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Re: Discussion: Possible GR: Enhance requirements for General Resolutions

Ben Finney <ben+debian@benfinney.id.au> writes:

> I get the feeling you've excluded the middle between “propose an option
> one does not plan on raking first”, and “propose an option no-one
> wants on the ballot”.

I'm not sure that I find it usefully different, unless what you're
proposing is a compromise that you hope everyone will be able to agree
upon.  I suppose that's a useful addition to Don's statement; I could see
proposing that even though it wasn't one's first choice.

> Another purpose, that I've seen recently a few times, is people
> proposing *several* discrete options for a ballot, carefully phrasing
> them to be distinct in order to clarify the meaning of the vote's
> result.

I think that's a good exercise to write clear proposals, but I don't see a
reason to then formally propose all of them.  I'd write them all up as
part of that exercise and then propose the one that I agree with, offering
the others to those who agree with them to put forward if they choose.

Writing options that you don't personally agree with is full of problems.
It's very difficult to be objectively fair in capturing an option that you
don't believe in and wouldn't argue for.  I'd much rather see the people
who really believe in an option step forward to propose it.

> According to Don's statement above, this is not a good reason to
> propose options. I disagree; I think it's commendable and in the
> spirit of his earlier statement (in the same message) to strive for
> clarity and precision in the ballot options.

Sure, I'm all for clarity and precision.  I just don't see a reason to put
the ones that no one wants to champion on the final ballot.

With Condorcet voting and Further Discussion, there seems to be little
point in trying to flesh out a ballot with all possible distinct options
just out of some sense of completeness.  If one of those options that no
one seconded turns out to be what the rest of the project who wasn't
participating in the proposal process wanted, that's what Further
Discussion is for (and I expect that to be quite rare).

As far as I'm concerned, the ideal outcome of a GR discussion isn't a
ballot with all options represented.  It's a project-wide consensus on the
best course of action.  When that happens, there's no need to have
anything other than the consensus on the ballot, and if something went
wrong with that process, there's always FD.  I want to be working towards
agreement, not towards getting everyone's starting position on the ballot.
I think the current low threshold for amendments and the habit of
proposing or seconding ones one doesn't agree with is counter to that;
once something is seconded and on the ballot, I think it takes a lot of
steam out of the discussion and reduces the chances of a general consensus

Which is one of the reasons why I think Jeorg's proposal is a good one (to
bring this back to the original thread topic).  I agree that the threshold
feels too low currently.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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