Re: Debian-EM Joint Committee
On Mon, Dec 18, 2000 at 03:41:21PM -0600, Norman Petry wrote:
> ... we have formed a joint committee to develop a proposal, which we
> will probably present to Debian for internal discussion in about a
> month's time (I'm just guessing on the timeframe; we haven't discussed
This looks pretty good, overall. A month is an awful long time for us
to wait, however -- we're already a couple levels down in indirection,
postponing one issue to handle another.
Is it possible to split your proposal into two pieces, so that we can
get around to modifying the constitution to explicitly state how to
deal with DFSG requirements a bit sooner? You've got some open-ended
questions in there, and not everything is relevant to the DFSG issue.
Also, while it's great that you have formed a separate group to keep the
traffic off of debian-vote (I'm kind of embarrassed about the volume I
had a part in), I think it would be very appropriate for you to keep us
updated (maybe once a week) about your progress:
 It would allow feedback from people who don't have time to get
heavily into the discussion, and
 It would help keep the discussion live, so we don't have to worry
about official timeouts from lack of discussion.
> 1. SIMPLE MAJORITIES SHOULD RESOLVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMBIGUITY: ...
This looks like an ok proposal.
> 2. ELIMINATE TWO-STAGE VOTING
This looks like it could be an excellent proposal.
> 3. CLARIFY REPORTING REQUIREMENTS
This looks good.
> 4. ELIMINATE PREMATURE TERMINATION OF VOTING BY SECRETARY
It's my understanding that if uncast votes could change the outcome,
the outcome is in doubt. I wouldn't want to eliminate this, though
maybe it should be clarified.
> 5. CHOOSE NAME OF NEW VOTING METHOD
My opinion: if the method is substantially different, and is recognizable
under some other name, change the name. This isn't something I'd
> 6. CREATE GLOSSARY OF VOTING TERMS
> 7. TREAT ALL AMENDMENTS AS INDEPENDENT PROPOSALS
I like this.
It's possible to treat independent proposals as amendments (strike all
text and replace with ___), the U.S. Congress does something like that
on a regular basis. But more simpler and more understandable is good.
> 8. REQUIRE SIMULTANEOUS DECISIONS
As long as people can withdraw their proposals (and, presumably,
other people can repropose them, if they care), this is an excellent
> 9. PREVENT EXPIRY OF MOTIONS DUE TO INACTION BY SECRETARY: Currently ,the
> Secretary or his stand-in (chair of technical committee) can kill any motion
> by not distributing ballots to voters within the 4-week interval prior to
> automatic expiry (yes, this has happened). Should the secretary have this
> power, or should it be restricted in some way? See A.5
Personally, I think the period should be longer. Maybe 4-weeks plus
required discussion period. There has to be some kind of timeout,
Cleaning up the other problems will (hopefully) make it a lot easier
deciding when to issue a ballot. [Deciding "when" also needs a timeout,
of some sort.]
> 10. STATE INTERPRETATION OF TRUNCATED BALLOTS
Yeah, this is good.
> 11. EXPLICITLY ALLOW EQUAL RANKINGS
As long as there's something like a casting vote, this is ok.
> 12. RESOLVE CIRCULAR TIE PROBLEM
Yep. This is one of the ones I was trying to address.
> 13. SIMPLIFY AND IMPROVE TIEBREAKER
Yep. This is also one that I was trying to address. These
are related, I think.
> 14. CONSIDER FINAL TIEBREAKER
Open ended question. Personally, I don't see the advantage of replacing
a random number generator with a competent person. Maybe if we were
a government, we'd need a lottery system to break ties, but we're not.
> 15. RESOLVE SUPERMAJORITY PROBLEMS
Yep. I tackled this one. Since you're already eliminating
two-stage voting, this is pretty much required.
> 16. DISCUSS QUORUM REQUIREMENTS
Open ended question.
> 17. 3:1 SUPERMAJORITY EXCESSIVELY HIGH
Open ended question. Any supermajority can be thought of as excessively