Rationale for Changes
This is just the briefest outline of the rationale
Why change the requirements for membership?
- membership is much lower than the population of stakeholders
- we need to minimize the barriers to participation
Why eliminate ratification by vote?
The percentage of voting members has always been low, even so low as to make us purposely avoid the issue of having a quorum and to define two thirds explicitly as the two thirds of votes cast rather than two thirds of members.
People don't seem to be members so they can vote on standards and be "gate keepers" against standards they don't want. (Instead, people seem to be members simply to support the organization and its mission.) The prevailing attitude concerning the approval of standards appears to be that no one wants to reject the efforts of those who have actually worked to write a standard.
The process of developing a standard should guarantee that stakeholders are participating to greatest degree possible and that a consensus has been achieved. The package submitted by the task group to TAG and EC should summarize the evidence that comments have been sought (and even that critical reviews have been solicited as a peer manuscripts would be treated in peer reviewed journals) and that criticisms have been addressed.
It may appear to be undemocratic, but one of the most anti-authoritarian standards bodies, the IETF, avoids voting on standards.
- 16 May 2006