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Re: Discussion: Possible GR: Enhance requirements for General Resolutions

Don Armstrong <don@debian.org> wrote:
> On Fri, 02 Jan 2009, MJ Ray wrote:
> > Sorry - I'm with Wouter Verhelst on this. Having options on the
> > ballot that only a small minority of DDs support can help resolve
> > conflicts: it lays them to rest, demonstrating they fail in the
> > wider DD population,
> If an option can't get seconds enough to pass K (or Q), it doesn't
> have support in the DD population or the proposers are lazy, and don't
> want to find enough support. In either case, people's time shouldn't
> be wasted with the effort required to run a vote and vote in it.

In the past, I've seen considerable resistance to vote topics being
discussed outside -vote, unless they're by one of a few popular DDs.
Do supporters of nQ expect this situation to change, only those
popular DDs be able to propose GRs, or can someone suggest acceptable
ways of recruiting seconds outside -vote?

Secondly, does the above mean that all votes that include options
which don't have either an organised campaign group or a clear
majority are wasted efforts?  Do we have a shortage of available
vote-runners and if so, why aren't we recruiting a democratic services
team instead of only one new Secretary?

> > rather than the DDs supporting them being able to blame the
> > self-selecting subset who participate on debian-vote.
> If DDs who support them are unable to gather enough seconds via -vote,
> nothing stops them from finding other people who support the proposal
> using other methods. Furthermore, there are at least 103 DDs
> subscribed to -vote[1], so arguments about some self-selecting subset
> are a bit misplaced (not that that'll stop them from being made.)

There may be 103 DDs *subscribed*, but how many *participate* in any
one vote?  A few days ago, I showed it was less than 80 people, so it
can't be 103 DDs.

Also, how is 103 subscribers *not* a self-selecting subset of ~1000?

> > Even if the number of seconds for a proposal is raised to something
> > massive like 2Q, would it be worth keeping the number of seconds for
> > a partial amendment at K? If we're going to have the trouble of
> > votes, we might as well vote as comprehensively as possible...
> Additional options on a ballot means that voters have to spend
> additional time to process the option and differentiate it between all
> other options. When multiplied by the number of people who vote, that
> becomes a non-trivial waste of voter's time for options which couldn't
> find enough seconders who actually support the option.

At the moment, this is true, but I feel it's because very few
amendments are proper partial amendments, but are actually completely
alternative proposals which require individual consideration.  Often
that's unnecessary.  The current SRP seems to penalise humble

> If an option can't get enough seconds from people who support that
> option to satisfy K (or even Q), not enough people support it for it
> to have a chance of being supported by a majority of people in an
> election that meets quorum.

We currently have two examples where options which didn't exceed 2K
seconds went on to win the vote.  Does a higher seconding requirement
risk of introducing something similar to the threshold effect from
elections (such as the German and Turkish national elections) into
getting onto a GR ballot?  I think the ability to second multiple
options (which Don Armstrong initially argued against) may reduce it,
but I also suspect seconder fatigue (similar to voter fatigue) means
it'll still exist.

I thought this debate reminded me of something and I found it...
Here's the ICANN membership debating seconding thresholds for election
candidates in 2000 http://forum.icann.org/selfnomination/index.html
and the ultimate result was that one could stand if 20 out of 76,000
members supported you.  http://members.icann.org/rules.html

If there's a wish to limit the number of options, should the debian
project adopt their "absolute limit of 7 options per ballot" rule?

Hope that helps,
My Opinion Only: see http://people.debian.org/~mjr/
Please follow http://www.uk.debian.org/MailingLists/#codeofconduct

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