20i Domains

Nominet NED Election 2021

Discussion in 'Nominet General Information' started by webber, Oct 14, 2021 at 11:28 AM.

  1. webber

    webber Active Member

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    Since there is some confusion about who is standing for this years NED elections held at the AGM on 18 November 2021, I will repost the info here:

    The six candidates standing for election this year for the position of Non-Executive Director on the Nominet board are:
    This year there are two vacancies and the successful candidates will both serve a three-year term until AGM 2024.

    You can view the candidates’ brochure and video statements here.

    The voting rights for the AGM and NED election were calculated 1 October 2021 at midday (BST).

    Voting opens on the 27 October 2021
     
  2. Domain Forum

    Acorn Domains Elite Member

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    articles.co.uk
     
  3. diablo

    diablo Well-Known Member

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    There are three pro-Public Benefit candidates: Simon Blackler, Jim Davies and Ashley La Bolle.

    There is a danger that if all three attract votes, it would allow a non-Public Benefit NED to be elected.
     
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  4. Siusaidh

    Siusaidh Well-Known Member

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    That concerns me too, George, but with the transferable vote system, if you vote for all three... then one of the three may get knocked out before a non-PB candidate, but at that point all the votes for the knocked out person get transferred.

    Where I'm unclear on the process (Curon can probably clarify this)...

    If Simon Blackler (as I expect) gets a massive number of first-choice votes, when he passes a cut-off point to election, if people have voted him first-choice, then do some of his 'extra' first-place votes get passed on to a person's second choice?

    If that is the case, then I think you might still get 2 PB candidates elected... because both Ashley and Jim would then get a large share of transferred votes from Simon's excess, and you're down to the last 4 standing.

    Even if Mr non-PB is at that point in 2nd place, when the weakest PB person gets knocked out and we're down to 3 candidates standing, then wouldn't ALL the PB supporting votes get transferred from PB3 to PB2, which might be enough to raise them up to 2nd place and a place on the Board.

    What I personally think will happen is that Simon's large mailing list will almost certainly (and understandably) be activated and mobilised so far more people vote than in previous NED elections. Since Simon backed/seconded both Ashley and Jim, that very large number from the mailing list may well choose to vote for the 3 'endorsed' candidates.

    We saw that happen in the UKRAC election. Simon endorsed 6 of us, and all 6 of us won by landslides in a far higher turnout (over 400 members) than you get at NED elections.

    Of course, as last year, the large DUM of the big members means (even with the cap) that a favourite of the big companies will amass plenty of votes, like Kelly did. But even before the whole EGM crisis, Kelly's support wasn't enough to stop her getting knocked out in 3rd place, while Phil and I gained the 1st and 2nd places.

    If that was the case in a non-crisis year, I think it will be even harder... in fact, much harder... for a non-PB favourite of the big companies to amass sufficient votes to stem the 'Blackler tide'.

    The one problem, if I've misunderstood the system, is that if Simon's votes beyond the cut-off point for election don't get redistributed/transferred and he just keeps all his first-choice votes, then that could be very bad for Jim and Ashley, as many of the same people who approve of Jim and Ashley will nevertheless have voted for Simon as number 1 choice. That way Simon could get the landslide and take the PB votes so Jim and Ashley miss out.

    But I don't think it works that way.

    I think once Simon has enough votes to guarantee he's won, all the 2nd choices on ballots below Simon get passed on. I hope that's right.
     
  5. sigh

    sigh Active Member

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    How is David Thornton even still clinging on to this company? He's like a desperate parasite. How can we be sure he gets no votes and a P45?
     
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    Last edited: Oct 15, 2021 at 9:27 AM
  6. super-whois United Kingdom

    super-whois Active Member

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    Yes, see the section "Transfer of a surplus" in the ERS97 rules used for the NED election:
    https://www.electoral-reform.org.uk...-by-the-single-transferable-vote-3rd-edition/

    The second stage of the "Model Election" at the end of that document also describes the hypothetical scenario you've asked about.

    He hasn't paid for his membership for a number of years, making use of the free membership given to directors of the company for his private business purposes. If he isn't re-elected, his membership will terminate under Article 3.2 "in the case of the members of the Board, on ceasing to be a member of the Board". He'll have to make and pay for a new membership application if he wants to retain his domain discount.
     
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  7. jasman United Kingdom

    jasman Active Member

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    Simon Blackler is pretty much guaranteed first place, which is great. But we need to be absolutely certain about how votes are transferred. Otherwise there is a good argument for as many of us as possible backing one of the other two pro-Public Benefit candidates, just so the vote isn't too evenly split. Other things being equal (if they can both be trusted and I have no reason to suspect either can't) if they both support the Public Benefit reforms then which one is elected is less important than the need to ensure there is a big accumulation of votes to one of them to block out the three that aren't pro-Public Benefit.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2021 at 1:35 PM
  8. ian

    ian Well-Known Member

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    Having Simon on the board would be great, but aren't these roles still the same 'take the £40k for 1 hour per month just to turn up at a meeting and nod your head' as always? Hopefully that has changed?
     
