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# Re: Updated proposed ballot for the constitutional amendment (clarification of section 4.1.5)

```On Tue, 14 Oct 2003 11:06:52 +0200, Sven Luther <sven.luther@wanadoo.fr> said:

> On Tue, Oct 14, 2003 at 03:29:23AM -0500, Manoj Srivastava wrote:
>> On Tue, 14 Oct 2003 04:09:47 -0400, Anthony DeRobertis
>> <asd@suespammers.org> said:
>>
>> > On Mon, 2003-10-13 at 21:28, Manoj Srivastava wrote:
>> >> And what is the difference between a 3:1 majority and a 3:1
>> >> super majority? If there is no difference, why can't the terms
>> >> be used interchangeably?

> Because there is no reason to add to the confusion if we can avoid
> it.

>> > Using two different technical terms makes it seem like there is a
>> > distinction. Also, a "3:1 majority" is a contradiction; a
>> > majority is defined as "The greater number or part; a number more
>> > than half of the total."[0]. If we require more than 50%+1, we no
>> > longer
>>
>> Last I looked, 75% (3:1 majority) is indeed a number greater than
>> half of the total. It does not say in the definition just a tad bit
>> over half so we can just barely call it a majority.

> As i understand it, a majority is 50% +1, while anything else is a
> super-majority. There is no such thing as a 75% majority or a 60%
> majority. These are super-majorities, since they are clearly more
> than a majority.

Then your understanding is incorrect.

2. The greater number; more than half; as, a majority of
mankind; a majority of the votes cast.
[1913 Webster]

Could be 99.99% of the votes cast, would still be a majority.

4. The amount or number by which one aggregate exceeds all
other aggregates with which it is contrasted; especially,
the number by which the votes for a successful candidate
exceed those for all other candidates; as, he is elected
by a majority of five hundred votes. See {Plurality}.
[1913 Webster]
majority
n 1: the property resulting from being or relating to the greater
in number of two parts; the main part; "the majority of
his customers prefer it"; "the bulk of the work is
finished" [syn: {bulk}] [ant: {minority}]
2: (elections) more than half of the votes [syn: {absolute
majority}]

>From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856) [bouvier]:

MAJORITY, government. The greater number of the voters; though in another
sense, it means the greater number of votes given in which sense it is a
mere plurality. (q.v.)

>> > require a majority, we require a supermajority, "a specified
>> > majority of votes, such as 60 percent, required to approve a
>> > motion or pass legislation."[1]
>>
>> So, supermajority means a specified majority of votes -- so a
>> supermajority is a majority where we specify how much more than
>> half its gotta be. Ergo, supermajority is a sunset of a majority.

> No a supermajority is more than a majority, as the super prefix
> hints at. As thus it is a subset of a majority (there not being
> supermajorities which are not majorities too, but there being
> majorities which are not supermajorities).

Your interpretation is not supported by the dictionaries out
there. Indeed, the sentence you have quoted shows that a super
majority is merely a majority with a specified number of votes, as I
noted.

> I thus recommend that you replace all 3:1 majorities and such by 3:1
> super majorities.

You probably need to file another GR to change all such
references in the constitutions, since there are several references
to majority (section 4.1.2, 4.1.4, 6.1.4, and I guess A.6.3.2,3 need
be clarified too).

manoj

--
I BET WHAT HAPPENED was they discovered fire and invented the wheel on
the same day.  Then that night, they burned the wheel. Jack Handley,
The New Mexican, 1988.
Manoj Srivastava   <srivasta@debian.org>  <http://www.debian.org/%7Esrivasta/>
1024R/C7261095 print CB D9 F4 12 68 07 E4 05  CC 2D 27 12 1D F5 E8 6E
1024D/BF24424C print 4966 F272 D093 B493 410B  924B 21BA DABB BF24 424C

```