Wikipedia:Association of Members' Advocates/AMA IRC Meeting log (1-23-05)

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First Membership Meeting of the AMA, January 23, 2005[edit]

This is a record of the meeting held on January 23, 2005 by several Association of Members' Advocates members. The following agenda was suggested and the first point on the agenda was discussed:

  1. That the association should be more proactive.
  2. That we should somehow figure out what the members are doing.
  3. That we might be able to benefit by some written rules of organization (like a constitution) for our own group.
  4. That we needed to communicate better within the group.
  5. That our relationship with the mediation and arbitration committee should be discussed
  6. That there is also the establishment of some permanent guidelines, including terms, for the office of the Coordinator and other possible offices.

A procedural proposal was also made by Wally but it was not voted on. It was tabled (or adjourned) until such time as the discussion of the above agenda reached a point where members had some concrete proposals:

"The following procedures ought to be considered appropriate for this meeting: first, that any proposals adopted by majority vote here will be presented for discussion on Wikipedia for AMA members; second, that any proposals made there stand individually, rather than collectively; third, that after a period of discussion on the boards there should be a quickpoll vote on each; and fourth, that proposals presented to the board might be modified by agreement of those present at this meeting, and additional proposals considered on the boards by concurrence of the same."

Log of meeting (first hour)[edit]


[14:00] <alex756> I have 2:00 PM on my clock now.
[14:01] <alex756> So does anyone want to be chair, or should I just be chair pro tem as coordinator until we decide otherwise?
[14:01] <WallyAMA> Same.
[14:01] <WallyAMA> Sounds good to me.
[14:02] <alex756> If we want to do this formally then everyone should address the chair rather than each other, that makes it easier to keep organized.
[14:02] <Sam_Spade> I don't want to be anything
[14:02] <Sam_Spade> ok
[14:02] <alex756> Is Skeptic in the house?
[14:03] <alex756> Anyone want to be recognized by the Chair?
[14:03] <alex756> (That means you want to say something, guys)
[14:03] <Sam_Spade> ok
[14:03] <Sam_Spade> please see http://www.robertsrules.com/
[14:03] <Sam_Spade> ;)
[14:03] <alex756> Do we have to get so formal?
[14:03] <WallyAMA> Jefferson's work better.
[14:03] <WallyAMA> But I'm American, so I'm partial, I guess.
[14:04] <WallyAMA> :P
[14:04] <WallyAMA> I think it might be appropriate for you to start, actually, Alex/Mr. Chairman.
[14:04] <Sam_Spade> yes, let us come to order
[14:04] <alex756> Order, order. Remember you have to be recognized by the chair before you start chattering to each other.
[14:04] <WallyAMA> If I may, I suggest you give a statement about the organization's growth and progress over the past six months, where you see us going, ideas you'd like.
[14:05] <alex756> OK, as Chairperson (note the gender neutral language) I will make a short opening statement.
[14:05] <alex756> Well, before I get into a Coordinator's statement I just want to frame the meeting.
[14:06] <alex756> As you all know we had a recent poll about an upcoming election. 10-1-19, in favor and I suggested that before we have an election we start discussing the organization.
[14:06] <alex756> That is why I called this meeting. I think from the page discussing this meeting a few ideas developed.
[14:06] <alex756> First, that the assocation should be more proactive.
[14:07] <alex756> That we should somehow figure out what the members are doing.
[14:07] <alex756> That we might be able to benefit by some written rules of organization (like a constitution) for our own group.
[14:07] <alex756> And that we needed to communicate better within the group.
[14:08] <Sam_Spade> I object to written rules of any substance
[14:08] <Sam_Spade> mr. chair
[14:08] <alex756> Is there anything that any of you think I might have left out? I am not suggesting that we limit ourselves to the discussion of this, but just as a beginning agenda
[14:08] <alex756> I don't think this is the time to object.
[14:08] <Sam_Spade> ok
[14:08] <alex756> That will be part of our discussion once we set an tentative agenda.
[14:09] <Sam_Spade> I think our relationshipo with the mediation and arbitration committee should be discussed
[14:09] <WallyAMA> There's also the establishment of some permanent guidelines, including terms, for the office of the Coordinator.
