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Re: More polls and social pressure

On Thu, 23 Feb 2006, MJ Ray wrote:
> > [...] I also believe that the delegate will most of
> > the time make up their own opinions and won't blindly follow the majority
> > if they (belive they) have grounded objections.
> How does that differ from the current situation: relying on a
> delegate's good judgement? I don't see what benefit you get if
> you "officialize" the polls, rather than keep them informal.

Most of the polls would probably not concern a decision of a delegate,
except in some rare cases. By officializing, I only mean :
- let the DD know that they have the possibility to use "polls" for:
  - evaluating the power of the various trends after a big discussion
    which lacks a clear outcome.
  - evaluating the opinion of their fellow developers on a project they plan
    to do
- be able to use d-d-a for those polls

> > I mean several delegates took difficult decisions without any project-wide
> > approval. Those probably don't fear to do something that is not accepted
> > by the majority and the fact that they know that the project disagree will
> > invite them to explain why they don't follow the majority.  All of this
> > looks sane to me.
> I'm not sure: shouldn't ignored minorities get explanations, too?

Yes they should. But polls will change nothing here. If they don't get any
explanation, they can only try to request some.

Consider a delegate that doesn't explain his actions. He upsets some people
but he doesn't know how many and thinks "whatever I do, I'll upset someone,
so let's forget about the bitchers on the list". He probably considers that
the people complaining are in a minority. If it's not a minority, then a
vast group of people will be upset and that's bad for our project.

However with polls, the delegate will notice that his decision has upset a
majority of people and will try to explain his decision in order to
reduce/limit the bad feelinsg expressed.

> > BTW, on a related note, someone pointed to me by private mail to "demexp",
> > a project of "democratic experience" :
> > http://www.demexp.org/rubrique.php3?id_rubrique=1
> Thanks for the link. One improvement of that one, compared with
> this suggestion, is that each participant can suggest responses.

I imagine that polls that ought to conclude a big discussion are like
mini-GR and everyone should be able to propose an item on the ballot, much
like that.

> How would most references get on the ballot?  I thought polls
> would be suggested by only one DD (for speed), and it's natural
> if some support one option and maybe don't understand the others
> enough to pick the best summary emails.

I imagine we need a kind of "poll secretary". Anyone requesting a poll
should try to give the initial options, the secretary may complete and then
propose the poll on the list for possible adjustements or for
additional options.

> > For me, it's clear that a poll makes only sense when the discussion has
> > lasted a bit and that most discussions have lead to disagreements which
> > can't be solved with technical adjustements.
> How would you limit nonsense polls?

There's no definite answer, the "poll secretary" will discuss with the
proponent if he believes that the poll doesn't make sense or if it's too
early for the poll.

Since the polls are not binding, we don't need the same level of care than
for GR.

> I feel that attempting to officialise the polls as a
> decision-making aid will result in something very similar to
> the constitution Standard Resolution Procedure or a reform of it.
> That's not surprising, as the polls were based on its methods.

It's possible, but I find lightweight GRs quite useful. There are many
questions that ought to find answers, but that just don't because running
a GR is overkill (taking too long - almost 1 month min, too much formalism).

Raphaël Hertzog

Premier livre français sur Debian GNU/Linux :

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