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Re: GR: Change the resolution process (corrected)

I propose the following amendment. I expect Russ to not accept it, and
am looking for seconds.


Much of the rationale of Russ' proposal still applies, and indeed this
amendment builds on it. However, the way the timing works is different,
on purpose.

Our voting system, which neither proposal modifies, as a condorcet
voting mechanism, does not suffer directly from too many options on the
ballot. While it is desirable to make sure the number of options on the
ballot is not extremely high for reasons of practicality and voter
fatigue, it is nonetheless of crucial importance that all the *relevant*
options are represented on the ballot, so that the vote outcome is not
questioned for the mere fact that a particular option was not
represented on the ballot. Making this possible requires that there is
sufficient time to discuss all relevant opinions.

Russ' proposal introduces a hard limit of 3 weeks to any and all ballot
processes, assuming that that will almost always be enough, and relying
on withdrawing and restarting the voting process in extreme cases where
it turns out more time is needed; in Russ' proposal, doing so would
increase the discussion time by another two weeks at least (or one if
the DPL reduces the discussion time).

In controversial votes, I believe it is least likely for all ballot
proposers to be willing to use this escape hatch of withdrawing the vote
and restarting the process; and at the same time, controversial votes
are the most likely to need a lot of discussion to build a correct
ballot, which implies they would be most likely to need some extra time
-- though not necessarily two more weeks -- for the ballot to be

At the same time, I am not insensitive to arguments of predictability,
diminishing returns, and process abuse which seem to be the main
arguments in favour of a hard time limit at three weeks.

For this reason, my proposal does not introduce a hard limit, and
*always* makes it theoretically possible to increase the discussion
time, but does so in a way that extending the discussion time becomes
harder and harder as time goes on. I believe it is better for the
constitution to allow a group of people to have a short amount of extra
time so they can finish their proposed ballot option, than to require
the full discussion period to be restarted through the withdrawal and
restart escape hatch. At the same time, this escape hatch is not
removed, although I expect it to be less likely to be used.

The proposed mechanism sets the initial discussion time to 1 week, but
allows it to be extended reasonably easily to 2 or 3 weeks, makes it
somewhat harder to reach 4 weeks, and makes it highly unlikely (but
still possible) to go beyond that.

Text of the GR

The Debian Developers, by way of General Resolution, amend the Debian
constitution under point 4.1.2 as follows. This General Resolution
requires a 3:1 majority.

Sections 4 through 7

Same changes as in Russ' proposal

Section A

Replace section A as per Russ' proposal, with the following changes:

A.1.1. Strike the sentence "The maximum discussion period is 3 weeks".

A.1.4. Strike in its entirety

A.1.5. Rename to A.1.4.

A.1.6. Strike in its entirety

A.1.7. Rename to A.1.5.

After A.2, insert:

A.3. Extending the discussion time.

1. When less than 48 hours remain in the discussion time, any Developer
   may propose an extension to the discussion time, subject to the
   limitations of §A.3.3. These extensions may be seconded according to
   the same rules that apply to new ballot options.

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

3. When a time extension has received the required number of seconds,
   its proposers and seconders may no longer propose or second any
   further time extension for the same ballot, and any further seconds
   for the same extension proposal will be ignored for the purpose of
   this paragraph. In case of doubt, the Project Secretary decides how
   the order of seconds is determined.

4. The first two successful time extensions will extend the discussion
   time by one week; any further time extensions will extend the
   discussion time by 72 hours.

5. Once the discussion time is longer than 4 weeks, any Developer may
   object to further time extensions. Developers who have previously
   proposed or seconded a time extension may object as well. If the
   number of objections outweigh the proposer and their seconders,
   including seconders who will be ignored as per §A.3.3, the time
   extension will not be active and the discussion time does not change.

A.3. Rename to A.4.

A.4. Rename to A.5.

A.5. Rename (back) to A.6.


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