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Voting Ended - Motion Failed: "Formalizing a Friendly Amendment process"

Voting Ended - Motion Failed: "Formalizing a Friendly Amendment process"

 
Old Feb 24, 15, 8:15 pm
  #1  
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Voting Ended - Motion Failed: "Formalizing a Friendly Amendment process"

I have done a little work on formalizing a friendly amendment process similar to what TalkBoard has done informally a few times to correct minor flaws discovered during the voting process. I am posting the draft here in case one of you readers discovers a flaw in the proposal to handle flaws. If you don't give a rip, I very much understand!


Summary: If the originator, the seconder and all Yes voters agree to a minor revision of any proposal, the TB President shall revise the proposal before or during the vote. The TB President shall then allow any No or Abstain voters to manually change their vote(s) if they wish to.

Rationale: Allowing No voters to object to the amendment would allow them to block improved wording in order to defeat an otherwise popular proposal, forcing a second vote.


The TalkBoard Guidelines shall be revised as follows:

Add item 4.B.v. Any member may propose a minor friendly amendment to a motion before or during voting. If the originator of a motion, the seconder, and all Yes voters as of the time the friendly amendment was proposed agree, the TalkBoard President shall revise the motion and ensure that public notices of the motion are also updated. The TalkBoard President shall decide whether a proposed amendment is sufficiently minor to be eligible for this treatment.

Modify item 4.C.v.
v. Once a TalkBoard member registers a selection that selection is final, except that a member voting No or Abstain may change that vote within 48 hours after a motion has been modified by friendly amendment. The TalkBoard President shall manually adjust the original vote count as necessary. If the possibility of changed votes exists due to a proposed friendly amendment, the TalkBoard President shall decide whether to defer public announcement of a "shall not pass" outcome until the end of the 48-hour period after the motion is modified.

Last edited by nsx; Feb 24, 15 at 8:40 pm Reason: removed incorrect assumption about process of modifying TB guidelines
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Old Feb 24, 15, 8:36 pm
  #2  
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I understand the thought, but I would prefer that once anyone has voted on a motion, it can no longer be changed.

How you've proposed it, there is no definition of what is "minor." It seems like a backdoor attempt to be able to railroad through various things without garnering much discussion.

A motion creating a new forum, when there is obviously demand, and no one has posted against it could be proposed, and then, 48 hours after the sitewide announcements are posted, someone could propose a "minor" amendment changing to include closing a different forum, and 6 people could vote yes before the sitewide announcements are updated, knowing that people would be upset that a forum was being closed.

Define "minor" to start, and incorporate that language into the guidelines.
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Old Feb 24, 15, 8:45 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by kipper View Post
I understand the thought, but I would prefer that once anyone has voted on a motion, it can no longer be changed.

How you've proposed it, there is no definition of what is "minor." It seems like a backdoor attempt to be able to railroad through various things without garnering much discussion.

A motion creating a new forum, when there is obviously demand, and no one has posted against it could be proposed, and then, 48 hours after the sitewide announcements are posted, someone could propose a "minor" amendment changing to include closing a different forum, and 6 people could vote yes before the sitewide announcements are updated, knowing that people would be upset that a forum was being closed.

Define "minor" to start, and incorporate that language into the guidelines.
Lol, nsx predicted this question would come up when I insisted that we keep the word 'minor' in there!

Here is my reasoning from the private TB forum:

Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
Presumably friendly amendments would not be subject to all of the waiting period, public notice etc. requirements of regular motions?

That being the case, are we concerned that this process would circumvent those requirements and there could be big changes to FT recommended without much (or, really ANY) notice to the community at large?

After all, under this proposal we could have a vote to recommend the creation of a Harry's Happy Airline Forum, then by friendly amendment change it without notice or waiting period to a recommendation to create a Billy's Boring Airline Forum, then pass that motion 3 minutes later.

If this is a concern, then I think it might be important to put 'minor' back in. Or, better, 'minor/technical.'
So minor means, at a minimum, not substantively changing the intent of the proposal but rather fixing some technical issue around it.

To me, anyway.
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Old Feb 24, 15, 8:49 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by kipper View Post
How you've proposed it, there is no definition of what is "minor." It seems like a backdoor attempt to be able to railroad through various things without garnering much discussion.
"Minor" means a change that the TalkBoard President and the proposer and the seconder and any other Yes voters agree is actually minor. In effect, it's a reasonable person standard.

