[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Restated Amendment: We Choose Wording of the Day

Hi Sam,

On Fri, Sep 04, 2015 at 02:28:20PM +0000, Sam Hartman 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
>    off-by-one  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.
>    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.
>    Therefore, amend the Debian Constitution as follows:
> Index: doc/constitution.wml
> ===================================================================
> --- doc/constitution.wml	(revision 10982)
> +++ doc/constitution.wml	(working copy)
> @@ -913,7 +913,7 @@
>               </li> 
>               <li> 
>                    An option A defeats the default option D by a majority
> -                  ratio N, if V(A,D) is strictly greater than N * V(D,A).
> +                  ratio N, if V(A,D) is greater or equal to  N * V(D,A) and V(A,D) is strictly greater than V(D,A).
>               </li> 
>               <li> 
>                    If a supermajority of S:1 is required for A, its majority ratio
>    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 this amendment.

However, as I've said in <[🔎] 20150903164145.GB23960@grep.be>, I think the
better fix is to update 6.1.4 as follows:

-    4. Overrule a Developer (requires a 3:1 majority)
+    4. Overrule a Developer (requires a 2:1 majority)

This way, the off-by-one change that was introduced with CSSD is
reverted *for the TC*, while the supermajority definition isn't.

I say "change", because I don't buy the argument that it's a "bug"; I
think the removal of the "X + one" requirement would be a bug. However,
I do accept that requiring 3 + 1 votes in favour per opposing vote is
problematic for the TC, so I do agree that reducing the required number
of votes is desirable. The above does that.

To clarify, I've always interpreted a "majority" to mean "One vote more
than X over Y". This definition is easily proven correct when one
considers a simple majority: to get a simple majority, strictly more
than 50% of the vote is required (otherwise you don't have a majority,
you have an equilibrium). While the constitution doesn't specifically
refer to 1:1 simple majorities (it doesn't need to, since a result that
doesn't manage to reach simple majority wouldn't be the condorcet
winner), I think it would be inconsistent and wrong for us to change the
constitution in this manner. If that argument manages to convince you, I
would appreciate it if you could update your proposal in that manner.

Having said that, I don't feel strongly enough about it to make this a
formal amendment; while I think the change would be undesirable for
regular GRs, I doubt it would make much difference in practice, so I'm
not going to pursue this unless someone pokes me.


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

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

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: Digital signature

Reply to: