Re: First call for votes for the Lenny release GR
On Fri, 19 Dec 2008, Patrick Schoenfeld wrote:
> On Fri, Dec 19, 2008 at 09:28:27AM +0100, Raphael Hertzog wrote:
> > No. The constitution doesn't say that the secretary's job is to interpret
> > the DFSG and decide if the 3:1 majority requirement applies. And the job
> > of the secretary (contrary to the job of most delegates and debian
> > packagers) is expressly defined by the constitution.
> Its not neccessary to interpret the DFSG in order to set majority
I agree with this. But Manoj doesn't.
> > The constitution says:
> > “A Foundation Document requires a 3:1 majority for its supersession. New
> > Foundation Documents are issued and existing ones withdrawn by amending
> > the list of Foundation Documents in this constitution.“
> > Superseding a document is easily recognizable: it's when you explicitely
> > say that you're going to change its _content_ (ex:
> > http://www.debian.org/vote/2004/vote_003 ).
> I wouldn't say that it is that easy.
It is. Does the resolution say what the new version of the foundation
document will look like if it's accepted ? If yes, then it supersedes the
document. Otherwise it doesn't.
> We do not have rules for temporary overriding a foundation document, therefore
> we need to apply one of the rules we have.
I'm sorry, you don't have to pick one of the existing rules and stretch it
to cover some unexpected case. The default rule for position statement
applies and it's a GR with a 1:1 ratio.
> abrogating it and yes its permanent. But if you abrogate it temporary
> the effect is still the same.
No. In one case, we alter our (long-term) goal, in the other we don't.
Anthony Towns is right. Some people take the social contract as a law.
Other take it as a goal. We probably need to clear up this. But even if
we consider it as law, the social contract is written in such a way that
there's room for interpretation, whereas the constitution is much more
precise in all our rules.
> > Any time that this is not the
> > case, you should assume that we're not changing our common goal but that
> > we're discussing the interpretation that we make of it or that we're
> > discussing the compromise that we can currently accept in order to
> > reach our common objective (as defined by the foundation document).
> No, thats a inherently wrong way to work with a constitution. Somebody
I was not speaking of the constitution but of the “Foundation documents”.
Quoting the constitution:
“The Foundation Documents are the works entitled "Debian Social Contract"
and "Debian Free Software Guidelines".”
The constitution is not a foundation document although it is subject to
the same rules for its modification.
> > And this is a prerogative of the project: we as a whole (as defined by a
> > simple majority), should be able do make decisions on how Debian will
> > achieve its goals without fearing to be blocked by the interpretation of
> > one of its member (be it the secretary).
> That is right, but consider your wording: You say that we as a *whole* should
> be able to make decisions on how Debian will achieve its goals and thats exactly
> why there are majority requirements. A whole project wouldn't have a problem
> fitting the 3:1 majority if it were the decision of the whole project. This
> argumentation therefore is kind of odd. Saying its one person who does block it
> is not fair either. Manoj did not say "Our consitution does not allow to vote,
> my opinion is binding according to our consitution" so your wording is a bad
I'm at a loss… I don't know how I can better explain the problem. I'll thy
If you consider that we all agree on the goals (and for me this is a
given, we all agreed to the social contract), imposing a 3:1 ratio
on any vote that should decide how we will handle the next step (that
should bring us closer to our goals) is an effective way to block
any progress: we've seen at numerous occasions that consensus is
almost unachievable and that we need fair decision-making process.
Imposing consensus is okay when it comes to changing/altering our
objectives. But it's not okay when it comes to decisions on how we want to
reach our objectives.
I hope this clears it up.
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