[14:09] <alex756> That is a good point.
[14:09] <Sam_Spade> and as to which extent we feel they are within our oversight
[14:09] <alex756> That is also a good point.
[14:10] <Sam_Spade> also a great deal of discussion of your position as co-ordinator
[14:10] <Sam_Spade> if there need be an election, or even a co-ordinator
[14:10] <Sam_Spade> and other such positions and their neccesity
[14:10] <alex756> I think that was implicit in the idea that we have this meeting (or meetings) before an election.
[14:11] <Sam_Spade> good
[14:11] <alex756> So should we discuss these in any particular order?
[14:11] <WallyAMA> With that said, might we open with your statement, Mr. Coordinator?
[14:12] <Sam_Spade> yes, and then we might discuss them in the order raised, I assume? So long as we agree we have enough people to discuss..
[14:12] * Toby_Bartels has joined #AMA
[14:12] <alex756> I would rather make a general statement after we have had a discussion.
[14:12] <Sam_Spade> ok
[14:12] <Sam_Spade> how many people are needed to discuss, and how many for quorum?
[14:12] <WallyAMA> Are you sure? I rather think that would be a good place to start.
[14:12] <WallyAMA> Rather like the Speech from the Throne, if you will.
[14:12] <Sam_Spade> I will respect your judgement on most matters, mr. chair
[14:13] <Toby_Bartels> Hello. This is my first time ever on IRC, so please forgive me if I commit a faux pas.
[14:13] <WallyAMA> Unless you manage to break the internet, there's little chance of that. :P
[14:14] <Toby_Bartels> Thanks, Wally. ^_^
[14:14] <alex756> Hello Toby, I am acting as chairperson pro tem, so since this is some kind of formal meeting unless we decided otherwise all communications should be directed to the chair. We just set a temporary agenda Toby.
[14:15] <alex756> I think Sam Spade has made a "Point of Procedure". He asked the chair how many people are needed to discuss and how many for a quorum.
[14:15] <WallyAMA> Alex, I want to add that you can moderate the chatroom so that only operators or "voiced" users can speak.
[14:15] <Toby_Bartels> All right, Mr. Chairperson.
[14:15] <alex756> I think that since I sent out the meeting notices by posting on everyone's talk page a week ago that adequate notice has been given to all the members.
[14:16] <alex756> Does anyone think that one weeks notice of this meeting was not adequate notice?
[14:16] <alex756> I think if the Chair asks a question that is like a vote, no?
[14:17] <alex756> I am going to ask everyone present to respond to the question, Was adequate notice of this meeting given to all members?
[14:17] <Sam_Spade> yes
[14:17] <Toby_Bartels> The notice seems reasonable to me. Still, if nobody else had shown up, then you wouldn't have presumed to make decisions for everybody, right? So Sam's question on quorum is still a reasonable one. That said, if we never set a quorum figure beforehand, then I'll agree that we have a quorum now.
[14:18] <WallyAMA> I concur.
[14:18] <alex756> Skeptic?
[14:18] <alex756> Skeptic seems to be lurking.
[14:18] <alex756> OK. Since we don't seem to need to discuss notice to members then the question is, is it fair for the four of us to start making rules that bind the other members?
[14:19] <alex756> I am not asking for an answer to that, but I think we should discuss it, as Toby has already done.
[14:19] <Sam_Spade> nay
[14:19] <Sam_Spade> I feel no binding descision ought be made, mr. chair
[14:20] <alex756> OK. We have two votes against binding decisions, what about you Toby, I am not sure you clearly articulated your position. Are you in favor of setting a rule where five members are a quorum for all decisions?
[14:21] <alex756> I am assuming that Skeptic is not really participating even though logged in.
[14:21] <WallyAMA> And if you ask a question or make a proposition, Mr. Chairperson, it is considered accepted unless an objection is made.
[14:21] <WallyAMA> Then some sort of vote is necessary.
[14:21] <WallyAMA> And I further propose that, in the tradition of democracies being run by those who show up, that those present are an acceptable quorum.
