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Re: Proposed wording for the SC modification

On Tue, Nov 18 2008, Raphael Hertzog wrote:

>> On Mon, 17 Nov 2008, Antti-Juhani Kaijanaho wrote:
>>> On Mon, Nov 17, 2008 at 09:14:41PM +0100, Raphael Hertzog wrote:
>> > The foundation documents are like the law. This GR is like a "decree of
>> > the government" that tells us how the law will be applied.
>> A decree of the government does not do that.  It gives supplemental rules and
>> regulations compatible with the law (and generally requires a specific
>> authorization in the law, but this varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction).
>> In any case, GRs are law, not decrees.  The proper analogy for a decree would
>> be a Project Leader or Delegate decision.
> Analogies do have limits of course but you get the meaning and I stand
> behind my logic. In our case the developer body has the right to rule
> on anything: change the law (parliament), change a delegate's decision
> (override the government), decide of sanctions (justice, we never did it
> fortunately) and any analogy with a country will fail due to that.

        I actually reject your logic, and I believe that Antti-Juhani
 interpretation is closer to mine.

> However, here we have delegates (the RM) that have taken a decision
> and someone believes that the decision was wrong and want to override
> it. Instead of voting on that (and then creating a sort of
> "jurisprudence") we came up with explanations on how the
> firmwares should be handled and for me this is exactly like
> a decree that fills the hole (maybe unintentionaly in our case,
> intentionaly in real cases probably) that were left in the law.

        I believe that a decision which contradicts a foundation
 document can't just be rationalized away; you need to change the
 foundation document if you do not wish to follow it, or you believe the
 contradiction is the result  of an "unintended" hole. I do not believe
 that saying Debian shall be 100% free or that programs need source code
 was a mistake.

>> > If the GR doesn't explicitely state that it modifies a foundation
>> > document, then it doesn't. If you believe that it does implicitely, then
>> > you vote against it (or propose an amendment where you explicitely modify
>> > the document).
>> The Project Secretary is charged with conducting General Resolution
>> votes, and with judging disputes in the application of the
>> Constitution.  As such, the Project Secretary is not really a
>> secretarial position - the best analogy is a chairperson of a
>> decision-making body.

>> As such, I believe it is the Project Secretary's duty (not a right,
>> but duty) to ensure that any proposals and amendments are compatible
>> with the Constitution, and it is also the Project Secretary's duty to
>> refuse to conduct a vote he believes to be contrary to the
>> Constitution.
> Like has already been said elsewhere, he applies the constitution and has
> to interpret it. I don't believe that it is his role to interpret the
> SC/DFSG and decide if a resolution is compatible. We have all agreed
> to defend the SC/DFSG but obviously we do have differing ways to interpret
> them and so does the secretary, he should not get a special power here.
> The developer body decides if a resolution is compatible or not with
> our foundation documents when they vote on it.

        I don't get a special power here. I cannot change dak or britney
 and decide what goes into the archive or whatr transitions from Sid to
 Lenny. I have powers only about the composition of the ballot, and a
 duty to run votes in a manner compatible with the constitution. And, to
 me, the constitution and the SC are pretty clear, and I am acting in
 accordance to them.

> If the secretary can't be convinced with this discussion, maybe we should
> aim at clarifying this in the constitution itself.

        That would be fine.

I'm a Lisp variable -- bind me!
Manoj Srivastava <srivasta@debian.org> <http://www.debian.org/~srivasta/>  
1024D/BF24424C print 4966 F272 D093 B493 410B  924B 21BA DABB BF24 424C

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