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[dissenting]: Proposal: Enhance requirements for General resolutions

On Sat, Mar 21, 2009 at 03:47:57PM +0100, Joerg Jaspert wrote:
> Hi,

I have to disapprove on a proposal whose purpose is essentially to
disfranchise developers from their right related to general resolutions.
General resolutions are a much more democratic and mature processes to handle
conflicts than massive flamewars that unfortunately are occasionally seen on
our lists.  Restricting them is not going to help the project.

Secondly, the GR process depends heavily on the possibility of developers
to offer amendments and extra options on the ballots. In particular it
is vital that middle-ground options get on the ballot. Requiring of them
a high number of seconds might bar them from being on the ballot, because
they are not preferred options, but compromises. 

> I have felt for some time that the low requirement for seconds on General
> Resolutions is something that should be fixed. Currently it needs 5
> supporters to get any idea laid before every Debian Developer to vote
> on. While this small number was a good thing at the time Debian was
> smaller, I think it is no longer the case. We currently have over 1000
> Developers, and even if not everyone is active all the time, there
> should be a little higher barrier before all of them have to deal with
> something, effectively taking away time from their usual Debian work.

This theory does not match the project history in any way. 
vote.debian.org details all the GR which garnered sufficient
level of support to be valid to be called for vote:

The first GR was passed in June 2003 and there were 804 developers.
The last GR was passed in November 2008 and there were 1018 developers.

So the number of developers did not significantly increase as far as
GR are concerned.

Furthermore I am a Debian since 2001 and I see no evidence than the GR process
was abused during that time. On the contrary, some GR were delayed to the point
where it was inconvenient for the release process.

> While one could go and define another arbitary number, like 10 or 15 or
> whatever, I propose to move this to something that is dependent on the
> actual number of Developers, as defined by the secretary, and to
> increase its value from the current 5 to something higher. My personal
> goal is 2Q there, which would mean 30 supporters. If you can't find 30
> supporters, out of 1000 Developers, your idea is most probably not worth
> taking up time of everyone else.

To set an example, are you willing to refrain to call for vote this GR until
you get at least 30 seconds ?

> this will mean that future GRs would need 30 other people to support
> your idea. While that does seem a lot (6times more than now),
> considering that a GR affects more than 1000 official Developers and
> uncounted amounts of other people doing work for Debian, I think its not
> too much. Especially as point b only requires 15 people, 3 times the
> amount than now, in case there is a disagreement with the DPL, TC or
> a Delegate.

I am afraid this GR will be inefficient to reach its objective (which
I disapprove of):

1) It does not limit the number of GR proposal which will be made, only
the number that will be callable for vote.

2) This will reduce the standard for seconding GR proposals.

3) It can be worked around by a set of 25 developers that would just
seconds any GR proposal made, even if they plan to vote against.

Bill. <ballombe@debian.org>

Imagine a large red swirl here. 

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