WSFS Preliminary Business Meeting Report
As expected, it was a long (>2 hours), complex Preliminary WSFS Business Meeting (PBM). I'm not hugely surprised at the results, but it's clear that many people who are not really familiar with how procedures work thought things were being ram-rodded through and that they were being disenfranchised. They weren't, and I'll explain why down below. I admit to some frustration as people who want action RIGHT THIS MINUTE and who assume that they have unlimited rights of debate, which they do not. I also categorically reject any idea that Donald Eastlake III, the presiding officer, was engaged in any biased actions. What Don does
do is move pretty darn quickly, and does not stop to explain every nuance of procedure over and over again. Essentially, I tend to run the meeting with what I think is a greater concern for explaining to newcomers or inexperienced (or experienced-but-clueless, of which we have a fair share) attendees than Don does. That's not intended to be a slam on Don; my approach has been criticized as slowing down the meeting and annoying the people who do know how things work and don't need to have it all explained to them.( On With the ShowCollapse )( Ordinary New Constitutional AmendmentsCollapse )
After dealing with new constitutional amendments introduced from the general membership, we turned to committee reports. ( Mark Protection Committee, Nitpicking & Flyspecking Committee, Worldcon Runners Guide CommitteeCollapse )
Then it was time for the Hugo Eligibility/Rest of the World Committee, whose report was very complicated
, consisting of both resolutions having to do with eligibility extensions and also three constitutional amendments on the subject.( Do We Need Another HEROW?Collapse )
The Formalization of Long List Entries (FOLLE) Committee was continued by unanimous consent.
While much of the above was going on, I was being distracted by text messages asking what people could do about the YA Hugo issue. I begged people by both text and Twitter to please show some patience because you can't introduce new business while existing business is pending. At the end of the Committee Reports, I raised a Parliamentary Inquiry to ask if it would be in order either at the Preliminary Meeting or the Main Meeting to request the chair's permission (or to suspend the rules and permit) a motion to create a YA Hugo Study Committee. Don said that yes, it would be permitted. I sat down. People asked (by text) if that had created the committee; I said it had not. At that point, I expected the proponents to submit one, perhaps tomorrow, but events moved beyond me, as I'll explain below. But first came Resolutions that were on the agenda. These could be finally resolved at today's meeting.( Regular ResolutionsCollapse )
With a bit of prodding by Kent Bloom, I got up and asked the Chair's consent (which was given) to submit a motion creating a YA Hugo Study Committee
, to charge the committee to study the issues related to a YA Hugo or other similar award, and to prepare a report to the Loncon 3 Business Meeting. I said that I am not willing to chair such a committee, but that I'm willing to be a member of it at least to serve as a technical consultant.
Somewhat to my surprise, the motion to Create a YA Hugo Committee PASSED
by unanimous consent. People wanting to be on the committee need to talk to Don Eastlake, who will announce his decisions about appointments, including the Committee Chair (who can appoint other people), by the end of the final Business Meeting.( Worldcon Financial ReportsCollapse )
So here's what's left for the Main Business Meeting to discuss and vote upon Saturday:
- 188.8.131.52/2: Worldcon Publications/A Matter of Trust: The amendment to the proposal needs to be resolved first, then whatever survives that process gets voted upon.
- 4.1.2: No Representation Without Taxation
- 4.1.3: Keep Us Together
- 4.1.6: WSFS Accountability Act of 2013: This one probably will have some amendments or even wholesale revisions proposed to it.
- 4.1.8: Expand Best Fan Artist
- 1.4.3/4: Two-Thirds Is Good Enough: I'm not expecting a whole lot of debate on these, but I could get surprised
- 1.4.7: We Don't Need Another HEROW
So the most controversial proposals have all been killed without debate. I'm afraid the feelings of some people have been badly hurt, and I've seen accusations of deliberate malice lodged against the meeting Chairman, which I categorically reject. Maybe Don doesn't stop and explain things the way I'm prone to do, but there is no way on Earth that Don was engaged in any deliberate conspiracy or attempt to silence individuals. He goes a lot faster than I do sometimes, that's all.
The PBM did exactly what it is designed to do: weed out proposals that do not have enough support to even discuss
. I said this in my article about the BM: "fair" doesn't necessarily mean that you get your way. Sometimes, it doesn't even mean you get a chance to make your case. That's how the system works. It's not specific to WSFS; that's how deliberative assemblies organized under American parliamentary law work. Politics is messy that way. Current Mood: tired