Name’n and Shame’n Where the Credit is Due: Setting the Record Straight on (Non)Voting in SC 34

“About ten days ago I reported that SC 34, the ISO/IEC JTC1
committee responsible for evaluating OOXML, has been unable to make
progress on any of its other important initiatives since the OOXML
vote. Why? Because the eleven Observer (O) Members that had
upgraded to Principal (P) member status in the run up to the OOXML
vote have not bothered to cast a vote (even to abstain) ever since.
P Members, you may recall, have more influence over the outcome
than do O Members.

“In the same piece, I observed that this further confirmed the
assumptions of those (myself included) that those National Bodies
that had upgraded did so solely for the purpose of voting ‘Yes’ for
OOXML, as earlier demonstrated by the fact that of the 11 upgrades
had in fact done exactly that. What I had not anticipated was that
a key standards committee would now be suffering serious collateral
damage when these new members have shown no willingness to
vote–even to the extend of simply casting an ‘abstention,’ which
would suffice to meet the requisite 50% participation among P
Members for a vote to pass…”

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