My question is, should we view e-mail participation as "attendance" and therefore count towards eligibity to take part in formal ballots?
Undoubtedly, the best contributions come as a result of the interaction during the live discussions, so meeting attendance should be encouraged, and proxy participation reserved for exceptional cases. But, my personal view is that it would be unfair to exclude those members, as their contribution is still significant.
This raises a number of side-issues:
- If e-mail contributions are counted as attendance, then the member is unlikely to be available at the following meeting, making the logistics of approving the minutes more awkward.
- Similarly, the member is unlikely to be present if a ballot is held during the "live" meeting, although electronic balloting (e.g. using these forums) could be employed.
- Maybe the answer would be clear if we were sure of the aim of the rostering criteria: Is it
- To encourage attendance at meetings?
- To ensure votes go the active members?
- Some other reason?
Is it possible to measure electronic participation to determine if the "50% of duration" criterion has been met? - I suspect not.Each member is expected to attend meetings as required by these procedures. The Secretary records attendance for members who attend at least 50% of a meeting's duration. Attendance at a meeting via teleconferencing and/or electronic means, e.g., Internet conferencing, shall count towards the attendance requirements.