CIRA elections & the member list

FM

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(personal post)

As you may or may not know, in past elections some candidates have obtained the list of CIRA members and emailed them directly asking to vote for them.

A candidate in the current election is asking for CIRA to provide him with the list in order to learn more about the process:
https://twitter.com/dbmackey/status/1405918573223104514

The reason the member list is available to members is part of the not-for-profit rules in Canada. Do you think this is a good feature? What do you think about candidates sending emails to the members?

(personal post)
 

Spex

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Not a fan of this if it's being used spam under the guise of soliciting votes.
 

MaiTaiMan

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The candidate from a few years ago that spammed me lost any chance of getting my vote. Just because it might be 'legal' doesn't make it ethical or appropriate. I don't think candidates should be allowed to spam the membership base.
 

MapleDots

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Have the potential candidate post an article and let him say what he wants.

The voting base can read the article and decide if they agree or not.

There really is no need to send unsolicited emails.
 

FM

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MapleDots said:
Have the potential candidate post an article and let him say what he wants.

CIRA is hosting an election forum every year. Many of the candidates (especially the ones selected by the Nominating Committee) never show up in the forum, it's mostly the member candidates. But also voting members are relatively rare in that forum.
 

MapleDots

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Chances are it's too convoluted for members to see.
I tried a few times and I swear CIRA makes things complicated on purpose.

Propose a more open forum and participation will probably increase.
 
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Alex B

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As many CIRA members know I have a different opinion from the CIRA Politburo and the oligarchs that support it.
As a fellow CIRA member, I believe I have a duty to let you know if something is wrong in our corporation. Of course, you can unsubscribe from any further discussion. However, I believe I have an obligation “to say something when I see something”.
The point is that CIRA must work in the public interest and what to do when – a personal opinion -it does not act in public interest, but acts in self interest?
What some see as SPAM – in this specific case -others see as information. For example, of 10,000 emails sent – all relevant to affairs of the corporation – only 3 reported my emails as spam. Many did unsubscribe which I will respect. But many others appreciate getting factual information – not just opinions.
When the a few – less than a handful – get the megaphones out about SPAM are they in effect suppressing member communication and participation? Do you think that CIRA enables member communication, or do they know what is best for its members and don’t need any consultation?
For example, I sent a survey out to members. The vast majority wanted disclosure of the CEO compensation, so I took up that cause. Has CIRA ever done a survey of its members and what they want?
When one person phones me with a death threat, obviously anonymously, is he representing the views of the majority of 15,000 members?
 
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FM

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Alex B said:
For example, I sent a survey out to members. The vast majority wanted disclosure of the CEO compensation, so I took up that cause. Has CIRA ever done a survey of its members and what they want?

I believe CIRA has done surveys of their members before, but not about this topic. How many members answered your survey?
 

Alex B

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about 350 members answered my survey. Results were interesting. Not many got upset; many wanted to know what the survey found. I ran that survey as a Board Director.

Interestingly the CIRA Politburo was not interested in the results. Instead they were upset and then disqualified me from running in the election that year.
 

MapleDots

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Alex B said:
Interestingly the CIRA Politburo was not interested in the results. Instead they were upset and then disqualified me from running in the election that year.

Personally I would dismiss whatever lawsuit you have and try to get elected next time around.

I imagine you cannot run with an impending lawsuit but as much as a lawsuit would achieve I think you could do better working from within. A campaign takes a few years to mount and if you keep cool, tell people what you are running for then chances are by the time the next election comes you will have a running start.

Read the forum here, most of us are all CIRA members and we have the ability to vote. Stay true to your vision but also learn from some of the people here. We have tens of thousands of domains among us and collectively probably a 100 years experience with .ca domains.

Use the forum as a tool but remember that sanding with the grain always leads to better results than trying to sand against it. The best change happens from within and when I say that I am talking about myself as well. Focus within, ask yourself what is really important to you and then consider if it is important to others. If it is just and true members will support you.

So Alex, welcome, I feel we can learn from you and your endeavours but I also feel you should take advantage of the vast experience here and understand that you can also affect change by simply asking. Maybe not as a single person but a group of us could certainly attempt to get a response out of CIRA.

All that said, I don't think the CEO compensation is a massive issue, the salary expenses look reasonable compared to the net income of the company. Personally I am more concerned where the profits are the best utilized instead of what the CEO makes. I am wondering what we can do other than TV commercials to drive home the importance of .ca for Canadians.

I am wondering, can we tweak TBR to make it a bit more fair so that one company does not catch the bulk of the domains.

I am also wondering what happens to domains when the auction winner defaults on payment.


