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Re: Social Committee proposal

On Fri, Jan 26, 2007 at 11:54:54AM +0100, Raphael Hertzog wrote:
> > > It's much simpler to take important decisions within a board: when you're
> > > alone as DPL, you fear taking the wrong decision and end up taking no
> > > decision. Within a board, it only needs one person motivated enough to
> > > bring an issue to a vote and get a result that is way stronger.
> > 
> > That's tricky when it comes to social relations. It only takes one person
> > motivated enough to sway opinions in what others may think is the wrong
> > direction. That would be detrimental - just like the technical committee
> > doesn't really *lead*, the social committee shouldn't lead, either.
> > It should offer assistance and guidance, but not too much beforehand.
> Each member of the committee is free to have opinions, however to change
> that into a statement from the committee, he needs agreement from others via
> a vote or something.
> So no I don't really think, it's detrimental. It's needed... the committee
> is (like the DPL) here to support good ideas and give inputs when things
> are not as good as they should or could be.

Well, I agree that people can always be influential enough to convince
others to follow in their tracks. But let's get back on track here.

Because of our almost inescapable herd-of-cats mentality, I think that it
will be best if we agree on a more-passive-than-active social committee
right now, and later when we see how it works out, if it works out well,
decide by another GR to put more trust in it and allow it to act more.

> > That's interesting, and it's probably worth considering, but again, it deals
> > more with leadership than anything.
> I beleive it's tightly coupled. It's difficult to respect a single
> individual you have not voted for. It's easier to accept the decisions
> taken by 10 persons when you like what 6 of them are doing.

Good point, that's why the social committee should have several members
elected by a Condorcet method :)

> > > In that case, you need to have decision mechanism that scales
> > > accordingly: votes are open for a short period of time (let's say 4
> > > days) and the quorum for a vote ought to be relatively slow because on
> > > a large group, you'll have always 1/3rd to 50% who are on business
> > > trip, on vacation, busy, whatever.
> > 
> > I figured that having the same voting time and quorum as the leadership
> > election. You are right that it tends to draw out, but it's less of a
> > problem if the positions last over a year. You want to give people ample
> > time to get back from whatever distraction and help decide the membership
> > of the committee for the next two years.
> I was referring to decisions taken by the committee itself not to the
> way we elect the committee.

Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't notice the word 'decision', mistook it for

As far as the decision making among the soc-ctte members, I figured the
technical committee rules could be matched. I covered that with a blanket

Let's see the section 6.3.1 of the constitution:

  The Technical Committee uses the Standard Resolution Procedure.

  A draft resolution or amendment may be proposed by any member of the
  Technical Committee. There is no minimum discussion period; the voting
  period lasts for up to one week, or until the outcome is no longer in
  doubt. Members may change their votes. There is a quorum of two.

Oh, now I see why Manoj may be thinking that the soc-ctte could be more
active than passive. The sentence 'draft resolution may be proposed by any
member of the committee' sounds like it would allow for random social policy
to be invented based on 

Thinking about it, we can easily strike that out.

Or replace it with something more lenient, such as random proposals by
soc-ctte members themselves being limited to advisory decisions, rather
than prescribing and overruling decisions.

Thoughts? (Manoj also?)

Now, back to the point about the process.

We could set a minimum discussion period to seven days (one week).
That would seem a reasonable requirement for a group where many could be
on vacation, on a trip, etc.

The quorum could be set to 50%, for example. That would be good for the
aforementioned reason, and for the simple reason of democratic legitimacy.

> My view implies replacing the DPL by a DPL board, so it's better if we
> change the rules before to elect a board instead of a single individual.
> :-)

I don't think we can get both things done in time this year, unless we
combine the ballot.

I really fear that a combined ballot might also mean that there is a
conflation of issues. I don't want that to happen.

But, in any case, even if we finalize the terms on the soc-ctte ammendment
soon, a vote on that will end only after four weeks (minimum GR discussion
period is two weeks, and another two weeks pass for voting period).

The nomination period for the leader election 2007 should end around the
25th of February, so that is too soon.

     2. That which causes joy or happiness.

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