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Re: Draft GR for supermajority fix

Anthony Towns writes ("Re: Draft GR for supermajority fix"):
> The original patch for this issue changed those to refer to a
> supermajority requirement:
>   http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=636783#10
> Using the term "supermajority" consistently to refer to 3:1 etc but
> not 1:1 seems like the clearer approach to me.

How about this.  I have dropped your change to the <cite> at the end
of the Standard Resolution Procedure.  While I think it's probably
a fine wording improvement, the existing wording is not wrong and we
shouldn't be "tidying up" this text.



1. The Debian Technical Committee hereby exercises its power in
   4.2(1) of the Debian Constitution to propose the following
   General Resolution:


   Constitutional Amendment- TC Supermajority Fix

   Prior to the Clone Proof SSD GR in June 2003, the Technical
   Committee could overrule a Developer with a supermajority of 3:1.

   Unfortunately, the definition of supermajorities in the SSD GR has a
   fencepost error.  In the new text a supermajority requirement is met
   only if the ratio of votes in favour to votes against is strictly
   greater than the supermajority ratio.

   In the context of the Technical Committee voting to overrule a
   developer that means that it takes 4 votes to overcome a single
   dissenter.  And with a maximum committee size of 8, previously two
   dissenters could be overruled by all 6 remaining members; now that
   is no longer possible.

   This change was unintentional, was contrary to the original intent
   of the Constitution, and is unhelpful.

   Therefore, amend the Debian Constitution as follows:

   (i) Replace "majority" with "supermajority" everywhere a ratio
   other than 1:1 is specified.  That is, in
      4.1(2) -- Developers' power to amend the Constitution
      4.1(4) -- Developers' power to overrule the TC
      4.1(5)(3) -- Developers' power to amend Foundation Documents
      6.1(4) -- TC's power to overrule a Developer (both occurrences)
   replace the word "majority" with "supermajority".

   (ii) In A.6(3):

       3. Any (non-default) option which does not defeat the default
          option by its required majority ratio is dropped from
           1. Given two options A and B, V(A,B) is the number of voters
              who prefer option A over option B.
    -      2. An option A defeats the default option D by a majority
    -         ratio N, if V(A,D) is strictly greater than N * V(D,A).
    -      3. If a supermajority of S:1 is required for A, its majority
    -         ratio is S; otherwise, its majority ratio is 1.
    +      2. An option A defeats the default option D by its
    +         required majority ratio if both:
    +          (a) V(A,D) is strictly greater than V(D,A); and
    +          (b) if a supermajority of N:M is required for A,
    +              M * V(A,D) is greater than or equal to N * V(D,A).

   (iii) In A.3(2) "Voting procedure", delete as follows:
	 2. The default option must not have any supermajority requirements.
    -       Options which do not have an explicit supermajority requirement
    -       have a 1:1 majority requirement.

   The effect is to fix the fencepost bug, and make the wording
   consistent, by always referring to "supermajorities" where
   applicable.  A 1:1 vote will need strictly more in favour than
   against, but an N:1 vote will need only exactly N:1.  This will
   also have a (neglible) effect on any General Resolutions requiring

   For the avoidance of any doubt, this change does not affect any
   votes (whether General Resolutions or votes in the Technical
   Committee) in progress at the time the change is made.


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