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Re: [to all candidates] about a DPL board

On 2013-03-12 02:54, Martin Zobel-Helas wrote:
What do you think about this idea? Would it be worth in long term to
establish such a leader board (and therefore a change to our current
constitution) for the Debian Project, or do you think the DPL should
stay a single person?

Before answering, I will point out that forming a board is *not* part of my platform. While I have mentioned the "DPL helpers" initiative, and other similar topics, I don't think that a true board of equals is really possible under our current constitution. And as DPL I would want to ask for views, help and delegates from the whole of Debian, not only from people who might be part of a board experiment. Nor is it part of my platform to push the constitutional changes required to get us a board.

Having said that, I suspect that some kind of permanent board is almost inevitable sooner or later. While I don't think that keeping the current concentration of power in the DPL and adding a board alongside would work well, I can see some positive aspects in moving from a single "leader" to a board of equals.

Positive ways to use this would include:

- A board could include more diversity. This would clearly depend on how elections happened, but it's not hard to be more diverse than one person. In particular, many good leadership candidates are excluded at present simply because they don't have enough time for the DPL role due to other commitments.

- A board could increase transparency (and perhaps quality) of decisions. For example, money decisions can currently be made directly by the DPL, acting alone. List threads don't always give clear decisions, but the GR process is too heavy to use for regular spending. A board could quickly discuss and vote when decisions are needed.

- A board could perhaps function as the sort of "social committee" some people have suggested creating in the past.

I wouldn't want to push designing the necessary constitutional changes myself, but would want to examine any proposal, and would be likely to vote for such a change if it seemed well-designed. A couple of dangers I can see:

- It would be bad in my view if we ended up with a board made up of very similar people. A board may be more likely than a single person to think that they don't need to consult further outside to get ideas.

- It would be bad in my view if a board ended up dominated by a group of people who stayed on it a long time by reelection. A DPL will typically run out of time eventually, so we get some change and new perspectives brought in, but board membership might stay similar for much longer.


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