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Re: Manifesto for the Debian Project leadership election - Ian Jackson

Bruce writes:
> [Ian Jackson:]
> > I'd like to have major political decisions (such as the Debian social
> > contract and free software guidelines) made either by direct polling
> > of the developers
> ...
> > I also plan to formally ratify the DFSG and social contract.
> It looks as if you were not present at that time, but the Social
> Contract and DFSG have already been voted on in a direct poll of
> the developers. They ratified it by a large majority.

I was there, and participated in the discussion.  If you find my
postings you'll see that I argued for a change which did not make it
into the final version.

At the time I was unhappy with the procedure being used, which was
basically that the developers were presented with the leader's
favoured version and given the opportunity to vote it down or not.

There was no opportunity for them to directly affect what the content
of the final DFSG was, other than by playing `defect' by voting
against the whole thing.  In the context in question this was
extremely unlikely to happen, because a `no' would probably have been
interpreted as a weakening of the hard free software line which most
of the developers seem to support to various degrees.

I feel that this mechanism was (unintentionally) manipulative, I and
intend to provide a mechanism for such decisionmaking where
well-supported proposals for amendments can be voted on.

For the reasons described above I feel that the DFSG weren't
meaningfully decided upon by the developers - they just acted as a
rubber stamp for the leader's authority.  The developers were asked
for input, but there was no mechanism for _them_ to decide the content
of the DFSG other than for the leader to choose to incorporate some of
their proposals.

I therefore propose to put the DFSG through the procedure I shall set
up, after that procedure itself has been approved by the membership.


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