Re: Bundled votes and the secretary
On Wed, Dec 17 2008, Steve Langasek wrote:
BTW, thanks for not flaming here; it was pleasantly surprising
to see civil discussion on this topic.
> Where there's ambiguity about whether a proposer intended an amendment vs. a
> stand-alone proposal, I think it's perfectly reasonable to allow the
> secretary latitude in determining intent so as to not get bogged down in
> proceduralism. I don't think that was the case here for
> <20081114201224.GA11008@intrepid.palfrader.org> - though I'm having a hard
> time coming up with references at the moment, I believe there were
> objections from some of the seconders of this proposal that it was meant to
> be a stand-alone proposal rather than an amendment.
> When I wrote my earlier message, I believed this was much more clear-cut; on
> review, I see that the original proposer left the question rather open by
> referring to his GR as a "GR (option)". So there are still two
> possibilities here:
> - enough of the 17 seconders expressed no opinion on the question of
> whether this shoud be a separate GR, as would allow interpreting
> their intent in favor of treating it as an amendment and putting it
> on a ballot with the original proposal
> - more than 12 of the formal seconders objected to placing this
> proposal on the same ballot with the original due to the orthogonal
> issues, in which case it's not constitutionally valid to override
> their stated intent by treating it as an amendment.
> So chances are, there's enough ambiguity here that it's constitutionally
> valid to put it on the same ballot as a "related amendment".
> There's a separate issue here, however; namely, that the secretary is the
> *only* line of defense against gaming of the GR process by a small group of
> developers who propose an uncontroversial but orthogonal amendment that will
> always win over the alternatives, in the process preventing the will of the
> project from being formally enacted:
> It's not unconstitutional for the secretary to keep orthogonal
> amendments on the same ballot, and it is the secretary's prerogative
> to keep amendments grouped on a single ballot if he believes they are
> related. But when there are multiple orthogonal issues being
> considered on a single ballot, choosing to not split those ballots
> means disenfranchising the proposers of the
> less-popular-but-popular-enough-to-pass option. Given that developers
> already have the power to propose as many serial GRs as needed in
> order to reconcile incompatibilities between ratified resolutions, the
> disenfranchisement is a much worse exploit of our voting system than
> anything that could be achieved by forcing partially-orthogonal
> options onto separate ballots.
OK. I'll buy this line of reasoning. I do agree that beig able
to split off unrelated options from the ballot is more useful than
keeping related options together. I have been going over my notes and
doing some research, but every option I came up with for tactical
voting seems only valid for one-shot elections; where people could not
propose the same vote over and over. This is not the case here.
So it boils down to this: are the issue orthogonal, or are they
just different solutions to the same issue? I have presented my
argument for why I think they are the same; can you explain why those
arguments do not hold, and these are not just different solutions to
the same issue?
The documentation is in Japanese. Good luck. Rich $alz
Manoj Srivastava <email@example.com> <http://www.debian.org/~srivasta/>
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