Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Trust in Democracy

This message is based on something I posted to The List That Must Not Be Named tonight. (It's not a leak or a copyright violation to quote yourself.) It is in response to people grumping about the latest iteration of the YA Hugo proposal, including some people I have heard suggesting trying rules to prevent people from even introducing items that have proven to be unpopular.

You know, I'm deeply opposed to the YA Hugo proposal this year on techincal grounds — in case you haven't noticed, it would disqualify the author, not the work, from being simultaneously nominated in multiple categories — and I'm going to join the crowd Objecting to Consideration along with a lot of other people; however, I'm getting tired of the vitriol being poured on people who are continuing to try and exercise their rights as members. They may be misguided and possibly a bit politically tone-deaf, but that describes quite a few of you on [The List That Must Not Be Named], including some of the people sponsoring other motions that are on the agenda.

Every member of WSFS has the right to introduce business, and two-thirds of the members attending the Business Meeting have the right to say, "No sale." It's not like it uses much of your time. We once killed four motions in five minutes, with someone tossing as many procedural blocks as he could (the late Chris Carrier) in the way. I don't call it a 12-ton block dropped on unpopular proposals for nothing.

Any of you out there with variations of "Why can't we shut these people up for good" consider how you would feel if there were people trying to shut you up just because you are noisy, clueless, unpopular, and not very good at doing the practical politics of getting workable proposals and supporters to show up. Frankly, such a gag order would leave us with hardly enough members present to have a dinner party, let alone a meeting that bears any resemblance to a decent deliberative assembly.

In short: try trusting in democracy.

By the way, I'm of the opinion that if the most-unpopular motions are too far down the agenda as published to suit you (the current agenda online isn't final, and there's still one more day left to submit business; end of the day tomorrow Pacific time is the deadline), people are entitled to move to Suspend the Rules and proceed to item [X]. If you have 2/3 vote to Object to Consideration, surely you have a 2/3 vote to Suspend the Rules.
Tags: business meeting, worldcon, wsfs
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