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Re: Northern Principality Organizational Meeting January 11

Poster: David KUIJT <kuijt@umiacs.umd.edu>

On Tue, 6 Jan 1998, Caitlin Cheannlaidir wrote:

> Do I correctly understand from the above that the purpose of the meeting is
> to formulate a proposal, not to discuss the question of whether moving in
> this direction is a good or bad idea?  Thus, only (in Duke Galmr's terms)
> pro-Principality folks and fence-sitters need attend?

Yes to the first, Not Exactly to the second.  

Yes, the purpose of the meeting is to move forward towards formulating a
proposal -- a good proposal will take months (at least) to create, with
input from (I hope) everyone interested in the area. 

But the meeting is a public forum, and the first one so far (excepting the
discussion on the internet).  If people have concerns about the idea, they
should attend and express them in a constructive fashion.  You are correct
in that the purpose of the meeting is not a formal or informal debate, and
certainly not a vote (that would come much later, after a proposal is
created).  But the input of reasonable people, regardless of their opinion
on the matter, is always a good thing.

> I can see advantages
> to that approach (when a yea vs. nay debate is held, eventually, everyone
> will be focusing on the same proposal)

Exactly so.

> but on the other hand it seems
> likely to disguise the actual evolving balance of opinion.

A vote (on a proposal) is a determination of the balance of opinion.  A
public debate is not a good measure of the balance of opinion -- a public
debate is like this forum, or the Principality discussion list --
a self-selected group, not necessarily representative of the whole
population.  In an email forum like this greater weight is given to people
who can write well, and who write often.  In a public debate, greater
weight is given to the words of people who speak in public well, and
(sometimes) to those who are the most strident and loud.  Neither one of
them is necessarily a good measure of the balance of opinion.

This meeting is not an attempt to discern the balance of opinion, and
certainly not to disguise it.  It is the beginning of an effort to create
a proposal, nothing more.


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