From: Kenneth Whistler (email@example.com)
Date: Tue Nov 30 2004 - 15:35:39 CST
John Cowan clarified the JTC1 process:
> The result of a
> "no" vote is that the process loops until all such votes are resolved.
All comments on a formal JTC1 ballot receive a *disposition*.
As far as possible, that disposition is done by committee consensus,
which usually means, in practice, the avoidance of strongly held
objections by the participants. Creating a disposition does not
necessarily mean that a comment is *resolved*, however, as a
comment may turn out to be ill-formed, ambiguous, irreconcilable,
or balanced against an opposite view by some other national body's
The process proceeds until the maximal formal consensus can be
achieved on the ballots -- which doesn't necessarily mean that
all the No votes are resolved to Yes votes -- just as many as
prove feasible, given the votes, the comments, and the
in committee responses by the national body representatives.
> If consensus cannot be reached, the proposal is eventually
> dropped, I suppose.
Note that consensus does not necessarily mean unanimity,
although unanimity is, of course, the best sign of consensus.
A *proposal* which does not have some kind of consensus
generally never makes it into formal ballotting. Once
a CD (Committee Draft) or an Amendment is in formal ballotting,
it generally proceeds ahead to publication, although it
may require extra rounds of ballotting and ballot comment
resolution, if it proves particularly contentious. An
excellent example of such a process of repeated substantial
reworking and reballotting was the original completion of
ISO/IEC 10646-1:1993 itself. That took many years and multiple
ballots to complete, and along the way took a fair amount
of out-of-the-box thinking and some fancy footwork to
garner sufficient consensus to progress the document to
the status of International Standard.
People whose ideas of committee decision making revolve
around Robert's Rules of Order and recorded motions with
yea or nay voting may find the JTC1 committee processes
somewhat arcane and baffling in practice.
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