When We Get Behind Closed Doors
Originally posted by Umbrax
With out viewing the goings on of the ATS council, how can member hold the council accountable for their actions or non-actions?
I think the best way is to look at what public results you get from your Councilors, and use that as your yardstick.
While I used to lobby strongly for making the Council forum publicly visible, time and experience changed my mind. I now think it's best that the
Council forum be private.
To give you an idea of what you're missing, however, I can tell you what the Council forum contained at the time my term ended.
About half of what you would have seen in the Council forum consisted of long-winded and ultimately pointless “give me liberty or give me death”
rants about how the Council should be organized and vote, temper tantrums about the failure of the Council to agree on these things while
simultaneously insisting on 100% consensus, all sorts of irrelevant philosophical diatribes on self-government, gratuitous drama and fruitless
attempts to plant the seeds of bureaucracy where ad hoc discussion would suffice.
And that was just what I
contributed to the Council forum.
The rest consisted of Councilors expressing confusion and frustration over what they could or could not do, what their actual roles on ATS were,
suggestions from the senior staff on what they could do and how to move forward, discussion of suitable projects for the Council to tackle, repeated
attempts to build consensus for various things and – in the case of Councilor Lysergic
– a cool and successful initiative that brought the
BTS and PTS boards into pointdom.
That said, there are actually many positive things that might not be so obvious which have resulted from the Council, and potential for many more
positive things, which is why I remain an avid proponent of the Council.
I'm not sure what's going on now, but perhaps the Council can bring us up to date.
One of the challenges facing Councilors is balancing the confidential nature of Council deliberations (which I myself have mildly violated in this
post) against the need to keep fellow members informed. Also, the sometimes paradoxical nature of representation requires Councilors to do what they
think is best, even if a majority of members might disagree with them on specific issues.
I think it would be good for the Council to bring some of these issues “out of the closet” for public discussion, but I respect the difficulties
Still, no guts, no glory. My advice to Councilors is to err on the side of the membership.
Of course, all this has little or nothing to do with the choice of Council forum icon, but then again, maybe a better understanding of what the
Councilors do may help in creating a new theme to base it on.
[edit on 2/4/2006 by Majic]