Talk:Policy Formation

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  • There are some excellent ideas in this policy. 03:57, 18 March 2011 (EDT)

Members' Policy[edit]

Other amendments to a motion may be accepted and voted upon at the members' meeting, but the amended motion shall not be voted upon at that meeting; it shall instead be deferred to the next following meeting, and the amended motion shall be included with the announcement of that meeting.

  • I find this confusing, can some explain the purpose behind this clause? 06:33, 7 April 2011 (EDT)
  • When a notice of a general meeting is sent out it includes the motions that will be raised and voted on at that meeting. This prevents having those present at a general meeting from passing something that is significantly different from what was in the notice of motion. Since an amendment is a subsidiary motion it has no effect by itself, but passing the main motion could have an effect. Persons who have sent in a proxy vote might not feel the same way about the changed resolution. They need to be notified of the changed resolution. Eclecticology 16:51, 7 April 2011 (EDT)
I find this cumbersome and believe it will delay the board in passing resolutions. The chair of the meeting and the parties present can make a judgement call on their own if a motion is appropriate for the current meeting or not. There has to be some level of trust between the directors and I believe we have to be careful not to over regulate ourselves. With respect to proxy voting, I don't believe our bylaws permit proxy voting and therefore this is not a concern at all. 18:46, 7 April 2011 (EDT)
This is about resolutions at general meetings of members not at directors' meetings. True, there is no proxy voting at members' meetings currently specified in the bylaws, but I don't dismiss it completely for future meetings. There is a reason why both the old and new Act require motions to be in the notice of meeting. Any significant change to a resolution would thwart that. Eclecticology 20:25, 7 April 2011 (EDT)
Oh yes, sorry Ray, you're right on this one, I was confusing this with a board meeting policy. I'm not opposed to this idea, but I would like to get Zana and Jit's take at the meeting on this point. 20:39, 7 April 2011 (EDT)

Directors' Policies[edit]

5. When two directors (the official movers) have indicated their support for a motion in a particular form it shall be deemed to have been formally received, and may only be changed by an amendment as described hereunder.
6. When a motion has been formally received, a voting period lasting 168 hours shall begin at that time.

  • I propose we remove these two sections as it allows decisions to be made entirely on the Wiki outside of a directors meeting. 06:37, 7 April 2011 (EDT)
  • The benefit is that it allows resolutions to be passed by the directors entirely on the Wiki outside of a directors meeting. Transparency is achieved by making the entire process visible. Every director can vote at his leisure within the week specified. If your concern is about the legitimacy of such a vote because it was not "at" a meeting, I would be satisfied with a resolution at a formal meeting that simply ratifies the onwiki resolutions passed since the last meeting. The two sections that you single out are not the ones that do what you think they do. They effectively do nothing more than establish the time when a vote starts and finishes. Eclecticology 17:24, 7 April 2011 (EDT)
I guess the only issue is if directors are away for a period of time. We give two weeks notice for the meetings. Thus maybe we should increase the on wiki time to two weeks. I agree that the increase in transparency is a good idea. I agree that ratification at a voice meeting would be a good idea to include. --Doc James 18:10, 7 April 2011 (EDT)
I can live with a two week on wiki time. Remember too that with many of these will have had an informal discussion period of indefinite length before they become official resolutions. They shouldn't become "official" resolutions until two directors have said that they are. Eclecticology 18:27, 7 April 2011 (EDT)
While I am not opposed to the transparency of posting motions and agendas before the official monthly meeting, I don't see how transparency is enhanced by permitting on wiki voting. The minutes of the meeting record the votes, the agenda presents what will be discussed. I would be extremely uncomfortable with a policy passing on Wiki without a live discussion. A simple ratification at a live meeting suggests the decision is already made. I like the idea of people attending the monthly live meeting with concept of discussing the ideas, not merely looking to ratify them with a yes. I am also not a supporter of forcing all discussions on the record. It is not unusual for board members to work out their differences through discussion in person without feeling the pressure that everything is being recorded. The ultimate outcome of the discussion is recorded, as not to lose what has been decided while enabling a more relaxed discussion to take place to reach conclusion. This is how boards typically function and I would like to stick with the tried and true approach for this board. 18:55, 7 April 2011 (EDT)
I am quite familiar with the tried and true approach of decision by backroom deals. Sure some discussions need to be held privately, particularly when personal privacy is at issue, but the agreement about what kind of discussions will be private needs to be public. What kind of discussions do you want to have off the record? I have nothing to hide. There is nothing that I can say about the issues at a meeting that I can't say on wiki. Eclecticology 20:43, 7 April 2011 (EDT)
Ray, I'm glad you have nothing to hide, but it doesn't change my viewpoint that transcribing discussions is not always productive to reaching
  • No provision is in force to accept amendments to amendments. What is this intended to mean? 21:02, 7 April 2011 (EDT)
  • This effectively prevents sub-amendments. Most people are not well versed in parliamentary procedure at the best of times. It will be complicated enough to deal with simple amendments and procedure. Sub-amendments would at this time would just make the process more confusing. If whatever process we adopt begins to work smoothly I would easily support the reintroduction of sub-amendmets at a later time. Eclecticology 02:16, 8 April 2011 (EDT)