Then a total of 6 Yes votes would still be needed to pass the motion. You don't think at least 4 TB members would object to abuse of the process? I am confident they would.

It's not possible to nail everything down in the formal process, but we've been winging this aspect of the process for years. I'd like to put at least this much of the process in writing.
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Old Feb 24, 15, 9:20 pm
  #5  
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I have reservations about the 48 hour deadline. Someone could be traveling or otherwise unavailable and even unaware of the changes that were happening. Other TB votes have more reasonable deadlines to accommodate TB members who may be temporarily unavailable.
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Old Feb 24, 15, 9:31 pm
  #6  
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I urge Talkboard not to adopt this practice.

If a motion is poorly drafted in the first place, ostensibly requiring revisions on the fly, then not enough thought and discussion had gone into drafting the motion in the first place, and that argues that a longer period of thoughtful discussion should ensue, not an abbreviated one that could lead to unforeseen consequences.

In addition, this seems to introduce a new way of proponents tweaking motions that seem destined not to pass in order to wear down opposition with specially tailored changes.

The rules regarding discussion periods are there for a reason. No motion is so urgent that it is imperative to pass it hastily.

YMMV.

Cheers,

Doc
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Old Feb 24, 15, 9:43 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by Doc Savage View Post
If a motion is poorly drafted in the first place, ostensibly requiring revisions on the fly, then not enough thought and discussion had gone into drafting the motion in the first place, and that argues that a longer period of thoughtful discussion should ensue, not an abbreviated one that could lead to unforeseen consequences.
I agree that TB members should be very, very careful when making motions. However history shows that this will never be the case 100% of the time. All it takes is one impatient person to make a motion and one of the 8 remaining members to second it.

There are also the inevitable typos and oversights even after careful thought.

This proposal addresses a real situation that has occurred many times and will occur many times again no matter how much we wish it would not. We will benefit from reducing argument about how to handle each new situation.

Furthermore, I do not believe that this proposal encourages carelessness. Needing a friendly amendment to one's motion could become more embarrassing, not less, after the process is formalized.
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Old Feb 24, 15, 11:26 pm
  #8  
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Originally Posted by nsx View Post
All it takes is one impatient person to make a motion and one of the 8 remaining members to second it.
So TB guidelines should be amended to accommodate the impatient TB member(s)? Sorry but the impatience factor wasn't a problem until very recently so see no real need to amend the guidelines to enable quick fixes to quick motions.
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Old Feb 24, 15, 11:38 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by tcook052 View Post
So TB guidelines should be amended to accommodate the impatient TB member(s)? Sorry but the impatience factor wasn't a problem until very recently so see no real need to amend the guidelines to enable quick fixes to quick motions.
Actually I first raised this idea in the private forum 2 years ago. The need for minor amendments now and then had been obvious for a long time then. It's a permanent fact of life.

Impatience is not even the most common cause of the need for a minor change to a motion. Oversights are.
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Old Feb 25, 15, 2:43 am
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Originally Posted by Doc Savage View Post
If a motion is poorly drafted in the first place, ostensibly requiring revisions on the fly, then not enough thought and discussion had gone into drafting the motion in the first place, and that argues that a longer period of thoughtful discussion should ensue, not an abbreviated one that could lead to unforeseen consequences.

In addition, this seems to introduce a new way of proponents tweaking motions that seem destined not to pass in order to wear down opposition with specially tailored changes.

The rules regarding discussion periods are there for a reason. No motion is so urgent that it is imperative to pass it hastily.
I share some of your concerns. However, even a well-thought-thru proposal and/or motion cannot be 100% typo-proof. Remember how many typos and necessary corrections FTers spotted with the new TB Guidelines (such as this & this), after countless hours of intensive labor and hundreds of discussion posts? Not until Round Two of the New TB Guidelines was the motion a reality.

I do like the practice of inviting comments on a TB proposal before any motion is made in the private TB Forum, just like what koko did back in 2008 with the new TB Guidelines. At least FTers wouldn't be surprised what a motion turned out in the end. I have to say I had been surprised at least twice (linky to one example) in the last couple of years when reading some motions after TBers getting feedback from general members.

