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Re: Sun Java available from non-free

Michael Meskes <meskes@debian.org> writes:
> On Sun, May 21, 2006 at 11:26:26PM -0700, Russ Allbery wrote:

>> That would make Debian, at most, a republic, not a democracy.

> Would you care to elaborate and explain it isn't a democratic republic
> then?

Debian's delegate system makes it very strongly on the republican side of
things, enough so that I think calling it a democracy is misleading.  Yes,
in theory we can elect a DPL who can then rescind any delegation and
appoint someone new, but the levels of indirection involved make that more
in the style of the original US Senate.  The point that makes it the most
democratic is the recourse to GR to *overturn* decisions, but most
decisions in the project are not made by vote and shouldn't be.  Most
decisions are not even made by elected officials, as we only have one of
those and most of the job of the DPL is cheerleading, financials,
legalities and public relations.

And whether it's a democratic republic or some other form of hybrid mostly
depends on whether you consider ftp-master to be a delegate position or a
somewhat independent check, a question that I expect would only get firmly
resolved under circumstances that none of us really want to see.

I realize that I'm drawing linguistic distinctions that few people care
about, which is why I marked my original message as a pet peeve, but I'd
say that Debian is somewhat democratic but not a democracy.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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