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Old Nov 5, 08, 9:25 am   #1
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Question 14: Supporting No Hope Motions

submitted by Jenbel
Do you think it's a good or bad thing to move or second a motion which you know has no hope of passing?
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Old Nov 5, 08, 9:38 am   #2
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I would generally not do such a thing unless I wanted to put such a motion to bed, so to speak. We've voted to table a motion in the past and that's one way of saying, "we've discussed it, we're not interested, let's move on."

Seconding a motion that I am going to vote no on is another way of saying "we acknowledge that some people support such a motion but it is not in the best interest of FlyerTalk."

Either way, it would and has been a pretty rare event for me to motion or second a piece of legislation I will be voting no on.
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Old Nov 5, 08, 9:54 am   #3
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It all depends on whether or not I believe in the concept. If its something that I believe in & something that I feel is in the best interest of FlyerTalk & its members, I would make a motion to support it - or second it.

That said, I would normally gauge the folks in the public & private forum first - before going forward. I would more than likely not move or second a motion I would vote No on - unless my mind is significantly changed within the 2 week debate period - which could happen as I'm a relatively open-minded guy.
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Old Nov 5, 08, 10:01 am   #4
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It. Depends.

As a FT member and voter and person who follows the TalkBoard, I would like to see things voted on when there is a groundswell of support in the public forum and the motion isn't complicated (example of complicated: TB Guidelines).

In those cases, even when it's been discussed and it's clear it won't pass based on talks in the private forum, I think it's useful to put the motion up and second it for a vote.

In more complicated cases, I think it's more useful to build consensus, revise a motion if necessary, and put up a motion that 2/3 of the TB can agree with.

I would not hesitate to make a motion and vote no after careful consideration. I do not believe a motion is a sign I am *for* something, just a sign that I believe it deserves to have its day. I would prefer someone who does support it move or second, but if they don't, I would.
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Old Nov 5, 08, 10:24 am   #5
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This is not an easy question to answer but I will attempt to do the best I can.

Unless I feel very strongly about an issue, I'm would not introduce or second a motion that is not likely to pass. However, there are some issues that I feel strongly enough about that I would introduce or second the motion on. There are some issues that should go on record.

Also, I don't think that I would introduce or second a motion on that I do not intend to support. I would not as a practice vote on a motion until near the close of the voting unless I know that I would not be available to vote close to the end since there could be information introduced in the debate (both public and private) that could change my mind.
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Old Nov 5, 08, 10:32 am   #6
 
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One should always feel free to propose or second or vote any motion according to one's conscience.

The views of a minority should never be stifled simply because the views of the majority are more likely to prevail.
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Old Nov 5, 08, 10:37 am   #7
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Like others, I make a distinction.

I would generally not move or second a motion that I intend to vote no on. I say "generally" because ...well, anything can happen.

However I can imagine a situation where I move or second a motion I feel strongly needs to be aired, discussed, or otherwise brought to light, whether from personal preference or members input. I think that's an important role TB members play in bringing the members wishes to the forefront.

That said, if I was absolutely sure a measure was not going to pass, and I had no strong feelings about it, and no members had been active in expressing a desire to see it live, I would let it go.

As an aside, which I will also likely cover in the "building consensus" question - I'm not big on secret alliances or politicking more than making my stands known and listening to others thoughts on the matter. One thing I can promise is that TB and other members will always know where I stand on issues that come before FT and the TB, and that I'm not likely to engage in "Survivor"-type alliances to get things done. I want to talk and listen and have decisions be as out in the open as possible.
(Which is more a general comment about my process than anything to do with the current TB)
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Old Nov 5, 08, 10:57 am   #8
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There are more implications to something like this than just the vote at that particular moment.

For example, if there's some kind of precedent on a topic, I would like to know what the history was on the issue; how it was voted on previously and discuss reasoning with the TalkBoard members as to why they voted the way they did.

I would hope that future TalkBoard members would do the same. Ergo, voting on such issues would be important.
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Old Nov 5, 08, 11:07 am   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Petersen View Post
submitted by Jenbel
Do you think it's a good or bad thing to move or second a motion which you know has no hope of passing?
What a strange and very loaded question Jenbel, have I missed something? Hmmmm.

Why would I think it has no hope of passing? That would indicate the decision has been taken prior to any voting, so that would not be a good thing at all.

I dont think its a good or bad thing, I would do the right thing...
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Old Nov 5, 08, 11:15 am   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Petersen View Post
submitted by Jenbel
Do you think it's a good or bad thing to move or second a motion which you know has no hope of passing?
It's a bad thing, destructive and divisive.

I cannot image a circumstance in which a futile proposal would improve the atmosphere on the TalkBoard or make it more likely for the proposal to pass in the future. The opposite will happen: bad feelings and entrenchment of the opposition.

IMHO, there is only one reason for a "no hope" proposal: to play to the voters. We see this in politics all the time. One side makes a doomed extremist proposal and tells the voters: "If you elect more of us next time so that the other side can't stop us, this is what we'll give you."

