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Re: Social Committee proposal (taking decisions by direct voting)


On Sat, Jan 27, 2007 at 04:25:26PM +0200, Kalle Kivimaa wrote:
> Josip Rodin <joy@entuzijast.net> writes:
> > Yes, but that would mean that it could have hundreds of members.
> > That's just not manageable.
> You're an optimist, I would think that there are at most a few dozen
> interested people in Debian. But yes, in theory you could have as many
> member as there are DD's (assuming that the membership would be
> limited to DD's only).
> > It would be inherently less accountable because people don't have any means
> > to replace its members. Should we really let anyone join, and then have to
> > convince the leader or do a general resolution vote every time we want to
> > replace someone who's doing something wrong?
> Well, now I'm being optimist, but I would think that a vote to replace
> a member would happen a lot less often than a (yearly) election.
> FWIW, I'm for a group of people taking an active role in tackling our
> social problems. I'm just not sure if an elected committee is the best
> way of doing that.

And what about having the election body enlarged to the complete (or
voluntary) developers crowd with a permanent and _easy_ way of

If I understand well, the currently preferred way to solve conflicts
(even minor ones) is first trying to reach a consensus among the
developers through mailing lists, and in a last resort, in case of a
failure to build a consensus, calling for ctte or DPL mediation or
even start a GR.

The vote on a GR is used last as setting up a vote in Debian is
currently a heavy process. Because of this, I have even seen at times
people trying to substitute (more or less reliable) polls to influence
sensitive decisions.

Electronic mail is not that a good medium for debate. When I read
flames (do I?) usually involving a very limited number of people, I
always wonder: what is thinking the 'silent' majority. It has the
drawback to favour people very fluent in English and having enough time
to write those long heated mails (and when they are prominent
developers, I ask myself: when do they sleep?). But many times, I
have been surprised by the outcome of GR, very different from what
seemed to emanate from the lists discussions.

A (free software) tool for making direct voting and decision taking
easy is developed there:
It could be of interest to the Debian project as a whole (that has
been a source of inspiration by its voting method) or for decision
taking in sub-committees (as the soc-ctte at discussion there).

Note that I do not want to replace debate by voting. I simply prefer
to replace endless (and exhausting) discussions by decisions. And for
those who want to know: I am also against electronic voting...   :)

Thanks for your attention,
Frédéric Lehobey
Disclaimers: FTWCA such a criterion, I am not a DD.
(And, yes, I am member of the demexp project.)

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