We state "The directors may by a two-thirds vote on a public motion disallow any adopted editorial policy where in their opinion that policy would promote illegality under Canadian law, be unduly oppressive to an individual or group of individuals, or otherwise bring Wiki Canada into disrepute. "

Why do we need a 2/3 majority? We should be cautious. 50% plus one should be sufficient for something like this. We would need to disallow immediately anything that was 1) illegal 2) puts our charity status at risk

Can we add something like 1) all policies must be compliant with Canadian law 2) all policies must be compliant with the Canadian Revenue Agencies requirement of a charity --Doc James 06:51, 7 April 2011 (EDT)

I think he may have proposed a directors 2/3 majority because the board would be rejecting a membership policy. It's an effort to compromise and say, we allow members to control the wiki policy, notwithstanding rejection by the board with a large majority voting against it. It ensures the board strongly disagrees with the policy. 07:03, 7 April 2011 (EDT)
Alan, you have more or less read me correctly on this one. Of course we don't want anything illegal or that puts our status at risk, but whether it is is a matter of interpretation. It is often anything but obvious. I completely understand the thinking that defined the relationship between Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation. A publisher has control over the contents of a site; an ISP does not. Thus the WMF sponsors Wikipedia without claiming editorial control. One of the effects has been that the WMF cannot itself do anything about the sometimes oppressive behaviour by a segment of Wikipedia society; I hope to avoid this. We can still delete illegal material without this. This provision is more about adopted policy than it is about content. We will probably need to expand on it later. Eclecticology 18:15, 7 April 2011 (EDT)
What's interesting is that the WMF approach under law that exempts them from court action is not applicable in Canada. 21:05, 7 April 2011 (EDT)at
That could be a matter of some debate. There are both differences and similarities. What remains certain is that little about it is clear and obvious. I have not looked at enough of the case law to take a fully definitive position myself. I strongly believe tha wiki members should have the maximum autonomy possible. The sufficient message with this section is not to take things too far. Eclecticology 02:35, 8 April 2011 (EDT)

Removal of italicized sections for presentation at April meeting[edit]

I'm looking to remove the italicized sections of the policy that relate to on wiki votes for director policies. I understand there is some support for having on wiki voting, but I intend to present the policy without these provisions as it is more likely to get unanimous support at this time. I think Ray has done an excellent job at writing this policy and I would like to have something in place immediately and deal with the more debatable issues as the need arises and time permits. 01:40, 9 April 2011 (EDT)

  • I have restored the changed sections to what was originally presented (except for one minor change which I accepted), and showed Alan's proposed changes as alternatives. I have assumed for the italicized sections the issue will be simple matter of acceptance as is without amendment or rejection. I see some measure of on-wiki voting as essential, and cannot vote for a policy that totally excludes this tool from our processes. Eclecticology 04:19, 9 April 2011 (EDT)

Striking clause[edit]

Striking clauses is not really an "alternative" as such. It is accomplished by a simple "no" vote on that clause when the policy is considered on a clause-by-clause basis. Eclecticology 01:55, 16 April 2011 (EDT)

Next general meeting ?[edit]

Are we looking at adopting this policy at the general meeting coming up ? Amqui 18:42, 20 April 2012 (EDT)

I wish!!! I put this together a year ago, and nobody has wanted to really move on it. Put it back on the agends, and I will be more than happy to support it. Eclecticology 21:46, 20 April 2012 (EDT)