I am not dismissing the need to fix typos in TB motions. Nobody is perfect after all. Having said that, rather than working on an amendment process, I rather see formalizing such TB motion-making process first, so we can be more certain no hasty motion is made.

Just my 2 cents.

Last edited by lin821; Feb 25, 15 at 2:51 am Reason: clarification
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Old Feb 25, 15, 5:16 am
  #11  
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Originally Posted by nsx View Post
"Minor" means a change that the TalkBoard President and the proposer and the seconder and any other Yes voters agree is actually minor. In effect, it's a reasonable person standard.

Then a total of 6 Yes votes would still be needed to pass the motion. You don't think at least 4 TB members would object to abuse of the process? I am confident they would.

It's not possible to nail everything down in the formal process, but we've been winging this aspect of the process for years. I'd like to put at least this much of the process in writing.
So, minor means getting at least one other person to go along with pushing something through? Minor is too general, but again, this is a failure to be specific on TalkBoard's part.

You want a process to change typos? Then replace minor with typos. You want a way to change a motion? Kill the motion and propose a new one.
Originally Posted by tcook052 View Post
So TB guidelines should be amended to accommodate the impatient TB member(s)? Sorry but the impatience factor wasn't a problem until very recently so see no real need to amend the guidelines to enable quick fixes to quick motions.
This.
Originally Posted by nsx View Post
Actually I first raised this idea in the private forum 2 years ago. The need for minor amendments now and then had been obvious for a long time then. It's a permanent fact of life.

Impatience is not even the most common cause of the need for a minor change to a motion. Oversights are.
Then perhaps TalkBoard members should take more time to think things through before proceeding with a motion.
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Old Feb 25, 15, 10:04 am
  #12  
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Originally Posted by Doc Savage View Post
I urge Talkboard not to adopt this practice.

If a motion is poorly drafted in the first place, ostensibly requiring revisions on the fly, then not enough thought and discussion had gone into drafting the motion in the first place, and that argues that a longer period of thoughtful discussion should ensue, not an abbreviated one that could lead to unforeseen consequences.

In addition, this seems to introduce a new way of proponents tweaking motions that seem destined not to pass in order to wear down opposition with specially tailored changes.

The rules regarding discussion periods are there for a reason. No motion is so urgent that it is imperative to pass it hastily.

YMMV.

Cheers,

Doc
I agree completely! If TB puts forth a motion and a second, the onus is on TB to get it right and not to change the playing field after the fact. If TB screws up by putting forth a poorly worded motion, simply vote it down and then put forth a better/properly worded motion as changing the playing field on the fly imo, is not the way to do it
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Old Feb 25, 15, 10:06 am
  #13  
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Originally Posted by lin821 View Post
I do like the practice of inviting comments on a TB proposal before any motion is made in the private TB Forum, just like what koko did back in 2008 with the new TB Guidelines. At least FTers wouldn't be surprised what a motion turned out in the end.

I am not dismissing the need to fix typos in TB motions. Nobody is perfect after all. Having said that, rather than working on an amendment process, I rather see formalizing such TB motion-making process first, so we can be more certain no hasty motion is made.
Agree with the above.

Originally Posted by kipper View Post

You want a process to change typos? Then replace minor with typos. You want a way to change a motion? Kill the motion and propose a new one.
Agree. Although Gawd help us if we need a friendly amendment process just to correct typos for crikey's sake. There needs to be some common sense involved.

Cheers.
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Old Feb 25, 15, 10:08 am
  #14  
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I'm in favor of this idea. I came up with what I thought was a solid motion for the rental car forum change. I'd reflected on it for six weeks, I'd solicited advice from some people I know in the rental car industry and I proposed it. However, I mistakenly didn't realize Sixt had the presence here that it did. Thanks to the friendly motion, we were able to tweak it a little bit to make it better.

This can only help Flyertalk. There's been a movement as of late that TalkBoard should take our time, this certainly speaks to that. It will allow for an extra safeguard to make sure what we vote on is the best that it can possibly be.

We cannot take every circumstance into account. Obviously this won't be foolproof but nothing is. Looking at the totality of the circumstances, I feel this is a good move that can only help.
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Old Feb 25, 15, 10:28 am
  #15  
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I agree that in a perfect world we would never need friendly amendments to improve a proposal during a vote.

I disagree that such a world is achievable, despite some improvement over the years.
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