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A Modest Proposal - RonO's Ramblings

Aug. 2nd, 2013 09:28 am A Modest Proposal

After tweeting in reference to this idea, I was encouraged to go a bit further.  So, here is a semi-serious piece of business for the WSFS business meeting at LoneStarCon 3.  As I (almost certainly) won’t be able to be there, if anyone wants to run with this, feel free.  You may even include me as one of the makers of the motion:

Short Title: A few quiet meetings

Moved, to amend the WSFS Constitution for the purpose of placing a moratorium on Hugo Award Changes by striking out and adding words as follows:

1. Amend Section 6.6:

The WSFS Constitution may be amended by a motion passed by a simple majority at any Business Meeting but only to the extent that such motion is ratified by a simple majority at the Business Meeting of the subsequent Worldcon.

6.6.x: Amendments relating to Article 3 – Hugo Awards, may not be approved at any Worldcon where another amendment to that article is up for ratification. Further, no amendment relating to Article 3 may be approved at any Worldcon between 2015 and 2017.

6.6.y: Amendments relating to section 6.6.x (above) may not be approved at any Worldcon prior to 2023.

Proposed by: Ronald Oakes

Maker’s Statement: The Hugo Awards have been subjected to additions and changes at nearly every Wordcon over the last 10 or so years. The rate of change is leading to increasingly heated debate on about the make up of the Hugo Awards. By slowing the process of change to the Hugo Awards, the members of Worldcon will have more time to examine the impacts of prior changes before making further proposals.


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Date:August 3rd, 2013 06:59 pm (UTC)
Fun to think about, but it won't pass. And even if it did, you get around the 6.6.y restriction by first repealing it, which merely lengthens the total process from two years to four.

Substantively, I think it is a bad idea because Article 3 covers a lot of ground, so if you discover something that really should be dealt with now, you may be enjoined from doing anything about it because of a pending amendment to something completely unrelated.

The main reason I oppose such proposals is because they fundamentally say to me, "I don't like democracy and want to make it harder for other members to participate." The way you deal with the various Hugo proposals you oppose is to oppose them, not try to change the rules so you can go to sleep for five or ten years.

But from a technical point of view, you would IMO be better served by saying that the introduction of such proposals as you want to ban shall not be in order. I'm just thinking of the mechanics of it. For instance, back in 1994 there was a proposal that said, "No amendment that has the effect of increasing the number of Hugo Award categories above ___ shall be in order." That is, you aren't even allowed to introduce it.