  9. xdnet

    xdnet Active Member

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    To be fair it's a bit more than that, all day board meetings once a month at the moment last I heard, plus the various committees etc - from what I know it's probably something like 2-4 days/month + time to prepare/read papers etc for the avg board member.
     
  10. Siusaidh

    Siusaidh Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the time involved for a NED is probably a good 3 or 4 days a month in papers needing reading for Board Meetings and Committees, not to mention simply keeping abreast of the various issues involved.

    This wouldn't surprise me, because even in the volunteer position on UKRAC I find I need to set aside one day a week (Saturday) to catch up on emails (over 1000 since the summer), detailed formal papers that need reading before meetings, discussions on a private forum before and after meetings (they run into 100s), the Meetings themselves, and then the work reviewing minutes against the three and a half hour recording each time... and all that before you factor in the Working groups on policy when those arise. We don't get paid a penny, and we knew that when we took it on. We don't do it for the money. But I'd certainly say our commitment is 8-10 hours a week. And so I'd expect a Board Director has that level of involvement as well.

    However, it still grates with me as someone who knows the pressures of Critical Care wards etc that a NED is judged to be worth more in their part-time role than a nurse working under great pressure in critical care gets paid for a whole year's full-time work, with all the skills involved.

    When I stood for election last year I committed to taking zero pay, though I accept not everyone may be in the privileged position to be able to do that. It does worry me that some people may stand for a NED position for the wrong reasons. I think this year, in Simon, we have someone who has proved he's doing it as a matter of principle and conviction.

    Personally I think £12000 to £15000 a year would be quite sufficient remuneration, but they're hardly likely to reduce it from the present level which is around £37000 I think for the part-time job.

    The 6 of us on UKRAC do an equivalent level of work (or pretty close) for nothing. An experienced Band 5 nurse will get about £30,000 a year in a full-time role, after a few years of work and experience. So even if a NED was doing 15 days work a month at Nominet (which I completely doubt) I don't see why they deserve more than £15000 a year. The NED pay is more like a sinecure, out of embarrassment for the even higher levels of pay the company awards to their highest paid.
     
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  11. xdnet

    xdnet Active Member

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    I think that's more a demonstration of the shocking levels of pay in the care profession(s) more than anything - It's mad to me to have people looking after us worrying about money... once trained I'd happily see nurses on 40K+ as standard. No one should have to deal with that much stress and then go home and worry about putting food on the table or paying the rent.
     
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  12. ian

    ian Well-Known Member

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    I agree the pay received is questionable for a few hours a month work, but no one answered whether NED's have any authority to make change, or does it remain a position to fit the companies policy and nothing more. I'd be concerned that Simon will take up a position just so Nominet can keep him from (rightly) rocking the boat. "Here Mr Blackler, please take this £37k cheque...and gag".
     
  13. webber

    webber Active Member

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    One NED most definitely can't achieve anything on their own in a Board of 10 or 12. So this is a role about diplomacy and negotiation skills as much as business strategy and industry knowledge.
    There will be some confidentiality clauses that would make discussing certain things difficult for an NED. In the past this has been used to explain why some NED went quiet as soon as they got elected, but I think this is just a lazy excuse.
    Nobody can stop you from speaking your mind, expressing your own views and engaging with members.
    Simon spent £100k of his own homey on the PublicBenefit.uk EGM campaign. I doubt this is about money for him and I would like to think that if he were in a position where there was a significant shift away from the PublicBenefit principles which he could not influence or there would be an attempt to silence him with some confidentiality clauses, that he would rather resign as a NED. I know I would...
    But I obviously cannot speak for Simon on this issue
     
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  14. Pedigree United Kingdom

    Pedigree Active Member Acorn Supporter

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    "Simon spent £100k of his own money"

    Wow!
     
  15. Siusaidh

    Siusaidh Well-Known Member

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    I think Simon's influence will be enhanced by the member support he has behind him. He has a strong moral authority of his own, combined with a big mandate (as I think we'll see in the election).

    It's possible the new Chair Andy Green will find it helpful to build an axis with Simon and one of the other PB candidates if they get elected, and since quite a big issue is NOT letting the Board be dominated by the Nominet Executive, if Andy, Simon, and Jim/Ashley team up together in a kind of alliance on issues then I think - given Simon's principles - there may be a bit more resilience than usual in keeping the Executive in check.

    If only they'd done that in the past three years...