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new maintainers

I'm interested in this question for several reasons.  Basically, I'd
like to be a new maintainer, but the process is 1) not clear and 2)
officially closed.  So I'm sitting here, waiting, wondering what
possible motivations there could be for ever having it officially
closed, and bemusedly wondering what will happen to Debian if the
current situation persists for too long.

If there are lots of maintainers not properly handling their bug
reports, then clearly Debian needs some new maintainers.  There is a
very substantial list of packages that are either orphaned or whose
maintainers have requested that someone else take up the slack.  There
is a very large list of release-critical bugs for potato, and more
competent people would be useful for bugsquash weekends.  

The process of adding a new maintainer takes a certain amount of
effort, and I certainly understand the possibility of a backlog--the
new maintainer registrar certainly doesn't need to be expected to add
people instantaneously.  But my understanding is that the addition of
new maintainers is not merely slow, but has been officially stopped.

Why?  What IS the motivation?  Here I am, a highly competent person, a
happy and satisfied Debian user, and someone who thinks it's my duty
to contribute back to Debian with some of my labor and talent.


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