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Re: Bundled votes and the secretary

On Thu, Dec 11, 2008 at 03:15:20PM +0100, Josselin Mouette wrote:
> What this position requires is the minimal level of morality to not use
> it to favor an opinion or another. And this is something Manoj has been
> repeatedly doing; first in the GFDL GR, next in the etch firmwares GR,
> now in the lenny one.

I do not agree with the second sentence, but really, what I agree with is
beside the point.

The larger point I want to make is this: if the Secretary making a choice A
favors a particular opinion, then surely the Secretary making the choice not-A
equally favors a particular (different) opinion.   You object to the
Secretary's particular actions as being deterimental to your position - surely,
if the Secretary had made different actions, ones you'd approve of, it would be
in favor of your position.  Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

The correct test, therefore, is whether the choices were consistent with the
constitution and established precedents (in that order of precedence).  Since
the Secretary adjugates disputes about interpretation of the constitution, he
has a wide latitude of correct action.

> I do not trust anymore the Secretary, and I do not trust sufficiently
> the result of this vote.

The Constitution does not require that the Secretary enjoy the trust of the
Developers.  There isn't even a possibility of a vote of no confidence!  There
is some wisdom in that, parallelling the concept of judicial indipendence.
Once this particular issue has been settled, however, it may be a good idea to
reexamine our judicial arrangements in the constitution. 

> If the otherwise winning option is dismissed by the lack of a 3:1 majority
> (for which the requirements are still “Manoj said so”), or if a winning
> option is dismissed by a completely unrelated other option that was not
> proposed as an amendment, it won’t be possible to consider the vote result as
> the decision of the project as a whole.

On Thu, Dec 11, 2008 at 10:38:34AM -0800, Steve Langasek wrote:
> if he saw this mail and chose not to acknowledge the arguments, then he is
> behaving in a wholly improper manner with regard to this vote, and frankly I
> see no reason that we as a project should even honor the outcome of a vote on
> this ballot as presented.

These two statements I find most alarming.  

As long as there is no clear and unambiguous violation of the constitution in
the Secretary's actions, and absent a valid GR stating otherwise, the vote must
be presumed to be constitutionally valid.  Ignoring the result of such a vote
would, in my eyes, be an odrer of magnitude worse transgression than any
misbehavior that has been alleged against the Secretary.

The proper action, if you believe that the vote is procedurally flawed, is to
propose (after the current vote is finished) a GR stating that the previous
vote was procedurally mishandled and therefore is null and void.  Since the
Constitution does not recognize GRs overriding the Secretary, such a GR would
probably require a 3:1 supermajority.

Antti-Juhani Kaijanaho, Jyväskylä, Finland

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