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Re: Second Call for votes for the Constitutional Amendment GR to disambiguate section 4.1.5


I'd just like to comment on this, since I've not had time to do so
before.  I know I'm just another developer from a legal point of view,
and that I'm very late, but perhaps, since I wrote the constitution
(and no-one objected about this alleged `ambiguity' at the time) my
views might be relevant:

* Only proposal B (no Foundation Documents) is a clarification.  Any
other reading of the constitution is IMO wishful thinking by those who
want the DFSG and SC to be entrenched[1] at best, and sophistry at

* The DFSG and SC should _not_ be entrenched, because they're so
woolly and in some places ill-thought-out. They have not been
subject to rigorous line-by-line editing.  Originally Bruce Perens
drafted versions of them with minimal consultation and they've
acquired a kind of mythic status since then.

* The DFSG and SC should _not_ be entrenched, because it's important
that the Debian project should be able to take decisions about these
kind of questions without having to wrestle with history.  In
particular, if (to take a current example) a majority of developers
want rid of non-free, then it's unreasonable to try to force them to
help support it[2] by entrenching the SC.  Effort should be voluntary,
and that means that when collective decisions about desirability of
effort are necessary for practical reasons, the decisions should be by
simple majority.

[1] `Entrench' here is a legal technical term, meaning that the
document or institution is harder to change.  Eg, the constitution
itself is entrenched.  Proposals A and C seek to entrench the SC
(and DFSG).

[2] I think that `forcing people to help support non-free' is a fair
way to describe using the resources which come to Debian as a result
of the developers' free software activities to support non-free
software without those developers' consent.  Others may disagree with
what is perhaps tendentious phrasing.

Thanks, and can I encourage everyone who hasn't voted yet, and those
who have but are convinced, to place Further Discussion above Proposal
A and above Proposal C.  Proposal B is unnecessary but may shut up
some wrong people :-).


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