WikiEducator:Community Council/Meetings/First/Affirmative voting

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Given the importance of this meeting, I move that the first meeting of elected members of the Council should adopt an affirmative voting procedure on all motions to accommodate travel schedules of members with the understanding that voting will close 21 days from the effective date of a valid motion. -- --Wayne Mackintosh 02:16, 21 October 2008 (UTC)


I, Randy Fisher, second the motion. --Randy Fisher 03:11, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
I, Dr. Pankaj Khare, also second the motion. --Pankaj 06:46, 21 October 2008 (UTC)


Can you explain what this means? --Leighblackall 23:26, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

Good question. Typically meetings require a quorum to be present for the duration of the meeting. In our case a quorum is a majority. When holding a meeting asynchronously it is more difficult to ascertain the presence of a quorum. For example -- we only achieved a quorum as of this afternoon Vancouver time. So technically this meeting would not have been able to take any decisions until a quorum was present. We also have members, like Minhaaj who has indicated that he would have connectivity problems while travelling overseas. Pankaj has indicated that he is present at the meeting until 24 October 2008. I will be travelling internationally where I will not be present at the meeting for certain times -- 24 to 48 hours depending on the time zones I'll be moving through. Therefore this creates problems for us with regards to presumption of assent where we presume assent unless the member votes against or abstains. You have raised valid concerns on the list that we should be weary of the principle where "silence assumes assent" and I agree. Given the importance of our first meeting, I feel in the interests of the WE family, we should make every reasonable attempt to ensure voting from all the elected members on the motions tabled at this meeting.
Affirmative voting means that we contact all elected members on the voting of motions by verifiable means -- even if this means, for instance, a signed facsimile for members who may not have Internet connectivity for the duration of this meeting. Given the importance of our decisions -- I think that it is prudent to only assume presumption of assent after reasonable means to obtain a vote for, against or abstention have been exhausted. I have recommended a reasonable time frame of 21 calender days -- which is the normal benchmark under common law for a reasonable period. I have suggested that the effective date is the date of a duly formulated motion -- i.e. the text for the motion and two seconds. The effective date would be the date and time of the second person seconding the motion. Naturally the normal procedures for a majority will hold. --Wayne Mackintosh 01:22, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks Wayne. "Assent" means a vote 'for' right? Is it reasonable to assume a for vote if all means of contact and voting have been exhausted and the individual does not cast a vote? Would it be more realistic to count that person's vote as a abstention instead?
I'm all for being proactive in seeking a vote from members, but not if an MIA means a for vote.
Thanks for explaining --Leighblackall 02:08, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
In any voting procedure - we can only count the actual votes cast. Presumption of assent means that if you're silent, you don't necessarily disagree with the motion. For example, If I don't cast a vote for a motion -- my silence cannot physically be counted as a vote "for" the motion. The majority of votes is based on actual votes cast. The assent means that after actual counting of votes -- I cannot argue a vote "for" or "against" the motion to achieve a majority post hoc. The final vote of the folk who actually voted is what counts. In essence -- presumption of assent means that if you don't physically cast a vote you are presumed to have assented to the proposal because you haven't physically objected against the proposal -- but nonetheless the assent is not counted as a physical vote. This is a mechanism to ensure that you do not require 100% voting on all matters. So for example, with the formulation of our Draft Policy -- assent means that if you didn't raise concerns during the process -- we can only reasonably assume that the community agreed with the proposals. However this does not equate to a vote "for" or "against" the policy. Does this make sense? --Wayne Mackintosh 02:28, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry Wayne, thanks for your patience here, but it doesn't yet make sense to me. It still seems that, while an absentee is not counted as a vote, their absentee-ism is still counted as not being an objection, and so is interpreted as being in favour - such as the case of the Draft Policy. Personally, I would prefer that a minimum standard be met, or the motion - or Policy does not go ahead as endorsed. I think it is unlikely that we won't get the minimum standard (as we are proactively chasing up participation in these meetings), but I do see it as likely that 8 people vote, and 5 people do not (or worse). If we take those 5 people as "yes" votes in a sense, then its a problem. Your use of the word "assent" is throwing me here... what is it? yes, no, absent? If simply absent (or no vate cast), then we can still have a majority result, based on the number who did vote. --Leighblackall 02:53, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
No need for apology -- this is a very important discussion for the future of our community and we're equally committed to doing the right thing. This motion proposes that we actively pursue the 15 votes of the elected members on the motions proposed during this meeting. Assent means that if you do not cast your vote -- you agree to the outcome of those who voted. So technically assent is not counted as a "yes", "no" or "abstention" -- in effect it means that you cannot challenge the outcome of the voting after the fact. This is why I'm proposing affirmative voting for this meeting. Sure there is a risk that some folk don't vote within the specified timeframes -- but with this motion we can rest assured that we did everything possible to ensure active voting and have the basis to go back to the community saying we did our best. I'm in total agreement that we need a minimum standard. Before the drafting of the policy -- we did not have a minimum standard. Now that we have a draft policy we have a minimum standard on which to base decisions. That is, a majority vote assuming that the meeting achieves a quorum for the duration of the meeting. If we don't meet these minimum standards -- then no decisions can be taken. I'm perhaps more optimistic -- I think we will achieve the 15 elected members voting on the motions given our collective commitment to the project. --Wayne Mackintosh 03:22, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, I understand now. I would support this motion. --Leighblackall 07:33, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
I am sure this issue has been dissected very well already. Silence does not and will not necesarily mean consent. The question of ASENT will only become relevant in a time of a challenge of vote outcomes < I beleive it shall not come to that>. Thanks Wayne et al for the explanation. I have just highlighted two portions or so of the original motion - the validity of the motion; and the lifespan (TIME) for that motion. The motion will only become valid after the proper secondments. 21 days is also almost cutomary and i beleive is in right order. All things being equal, we will have a maximum of 30 days between the proposal of motions, delliberations, voting, announcement of results (which will already be visible) and the posting of the official minutes of the meeting by the Secretary. This i beleive is very good. --Victor P. K. Mensah 18:32, 22 October 2008 (UTC)



  • I vote in favour of the motion. --Pankaj 09:42, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
  • I vote in favour of the motion. --- --Wayne Mackintosh 17:49, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
  • I vote in favour of the motion -----Randy Fisher 19:50, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Leighblackall 07:33, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
  • --Günther Osswald 09:59, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
  • --minhaaj 10:18, 22 October 2008 (UTC) (only in case Wayne sticks to his words mentioned above 'Assent means that if you do not cast your vote -- you agree to the outcome of those who voted. So technically assent is not counted as a "yes", "no" or "abstention"' )
  • Victor P. K. Mensah 18:34, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Vote in favour savi 18:57, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
  • I vote in favour. ----Ken Udas




A majority of the Council has voted to approve this motion. This motion has been approved. --SteveFoerster 22:26, 6 November 2008 (UTC)