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Re: Some questions for the DPL candidates

On Fri, Mar 09, 2001 at 12:43:52PM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
> On Fri, Mar 09, 2001 at 01:13:28PM +1100, Craig Sanders wrote:
> > > It seemed the same sort of question to me too. 
> > there was no "damned if you do, damned if you don't" trap in the
> > question. i am not trying to "trap" branden, i am trying to find out
> > what his intentions are and what, if any, action he will take on the
> > issue.
> That's not true though.

it is true. i am not trying to trap branden, i want to know what, if
anything, he intends to do about the non-free issue. do you think that
is unreasonable or even unusual given that he is a candidate for DPL?

so far, i have not yet got a clear and direct answer to a clear and
direct question.

i can guess his intentions from his evasiveness, but a guess is not a
fact...it is just a guess.

> If he answers "yes", then you can claim that he'll ignore what the
> developers want and just do it; if he answers "no", and goes ahead
> with ensuring that a vote does come about, then you can claim that
> he lied while he was running for DPL and that he's just an out right
> hypocrite, or something similar. Or, if not you, someone else can and
> probably will.

anyone can claim whatever they like about anything that someone says.
that's irrelevant.

this is not about what i or anyone else can claim, it's about whether a
candidate for DPL will clearly state his intentions on a/any particular

btw, if he says "no, i will take no action" and then goes ahead and
takes the action that he said he wouldn't then that WOULD be a lie.
worse, it would be a lie uttered with the intention of deceiving voters
during an election.

i suspect that this is why he is avoiding the question...he can't
honestly answer "no" and doesn't want to lie, but knows that a "yes"
will be unpopular and may cost him votes. but this is just a guess not a

> > > It's not obvious what the right or honest answer is, and it doesn't
> > > really apply to the situation.
> > the honest or direct answer is to state what his intentions are. there
> > is no "right" answer, as that's a matter of preference.
> Assume you had the same intentions I described above: that you'd try as
> hard as possible to get a vote on the issue done, and then try as hard
> as you could to make sure the result of that vote was effected. How
> would you answer your question?

i'd answer it honestly and directly because not doing so would be an
attempt to deceive the electorate.

in my case, i would answer "No" and follow it up with the comment that
"i would do whatever i could to ensure that non-free is not removed from
debian's archives".

if i happened to be in favour of removing non-free then i'd answer "Yes"
and optionally follow it up with comments on what i intended to do about

if i didn't care, then i'd say "No" and optionally point out that 
developers can make whatever proposals they like whenever they like.

it's difficult to see how anything else could possibly be the "Right"
or ethical thing to do for a candidate - answer questions clearly and

> aj, who doesn't see how "yes" or "no" is particularly better than
>     an entire sentence or two explaining what you're going to do anyway

depends on whether you want an answer to your question or some soothing
noises to distract you from it.

a sentence can be used to avoid answering a question. anyone who has
observed a politician in action for 5 minutes will have seen several
examples of this behaviour.

the "best" politicians when asked a direct question will waffle on
about something that seems related for a few minutes, saying basically
nothing but continuing (and steering the dialogue towards safer and
more flattering grounds) until most listeners have forgotten what the
original question was.

it's a skill they are trained in by their image management team. many,
of course, have a natural aptitude for it.


craig sanders <cas@taz.net.au>

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