[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Bug#636783: Constitutional Amendment: TC Supermajority Fix


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 (negligible) effect on any General Resolutions
   requiring supermajorities.

   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.


2. It is not practical for the TC to vote to accept/reject individual
   amendments to the GR proposal.  The TC would wish to delegate its
   power to accept amendments, to avoid needing the collection of
   sponsors for uncontroversial changes.  However the Secretary has
   advised that this is not constitutionally acceptable.

   Therefore, to achieve roughly the same effect, the TC makes the
   following promise.  If any TC member gives notice that the TC
   accepts an amendment, then at least one of the following will

     (a) the TC will use its own power under A.1(1) to arrange that
         the amendment appears on the GR ballot as an option;

     (b) the TC will use its power under A.1(1) to propose and
         its power under A.1(2) to accept the amendment, so that
         the amendment is incorporated in the version voted on; or

     (c) A member of the TC will publicly notify the amendment's
         proposer that the amendment will not be accepted after all.
         In this case TC will wait at least 7 more days before calling
         for a vote, to give time for the amendment's proposer to
         collect sponsors.


Reply to: