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Re: First call for votes for the Lenny release GR


On Sun, Dec 14, 2008 at 02:17:19PM -0800, Russ Allbery wrote:
> * Why does releasing despite DFSG violations require a 3:1 majority now
>   when it didn't for etch?  It's the same secretary in both cases.  What
>   changed?  I didn't find any of the explanations offered for this very
>   satisfying.

I feel uncomfortable with this, too, but I'm afraid that it seems to me
that it was a mistake back when Etch was released and is in perfect
harmony with our constitution, now. Lets see why I think so:
What I can read from the constitution is that a super-majority
 is only required if we ammend the constitution itself
or if we force a super-session of a foundation document. This can be
seen in "4.1 Powers" of the constitution:

"Together, the Developers may:
Issue, supersede and withdraw nontechnical policy documents and
A Foundation Document requires a 3:1 majority for its supersession.

The interesting question is: Do we supersede the document in question by
_temporary_ overriding (as in: ignoring) a decision in it? The
Constitution has an interesting sentence next to the last cited
sentence, for this question: "New Foundation Documents are issued and
existing ones withdrawn by amending the list of Foundation Documents in
this constitution."
This sentence is in the same paragraph as the super-majority requirement
for supersessions, so it can be safely assumed that it is there to
nearer define when this 3:1 majority is needed. According to my
comprehension this means that we do NOT supersede a foundation document,
because we do neither change it permanently, nor do we ammend the list
of foundation documents in the constitution.

But.. if we don't do that.. what do we do? According to our constitution
we can only "Issue, supersede and withdraw ontechnical policy documents
and statements". A temporary over-ruling is not designated there in.
So what we recently found in our constitution is a "law gap". The case
to temporary override a foundation documentation is not defined, which
basically means that its the safest to assume the nearest similar rule
in the constitution which is indeed the paragraph to replace it.

Why did Manoj interpret the constitution different last time? I don't know, I can
only imagine that it was a mistake.


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