The EURALO has finally voted and chosen its representatives and Board members. It has been a long and sometime acrimonious process, and some participants have been very disappointed.
Here's Thomas' blog entry:
And here's Patrick's
Here's my response to the disappointed members:
I understand that it may seem as if the signing ceremonies are pure PR, but really, the idea that we had in ALAC was to get going on the primary task of the Interim ALAC which was to form the REAL ALAC. We want this to happen so that we can STOP spending time and effort on getting the regions organised (this has been dragging on and distracting everyone for over 3 years), and start getting going on the policy issues and getting user feedback. In my first 3 meetings with the Board as a member of ALAC, they really didn't want to hear anything coming from the Interim, they wanted us to tell them what the global users thought, and how we knew what they thought. Implementing the structure seemed to be the best way to get that legitimacy in the eyes of the Board and the rest of ICANN.
I think that if we can get a position on a policy issue that we can show is backed by 100,000 or more internet users from all over the world, then we will be able to get a better hearing than if we continued to be the interim committee, with 15 people who have no linkage to the end users globally.
I think that the RALOS will give the ALAC some legitimacy and will, with some work, give us more people to do policy work, more views on the issues, and more ability to effect some sort of change.
We will see if I'm right or wrong, but it's early days yet.
I agree that the NA and EU regions have not started off well, but I hope that when the voting is done people can put aside the bitterness and work together on the issues that brought them together in the first place.
Given that you have been active for so long and are such a valuable member of the community, I hope that you can put aside the bitterness and disappointment that you feel and continue to make your valuable contributions to the AtLarge community in ICANN. Personally, I hope that you will continue to give me and the rest of the ALAC the benefit of your knowledge, intelligence and expertise.