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Re: First call for vote on immediate vote under section 4.2.2

Russ Allbery <rra@debian.org> wrote:
> MJ Ray <mjr@phonecoop.coop> writes:
> > Russ Allbery <rra@debian.org> wrote:
> > We need consensus in the vein of M-W's 1(a) definition "general
> > agreement : UNANIMITY" and 2 definition "group solidarity in sentiment
> > and belief" to get the biggest benefit - or maybe even any benefit.
> That's certainly someting to strive for, but I don't think it's a
> practical *requirement* in an organization the size of Debian.  I do agree
> that we shouldn't easily give up on trying to reach that form of stronger
> consensus.

Personally, I think the RFC 3160 view of '"rough consensus", meaning that
a very large majority of those who care must agree' would be good enough.
What is "a very large majority" these days?  I suspect it should be
larger than the margins that the DPL got in recent votes (3 to 1 and
5.77 to 1, if I've worked them out right).

In general, it wouldn't be a practical requirement, but it's practical
for most DPL powers.  It's one of a few things which stop DPLs having
absolute power.  If the DPL cannot find a consensus, then there are
other methods to reach a decision and the DPL has simplified access to
some of them.

> >> acknowledged that there are often working group members who are part of
> >> the rough rather than the consensus.
> > Which explicit acknowledgement are you thinking of?
> Numerous public statements by the IESG and by ADs over years of working
> groups in which I've participated, and release of documents for which
> there was exactly that sort of consensus (RFC 2822, for instance).

Can someone point me to one, please?  www.ietf.org seems to have replaced
its web search with google, which just returns noise when I try to find
one, and I didn't find a decent index to the drums archive (when looking
into the release situation of 2822).

> One of the problems with applying a reasoned objection metric in practice
> is that one person's reasoned objection is another person's obdurate
> refusal to listen to reason.

I agree, but I've not seen much attempt to discuss any objections lately,
like http://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2006/10/msg00234.html or
http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2006/10/msg00026.html - the
current approach seems to be to post self-contradicting messages like
or use a technical measure like
http://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2006/10/msg00238.html and declare
Discussion Is Over.  If one won't talk, of course no-one listens.

> Plus, again speaking from my experience with
> the IETF, sometimes the rough part of the rough consensus *is* reasonable
> and there's simply an irreconcilable difference within the working group,
> with a strong majority in one direction and a reasoned minority in
> another.  In that situation, one has to weigh the merits of releasing the
> document anyway or giving up.

That's the sort of time I meant when I wrote "Sometimes bad decisions
are the only possible decisions, but I don't believe that's as common as
the disputes under this DPL."  I don't mean that the decision is evil or
wrong necessarily, just that it's not a good strong decision.

My Opinion Only: see http://people.debian.org/~mjr/
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