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How you could have won the CIRA election

The most obvious way of winning the CIRA election was completely (and arguably, appropriately) overlooked by all of the candidates.

There are some restrictions on who can vote. They have to be Canadian, they have to own a .ca domain name and they have to be a CIRA member. The first is tough to do anything about, but there are a lot of Canadians, so presumably a candidate could find a lot of people to vote for them. Problem is, most people that potential candidates know aren’t .ca domain owners, never mind being CIRA members. Even though it only costs (on average) about $15 to register a .ca domain name and a few minutes to authenticate as a member before the start of the Annual General Meeting in order to make the cut-off, the $$+process+timing issues are probably just enough to make it difficult to launch a general campaign targeted at the general public. Its much more productive to go after existing members and try and win their vote.

Except this year was different. Yola is giving away free .ca domain names at gybo.ca. *Anyone* could have become a CIRA member for free. Sure there were a few hoops to jump through, but I’m sure that candidates could have convinced a few people to sign up for free and vote for them.

Only a few hundred ballots separate winners in this election. A broader campaign bringing new members in could have carried the day. Definitely something for potential candidates to think about next year.

Also something for the CIRA Board to seriously consider in how they structure their governance and policy development activities.

Just saying’.

  • Thanks for posting this Ross. I tried doing this with some of my family members with limited success.

    I found one of them had their identity stolen twice before and was reluctant to upload any personal information to the web – understandable and nothing I can do to help.

    A second relative signed up, registered a domain and build a nice website with Yola (we still have to figure out how to tie the “free” domain to the site though). She signed up for a CIRA membership, got the first confirmation email and then nothing. Apparently the image she uploaded (not sure what she did exactly) wasn’t readable for CIRA staff, but the email telling her to re-apply never made it into her inbox.

    From most people I tried to sign up, getting an image of their ID seemed to be the biggest problem. Should I have to run again, I’ll have to set up a scanner here and invite everybody over ;-)

    • That’s not a terrible idea! 

      It would be nice if the process was streamlined somehow. I don’t have any bright ideas there, and I’m also completely sympathetic to people who run into difficulties getting authenticated.