Re: [Last-Call] Consensus call (was: Other stuff)

Pete Resnick <> Thu, 27 October 2022 00:21 UTC

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From: Pete Resnick <>
To: Keith Moore <>
Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2022 19:20:54 -0500
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Subject: Re: [Last-Call] Consensus call (was: Other stuff)
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On 26 Oct 2022, at 16:46, Keith Moore wrote:

> On 10/26/22 16:29, Pete Resnick wrote:
>> Second, determining (rough) consensus is not our call to make. It's 
>> the IESG's in the case of IETF-wide Last Calls. Pointing out that a 
>> particular view has not been taken into account in the discussion 
>> seems perfectly reasonable to me, but I don't think claiming that 
>> there is or isn't rough consensus is particularly useful or 
>> appropriate (anymore than saying, "Pete's point definitely beats 
>> Stu's point" is).
> I almost agree, except for two things:
> (1) A volunteer organization is ultimately responsible to its 
> volunteers, and it's vital that we keep our facilitators honest. When 
> a WG chair, or for that matter IESG, declares consensus and there's 
> clearly not a consensus (or vice versa) the first line of defense from 
> the community is to point out that they've made a dubious call.   
> Sometimes the chair will reconsider their decision in light of such 
> feedback, which is a lot less overhead and less stress than an appeal.
> (2) In this case, however, private responses to iesg@ are explicitly 
> permitted.   So in this case there's no way that anyone but IESG can 
> be expected to take into account the full spectrum of responses when 
> determining consensus.
> (In the event of an appeal on the consensus call, presumably IAB can 
> request to see all of those messages, and IAB's liason to IESG will 
> presumably be able to provide them.)

Completely agree; I actually started to add a paragraph about the appeal 
thing (both the informal, "Hey chair, I think you might have blown it" 
and the formal sort), but left it out because I didn't want to belabor 
the point. But absolutely, that is the appropriate time to question a 
consensus caller if they have not sufficiently explained their 

Note that all IESG Last Call announcements explicitly permit 
("exceptionally", they say) private comments to be sent to the IESG. If 
a determination is based in part on those comments (for any Last Call), 
and the determination would be "surprising" to the community, I would 
expect the content of such comments to be explicitly noted in the IESG's 

Pete Resnick
All connections to the world are tenuous at best