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Voting Closed - Motion Failed: Abstentions Don't Count Against Passage of Motions

Voting Closed - Motion Failed: Abstentions Don't Count Against Passage of Motions

 
Old Dec 24, 10, 12:24 pm
  #1  
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Voting Closed - Motion Failed: Abstentions Don't Count Against Passage of Motions

(Vote posted 18 Dec; apologies for not posting this sooner)

Moved by jackal and seconded by Markie:

The TalkBoard recommends that the TalkBoard Guidelines be amended as follows:

Section 4, paragraph C, sub-paragraph ii be replaced with the following text:

TalkBoard members may participate in a vote by registering their vote of yes or no while the voting period is open. They may also decline to participate in a vote by marking that they abstain, in which case they shall not be counted as participating members. Such abstention shall not count as non-participation for the purpose of enforcing Section 3(F)(vii)(b) of the TalkBoard guidelines.

Section 4, paragraph C, sub-paragraph vii be replaced with the following text:

A motion shall pass if two-thirds of TalkBoard members participating in that vote, but no fewer than a majority of the TalkBoard members in office at the close of the voting period, vote ‘yes.’


This vote will close 1 Jan 2011.
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Old Dec 24, 10, 12:40 pm
  #2  
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FWIW the thread title should IMHO more accurately read abstentions not to count towards majority but that's a tad pedantic I suppose.

At any rate maybe this will clear things up so those that dislike the abstention option so let's just pass it any move on to other "trivial" things.
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Old Dec 24, 10, 2:11 pm
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Originally Posted by tcook052 View Post
FWIW the thread title should IMHO more accurately read abstentions not to count towards majority but that's a tad pedantic I suppose.

At any rate maybe this will clear things up so those that dislike the abstention option so let's just pass it any move on to other "trivial" things.
Just so I am clear, do you feel this issue is "trivial?"

I support this motion and hope that it passes. TB members should either support or not support issues they are voting on and should someone abstain from a vote, it should not count toward the vote itself.

Thank you to all the Talk Board Members for their service. Have a great holiday all!
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Old Dec 24, 10, 2:53 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by gdeluca View Post
Just so I am clear, do you feel this issue is "trivial?"
Not at all, hence my use of the quotations marks as I was quoting others who called it trivial a trivial issue, to which I disagreed but this motion should end this whole lengthy debate so any solution seems attractive.
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Old Dec 25, 10, 7:55 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by bhatnasx

As noted in the previous lengthy threads on this discussion topic, I personally believe that it should not be an "easy" or "lightly" considered decision to change something about FT - be it a new forum or a recommendation to change some inherent feature of FT.

I think that 66.6% minimum of all those participating in choosing YES, NO, or ABSTAIN need to be vote positively for a motion. Yes, I realize that ABSTAIN is essentially a NO vote in that case - however, if someone felt strongly enough to not vote positively for something, then in my mind, they're voting against it.

Also, FWIW, we don't follow Roberts Rules of Order to the tee - we follow a relaxed version & this is the practice that has been followed for several years & I do not see a need to change it.



Originally Posted by Spiff View Post
I agree with you.

I don't see a problem with the existing setup - one has the option to abstain and not have that abstention count as "not participating".

Agree. Both are current and past Talkboard members.

Not voting has ALWAYS been used by some on Talkboard to hopefully ensure a desired result, as both know.

I was on Talkboard for 2 years and saw that occur many times by many Talkboard members.

Bottom line SIX votes should always be needed to see any motion succeed.

That is how things have worked successfully for about 10 years, and there is no reason to change it IMHO.

If this motion succeeds it will be possible for a motion to pass with only FIVE of the 9 members voting for it, as far as I can see.

Last edited by gleff; Dec 26, 10 at 5:30 am Reason: removed FT member first names from post
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Old Dec 26, 10, 11:57 pm
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For what it's worth, after much thought I voted against this motion. While I do believe the procedure needs to be clarified, I still believe that six votes should be required for a motion of pass. In practice it probably wouldn't have been significant one way or another, since it's very rare for this clarification to be the deciding factor. But still, I think we're better off doing this right. So I voted against this motion though will certainly suggest different wording once the voting is done for this motion, should it not pass.
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Old Dec 27, 10, 1:50 pm
  #7  
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Kudos to those trying to eliminate the 'coward's no' by moving this proposal.

As for the 'need' for six yes or no votes, that's silly. If 8 TB members abstain from a vote then those TB members do not want to particate in the outcome of the vote. Their wish should be honored rather than turning their 'abstain' vote into a 'no' vote just because a certain number of them want to abstain.

