[EM] Trees by Proxy

Dave Ketchum davek at clarityconnect.com
Mon Mar 26 17:52:03 PDT 2007

On Mon, 26 Mar 2007 10:08:03 -0400 Abd ul-Rahman Lomax wrote:

> At 01:51 AM 3/26/2007, Dave Ketchum wrote:
> Responding to Abd with a clarification on time:
>>If a change in proxies means a legislator loses floor rights 
>>tomorrow, tomorrow is when those changes affect his voting power.
> What Ketchum has done is to connect floor rights with voting power, 
> rigidly. But voting power, as I've mentioned, properly comes from the 
> voters, not from the assembly, and participation rights in a meeting 
> -- generally, of any kind -- come from the meeting, i.e., the 
> assembly.

That the voters can elect a candidate to be a legislator is THEIR power of 

That the voters can later elect a replacement is THEIR power of choice.

I see environment not mattering normally:
      The above is true when election is via ballot box
      I see it properly remaining true when election is via proxy - 
and keep the definitions consistent.

>>>>Abd claims familiarity with Robert's Rules, as do I.  I notice 
>>>>that a body must obey laws, and any rules established for it by 
>>>>superior bodies.  It also may establish rules that cannot be too 
>>>>easily changed without serious thought.
>>To Abd:  Sure, the US Senate has less laws to obey than village 
>>boards - SO WHAT?

>>A quick glance at Robert's Rules:
>>Bylaws HAD BETTER see to requiring a quorum.

>>They BETTER say something like the paragraph I quote:  "These bylaws 
>>may be amended at any regular meeting of the Society by a two-thirds 
>>vote, provided that the amendment has been submitted in writing at 
>>the previous regular meeting."
> Ketchum is overlooking something quite important. The above is the 
> standard process, in organizations where it is difficult to assembly 
> a majority of members and it might even, sometimes, be difficult to 
> assemble quorum.

The quorum is properly set to something achievable.
      A legislator, perhaps getting paid as such, is normally expected to 
attend at least most meetings, and to miss some ONLY for proper cause.
      A legislature is generally expected NOT to act with too few members 
present to be believable as the full legislature.

> Here is the full rule, from the 1915 edition:

Robert's Rules gets updated as adjustments are made to attend to seen 
problems.  I quote above from the 2000 edition, which I believe is current.

Note that it recommends best actions, without demanding compliance.

>>Constitutions, by-laws, and rules of order, that have been adopted 
>>and contain no rule for their amendment, may be amended at any 
>>regular business meeting by a vote of the majority of the entire 
>>membership; or, if the amendment was submitted in writing at the 
>>previous regular business meeting, then they may be amended by a 
>>two-thirds vote of those voting, a quorum being present.

>>That combination does not prevent stupidity such as setting 
>>quorum=1, but it does prevent a wannabe czar from doing such without 
> The rules properly prevent it. 

HUH!!!  A surprise!  Much of our contention is Abd objecting to my 
assertion that there can be rules and laws in the environment to be obeyed.

Here, ignoring what has passed, he comes up with a rule that must be 
obeyed, without explaining where it gets such muscle.

The stupidity described is bad enough than any legislature should 
understand such, and there may be laws preventing anything quite so stupid.

>>Assuming there is someone holding a single proxy who is ready to 
>>contribute usefully, their obvious next step is to get to hold 
>>enough proxies to demonstrate backing.
> Why? That's a lot of work, and it has nothing to do with whether or 
> not the voter is competent.

PROVIDED he is truly competent, and ready to contribute usefully in the 
legislature, getting some proxies to have the right to vote usefully there 
should be no problem.

Need to remember that many actions of a legislature involve multiple votes 
as a rough idea gets tailored to something a majority is willing to agree to.

>>Abd talks of "majority consent" as if not noticing that a holder of 
>>51% of the proxies would be, by that, a majority.

He talks now of direct voting, but seems not to consider the delays 
that would be required before doing a vote, or else of the delays that 
would be required after a vote for any direct voters to learn what the 
vote was about, respond, and then have their response counted.

>>>>Proxies held give the elder powers discussed above in village government:
>>>>    Holding enough, they can be active.
>>>>    Holding too few, two or more can combine strengths to make 
>>>>one of their number active in village government.  While this 
>>>>could be called a proxy, I see no reason to apply the same 
>>>>restrictions as are discussed above.
>>Abd objects, but I see no useful response.

I did the above example for village government - the same would apply to 
towns, etc.

> I objected that the significance of what was written was unclear. 
> Ketchum may take this protest as not useful, though "not useful" to *whom*?

I did not see a useful response to his comments in the previous post.

> If he wants his writing to be clear, I'd presume that *he* would find 
> it useful that a reader who has spent twenty years considering 
> precisely this topic finds what he has written unclear. But it is up to him....

I would be DELIGHTED if Abd would consider "precisely this topic", rather 
than mixing in his thoughts about such as Free Association.

> What he described in what was quoted above is simply standard 
> delegable proxy. He sees "no reason" to apply the "same restrictions" 
> at the village level, but he has never given us reasons to apply 
> those restrictions above that level. He just stated it as a rule, and 
> what he has now written implies that there are reasons for the rule, 
> but he has not shared them with us.

The distinction is between:
      Giving a proxy as part of electing a legislature, describing which 
occupies much of my time, and
      Those holding some proxies toward being full members of a 
legislature, yet too weak to be full members, combining forces to let some 
of their number act as full members.  These do not need the same rules as 
the above.

Remember that those collecting proxies may collect VERY FEW, especially if 
they back a minority position.  This is the beginning of thoughts toward 
giving such some muscle.  Among the differences:
      Normal proxies given by voters allow little interaction between 
giver and holder.
      Some partnerships among proxy holders, as discussed here, may result 
in close communication.

I AM NOT proposing delegable proxy!  That some details of what I propose 
may be similar IS NOT intended to mean that there is no distinction!

  davek at clarityconnect.com    people.clarityconnect.com/webpages3/davek
  Dave Ketchum   108 Halstead Ave, Owego, NY  13827-1708   607-687-5026
            Do to no one what you would not want done to you.
                  If you want peace, work for justice.

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