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

Hi Ian,

On Tue, Sep 01, 2015 at 12:20:05PM +0100, Ian Jackson wrote:
> The intent of this change is that if the Condorcet(CSSD) winner does
> not meet the supermajority requirement, it is still the winning
> outcome of the whole vote, but only as a non-binding statement of
> opinion.
> So for example, suppose in a TC vote we have:
>  A "we overrule the maintainer [6.1(4)]: this patch to comply with
>     policy must must be applied"
>  B "we set policy [6.1(1)]: the policy is wrong and must be changed"
> and votes are  5x A,B,FD   2x B,FD,A

I interpret that as:

5x "I think we should overrule the maintainer; but if we don't, then at
least updating policy to match reality is an acceptable compromise".

2x "We should update policy; overruling the maintainer is the worst
possible outcome, and I'd rather do nothing than see that happen".

> The overall Condorcet winneer is A but only by a 5:2 majority, so the
> TC does not overrule.


> With the existing rules A is eliminated early, leaving B the Condorcet
> winner.  This is a bizarre outcome: the winning option was disfavoured
> by 5/7ths of the TC !

However, on the other hand, it is the *only* outcome (in your example)
of which all voters agree that it would a preferable outcome to that of
restarting the whole process. That is also an important outcome of that
vote; it is, to all involved, an acceptable compromise position.

> With the new scheme, A is the Condorcet winner (the `prospective
> winner' in the wording proposed in the GR text).  But it fails its
> supermajority.
> So `prospective winning resolution text becomes a non-binding
> statement of opinion'.  Ie, the TC is treated as having said:
>   A' "we advise [6.1(5)]: we disagree with the maintainer; this patch
>       to comply with policy should be applied"
> This makes a lot more sense as an outcome.

If the maintainer has previously said that he thinks A is the worst
possible option and *all* of the TC agrees that updating policy to match
reality is, at least, an acceptable compromise (as in this example),
then option A will most likely result in "nothing happens" (i.e.,
"further discussion"), whereas option B would have produced a
(suboptimal) resolution.

> The maintainer can continue to diregard the disputed policy, because
> the TC hasn't mustered the certainty needed to overrule the
> maintainer; but, the policy is not altered.

I'm not sure why "accepting the compromise position as the winner" is in
any way an undesirable outcome to you.

In effect, having a non-binding "winner" outcome is hardly different
from having "further discussion" discussion win the vote (precisely
because it's not binding). In your example, *all* voters have said that
they prefer B over FD. I fail to see how your suggested scheme is an

It is easy to love a country that is famous for chocolate and beer

  -- Barack Obama, speaking in Brussels, Belgium, 2014-03-26

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