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CZ:Editorial Council Resolution 0007/Member position statements

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This page contains the official positions of Citizendium Editorial Council Members about Editorial Council Resolution 0007.

The governing rules for discussion are found at Editorial Council Rules of Procedure. The following are reminders.

  • Council Members should place their comments, limited to 600 words maximum, underneath their names on this page. Comments will be ordered based on when they first appeared on this page; new comments should simply be appended to the bottom.
  • Members may edit their comments throughout the discussion period.
  • Each Member will be required to read this page before voting.
  • This page will be closed for editing when voting begins.
  • The closing date for position statements can be found on the resolution page and will be announced on cz-editcouncil, followed by reminders. Note that Members may move to extend discussion.

Original Member position statements

  1. David Goodman: To prevent the elected members from becoming a permanent Council "elite," no one may be an elected member of the Council for more than three years." - This is a very good idea, but the net result is that all of the initial members will serve for three years, and then there will be a 100% turnover. There does not seem to be a method for phasing this, as has always been done in such cases, starting with the US constitution and its 6 yr senate terms. -- There needs to be a provision addition for an initial division into thirds, serving one, two, and three years maximum respectively.
  2. Gary Giamboi: I think the following sentence needs some more clarification: "To prevent the elected members from becoming a permanent Council "elite," no one may be an elected member of the Council for more than three years." I understand the need for change. However, what does "for more than three years" mean? - 3 years in a row? - 3 years in total for the life of the person or council, whichever comes first? If it is the later, I disagree. I think after an agreed waiting period, a person should regain their eligibility. Also, we may want to consider limiting the number and length of time certain groups may hold seats. If it is true "birds of feather flock together," then having the same group sit on the council may give it a certain slant or flavor.
  3. Anh Nguyen: I agree with the idea of the Resolution 007. It would ensure that all Council's members have good knowledge of the project and that Members have a good participation on the Citizendium. But, I do not know if having a selection process each year is optimal. It brings the risk that the whole Council can be changed at one time. What could put the Council continuity at risk. A procedure each month (or quarter) for XXX avalaible membership would be better. Futhermore, we should also ensure that every main Workgroup is represented in the Council. If not we could have a Council where only one "area" is represented. It also give quite a lot of power to the Secretary (or if not available the choosen person) as he "will determine which of the members are eligible editors". But I do not know if a completely automated selection process would be possible.
  4. Anthony Sebastian: This resolution appears reasonable to me. I did not see any changes I would want to make.
  5. Martin Baldwin-Edwards: I think we really need to give some more thought to this proposal. As a starting point, I want to know the exact purview of the Council. The page relating to this on CZ has actually been deleted! So, this resolution needs to state exactly what the function of the Editorial Council is supposed to be. Following from that, depending on whether it should be described as an expert-led governing body with some author participation, or a representative governing body with an over-representation of editors, we need some discussion on the likely effects of specific rules. In particular, I am wondering about the 3-year rule: is it desirable that the Council's membership should be relatively temporary? Finally, we should perhaps consider the issue of age: as I have stated on the Forum, I am opposed to any age limit. If people can justify their appointment, then their age is immaterial, to my mind. So, overall, I recommend delaying this procedure for more discussion.

Member position statements on the proposed Amendments

  1. Richard Jensen: The proposal seems designed to weaken the editorial council. We do not have 22 active editors at present, so everyone goes on, and then in a year or two or three they will all be rotated off to be replaced by newcomers unfamiliar with our history. This is a formula for disaster--for exclusion of the people who created and built CZ. Either CZ collapses or we're in this for a decade and longer, and the council should reflect the accumulated wisdom. Term limits have been a disaster in American politics because they destroy the reservoir of knowledge and dedication and they will ruin CZ. I suggest we cut the numbers 22-11 in half, and extend the 3-year rule to 7 years.
  2. Martin Baldwin-Edwards: The revised proposal is rather complex, particularly owing to the inclusion of transitional measures for the start of the policy [i.e. now]. The "accumulated wisdom" aspect should be sufficiently accommodated by no prohibition of non-consecutive terms along with no maximum for the total term possible. There is actually no 3-year rule [this misreading is from the transitional measures]. Overall, the policy should provide a mix of short-term retention alongside new inflows, whilst also permitting the possibility of substantial non-continuous membership of meritorious individuals. If we are to retain the age and education minimum requirements [to which I have stated my opposition], I would prefer that the wording of the derogation in Article II.4 should be chnaged from "This prerogative should only be exercised in unusual cases" to "individual cases". Other than that< I am fairly satisfied with the amendments.
  3. Anh Nguyen: This amended version seems to be beter than the original one. Even I am not fan of minimum age rule, it clearly stated a minimum 25 year old for beeing member of the Council, but hopefully leaves doors open for some "judgement" with oversight of the whole Council, which seems fair. Instead of having a rule for existing members of having voted for "at least one-half of the resolution", we could have a rule like "having actively participate in the resolution discussion". I agree with Martin that the proposal is quite complex, especially the section that deals with the transition.
  4. Anthony.Sebastian: Minorest of minor suggestions—Regarding: "In addition, at the same time, the Selection Official compiles a list of the names and e-mail addresses of the persons who are no longer Council members. He or she sends a notice to those persons informing them that they are no longer members, and also send the list to the list manager of cz-editcouncil, who removes the addresses of former members." If the list manager 'archives' those removed, it may simplify re-installation if someone called upon to serve another (non-consective) term, and serve as a history database of former members. Regarding the amended resolution: seems finely tuned to manage conceivable contingencies, though difficult to ignore Richard Jensen's points. Could have a core group of voluntary permanent members of exceptional wisdom to "reflect the accumulated wisdom".
  5. Larry Sanger: Clearly, insofar as this is a growing project committed to representative governance, we need a way to change the Council on a regular basis. We also need to ensure that members have some basic knowledge of the project, and ensure that the selection is fair (and not politicizable, I would add). We also need an explicit procedure for selecting the Chair. All of these pressing needs are addressed in the resolution. I believe the amended version of the resolution addresses most, but probably not all, of the concerns members articulated above. Examine the forum discussions for much more defense from me of the details.