There are a lot of questions we can ask CIRA and we have CIRA representative reading the forum so if necessary we can tag them and ask them outright. Just remember that conversation leads to better results than accusations. Ask for more details and discuss it in a way where in the future when you come back to read your posts you will be proud of how you handled it. Nobody is proud of confrontation, but the times when we come together and act as a team will be remembered.


So again, I have not read your lawsuit but I ask you, do you think it will achieve maximum results? I had a lawsuit with one of my neighbours and one day I went over with a 6 pack of bear and I asked him sincerely if he would not consider the option of sitting down and talking to me. Today we often sit for a beer and the lawsuit is a distant memory.

Anyways, enough preaching from me because I don't know all the facts, so again...

I am glad you are here, feel free to use the tools available to you.
 

FM

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Alex B said:
Interestingly the CIRA Politburo was not interested in the results. Instead they were upset and then disqualified me from running in the election that year.

As far as I recall that was due to your offer of free services to members in exchange for something - not sure if it was participation in the survey, but since it was during the election this was what lead to the disqualification, IIRC.
 

Alex B

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Mapledots et al

You make some interesting and good points.

Note I spent 3 years on the CIRA Board. I wrote long pieces – position papers – on what to improve in CIRA governance. No one on the Board was interested in a discussion. They seemed in bed with the CEO and acted more like his acolytes, happy to go along while getting along. They did not understand their duty and accountability.
We then brought in a senior lawyer from BLG, to explain it all. Most of the board members did not take note as they were inexperienced; they already knew it all. Check out the Dunning Kruger effect.

I recently tried to engage with a past board member who was up for election. Rather than having a civil discussion he called me “delusional”. Reminded me of being in grade school when lacking vocabulary, you call each other names instead!

By way of background, I have run a few businesses and have been on about 1 dozen boards of various sizes and complexities. You can read my thoughts on NFP board governance on www.beraskow.ca. I welcome comments, including critique.
There are issues. If I drop the legal action, I basically empower bullies which I am loathe to do. CIRA has gone on record with ½ truths at best. I can simply walk away as it would be less frustrating. If you don’t drain the swamp, or at least draw attention to the swamp, the alligators keep breeding. My ambition is not a Board role – neither for love nor money – but to fix the board governance.

For example
• one of the issues was CEO compensation. The Board Chair appointed herself to do the review (no Board approval) and then cited comparative studies but did not give the Board those comparative studies.
• CEO compensation is key as it demonstrates that CIRA is open, transparent and works in public interest, accountable to members and not in self-interest. The Board must not be a Praetorian Guard for the regnant CEO.
• Another issue is the story that appeared in the Toronto Star. I had heard rumors of questionable content on work computers and given a MeToo world wanted more information. My rough analysis showed abut 50 people had left – resigned or fired - in a 4 or so period. Another rough calculation was a cost of $500+K. There was no board HR Committee, BTW.
• Recognizing that only Members can elect directors, while championing the democratic process, CIRA (illegally) bars me from running in the election.
• Why did the Board give incumbents extra terms but not knew ones? Self-dealing? Thumb on the scale? And did the Chair of the Governance Committee resign mid term, to spend more time with his family or……

Of course I could go in.

The law suit was a last resort. As an FYI, I am spending my own money while CIRA is spending yours.

I have always run my firms with the adage – hard on issues and soft on people. CIRA does not refute my points but instead attacks me. Why do you think that is?
 

Alex B

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WHC.ca, you have incorrect information that needs correction.

I ran a survey asking members their thoughts on governance, as I had previously talked to members at events in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto. On other boards I have been on, I always want to hear directly from members how the organisation/corporation is doing. I don't want to rely solely on what management tells me or only their views.

The Board - particularly the Chair of the Governance Committee - through the Returning officer (who never did due diligence by asking me my side of the story, BTW) ruled me ineligible to run. So I did not run in 2019.

That election also featured a candidate who offered some free services in exchange for a vote for him.

CIRA then put both our names up on the web with asterisks, after we were declared ineligible with no explanation, for the duration of the election period. Why did they resort to that?
 

FM

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Alex B said:
WHC.ca, you have incorrect information that needs correction.

Please note that I do not speak on behalf of my employer as noted in my signature. My member name here is FM, whc.ca is my employer.

(...)

Alex B said:
The Board - particularly the Chair of the Governance Committee - through the Returning officer (who never did due diligence by asking me my side of the story, BTW) ruled me ineligible to run. So I did not run in 2019.

Were you given an explanation?

Alex B said:
That election also featured a candidate who offered some free services in exchange for a vote for him.

CIRA then put both our names up on the web with asterisks, after we were declared ineligible with no explanation, for the duration of the election period. Why did they resort to that?

My apologies that mistakenly thought that was you who offered services.
 

Alex B

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This is the CIRA trope, a way of doing business. Put out false information and then have people repeat it.
 
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