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Re: RFD: amendment of Debian Social Contract

On Fri, Nov 07, 2003 at 03:27:14PM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
> 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

I disagree that those who want to change the Social Contract as I have
proposed will necessarily have one position or another on keeping or
dropping non-free.  The result of your proposed ballot is that those who
support my GR will be split among two ballot options, with the highly
likely consequence that the proposition will fail due to the 3:1
majority required.

As Manoj's hypothetical ballot elsewhere in this thread illustrates,
having a "Change Social Contract, punt on removing non-free" makes this
even worse, because our voting system allows only winner and no
interpretive subdivision of the options.

Elevating an actually-less-preferred option to success through splitting
of an actually-most-preferred option among irrelevant is supposed to be
a tactic to which our system is immune.  Or so I thought.  Otherwise it
doesn't buy us a whole lot over FPTP[1].

I don't suggest that a decision on keeping or dropping non-free should
be indefinitely delayed, but any action to that effect would be invalid
under our current Social Contract as I understand it.

[1] First-Past-the-Post; example: 45% of the voters prefer Benito
Mussolini, 35% prefer William Gladstone, and 20% prefer Karl Marx;
Mussolini ends up in power and a right-wing regime ensues despite the
left/liberal leanings of the majority of the electorate.

G. Branden Robinson                |      We either learn from history or,
Debian GNU/Linux                   |      uh, well, something bad will
branden@debian.org                 |      happen.
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |      -- Bob Church

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