Suggestion for proposal queue order

Categories: Discussion, Open Mic

It’s obvious that we need some better system for sorting the proposal queue that allows for timely/emergency proposals to get precedence, without the Facilitation Committee getting accused of playing favorites.

The simplest alternative would be some sort of direct vote at the beginning of each assembly — but one problem with that is that less-popular proposals would continually get shuffled to the bottom of the queue and never get voted on. To address that potential issue, any proposals that get rolled over to subsequent GAs could keep their cumulative vote totals, so any proposal that gets at least a few votes at each assembly would be guaranteed to make it to the top of the queue eventually.

Here’s an outline of how something like that might work:

  • At the start of the GA (before committee report-backs, etc.), the facilitators could read a list of the proposals in the queue, along with their priority vote counts carried over from prior assemblies. The facilitators could also mention any factors affecting the timeliness of the proposals that might not be apparent from their titles.
  • For each proposal, the assembly could then vote on whether that proposal should be considered “high priority”. Each person could vote for more than one proposal.
  • The first proposal heard would be the one that received the most priority votes at that GA (before adding in the votes from prior assemblies). This would ensure that at least one new proposal could make it to the top of the queue even if there were a number of other proposals with priority votes from prior GAs.
  • All subsequent proposals would be sorted by cumulative priority vote count (priority votes from the current GA added to the votes from any previous GAs).

Would something like that fix the issues we’ve had with the proposal queue? Or would it just be adding needless complexity?


14 Responses to “Suggestion for proposal queue order”

  1. Rebel Slave Princess

    And we know how Occupy Oakland rejects the critically minded …

  2. Rebel Slave Princess

    As you know, the Rebel Slave Princess does not connect the dots just because she is asked to do so, however if you review the proposals (whether or not they have passed), they are fall into two basic camps, philosophy (name change, et al) and action item (port shutdownm, et al).

    If a mission statement existed, then the philosophical proposals might be chucked out on principle, since they don’t pursue the mission. The same is true of many of the actionable proposals (gardening, et al), which can simply be undertaken autonomously and without a vote.

    At most, 20% of the proposals are “mature”, for lack of another adjective. If there were a common aim, consensus about it and solidarity of resolve to achieve it, a course of action would become more evident, as well as the means. And if all that came to pass, there would be even less to vote about.

    The Rebel Slave Princess opines that the wish to vote more and not less is vanity and self-importance.

  3. Tlahtolli

    And what sorts of things do you think we could get done without voting?

  4. Tlahtolli

    What sorts of things do you think we could get done without voting?

  5. Tlahtolli

    Agreed. And this would place a lot of power in the facilitation committee’s hands.

  6. AbouBenAdhem

    If we vote less, the question of which proposals we do vote on becomes even more critical.

  7. Rebel Slave Princess

    Raise Quorum to 1000. When you realize how much you can get done without voting, you just might like it. The GA is a popularity contest. The simple solution is to vote less.

  8. calaverasgrandes

    I think they at least need to raise the bar for “emergency proposal”. I have seen a few where it was kind of unwarranted. Or even too late anyway.

  9. AbouBenAdhem

    Even if we could agree on a definition, I’m not sure that just separating proposals into “emergency” and “non-emergency” will suffice. We’ve got a growing backlog of proposals, and many of them (like proposals for upcoming actions, funding, etc.) that aren’t emergencies when they’re introduced will become so if they sit on the queue long enough. If the queue keeps growing, we won’t be able to get through all the emergency proposals in a given GA, and then we’ll need to define “super-emergences” for emergency proposals that are more critical than others.

    I feel like a robust solution needs to sort all the proposals somehow, not just categorize them.

  10. Rebel Slave Princess

    The key is to distinguish between “important” and “urgent” and define THOSE terms. Anything that arises is an emergency; it literally emerges. Some emergencies are urgent, some are important, a few are both and the majority are neither. That is where precision needs to enter. A simple 2X2 matrix works easily enough. Any emergency can be plotted on such a matrix. It’s basic project management, not rocket surgery or legerdemain of the 1%.

  11. Rebel Slave Princess

    Yes: Raise Quorum to 1000. When you realize how much you can get done without voting, you just might like it. The GA is a popularity contest. The simple solution is to vote less.

  12. AbouBenAdhem

    I agree that simpler is better, but the facilitators have repeatedly said that they need to work out a democratic procedure for handling emergency proposals. Are there any simpler solutions that won’t cause as many problems as they solve?

  13. calaverasgrandes

    Needless complexity. I think we should resist the urge to amend our GA process due to the bumps and derailments that happen occasionally. IMHO I believe the simpler and more straightforward the GA is, the more open and inclusive it is. The more rules and conditions we layer upon it, the harder it is for a newcomer to get oriented.