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Re: Social committee proposal

Josip Rodin writes ("Re: Social committee proposal"):
> I don't quite get the idea of having a delegation where delegates are
> voted upon. Imagine a conflict situation later - the leader can veto
> their decisions, change charter, or even undelegate the whole thing.

Yes.  But in practice the DPL rarely exercises that authority.  This
puts the SC on the same footing as the ftpmasters, release managers,
etc. etc. etc.

> Doesn't that contradict with the idea that those five people were elected
> to do the said job? What's the point of electing people if they're not
> going to be allowed to do anything that the leader doesn't like? Why not
> just let the leader name them himself, and be done with it?

Because (a) the leader probably doesn't want that poisoned chalice and
(b) if they are elected their legitimacy is clear.

This latter is an important point: if the SC members are elected,
their mandate - ie, their support from the Developers - is clearly

People could complain that their robust style was being stifled by the
majority but after all that is the whole point: to `stifle' the
`excessively robust style' (ie, flames and other crap).  At least they
won't be able to claim `the lurkers support me in email', `it's only a
junta which is deciding this' and so on.

It seems to me that one election will probably be sufficient to make
the general views of developers clear.  But if not the SC has the
ability to request further elections, and if the DDs think it should
but the SC won't then a DPL decision or GR can force an election or
abolish it.

> I still think that we should organize a proper GR to put a basic framework
> into the constitution, and then vote on the members regularly.

Firstly, the SC is an experiment.  It should be able to change the way
it works in response to how things go - and the DPL should be able to
do likewise.

Secondly, entrenching the SC is daft.  The SC has no powers that the
DPL already doesn't.  Do you think that the DPL and Delegates' power
to (for example) ban people from mailing lists should be abolished ?
Are you proposing that the DPL and and the SC should have overlapping
powers ?

Note that the existing arrangements for dividing jurisdiction between
the TC and the DPL don't always work very well.  Often we end up
arguing about jurisdiction, although this may be because the TC is the
only non-dysfunctional mechanism we have for resolving general
disputes between developers, so it gets the social disputes as well as
technical ones.

> Social committee would deal with "mere" social matters, but we appear
> to have ample precedent by now to indicate that such matters are sensitive
> enough to need checks and balances.

The SC has _fewer_ checks and balances if it is entrenched in the
constitution.  With my proposal, the SC can be overruled by the DPL or
GR.  This means that if the SC is going off-course the DPL can have a
quiet word.

If the SC is entrenched then (a) how do you divide controversies
between DPL and SC and (b) who can overrule the SC ?


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