Re: soc-ctte discussion at DebConf7 [was Re: Social committee proposal]
On Thu, Jun 28, 2007 at 07:32:15AM +0200, Josip Rodin wrote:
> > Straight elections were not considered to be a good appointment
> > strategy, at least for any subsequent years, because most of the work
> > done by the committee is in private.
> This is also something that I didn't get a chance to respond to as well
> as I intended, so please excuse the following rant :)
> While the analysis of the tenure at the committee is certainly a useful
> criterion on which the voters would decide whether a member should be kept
> or removed, I don't think that it is the most important, because of the
> nature of the committee - we basically want this body to elaborate and
> establish certain social consensuses (consensa? sp?), and then when
> necessary enforce it against people who are so out of line that they
> piss off most everyone else.
> For that, most of the time, you just need a few level-headed people with a
> sufficient supply of common sense. They don't need a particular procedural
> skill - it's sufficient if they are just guided by others. They don't need
> to demonstrate that they were level-headed and common-sensical (heh) just
> on the committee - I think that they should continuously demonstrate these
> qualities in social interactions *in general*.
> I don't want us to end up with a couple of members appointed and elected
> because they're otherwise somehow popular (usually because they have l33t
> technical skills :) which are cool, but mainly irrelevant here), and then
> at re-election time they feel a need to demonstrate their actions on the
> soc-ctte, and then the problem of private interactions comes up. That's
> not necessary.
> The voters will generally simply observe whether these people continued
> to act sensibly on the committee, and sensibly in general, and they will
> appreciate this by continuing to affirm them in the committee.
> Debian is a pretty cooperative bunch (I did manage to mention that
> particular point, but wasn't able to explain all what I meant by that :)
> and for any soc-ctte member it will not take much effort to convince people
> not to randomly replace them.
> (Yet, the people should continue to have even that option, to randomly
> replace people, because eventually they might get tired from seeing all
> the same faces on the committee all the time :) and that's perfectly all
> right, actually, because I do hope that we have a long line of other
> level-headed common-sensical people ready to serve.)
And, obviously, here I refer primarily to the *committee* function of
soc-ctte. These remarks don't all apply to the 'social team' function --
those people need to have more procedural skills and they have to
be judged on their ability to do the concrete work of the team.
But I think that soc-ctte should primarily perform the committee function,
and then the existence of that will facilitate the team-like action, whether
by those same people or by other people, because they will have a solid
backing - a place to refer to and to appeal to when in doubt, so it will
be easier to do the work.
This is similar to one of the ideas discussed all some of governance bofs at
dc7... when people have a mission statement or a manifesto, or in this case
more generically: a documented commonness in ideas and procedures, it
becomes easier for all of them act to resolve certain conflicts.
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