Democracy in Debian (was: Anton's amendment)
Manoj Srivastava <email@example.com> wrote:
>> Perhaps you'll never change your position because this is your
>> reading of the DFSG. But for the sake of democracy you have to
>> assume that people think different, so it is not fair to impose your
> Thankfully, Debian is not a democracy. We may vote on some
> issues, but that does not mean we are a democratically run
I'm not sure you are right, except if you don't call Debian a democracy
because it's not a country (or town or the like) with a fixed group of
inhabitants, but instead a volunteer organization. If we extend the
term democracy to apply to organizations, too, or if we talk about
"democratically organized" organizations, I'd say Debian is one.
> The powers of various offeces is spelled out in the
As it is in most democracies.
> In this specific case, I am not going to let the spectre of
> democracy spur me into doing something I consider wrong. In a true
> democracy, I would either do what my constituency required even if I
> thought it wrong, or resign.
I don't think this is true, especially since often you can't know what
your constituency or its majority really thinks. Isn't it common that
politicians stay in their function until their term ends, or until
threatened or actually accused of an impeachment procedure, regardless
of whether the surveys still give them a majority?
> In Debian, I am permitted to do what I
> think is right, in as unbiased a manner as I can, until I am removed
> from my post.
And exactly the fact that your constituency can, by a spelled-out legal
procedure, remove you from your post is a hallmark of democracy. In the
case of the Project secretary, the procedure is indirect (by electing a
project leader who will not reappoint you), but that's not a problem,
and it's complicated by Debian's relation to SPI (it might additionally
require electing members of the board of the SPI who agree with the
leader in not reappointing the secretary). Except that non-DDs can be
SPI members, the balance between existing secretary, leader and SPI
board is an other characteristic of a democratic organization.
If anyone wants to follow up on this, it's probably better to move to
-project, but in that case please Cc me, I'm not subscribed there.
Single Molecule Spectroscopy, Protein Folding @ Inst. f. Biochemie, Univ. Zürich
Debian Developer (teTeX)