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Re: Opposing strict time limits

On second thought...

On Sun, Oct 24, 2021 at 06:54:51PM +0200, Wouter Verhelst wrote:
> With this process, we could also default the minimum discussion time to
> be much shorter (say, one week or so); then if there is much to discuss,
> after 6 days or so someone could suggest "we're clearly not there yet,
> let's extend the discussion" and we can extend with this process.

This bit (which was meant to have discussion times as short as possible
by default, allowing to extend things if necessary) is probably a
mistake. The process I wrote down, by design, makes it more difficult as
time goes on to extend the discussion time even further; if I say that I
believe 3 weeks may not be enough in contentious debates (and I still
believe that), then reducing the time to 1 week by default and expecting
it to be extended until 3 weeks have passed is probably not a good idea.

So instead, scratch that bit. What we could do though is allow the DPL
to reduce the discussion time from 3 weeks down to one week (but not
up), and allow this process to be used on top of that if and when

I also think now that perhaps allowing someone to propose multiple
extensions (and only limiting seconds) could be a bad idea, so I think
it might be better to limit proposers too. 

In somewhat more formal language, apply the following changes to Russ'
draft (sections that remain unchanged from his draft are skipped below):

A.1. Discussion and amendment.

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


4. (removed, does not apply; for clarity, the following are not
   renumbered although they would have to be in a final proposal)


6. The project leader may, at any point in the process, set the
   discussion period to any length between 1 and 3 weeks, 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, unless that would
   require them to set a discussion time beyond three weeks.


8. Anyone may propose an extension to the discussion time. These
   extensions may be seconded according to the same rules that apply to
   second new ballot options.

9. As soon as a time extension has received the required number of
   seconds, these seconds are locked in and cannot be withdrawn.

10. When a time extension has received the required number of seconds,
    the discussion time is extended to end 72 hours from when the
    extension was first proposed. Its proposers and seconders may then
    also no longer propose or second any further time extensions for the
    same ballot, and any further seconds for the same extension proposal
    will be ignored. In case of doubt, the Project Secretary determines
    how the time of the original proposal is measured, and how the order
    of seconds is determined.

I *think* this language also allows the DPL to propose a time extension
once, without any seconders, under 5.1.5, but I'm not sure. I think this
is a good thing, and perhaps we should make that somewhat more explicit.

The language I suggest purposely also allows the DPL to change their
mind: they can reduce the discussion time to one week because they
believe the matter is urgent, but then when there is a lot of discussion
happening, they can decide that one week is not enough and extend it to
two weeks, say. Or they can decide that they don't believe more than one
week is necessary, even if discussion is happening; if other people
disagree, they can then attempt to use this procedure to extend the time
if they believe that is necessary.

(I should also note that, given this is an amendment to an amended
version of the constitution, I haven't yet looked at all the possible
corner cases that this would result in, and so some tweaking might be
required; but at least this gives us something to work from)



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