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Re: Election Dates

Darren Benham wrote:

> If the constitution is violating someone's "free speech", submit a
> proposal to
> have it changed.  If you think I'm reading the constitution wrong,
> tell me...
> but these are two different issues.  Saying that "not allowing
> campaigning
> during the first three weeks violates your free speech rights" is not
> going to
> change the fact the the constitution that Debian adopted and agreed
> (in this
> case, lack of a negative vote is assumed to be quiet acceptance) to
> abide by
> says no campaigning during the the nomination period.

Yes, I think you are reading the constitution wrong.  I think I made
that very clear in my previous message on the subject, wherein I said:

     >> FWIW, I do not think the Debian constitution is designed to
     suppress the rights of
     >> free speech.  I see no basis to forbid campaigning on the
     ground that it is not
     >> specifically "authorized" during the nomination period.

> I can already hear somebody saying "but I didn't accept, I didn't even
> vote"
> but I don't think that's a valid argument, either, for disregarding
> what the
> constitution says.

I'm not arguing for disregarding the constitution.  Please put your
strawmen away.  I think you misunderstand the lack of an explicit
"permission" to be an implicit prohibition.  It is generally the case in
contracts and constitutions that the parties do not waive rights they
had prior to the agreement, unless explicitly stated therein.

Or do you think we need to adopt a Debian Bill of Rights, to explicitly
set forth the exceptions to the power of the Debian Constitution to
regulate every facet of our Debian activity?

> > Darren's post further suggested
> > that
> > non-candidates ought not to post DPL election-related messages
> during this
> > period,
> > which is a fairly serious circumscription of developers' speech.
> Specificly, I *asked* that non-canidates not post messages that might
> intice
> the canidates to respond.

Yes, I think that's what "suggested" means.  I didn't mean to imply that
you had done otherwise, nor indeed would I have been nearly so cordial
in my response if I thought you really had issued some sort of edict.

> If I were to post a long message on why Joe Brown
> isn't qualified to run Debian, he'd be really really tempted to defend
> himself
> and point out why he IS the perfect canidate....   Or if you were to
> ask the
> canidates what their opinion of staring to include non-free as part of
> the
> official Debian, well, they'd be rude to just ignore the question..
> not
> answer.. and stating their opinions would be campaigning.  If you
> really really
> have to know, you could always email them privatly... This isn't any
> sort of
> *law* more of a favor to the rest of Debian.

It may be good to move the political discussions entirely off
debian-devel, and ruling the subject off-topic on general principle
would certainly seem to be within reason if another list is more
suitable.  On the other hand, your implication that candidates should
not be free to respond is, I think, based upon your erroneous reading of
the constitution, as specified above.

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