IMHO.
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Old Dec 27, 10, 7:45 pm
  #8  
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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
Kudos to those trying to eliminate the 'coward's no' by moving this proposal.
FWIW I dislike this term as some TBers may for various reasons be unable to reach a decision on a topic at hand and may opt to abstain but that to me hardly makes them cowards.
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Old Dec 27, 10, 7:58 pm
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Originally Posted by tcook052 View Post
FWIW I dislike this term as some TBers may for various reasons be unable to reach a decision on a topic at hand and may opt to abstain but that to me hardly makes them cowards.
+1
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Old Dec 27, 10, 11:36 pm
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Originally Posted by gdeluca View Post
Just so I am clear, do you feel this issue is "trivial?"
I certainly do. It is made trivial by the addition of the following:

A motion shall pass if two-thirds of TalkBoard members participating in that vote, but no fewer than a majority of the TalkBoard members in office at the close of the voting period, vote ‘yes.’
As TB almost always has 9 members, that paragraph means that 5 must vote "yes".

Let's see what this changes:

6, 7, 8, or 9 vote "Yes" and the motion passes even without this change.

1, 2, 3, or 4 vote "Yes" and the motion fails with or without this change.

5 vote yes, 3 vote no, and 1 abstains: The vote gets 62.5% and fails, with or without this change.

The only change will be where 5 vote "yes" and 2 or less vote "no" with the remainder abstaining. I can not remember that ever happening.
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Old Dec 28, 10, 9:21 am
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Originally Posted by tcook052 View Post
FWIW I dislike this term as some TBers may for various reasons be unable to reach a decision on a topic at hand and may opt to abstain but that to me hardly makes them cowards.
Well unfortunately for those who currently vote 'abstain' with pure intentions, their vote can too easily be interpreted at a coward's no.

As this proposal would lift that stain from their intentions, all the more reason for its quick passage. ^

That said, I don't think 'I can't make up my mind' is a good reason to abstain. TB members are elected to make up their minds. If they cannot, they should step down.

A good reason to abstain, to my mind, is a conflict of interest or the TB member does not feel adequately informed about the issue at hand based on the debate and information provided.

In any case, whatever the motivation for the abstention, abstentions should not count in tallying the vote negatively or positively; when members abstain, they are in effect only attending the meeting to aid in constituting a quorum, never in deciding the outcome.
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Old Dec 28, 10, 10:25 am
  #12  
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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
That said, I don't think 'I can't make up my mind' is a good reason to abstain. TB members are elected to make up their minds. If they cannot, they should step down.
A good reason to abstain, to my mind, is a conflict of interest or the TB member does not feel adequately informed about the issue at hand based on the debate and information provided.
I 100% agree with you, but I even think that abstaining because of a lack of information is not excusable either. TB members are elected to best represent the values of the membership, which means if there is debate about an issue they are unfamiliar with, asking questions or doing the research necessary to become better informed should be the way to go, not abstaining from the vote.
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Old Dec 28, 10, 11:09 am
  #13  
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Of course we elect them to make decisions but I won't call them cowards for refusing to make one should they be unable to devote the requisite time to research a topic and decide upon the motion at hand to their satisfaction because of other commitments.

FWIW I'd rather have an abstention cast than an uninformed 'yes' or 'no' on a topic but that's just MHO.
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Old Dec 28, 10, 12:51 pm
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Originally Posted by tcook052 View Post
Of course we elect them to make decisions but I won't call them cowards for refusing to make one should they be unable to devote the requisite time to research a topic and decide upon the motion at hand to their satisfaction because of other commitments.

FWIW I'd rather have an abstention cast than an uninformed 'yes' or 'no' on a topic but that's just MHO.
If someone can't find the time in the 2-plus weeks a vote is open and being discussed, maybe they shouldn't have made the commitment to TB.
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Old Dec 28, 10, 7:38 pm
  #15  
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Originally Posted by ozstamps
That is how things have worked successfully for about 10 years, and there is no reason to change it IMHO.
That's just not correct. During some of ozstamp's time on TB, this was not the process, as was discussed in the previous discussion thread. There's a chance that he even voted in the vote to change the practice from how it is now, to how it was before the new TB rules were voted in two years ago.

If we're going to quote ancient history, we should make sure we get it correct!

I'd ask TB members to think about how things were when this rule was generally in place, and see if any problems developed as a result of this.

If for no reason other than this rule brings in some clarification to a section otherwise open to interpretation, I support it.
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