[14:21] <Toby_Bartels> What Wally says is generally true, in Robert's Rules, about the chair's statements on questions of order. (There may be exceptions; I am no expert.)
[14:22] <Sam_Spade> I am open to consideration of wallys view, mr. chair
[14:22] <Sam_Spade> I assume he has voted oppose?
[14:22] <WallyAMA> I vote, conditionally, in favor of binding decisions.
[14:23] <alex756> It seems that Wally and Toby vote in favor of binding decisions, while Sam has voted against.
[14:23] <WallyAMA> If I might make a brief statement in that regard?
[14:23] <alex756> Yes, Wally, you have the floor.
[14:24] <WallyAMA> My proposal for decisions to be made at this meeting is as follows:
[14:24] <Toby_Bartels> It's not clear to me that even (n - 1) members could make a binding decision on the one person that didn't show up (or did show up but disagreed). We're here (IIRC) to discuss strategy, not to force or forbid AMA members to do particular things. As long as we confine ourselves to discussion (which is what we intended, right?), however, then the only decisions we'll make are things like "The...
[14:24] <Toby_Bartels> ...Jan 23 discussion led to a consensus that such-and-such is a good idea.", and that is perfectly appropriate.
[14:24] <alex756> That is a good perspective Toby.
[14:25] <WallyAMA> 1) We come to any conclusions we find appropriate, unanimously if possible, by majority vote if not, and write up a proposal to that end and post it on the AMA site.
[14:25] <alex756> But Wally had the floor and I think you cut him off.
[14:25] <alex756> Are you finished Wally?
[14:25] <WallyAMA> Not yet; if I may?
[14:25] <alex756> Please and please other members do not interupt him until he is finished, thank you.
[14:26] <WallyAMA> 2) We set a date for the consideration of the proposal we develop, and that proposal only.
[14:27] <WallyAMA> 3) On that date, through whatever mechanism (ex. IRC meeting and then vote or quickpoll following board discussion) the AMA's members decide upon the admissability of the proposed changes.
[14:27] <alex756> OK, Sam, do you have anything to add? Wally and Toby have bought made useful contributions to the discussion.
[14:27] <alex756> Sorry Wally are you finished?
[14:27] <WallyAMA> I actually have a final recommendation.
[14:27] <alex756> Go ahead.
[14:27] <WallyAMA> Whenever anyone who has the floor is finished, we should just append a star to our statement.
[14:27] <WallyAMA> *
[14:28] <WallyAMA> Like so.
[14:28] <WallyAMA> And I'm finished. :)
[14:28] <alex756> Good idea.
[14:28] <alex756> Sam, since you ahven't spoken specifically on this point you can have the floor if you wish.
[14:28] <Sam_Spade> I am open to changing my vote, mr. chair
[14:28] <Sam_Spade> but only after hearing your thoughts on the matter
[14:28] <Sam_Spade> *
[14:29] <alex756> Yes, in a way the discussion about a quorum is a bit premature. Toby's point about n-1 members being unable to bind the last is a good one but all associations limit individual member participation within reason.
[14:30] <alex756> I think the idea of putting together some proposals is a good one. But I don't necessary agree with you Wally that we should just post them and say that they need to be voted on, but we could discuss them further at the next meeting until they are better developed.
[14:30] <Toby_Bartels> May I have the floor briefly, Mr. Chairperson?
[14:31] <alex756> Yes, Go ahead Toby.
[14:31] <Toby_Bartels> I have no inherent objection to Wally's suggestion (points 1,2,3).
[14:32] <Toby_Bartels> However, it's not clear to me that we will have any specific proposal at the end of the discussion, or that we should try to find one.
[14:32] <alex756> Good point, do you yield the floor back to the chair?
[14:33] <Toby_Bartels> If we get an idea that gets approval here (Wally 1), then by all means we should bring it back to the entire membership on WP (Wally 2). Then that membership may make decisions about it (Wally 3).
[14:33] <Toby_Bartels> So if that course of events happens, then I don't object to it.
[14:33] <Toby_Bartels> OTOH, I don't see any reason to try ahead of time to get it; we might not come up with any ideas.
