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Re: RFD: amendment of Debian Social Contract

On Thu, Nov 06, 2003 at 07:46:27PM +0000, Andrew Suffield wrote:
> To distinguish between modification of the social contract, and
> removal of non-free; the latter vote should immediately follow the
> former (once we know what the ballot will look like for the first, we
> can write the second). There's no apparent reason why we should
> combine these two into one, with the resulting combinatorial explosion
> of options on the ballot.

Sure there is; people might legitimately want to vote:

	[   ] Change social contract, remove non-free
	[   ] Change social contract, don't remove non-free
	[   ] Don't change social contract, don't remove non-free
	[   ] Further Discussion

	100 x 1234 : Do everything we can to remove non-free
	100 x 3124 : Keep non-free, but preferably deprioritise it
	150 x 2413 : Keep non-free, but take a stance either way

The developers' preference is then:

	A beats B, 250 to 100
	B beats C, 200 to 150
	C beats A, 250 to 100
	A, C beats D, 350 to 0
	B beats D, 200 to 150

If we have two separate votes, the result of the first vote is the social
contract being changed (200 to 150), and the result of the second vote
is non-free being removed (250 to 100). If the votes take place at once,
we have B eliminated both by not making supermajority (B doesn't beat D
by 3:1), and because the circular tie is resolved by dropping B beats C,
and C ends up winning.

(The philosophical, rather than procedural justification, is that a
majority of developers would rather have stuck with what we've got
than the change we end up with, and that if they'd been fully informed
of the result of the changes, there would not have been the required
supermajority to amend the social contract in the first place. That is,
the vote only succeeded because people were unsure of what the outcome of
the second vote is.)

The votes are related, because some people will want to vote differently
on the social contract depending on whether non-free will then be
removed or not: I'm one of them. The main reason we've developed a voting
system that can make decisions amongst a number of options is so that
we can ensure issues are decided by vote, and not by how the ballots
are structured or ordered.


Anthony Towns <aj@humbug.org.au> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/>
I don't speak for anyone save myself. GPG signed mail preferred.

Australian DMCA (the Digital Agenda Amendments) Under Review!
	-- http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/blog/copyright/digitalagenda

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