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Re: GR: Constitutional Amendment to fix an off-by-one error and duplicate section numbering

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On 26/08/15 21:12, Andreas Barth wrote:
> Constitutional Amendment: TC Supermajority Fix
> Prior to the Clone Proof SSD GR in June 2003, the Technical 
> Committee could overrule a Developer with a supermajority of 3:1.
> Unfortunately, the definition of supermajorities in the SSD GR has
> a fencepost error.  In the new text a supermajority requirement is
> met only if the ratio of votes in favour to votes against is
> strictly greater than the supermajority ratio.
> In the context of the Technical Committee voting to overrule a 
> developer that means that it takes 4 votes to overcome a single 
> dissenter.  And with a maximum committee size of 8, previously two 
> dissenters could be outvoted by all 6 remaining members; now that 
> is no longer possible.
> This change was unintentional, was contrary to the original intent 
> of the Constitution, and is unhelpful.
> Additionally, following discussion of the supermajority mechanism 
> within the project, it was realised that certain situations could 
> cause anomalous results:
> * The existing rules might result in a GR or TC resolution passing 
> which was actually the diametric opposite of the majority view.
> * The existing rules unintentionally privilege the default option 
> in evenly contested TC votes where no supermajority is required, 
> possibly encouraging tactical voting.
> Therefore, amend the Debian Constitution as follows:
> (i) Delete most of A.6(3) (which implemented the supermajority by
> dropping options at an early stage).  Specifically: - Move
> A.6(3)(1) (the definition of V(A,B)) to a new subparagraph 
> A.6(3)(0) before A.6(3)(1). - Remove the rest of A.6(3) entirely,
> leaving A.6(2) to be followed by A.6(4).
> (ii) In A.6(8) replace all occurrences of "winner" with 
> "prospective winner".  Replace "wins" in "which of those options 
> wins" with "is the prospective winner".
> (iii) In A.6(8) add a new sentence at the end: + If there is no
> elector with a casting vote, the default option + wins.
> (iv) Add a new section A.6(9) after A.6(8): + 9. 1. If the
> prospective winner W has no majority requirement, +       or
> defeats the default option D by its majority +       requirement,
> the prospective winner is the actual winner. +    2. Otherwise, the
> motion has failed its supermajority with +       the consequences
> set out alongside the majority +       requirement (or, if
> unspecified, the default option +       wins). +    3. An option A
> defeats the default option D by a +       majority of N:M if M *
> V(A,D) is greater than or equal to +       N * V(D,A).
> (v) In * 6.1(4) (Technical Commitee power to overrule a Developer) 
> * 4.1(4) (Developers' use of TC powers by GR) (if another 
> constitutional amendment has not abolished that supermajority
> requirement) in each case after the "N:M majority" add +   ;
> failing that, the prospective winning resolution text becomes +   a
> non-binding statement of opinion.
> (vi) In A.3(2) delete as follows: 2. The default option must not
> have any supermajority requirements. -       Options which do not
> have an explicit supermajority requirement -       have a 1:1
> majority requirement.
> For the avoidance of any doubt, this change does not affect any 
> votes (whether General Resolutions or votes in the Technical 
> Committee) in progress at the time the change is made.
> The effect is to fix the fencepost bug, and arrange that failing a 
> supermajority voids the whole decision (or makes it advisory), 
> rather than promoting another option.  The fencepost bugfix will 
> also have a (negligible) effect on any General Resolutions 
> requiring supermajorities.  And after this change the TC chair can 
> choose a non-default option even if it is tied with a default 
> option.
> Constitutional Amendment: Fix duplicate section numbering.
> The current Debian Constitution has two sections numbered A.1. This
> does not currently give rise to any ambiguity but it is 
> undesirable.
> Fix this with the following semantically neutral amendment:
> - Renumber the first section A.1 to A.0.

I second both parts of this GR.


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