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Re: Better quorum change proposal, with justification

On Sat, May 24, 2003 at 09:48:36PM -0400, Nathanael Nerode wrote:
> Yep.  But of the 20 who actively approved of B, 19 prefered A.  
> Meanwhile, nobody actively opposed A, but 19 people actively opposed B.

True.  We do not require unanimous agreement in such cases.

> Choosing B is a good way to start flame wars.  Choosing A is a good way 
> not to.  Choosing D is a good way to come up with a better option.  
> Which is chosen?
> <sarcasm>Ah, I see: Debian's policy is to encourage flame wars!</sarcasm>

Actually there's a certain amount of validity to that point of view --
if it's flame wars it takes to get people involved in the subject,
then they have some marginal value.

Not that flames are actually required... just involvement.

More generally, though, with a low voter turnout, it *is* quite possible
that the sample of people participating in the vote choose differently
from the larger group.  The smaller the sample size, the greater this

> Seriously, Manoj's system *isn't* a quorum system.  

It's a per-option quorum.  That's different from "not being a quorum."

> "Quorum" is to make sure enough people are present for the discussion.
> (Perhaps the correct way to count quorum is "number of developers 
> sending email about the topic during the discussion period"... heh.  
> That might actually work.)

Except that people present during the early parts of the discussion
might have to leave months before the voting period actually starts.

> I have trouble thinking of a single correct justification for Manoj's 
> system.

<wry>That sounds like a personal problem.</wry>

> None have been offered on this list; all the justifications I've heard 
> for Manoj's system are actually justifications for one of the following 
> two things:
> * The proper scheme for making sure that an appropriate number of people 
> approve of something is called "getting seconds" (and you've already 
> got that).

That's it.

Now, if you can: define "appropriate", and explain why quorum is not

> * The proper scheme for deferring to the default option unless there's a 
> strong enough preference is margin-of-victory-over-default.

Nope, that's the quorum alternative you proposed earlier today.

> I will now try to justify Manoj's "quorum" system.
> "No proposal can be implemented by fewer than R people, where R is the
> quorum.  Therefore there's no point in approving any proposal with fewer 
> than R people actively approving of it."

Nope.  That's John H. Robinson, IV's quorum.


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