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Draft proposal for resolution process change (v2)

The first round of discussion seems to have died down, and I've made a
bunch of changes, so now seems like a good time to post the current
version and encourage more discussion.

I'm somewhat surprised that there has been no discussion of the timing of
the GR discussion period, which I expected to be more controversial.  The
scheme I'm proposing is relatively complex but allows the discussion
period to vary from 1 week to 4 weeks based on how much ballot option
activity there is and based on DPL actions.  If anyone is unhappy with
that (if, for example, you think it's too complex or 4 weeks is too short
or too long), now would be a good time to bring that up so that we can
discuss it.

Even if you want to do someething entirely different that you don't think
I would agree with, I think it's worthwhile to hammer out other ballot
options now so there's lots of opportunity for discussion and

Also, a reminder that these changes will require a 3:1 majority.  My goal
is to get as close to unanimous consensus for these changes as I can get.
I think the worst outcome would be to go all the way through a GR and find
that the change has 2:1 support but not 3:1 for reasons that never came up
or that I didn't have time to address.

Therefore, if anyone would not support the current proposal, and
particularly if you would vote it below further discussion, I would love
to hear from you, either here or in direct email if you would prefer.
Even if your objections are hazy, I'd love to talk about them and see if I
can understand and address them.

Here is my current draft:

4.2. Procedure


4. The Project Leader has a casting vote. There is a quorum of 3Q. The
   default option is "None of the above."


6.1. Powers


7. [...] There is no casting vote. If there are multiple options with no
   defeats in the Schwartz set at the end of A.6.8, the winner will be
   randomly chosen from those options, via a mechanism chosen by the
   Project Secretary.


6.3. Procedure

1. Resolution process.

   The Technical Committee uses the following process to prepare a
   resolution for vote:

   1. Any member of the Technical Committee may propose a resolution.
      This creates an initial two-option ballot, the other option being
      the default option of "Further discussion." The proposer of the
      resolution becomes the proposer of the ballot option.

   2. Any member of the Technical Committee may propose additional ballot
      options or modify or withdraw a ballot option they proposed.

   3. If all ballot options except the default option are withdrawn, the
      process is canceled.

   4. Any member of the Technical Committee may call for a vote on the
      ballot as it currently stands. This vote begins immediately, but if
      any other member of the Technical Committee objects to calling for a
      vote before the vote completes, the vote is canceled and has no

   5. Two weeks after the original proposal the ballot is closed to any
      changes and voting starts automatically. This vote cannot be

   6. If a vote is canceled under point later than 13 days after
      the initial proposed resolution, the vote specified in point
      instead starts 24 hours after the time of cancellation. During that
      24 hour period, no one may call for a vote.

2. Details regarding voting.

   Votes are decided by the vote counting mechanism described in A.6.
   The voting period lasts for one week or until the outcome is no
   longer in doubt assuming no members change their votes, whichever is
   shorter. Members may change their votes until the voting period ends.
   There is a quorum of two. The Chair has a casting vote. The default
   option is "Further discussion."

   When the Technical Committee votes whether to override a Developer who
   also happens to be a member of the Committee, that member may not vote
   (unless they are the Chair, in which case they may use only their
   casting vote).


7. Proposing a general resolution.

   When the Technical Committee proposes a general resolution or a ballot
   option in a general resolution to the project under point 4.2.1, it may
   delegate the authority to withdraw, amend, or make minor changes to the
   ballot option to one of its members. If it does not do so, these
   decisions must be made by resolution of the Technical Committee.

A.0. Proposal

1. The formal procedure begins when a draft resolution is proposed and
   sponsored, as required. A draft resolution must include the text of
   that resolution and a short single-line summary suitable for labeling
   the ballot choice.

2. This draft resolution becomes a ballot option in an initial two-option
   ballot, the other option being the default option, and the proposer of
   the draft resolution becomes the proposer of that ballot option.

A.1. Discussion and amendment

1. The discussion period starts when a draft resolution is proposed and
   sponsored. The minimum discussion period is 2 weeks. The maximum
   discussion period is 3 weeks.

2. A new ballot option may be proposed and sponsored according to the
   requirements for a new resolution.

3. The proposer of a ballot option may amend that option provided that
   none of the sponsors of that ballot option at the time the amendment is
   proposed disagree with that change within 24 hours. If any of them do
   disagree, the ballot option is left unchanged.

