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Re: supermajority options

On Thu, 2002-11-21 at 00:43, Branden Robinson wrote:

> Where "screw up majorly" is defined as "not permit minority veto"?
> Supermajority requirements don't retard mistakes, just change.

Arguably, if the system you have mostly works (which it apparently
does), then retarding change serves as a reasonable proxy for retarding

I can't think of a better procedural method. And there is definitely
something to be said for stability; I don't think you'd want the people
with the left hand glued to their --- well, we both know where that goes
--- yelling YEAH, BABY! FRESH COMMITS! of the Debian Constitution.

> Those who don't pay attention don't deserve more consideration than
> those who do.  I feel it is unfair to inflate the weight of the vote of
> an inattentive Developer.  I prefer equal suffrage.

Does Debian count supermajorities vs. the total number of developers
instead of the total number of voting developers (assuming a quorum, of

If so, if every developer voting in the DPL election were to vote yeah
on a single amendment (assume a simple ballot here...), is it enough?

> Looks like it already happened.  I notice the Consitution does not even
> raise the concept of its own repeal.

Does any constitution? (For a rebuttal of your assertion, see below)

> Those who assert that we cannot
> amend or withdraw non-technical documents, because the Constitution
> countenances only the "issuing" of them (4.1.5) would logically have to
> conclude that "amendment" of the Constitution (4.1.2) does not include
> its own abandonment.

Straw man! Non sequitor! A bunch of other Latin words!

An amendment worded:
   A) The entirety of the Debian Constitution is hereby struck and
      replaced as follows in section (B)
   B) "First post!"
      1) Hot grits!
      2) Natalie Portman!
      3) L1n0X R0cK$!
   C) Sections shall be renumbered as appropriate
does indeed leave the "Debian Constitution," but in name only.

Also, the IETF only issues new technical documents, but somehow manages
to get along. We could, under the letter of the current Constitution,
issue a Debian Social Contract, v2.0. And then change policy to comply
with it.

> Even the stodgy old U.S. Constitution countenances the validly of a new
> Constitutional Convention, bypassing the state legistlatures.

    Article V

    The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it
    necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the
    application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states,
    shall call a convention for proposing amendments,

Notice that a Constitutional Convention is called forth by the state
legislatures. And notice that a new Constitutional Convention proposes
amendments to the Constitution, which could look pretty much like my
silly example above, with the exception of certain things below. 

    which, in either
    case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this

This part makes it really clear that the Constitution does not go away.

    when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of
    the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as
    the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the
    Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the
    year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect
    the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first
    article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived
    of its equal suffrage in the Senate.

Notice that this part even prohibits certain changes to the
Constitution. Many of those prohibitations expired in 1808, but one
still applies today. Of course, there is a big enough loophole in that
part to drive several large planets through ("Hey, let's make a Sen-not,
and give it all the powers the Senate used to have, and make the Senate
responsible only for choosing the color to paint its walls...")

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