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Re: Amendment to GR on GFDL, and the changes to the Social Contract

On Thursday 09 February 2006 20:19, Raul Miller wrote:
> Note also that the 3:1 supermajority requirement is not a part
> of the DFSG.  So your explicit claim about DFSG interpretation
> being out of scope for the secretary doesn't seem to provide a basis
> for your implicit claim that the secretary does not have the right
> to impose the requirement on some of the options in this vote.

To impose the 3:1 requirement requires, beforehand, a judgment concerning 
the DFSG. Since no one has found a Secretarial basis for that power, it 
follows that to arbitrarily impose 3:1 supermajorities (when doing so on 
the basis of a personal interpretation of the DFSG) is not proper. That the 
3:1 bit is mentioned in the constitution is quite irrelevant.

You can't argue that since the constitution doesn't explicitly forbid the 
Secretary to take it upon him/herself to interpret the DFSG for everyone 
else, that therefore he/she must do so, in order to discharge the 
constitutional duty of placing 3:1 supermajorities on amendments, etc. 
That's backwards. Essentially you'd be asserting that any delegate has _any 
power_ he or she deems necessary to fulfill his or her view of their own 
constitutional duties, unless explicitly forbidden, item by item, by the 
constitution. Because that's the only way I can see for getting from "the 
constitution mentions that some votes should require 3:1 supermajorities" 
to "therefore the Secretary must be the constitutionally ordained arbiter 
of DFSG correctness for all votes." And this despite other constitutional 
verbiage that suggests that developers have that power. Huh.

> > Indeed, section 4.1 states that the developers, by way of GRs or
> > elections, have the power to "issue, supersede and withdraw
> > nontechnical policy documents and statements. These include documents
> > describing the goals of the project, its relationship with other free
> > software entities, and nontechnical policies such as the free software
> > licence terms that Debian software must meet. They may also include
> > position statements about issues of the day." The GFDL sounds like an
> > "issue of the day" to me.
> Sure, and the constitution goes on and lists the procedure the
> developers follow when doing these things.
> And we're following those procedures.
> So where's the problem?

The problem is that in the course of this procedure, the Secretary 
overstepped his authority, as I've explained above. You may not agree with 
that view, but I don't see why you should be so confused about my 

Christopher Martin

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