4. The addition of a ballot option or the change via a amendment of a
   ballot option changes the end of the discussion period to be one week
   from when that action was done, unless that would make the total
   discussion period shorter than the minimum discussion period or longer
   than the maximum discussion period. In the latter case, the length of
   the discussion period is instead set to the maximum discussion period.

5. The proposer of a ballot option may make minor changes to that option
   (for example, typographical fixes, corrections of inconsistencies, or
   other changes which do not alter the meaning), providing no Developer
   objects within 24 hours. In this case the length of the discussion
   period is not changed. If a Developer does object, the change must
   instead be made via amendment under point A.1.3.

6. The Project Leader may, at any point in the process, increase or
   decrease the minimum and maximum discussion period by up to 1 week from
   their original values in point A.1.1, except that they may not do so in
   a way that causes the discussion period to end within 48 hours of when
   this change is made. The length of the discussion period is then
   recalculated as if the new minimum and maximum lengths had been in
   place during all previous ballot changes under points A.1.1 and A.1.4.

7. The default option has no proposer or sponsors, and cannot be amended
   or withdrawn.

A.2. Withdrawing ballot options

1. The proposer of a ballot option may withdraw. If they do, new proposers
   may come forward to keep the ballot option alive, in which case the
   first person to do so becomes the new proposer and any others become
   sponsors if they aren't sponsors already. Any new proposer or sponsors
   must meet the requirements for proposing or sponsoring a new

2. A sponsor of a ballot option may withdraw.

3. If the withdrawal of the proposer and/or sponsors means that a ballot
   option has no proposer or not enough sponsors to meet the requirements
   for a new resolution, and 24 hours pass without this being remedied by
   another proposer and/or sponsors stepping forward, it removed from the
   draft ballot.  This does not change the length of the discussion

4. If all ballot options except the default option are withdrawn, the
   resolution is canceled and will not be voted on.

A.3. Calling for a vote

1. After the discussion period has ended, the Project Secretary will
   publish the ballot and call for a vote. The Project Secretary may do
   this immediately following the end of the discussion period and must do
   so within five days of the end of the discussion period.

2. The Project Secretary determines the order of ballot options. At their
   discretion they may reword the single-line summaries for clarity.

3. Minor changes to ballot options under point A.1.5 may not be made after
   or within 24 hours of the end of the discussion period unless the
   Project Secretary agrees the change does not alter the meaning of the
   ballot option and (if it would do so) warrants delaying the vote. The
   Project Secretary will allow 24 hours for objections after any such
   change before issuing the call for a vote.

4. No new ballot options may be proposed, no ballot options may be
   amended, and no proposers or sponsors may withdraw within 24 hours of
   the end of the discussion period unless this action successfully
   extends the discussion period under point A.1.4 by at least 24
   additional hours.

5. Actions to preserve the existing ballot may be taken within 24 hours of
   the end of the discussion period, namely a sponsor objecting to an
   amendment under point A.1.3, a Developer objecting to a minor change
   under point A.1.5, stepping forward as the proposer for an existing
   ballot option whose original proposer has withdrawn it under point
   A.2.1, or sponsoring an existing ballot option that has fewer than the
   required number of sponsors because of the withdrawal of a sponsor
   under point A.2.2.

6. The Project Secretary may make an exception to point A.3.4 and accept
   changes to the ballot after they are no longer allowed, provided that
   this is done at least 24 hours prior to the issuance of a call for a
   vote. All other requirements for making a change to the ballot must
   still be met. This is expected to be rare and should only be done if
   the Project Secretary believes it would be harmful to the best
   interests of the project for the change to not be made.

A.4. Voting procedure

1. Options which do not have an explicit supermajority requirement have a
   1:1 majority requirement. The default option does not have any
   supermajority requirements.

2. The votes are counted according to the rules in A.6.

3. In cases of doubt the Project Secretary shall decide on matters of

A.5 is deleted.  A.6 is left unchanged.  (In the final, formal GR, A.6
will be renumbered to A.5 with corresponding changes throughout the rest
of the constitution.)

When the vote counting mechanism of the Standard Resolution Procedure is
to be used, the text which refers to it must specify who has a casting
vote, the quorum, the default option, and any supermajority requirement.
The default option must not have any supermajority requirements.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)              <https://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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