[14:34] <alex756> POINT OF INFORMATION: I previously suggested that we post the log of these meetings on a AMA page, so that all members can review what goes on here and can comment over time.
[14:34] <Toby_Bartels> I would rather just hear ideas (perhaps Wally has one in mind!); then if they make a good proposal, then we'll propose one. And if they don't make a good proposal, then we should still summarise whatever we think useful.
[14:35] <alex756> Toby, I am going to ask you to yield back to the Chair, I was making a statement when you interrupted me.
[14:35] <Toby_Bartels> Regarding the POI, I doubt that the log will get read, except to search for something specific. So we may want to report something specific.
[14:35] <Toby_Bartels> Um, OK.
[14:35] <WallyAMA> Point of order; Toby had not indicated he was finished.
[14:35] <Toby_Bartels> *
[14:35] <alex756> Thank you Toby.
[14:36] <alex756> Just to respond to the POI I think that we just want to give people an opportunity to participate. We can't force anyone to come to a meeting.
[14:36] <alex756> That is where the n-1 rule falls apart. You cannot make all decisions by consensus of all members, at some point people have a chance to partipate and if they don't we move on.
[14:37] <alex756> My point about the structure of any proposals, and I think Toby's point is well taken, is that we just need not get too formal about making any solid "resolutions" right now.
[14:38] <alex756> This is really the first time we have had a meeting, though we had discussed it when the AMA was first started we never had any meetings.
[14:38] <WallyAMA> I have a motion for the Chair, if I may?
[14:38] <alex756> So I think that we should not make a big deal about passing any specific proposals yet, and when we come up with one then we can vote just as group, not binding on all AMA members quite yet.
[14:39] <alex756> Wally, I will let you make a motion after Sam has a chance to speak, o.k.?
[14:39] <alex756> Sam, I am giving you the floor as you have been very patient so far.
[14:39] <Sam_Spade> about my vote?
[14:39] <Sam_Spade> I retract my vote to a neutral, non-vote, for the time being
[14:40] <Sam_Spade> I am uncertain if the original phrasing of this vote was correct
[14:40] <Sam_Spade> we might first need to question if we can vote on anything here on IRC at all
[14:40] <Sam_Spade> the AMA is a wikipedia organiation
[14:40] <Sam_Spade> and perhaps descisions ought not be made here
[14:41] <Sam_Spade> however, proposals for votes on the wikipedia proper seem to me acceptable
[14:41] <alex756> I will repeat the original question "is it fair for the four of us to start making rules that bind the other members?"
[14:41] <Sam_Spade> no
[14:41] <WallyAMA> My motion speaks to this.
[14:42] <alex756> I think we need to vote on this specific question, if it doesn't pass then we can entertain your motion Wally. Does anyone object to this procedure?
[14:42] <Toby_Bartels> My vote on that question is no.
[14:42] <WallyAMA> I abstain.
[14:42] <alex756> I also vote no.
[14:42] <alex756> So the decision is that it is not fair for the four of us to start making rules that bind other AMA members.
[14:43] <alex756> Wally, you wanted to make a motion?
[14:43] <WallyAMA> Yes, my thanks to the Chair.
[14:43] <alex756> Go ahead.
[14:43] <WallyAMA> I move that the following question be agreed:
[14:45] <alex756> You have the floor Wally.
[14:46] <WallyAMA> "The following procedures ought to be considered appropriate for this meeting: first, that any proposals adopted by majority vote here will be presented for discussion on Wikipedia for AMA members; second, that any proposals made there stand individually, rather than collectively; third, that after a period of discussion on the boards there should be a quickpoll vote on each; and fourth, that proposals presented to the board might be modifie
[14:46] <WallyAMA> agreement of those present at this meeting, and additional proposals considered on the boards by concurrence of the same."
[14:47] <alex756> I think that part of the motion got cut off.
[14:47] <WallyAMA> I concluded it in the second part.
[14:47] <WallyAMA> I'll reprint it.
[14:48] <WallyAMA> The following procedures ought to be considered appropriate for this meeting:
[14:48] <alex756> The first part ends with "modifie"
[14:48] <alex756> And the sencond part stars with "agreement"
[14:48] <alex756> It is not clear.
