The meeting on September 17th mandated the website collective to agree standing orders to be used for the October 7th meeting. Given the large amount of issues to be discussed - and decided - it's important that participants be clear as to how the meeting will be run. Twenty minutes of the previous meeting were taken up with discussion on what would be discussed at the meeting and how it would be run after the chair had pointed out the agenda had too many items for a two-hour meeting. Hence the detailed nature of these standing orders.
There will be two
sections to the meeting on Saturday Oct 7. The first part will deal only with the running of the Indymedia Ireland web site by the Indymedia Ireland Internet Collective. This set of standing orders will apply to the section of the meeting dealing with the Indymedia Ireland website. The second part of the meeting will constitute itself as the Dublin Indymedia Collective and will discuss proposals relating to real world activity and this new Indymedia collecive, being distinct from indymedia.ie, is entirely free to adopt whatever methods it chooses to make decisions and run its meeting.
1. All sessions will start exactly on time.
2. As per the original proposal setting up this meeting, proposals must be submitted in writing to the IMC-Ireland list a week in advance. The deadline for submissions is midnight Saturday 30th September. Any amendments to proposals must be submitted in writing to the IMC-Ireland list by Midnight of Wednesday 4th October. No further amendments or proposals will be taken on the day of the meeting.
3. Each motion, proposal, or amendment must be introduced by the person who submitted them or a nominated person instead. If that person or their proxy is not present then the motion will not be dealt with.
4. It will be presumed that all attendees have read the motions in advance of each session - No time for reading them at the conference will be given.
5. (i) An amendment can be accepted by the proposer of the original motion. It is the amended motion which is then decided upon.
(ii) If the amendment is not accepted by the proposer, then the vote on that particular motion is split into two parts. The first part is on whether to accept the amendment. If it is accepted by the majority then we proceed to vote on the amended
motion. If the amendment is
rejected then we proceed to vote on the motion as originally
6. Where there are several separate motions relating to a particular topic (e.g. there are 5 versions of list moderation guidelines) we will first vote on which of these to take as the basis of discussion. The remaining motions will not be taken as a whole but sections of them can be introduced as amendments.
7. Where logical, motions will be discussed as a block before being voted on individually. If necessary, individual sections of motions can be voted upon separately. For example, a motion on list moderation may contain a dozen distinct parts. It will be possible to vote on each of these sections so that 9 may be passed, and three defeated.
8. On the day, speakers will be strictly restricted to 3 minute contributions. The proposer of each motion (or block of motions) can choose to use their 3 minutes either to introduce the motion / block of motions or to reply to points made at the end of the time allocated. Otherwise speakers will be allocated so as to prioritise those who have not spoken in that session and to ensure a balance of speakers for and against.
9. The chair can limit the number of speakers on any block of motions to 3 for and 3 against (including the proposer) if this is deemed necessary due to time constraints.
Decision Making Procedure
After the contributions from speakers, the motion - including any amendments accepted by the proposer- will be decided upon. Proposals will be either:
The facilitator first puts forward an "extension vote" which dictates whether a decision on the motion should be taken by the meeting or whether it requires further discussion and debate and should be delayed until a subsequent meeting.
Each voter indicates whether they want to:
a) to take the decision now
a) delay the decision until a subsequent meeting [*]
If either 25% of a meeting or a minimum of three editors present vote to extend, the decision is delayed until a subsequent meeting.
[*] Due to the long-standing difficulties in organising real world meetings and pressing need to address our organisational problems, votes to delay decisions should be used with care. Extensions should only be voted for in situations where the disagreement is over an important issue rather than a detail. Also, in line with Indymedia's DIY ethos, all those who vote for succesful extensions are obliged to collectively organise the follow up meeting, within 3 weeks of October 7th.
A block is similar to a vote but it is much stronger than a vote. A block means that the person doing the blocking feels so strongly on that issue that they are prepared to split from the collective depending on the decision being discussed. e.g. If a person really
thinks that a proposal should be passed and it's not passed, then they have to reconsider their involvement in the current collective and the corollary block is that someone states that they will split from the current collective if the proposal is passed. Accordingly, a decision to block should be made in a responsible manner as blocking has serious consequences for both the individual and the collective.
If the decision is not extended, the facilitator will ask current members of the Internet collective (only participants who are already members can split from the collective) if there are any blocks to the proposal. Members can then indicate a block for or against the proposal.
Having noted any existential crises or potential splits / forks in the collective, each voter casts a vote for the motion. They can vote (a) Yes or (b) No.
A motion dealing with the Internet Collective is considered passed if it receives a majority of approvals from a majority of voters AND a majority of editors. (A majority of editors is necessary as the decisions pertaining to the Internet Collective will have to be implemented by the members of the Internet Collective).
If the decision over-rides a block, a serious divergence between the collective and the blockers will have occurred. If those who block are adamant that they do not wish to see the majority proposal implemented, then they are free to leave the collective, complete with a full set of archives and oscailt software with which they can set up a second indymedia site.