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Re: GR: Change the resolution process (corrected)

Wouter Verhelst <wouter@debian.org> writes:

> I could bypass the whole thing and claim a minor change. That's probably
> cheating, but then again, it is what I had always intended, so from that
> POV I guess it isn't.

> So unless someone objects, the below is now the proposal:

The current constitution is kind of weird about who gets to make minor
changes and changes to amendments (that's one of the things these
proposals is intended to fix).  So just for procedural completeness, as
the original proposer of the resolution, I propose that Wouter's amendment
be changed to the following new text from Wouter.

I think that satisfies A.1.5.

(There may need to be another revision once I finish my revision of the
base resolution.)

> Rationale
> =========

> 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
> complete.

> 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
> --------------------

> Copy from Russ' proposal, replacing cross-references to §A.5 by §A.6,
> where relevant.

> Section A
> ---------

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

> A.1.1. Replace the sentence "The minimum discussion period is 2 weeks."
>        by "The initial discussion period is 1 week." 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, and strike the sentence "In this case the length
>        of the discussion period is not changed".

> 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 sponsored according to
>    the same rules that apply to new ballot options.

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    sponsors, these sponsorships are locked in and cannot be withdrawn,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

> 3. When a time extension has received the required number of sponsors,
>    its proposers and sponsors may no longer propose or sponsor any
>    further time extension for the same ballot, and any further sponsors
>    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 sponsorships 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 sponsored a time extension may object as well. If the
>    number of objections outnumber the proposer and their sponsors,
>    including sponsors who will be ignored as per §A.3.3, the time
>    extension will not be active and the discussion time does not change.

> 6. Once the discussion time expires, any pending time extension
>    proposals that have not yet received their required number of
>    sponsors are null and void, and no further time extensions may be
>    proposed.

> A.3. Rename to A.4.

> A.3.6 (now A.4.6): replace 'A.3.4' by 'A.4.4'.

> A.4. Rename to A.5.

> A.4.2 (now A.5.2): replace '§A.5' by '§A.6'.

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

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

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