[14:48] <WallyAMA> First, that any proposals adopted by majority vote here will be presented for discussion on Wikipedia for AMA members.
[14:48] <WallyAMA> Second, that any proposals made there stand individually, rather than collectively.
[14:48] <WallyAMA> Third, that after a period of discussion on the boards there should be a quickpoll vote on each.
[14:48] <WallyAMA> fourth, that proposals presented to the board might be modified by agreement of those present at this meeting, and additional proposals considered on the boards by concurrence of the same.
[14:49] <WallyAMA> *
[14:49] <Toby_Bartels> point of info: this is wally's statement?: "The following procedures ought to be considered appropriate for this meeting: first, that any proposals adopted by majority vote here will be presented for discussion on Wikipedia for AMA members; second, that any proposals made there stand individually, rather than collectively; third, that after a period of discussion on the boards there should...
[14:49] <Toby_Bartels> ...be a quickpoll vote on each; and fourth, that proposals presented to the board might be modified by agreement of those present at this meeting, and additional proposals considered on the boards by concurrence of the same."
[14:50] <alex756> Does anyone second the motion?
[14:51] <Sam_Spade> no, its too long and unclear, mr. chair
[14:51] <Sam_Spade> I feel these motions ought be made separately
[14:51] <Sam_Spade> I oppose
[14:51] <Sam_Spade> *
[14:51] <alex756> Maybe we can table this motion and move onto talking about substance, we can come back to it later.
[14:51] <Toby_Bartels> Since there can be delays, perhaps I should say explicitly: I decline to second this motion.
[14:52] <WallyAMA> I cut it up into four parts above.
[14:52] <WallyAMA> Those four parts are substantially the motion, though if you all would prefer to consider each seperately I am fine with that.
[14:52] <Sam_Spade> I second the motion to begin discussion, mr. chair
[14:52] <Sam_Spade> will it be casual or formal discussion?
[14:52] <Sam_Spade> *
[14:52] <alex756> We obviously will need to create some kind of mechanism if we do come to any proposal, but maybe we should have a discussion about the AMA's future before coming up with any procedures to adopt such propoosals.
[14:53] <Toby_Bartels> Point of order:
[14:53] <alex756> Yes Toby.
[14:53] <Toby_Bartels> Is Sam seconding Wally's entire motion? or seconding alex's "Maybe we can table this motion and move onto talking about substance, we can come back to it later."? or seconding Wally's "first" part?
[14:53] <Toby_Bartels> *
[14:54] <Sam_Spade> neither
[14:54] <Sam_Spade> I seconded only the chairs motion
[14:54] <Sam_Spade> *
[14:54] <Toby_Bartels> point or order: what is the motion on the table?
[14:54] <alex756> OK., the Chair is making a motion to table discussion of Wally's motion until after we discuss the AMA.
[14:55] <WallyAMA> I must say that I feel it crucial to know what happens with anything upon which we agree before we agree upon it, if I may.
[14:55] <alex756> And Sam seconded that motion, right sam?
[14:55] <Sam_Spade> yes, I seconded your motion, mr. chair
[14:55] <alex756> And now Wally I will give you the floor to discuss tabling the motion. I presume you are against the motion?
[14:56] <alex756> Wally, you have the floor against the motion to table.
[14:56] <WallyAMA> My view is stated above; if we are to come to conclusions, we must first know what that entails.
[14:57] <Sam_Spade> I second that
[14:57] <Sam_Spade> sorta ;)
[14:57] <WallyAMA> Our agreeing on any new ideas is useless unless we know that the ideas will be heard and considered.
[14:57] <Sam_Spade> *
[14:57] <WallyAMA> One way or another.
[14:57] <WallyAMA> *
[14:58] <alex756> OK, Sam, are you speaking against the motion, I don't think you can do that because you seconded it, I think you have to withdraw your second, am I not correct about that?
[14:59] <Sam_Spade> ok, I'm a bit confused
[14:59] <WallyAMA> He can speak as to what he likes.

The meeting is continued here (due to 32K page limits): Wikipedia:AMA IRC Meeting log (1-23-05) Pt II.