Subject: Re: WDDM future
From: "Bernard Clayson"
Date: Tue, 20 Dec 2005 21:25:28 -0000

Dear all,

First, before one can answer Mirek's questions, the group should decide what it is.
I published this on the wikki back in April (actually, it seems to be here) - (my answers to Mirek's questions below it)

WDDM - Structure

Possible structural options that the WDDM members could consider – my view of their pro's and con's:

- Organisation

If it is be an organisation, the implication is it would act on behalf of the members, that in turn implies –

a) empowering selected people to speak on behalf of the organisation and it’s members, which will require –

1. procedure to establish/confirm the opinion of the members.
2. rules which the selected would have to conform to.
3. strict penalties for failing to comply.

b) The need for funds to support the organisational structure (internally and externally)
1. Funds can be obtained from many sources, the real problem occurs when the source is removed, the organisation would collapse.
2. The easiest way to break any organisation, or industry, is to make available large sums of money (grants etc) which would then increase the infrastructure and overheads then cut off the money supply.

c) Voting/Consensus.
1. The members would leave/delegate the action to the organisation.
2. Individual initiative would be eliminated due to needing approval of the other members.
3. Theoretical objections would over-rule practical application due to the lack of practical experience.

- Association

Implies/requires action by the members.
a) The core of the association needs nothing more than the members have now i.e. the means to communicate.
1. The structural requirements would/could be simple and least cost.

b) The power of WDDM would be in the individual members’ willingness to act on their own initiative.
1. There is not, nor can be, one way to achieve democracy due to the historic, cultural and social differences that exist world-wide.
2. The existing power structures in different countries may/will need different solutions to resolve the situation.
3. Theoreticians can advise, but theory (by definition is untested) can only be a guide, the responsibility for the actions must be with the ones prepared to make the decision to act.
4. All WDDM members should support the actions of members that fit within the frame of the Mission Statement

c) An example of the above was in the Public run Village Referendum
1. It challenged politicians, officials, and corporate power,
2. It claimed, not requested, the right of the citizens.
3. It was done as a citizen (I did not use my position as a Parish Councillor).
4. I knew I had broken the rules, I suspect I broke a few laws.
5. To cover the potential of retaliation on the other people involved I asked for some international help, requesting they emailed the Chief Executive, and the Leader of the Council, with copies to the local papers, congratulating them on supporting the referendum i.e. it was a Catch-22.
6. Mistakes were made, lessons learned, I would be reluctant to claim the lessons can be defined as global rules, but they do indicate items that need attention.

Only the individual can make those decisions according to their own situation.

- Summary -

a) An association can grow/evolve to become an organisation but it is difficult to imagine a devolution from organisation to association.
1. Unclear as to how many members the group would need to in order to be an effective organisation.
2. Ditto with how much money.

b) Association Communication Structure (I would suggest something similar to Phoenix

1.The principle is - (using Yahoo type principles and terminology)

1) Central list i.e. WDDM
2) Continent lists i.e. WDDM (Europe)
3) Country lists WDDM (UK)

2. Committee
The founder members in each of the lowest level list form a committee and start a Country list.
The reason for the committee is to
1) get more than one perspective in any reports issued
2) to have the ability to translate reports in to other languages of their multi-cultural society.
3) be active.
4) publish their own country website.

3. List 'Owner'
The nominated member of that committee becomes
1) the list 'owner', the other members being 'moderators'.
2) the one who can publish reports of any activities on the Continental list i.e. a Continental list member.
3) a continent 'moderator'.
Ditto upwards to WDDM.
If it really took off County/Regional lists could be added on the same principle i.e. WDDM (UK-Kent)

4. Discussion.
1) Any 'debate' would be only be done at the lowest level due to the impracticalities of 1000's trying to contribute.
2) The largest list I am on has nearly 6000 members and has very strict rules i.e. any one can contribute their perspective, but no one is allowed to contradict someone else's contribution because other list members are taken <quote> 'to be old and ugly enough to make their own mind up'<end quote>, and it works extremely well.
The exception being, subjects being mixed on one list, hence, the reason I developed Phoenix.

c) Web.
1. It should be a 'one stop' shop window for democracy under the banner of WDDM and it's Mission Statement (Mirek has made a good start with that, it will improve once the preliminary text is removed).
2. If the association principle is adopted, it could list the country groups for aspiring democrats to join via their own countries website.

Mirek's questions.
How To Proceed with WDDM Organizing?

Dec. 18, 2005: This is proposal for conducting a poll among the WDDM members.
Please feel free to comment on this proposal in any way (here in Wiki or in the WDDm mailing list), and add of modify proposed questions.
Discussion of the wording of the poll questions will be closed on Dec. 25, and after that the questions will be submitted to all the members.
They will have another week (10 days, 2 weeks???) to answer them.

Proposed questions:
    1. Why have you become a WDDM member?
A1. To associate with others who are active in finding practical ways of giving the decisions to the people.

    2. What should WDDM try to achieve?
A2. Promoting members to be active in their own locality to attract others to join and increase the knowledge of how DD can be introduced.
    3. Does WDDM need a decision making mechanism (voting)?
A3. Only for very minimal specified tasks i.e. agreeing an email protocol etc.
If the voting requirement comes under the banner of 'administration only' it would cover to many unspecified things.

    4. Is there any point to wait any longer that any spontaneous progress (self-organization) will be made on issues that were moved to section?
A4. No, the only agreement needed is to decide what type of group it is, then the members can decide how to progress ..... or leave if it does not suit their requirements.

    5. Should instead a small group of active WDDM members formulate all the basic documents (Mission. Goals, Rules, Voting procedures)?
A5. Association or Organisation? An association only needs two things a) Mission statement, and b) active members (active in starting DD, not active on the list/web).

    6. Do you want to be a part of the group?
A6. Association - Yes, Organisation - No.

    7. Should the WDDM mailing list be fully moderated (any postings would have to be approved by one or two moderators to avoid tons of junk mail)?
A7. Yes, multiple group postings should be deleted, ditto contradicting/disputing other people emails/actions, they can present their own opinion as a seperate entity.

    1. Do you need interactive dynamical site? - No.
    2. Do you like/dislike WDDM Wiki? - Neither, do not have the time to get involved in it.
    3. How complicated is this Wiki to use? - Too complicated, and everything should be open to everyone.
    4. Have you tried to read - Yes, but ditto No 2.
    5. Should Wiki be replaced or supplemented by something else interactive? What? - A simple web as a directory to what members are doing in their own locality/country. (that does presuppose they are doing something more than advocating)