I categorically reject this sort of political game-playing. I don't believe that it has any place anywhere on FT. Furthermore if I were Randy and the TalkBoard became such a place, I would eliminate it.

Please help take the politics out of the TalkBoard by not voting for candidates who will behave like politicians. Instead, look at Question 13 and vote for consensus builders.
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Old Nov 5, 08, 12:42 pm   #11
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It's very hard to discuss this question in the abstract. The purpose of TalkBoard is to provide guidance and recommendations to Randy. In that respect, any information for Randy is good information and a "symbolic" vote provides him input for consideration. It depends, however, entirely on the subject matter of the motion in question. For some, a symbolic vote might be appropriate. For others, it's simply a waste of TalkBoard time and resources.
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Old Nov 5, 08, 12:47 pm   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PTravel View Post
It depends, however, entirely on the subject matter of the motion in question. For some, a symbolic vote might be appropriate. For others, it's simply a waste of TalkBoard time and resources.
OK, I'll bite. Since most of the candidates believe it can be a good idea to put forth a motion that has no hope of passing, can someone please post some examples?
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Old Nov 5, 08, 12:48 pm   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nsx View Post
It's a bad thing, destructive and divisive.

I cannot image a circumstance in which a futile proposal would improve the atmosphere on the TalkBoard or make it more likely for the proposal to pass in the future. The opposite will happen: bad feelings and entrenchment of the opposition.

IMHO, there is only one reason for a "no hope" proposal: to play to the voters. We see this in politics all the time. One side makes a doomed extremist proposal and tells the voters: "If you elect more of us next time so that the other side can't stop us, this is what we'll give you."

I categorically reject this sort of political game-playing. I don't believe that it has any place anywhere on FT. Furthermore if I were Randy and the TalkBoard became such a place, I would eliminate it.

Please help take the politics out of the TalkBoard by not voting for candidates who will behave like politicians. Instead, look at Question 13 and vote for consensus builders.
In the absence of a public read-only version of the private board, the only way to communicate that a motion has been considered is by a vote. No matter how many times it is said, it is NOT political game-playing to expect an elected representative to commit, via a vote how he or she feels about something brought forth by a member. And some disagreement on the TalkBoard is healthy -- how else is a true consensus driven?

I would not shy away from a vote. I pledge that I will not abstain from a single vote should I be elected (provided I am not incapacitated) and would not try to keep a topic from being brought to a vote once all possible attempts at forming a consensus are made.
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Old Nov 5, 08, 1:32 pm   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichMSN View Post
In the absence of a public read-only version of the private board, the only way to communicate that a motion has been considered is by a vote.
RichMSN, thanks for your post. I hope there is a way around this.

For example, couldn't a TB member just post a proposal for discussion in the public forum, then discuss it in the private forum, then post in the public forum that support appears insufficient to proceed?

I understand a rule against sharing the contents of private forum discussions, but isn't it OK to share the mere fact that the discussions of a particular issue have occurred? If not, I'll start a list of things to fix and put this on it...

Preceding the formal proposal with a discussion of a draft proposal in the public forum should be the norm. That process will show everyone whether the proposal has overwhelming support or whether there is substantial opposition. In the latter case, I can understand that proponents would want to publicly identify opponents on the TB, so that voters would know who to vote against next time. But you have to admit, this makes holding a vote a very political act.

To the extent that this limitation is real and is not repaired, and to the extent that posting a draft for public comment does not provide sufficient information, I accept your point that making a "no hope" motion can serve as a communication tool. But it's communicating political information. I doubt that the value of this communication would outweigh the damage to the TB's collegiality.

Why am I so hung up about politicization of the TalkBoard? Because politicians work to defeat their opponents. Committee members work as a team. The TalkBoard needs to be more of a committee and less political.

To the voters, I say: If you believe that the TalkBoard should be first and foremost about winning on your issue, I would prefer that you not vote at all or at least that you not vote for me. Because I don't want to be on that kind of TalkBoard. I want a TalkBoard made of team players who know how to cooperate to get things done.
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Old Nov 5, 08, 2:50 pm   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nsx View Post
In the latter case, I can understand that proponents would want to publicly identify opponents on the TB, so that voters would know who to vote against next time. But you have to admit, this makes holding a vote a very political act.
Having an election, by its very nature, makes the TalkBoard a "political" body. It's not a dirty word. It is what it is.

One of the really nice things bdjohns1 did recently was put together a spreadsheet showing how all the TB members voted in the last two years. I believe in as much consensus building as possible, but I do believe that one of two things should happen when TB discusses something:

(1) TB builds a consensus. A motion is made, second, passes.
(2) TB is unable to build a consensus. At this point, either TB needs to work harder to actually or someone needs to run the closest thing to a consensus up the flagpole so FT members can evaluate the TB members and the job TB is doing as a whole.

I believe your solution (private debate, public mention that "TB has failed to reach a consensus") shields TB members from having to take a potentially unpopular stand on something. And I think that at the end of two years on TB, our members deserve more when it's time to try to figure out who to vote for.
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