also need to consider their views as part of our democratic process in the constitution of our Council.
A closing thought -- looking at the folk that have been nominated so far, I see that many of the nominees in fact have significantly more edits in WE than a number of our elected members. So I would argue that our nominated members will in fact strengthen Council rather than dilute it.
I am not going to say much, except that The draft policy based on which the present elections were held, due to which we claim to be elected also allows for nominations without specifying that the person should have stood for elections. If we feel we are legally elected let us also legally nominate people as provided for in the draft. The body so formed can re-examine all issues.
Let us close the matter on that. savi 06:10, 24 October 2008 (UTC)