Aug. 14th, 2017

kevin_standlee: (Worldcon 75)
I decided to go claim a seat in the Closing Ceremony early, because I was supposed to be there as one of the representatives of Worldcon 76 San Jose. (I had changed into my Worldcon 76 "bowling shirt" before lunch.)

Close it Down )

And so officially ended Worldcon 75. There was still a bit more to do. But first, Lisa and I needed to get dinner, which led to a separate unwanted adventure.

It's a Trap )

After our "ordeal" on the elevator, and after determining that the hotel restaurant had a one-hour wait, we decided to simply get on the train and go downtown, where we ate at the same Italian restaurant across from the train station at which we've eaten earlier. Robin Johnson was dining there and recommended the moosemeat with gnocci, which Lisa had. (She called it "interesting.") I had salmon over pasta with pesto sauce, which I enjoyed. After a good meal, we went back up to Pasila, where we had one more party to attend, and unlike most of the social functions at this convention that were something of a chore, this one would be a pleasure.
kevin_standlee: (Worldcon 75)
After returning from dinner, we found our way to the Rauhanasema for the Worldcon Chairs ("Old Pharts") Party. This building, located a few hundred meters south of the convention centre, was the site of several of the parties during the convention, but I'd never actually gotten down here before. I'm very glad that this was the site of the party.

How Nice of Them! )

Before Lisa and I left for the night, we got a look at the gifts that this year's Hugo losers got, courtesy of Worldcon 76.

Chocolate Can Get You Through Times of No Hugos Better than.... )

Just before midnight, Lisa and I said our goodbyes. Lisa said she had drank most of the milk in the mini-fridge, but the Lidl closes at 21:00. We considered taking the #9 tram down to the S-Market, but worried about getting there before it closed. Then we remembered that the one by Central Station is open 24 hours, and figured we should be able to use our convention transit passes one last time back and forth downtown. Then when we got into Pasila station, we saw that the little kiosk there was still open and that they had milk, so we just picked up a liter and saved ourselves a trip downtown and worry over whether our train passes would be good on the trains running after midnight.
kevin_standlee: (Gavel of WSFS)
At the third and final Main Business Meeting on the last day of Worldcon 75, we considered (and ratified/adopted) six constitutional amendments, and for the most part we breezed right through them. In the process of doing so, I repeatedly allowed the introduction of motions to "suspend the rules, end all debate, and adopt the motion immediately" as ordinary motions to Suspend The Rules, requiring a two-thirds vote. This was wrong.

WSFS Standing Rule 5.5 reads, in part: "The motion for the Previous Question (also known as the motion to 'close debate,' 'call the question,' and 'vote now') shall not be in order when... either or both sides of the debate have yet to speak to a question." Previous Question requires a 2/3 vote ordinarily anyway, which is the same vote as Suspend the Rules. Therefore, this standing rule must be protecting a minority smaller than one-third. I think that this rule must be protecting a minority as small as a single individual present at the meeting (not absentees), because it says you can't end the debate unless at least one speaker from each side of the question has had the opportunity to speak. (It doesn't require that a speech actually happen, just that both sides get an opportunity to do so.)

In parliamentary law, there is a hierarchy of rights in the rules. For example, the majority has rights, which surprises at least one person I spoke to this past weekend, who looked at me with a confused, blank expression on his face when I told him that super-majorities of two-thirds generally have the right to not have their time wasted. Furthermore, some rules can't be suspended at all: a rule that protects absent members can't be suspended.

A rule protecting a minority of a given size cannot be suspended except by a larger majority. What that means is this:
A rule that protects the right of an individual member can only be suspended by unanimous consent.

This doesn't mean that there is an unlimited right to debate. If at least one other person has spoken to your side of the question (and the other side has had an opportunity to speak, regardless of whether they actually do so), the meeting can then vote (2/3) to shut off debate, and your right as an individual to speak can be overridden. But if your side hasn't spoken at all, you as an individual member have the right to stop the entire rest of the room from shutting down your side's debate until you get a shot at it.

Thus, the motion as it was first made by John Pomeranz was correct, as it was to "suspend the rules and adopt by acclamation," which is to say unanimous consent. But in such a case, if even one member objected, the motion should have failed, and both sides of the question should have been given the opportunity to speak to the matter if they choose to do so. After that, the motion for the Previous Question (end debate, 2/3 required) would have been in order.

Please be mindful that I'm not saying we should have "sham debate" where people take the floor to say one or two words to just barely meet a technical requirement for debate. That's foolish. But it was wrong of me to allow a motion that protected individuals (a minority of one) to be passed on anything less than a unanimous vote.

Now, my mistake doesn't invalidate the actions of the meeting. Someone, anyone could have made a Point of Order about this. Nobody did, and thus the result stands. But I don't want to make that mistake again, and I want others to learn from my mistake so that it doesn't get repeated.
kevin_standlee: (To Trains)
Here I restart the numbering of the days in our Worldcon trip, not including the five days of Worldcon itself.

Lisa and I intended to go to the Finland Railway Museum originally on Tuesday so that we could sleep in today; however, the VR (Finnish Railways) drivers union had other ideas. They called a strike to start at 18:00 Monday through 18:00 Tuesday. Therefore, if we were to go up to Hyvinkää where the museum was located, we needed to do it Monday (and get back before 18:00) or Wednesday, the day before we leave Helsinki. We decided to do it Monday. However, that meant we were running on maybe four hours of sleep when we made our way over to Pasila this morning.

To the Trains! )

We continued on to the downtown shopping center and found what to us seemed like a bargain, in an all-you-can-eat sushi/Chinese buffet for €10.50. We ate our fill. I wish this place had been near Messukeskus!

Escaping the Strike )

We boarded our Helsinki-bound train and found a pair of facing seats. Fortunately, we were going counter-commute, and people had apparently also been making alternative plans because of the strike. Initially, we thought we might ride all the way into Helsinki and then after getting dinner ride back to the hotel on a tram (the trams/buses are unaffected by the strike), but both Lisa and I kept falling asleep on the train, and Lisa said we should just go back to the hotel and go to bed.

The Elevator of Doom )

Lisa fell into bed, and I admit I almost did so as well, but there were some groceries I wanted, so I took my tote bag and went back down to the lobby. Although most of the fans have moved out, the place is filling up again with tourist groups and tennis players (an ITF tournament is in town this week). I ran across some of us late stayers (including Dave Lally) in the lobby, and ended up sitting down and shooting the breeze for a lot longer than I intended before I walked down to Lidl for more supplies. By the same I got back from the store, I had some second wind and thus decided I'd better get these photos online, including the Finland Railway Museum album.

Tomorrow we're in Helsinki. We're considering our plans, which probably include going to Suomenlinna, which is accessible on local transit because the ferry is included in transit passes. However, I'm going to see about not setting an alarm tomorrow morning. We need a recovery day.

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