June 4, 2003

What has ICANN's Appointments, oops, Nominating Committee been up to?

ICANN's so-call "Nominating committee" (despite its name, it is really an "appointing" committee) is supposed to come out with its list of appointees in early June.

It is now early June.

One might wonder what process are being used by the members of the committee? Are they voting at all? Are there separate votes for each person under consideration using majority-takes-all counting? Or are there lists of names and voting using cumulative or instant runoff (single transferable vote) methods of counting?

These are not trivial differences. Single name voting with majority counting rules are a classic form of ensuring that the majority will win on every decision. On the other hand, votes for multiple seats using cumulative and instant runoff methods are widely used methods to ensure that the minority interests have at least a chance of getting a few of their people chosen.

One wonders why even the method of voting is being kept secret.

The nominating commitee has adopted rules that make it seem like a hiring committee. I find this kind of secrecy to be wrongheaded. The choice of ICANN board members should be more like the selection of judges - the names of candidates should be made public, there should be ways for the public to comment on the quality of those candidates, there should be an open vote, with the vote of each committee member recorded in the minutes.

ICANN was born in secrecy, it operates in secrecy, and it now appoints its board using secret procedures.

Posted by karl at June 4, 2003 11:00 PM