September 9th, 2014

Business Meeting

Unintended Consequences

One of the seven* WSFS constitutional amendments ratified at the 2014 Worldcon was called "In the Zone," and it struck out the technical definitions of the three North American Zones that had originally been in place for the purposes of Worldcon Site Selection. (In the past, Worldcons in North America could only be from one of the three zones in any given year; sites outside of North America were always eligible.) The zone definitions were retained when the Site Selection rotation system was scrapped because they also affected the membership of the WSFS Mark Protection Committee.

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I spoke against the ratification of this amendment, on the grounds that in practice the USA still dominates WSFS by sheer population of English-speaking and Worldcon-attending fans. IMO, people who haven't traveled by ground in the USA and Canada have no idea just how freakin' big those two countries are. I still think it worthwhile to keep the MPC's membership from being too concentrated in one area. However, my protests fell on deaf ears and the members voted overwhelmingly to repeal the zone residency requirements and to delete the zone descriptions entirely from the constitution.

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I rather expect that most of the people who backed the deletion of the zone definitions from the WSFS Constitution didn't actually intend to trigger a NASFIC if Hawaii ever wins a Worldcon or to open the door for Iceland to host a NASFiC, but that's the sort of parliamentary unraveling you can get when you pull on a constitutional loose thread like that.

*Item 2 on the list turned out to be moot because Item 7 struck out the sentence the former amended.