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Subject: Re: [chairs] Re: Quorum required for good standing

Am I mistaken - doesn't OASIS followed Roberts Rules of Order?  Customising the rules for membership/quorum is one thing,  but to customise fundemental rules on voting and achieving quorum is,  in my opinion, no different than making it up as you go.

Roberts Rules is clear on the topic of voting: 
"When a quorum [64] is present, a majority vote, that is a majority of the votes cast, ignoring blanks, is sufficient for the adoption of any motion that is in order, except those mentioned in 48, which require a two-thirds vote."
Note that for our purposes,  an abstention should be equivalent to a "blank".   Furthermore,  an abstention  is considered an appropriate vote in its own right: 
"While it is the duty of every member who has an opinion on the question to express it by his vote, yet he cannot be compelled to do so. He may prefer to abstain from voting, though he knows the effect is the same as if he voted on the prevailing side."
Therefore,  nullifying a vote where you have 2 yeahs,  one nay and a couple dozen abstentions is inappropriate - the question should carry.   The Yeah's woudl win even when a 2/3 majority vote is  required,  since blank votes are not counted. 
"Two-thirds Vote. A two-thirds vote means two-thirds of the votes cast, ignoring blanks which should never be counted. This must not be confused with a vote of two-thirds of the members present, or two-thirds of the members, terms sometimes used in by-laws. "
With respect to the issue of membership and quorum - I think the answer is to bite the bullet and terminate memberships of those who are chronically absent.  The TC I lead recently had frequent problems achieving quorum because of a couple of long term absentees,  wo we went through a painful membership / attendence audit that resulted in revoking TC memberhip of 3 members (out of a total of 19),  one of whom was an original founding member.  We haven't had any problems achieving a quorum since,  but I'll admit it was a painful process.

Tony Jewtushenko,  Chair - XLIFF TC

Lauren Wood wrote:
[I cut down the CC list assuming everyone is on the chairs mailing 
list - L]

On 18 Feb 2003 at 22:44, Eduardo Gutentag wrote:
That may be true in theory, but in the practice, when in a 20 person TC
an email vote elicits 2 yes votes and 1 no vote and the rest either
send "I abstain" messages or none at all, people are quite reluctant
to consider the matter settled in favor of the motion. Most would say,
and have said, that the vote doesn't and shouldn't count.

If everyone else abstains or can't be bothered voting, doesn't that 
mean they don't care about the result of that vote? So why shouldn't 
it count? I could see saying that a certain percentage of the TC must 
vote in one of the three ways, which would imply if you don't care 
what the result is you must explicitly say you don't care by 
abstaining. How is this different to the common "if no objections, 
it's carried"? 



Lauren Wood, Chair, Entity Resolution TC 

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Tony Jewtushenko				mailto:tony.jewtushenko@oracle.com
Sr. Tools Program Manager			direct tel: +353.1.8039080
Product Management - Tools Technology Team
Oracle Corporation, Ireland

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