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Re: Informal Discussion: Identities of Voters Casting a Particular Ballot are No Longer Public

On Sun, 2022-02-13 at 14:28:44 -0700, Sam Hartman wrote:
> This starts informal discussion of a proposed general resolution to
> amend the constitution.  I am not seeking sponsors at this time.
> Comments including support or alternatives are welcome.  I think this is
> mature enough to seek review from the secretary.

Since the idea of general secret votes has started floating around
I've felt a sense of uneasiness, but I've not been able to clearly
put my finger on why. After some of the replies here, I think it's
starting to become clear.

I think the current secrecy for the DPL votes makes absolute sense,
and I think there's no contention about that one, because these are
about voting "for/against" people, which have clear and understood
social dynamics when it applies to colleagues/friends or people we do
work with etc. I think, thus, extending secrecy to any vote related
to "people" would also be equally uncontroversial.

Then, there's the secrecy for technical votes, which I think is where
the push back might be coming from. There's been mentions of mailing
lists being way more revealing than a vote in GR, and counters to that
mentioning that you do not need to participate in mailing lists. Both
true. The problem I think, is that to participate in Debian in any
technical role, you most definitely need to eventually make your
opinion on technical matters public, because we operate on the open.
Be that on bug reports, on changelogs, on VCS commits, or even on
mailing lists. It also feels like closing up technical votes would go
counter to the general tenets of the project and how we operate.

And then, there's the secrecy for "political" votes. I think this
might also be problematic, depending on the subject at hand. Because
as mentioned in the thread, it might make public positions that people
otherwise would not need to make so on their daily routines in Debian.

I think the RMS vote, was a mix of personal + political, which is what
made people uncomfortable with. The problem I see is that this is now
being lumped into a general direction to close everything up, which
seems excessive, TBH.

I also think the DPL votes are different to any other votes, because
the DPL has limited power, and even though a DPL can certainly disrupt
or damage the project, in the end it's bound by a time limit. Compared
to a GR where the consequences might live long, and where once settled
people do not tend to try to overturn these every subsequent year.

I've also got concerns about batching up unrelated changes, with
potentially controversial ones. And even if minor I'd prefer to see
those debundled, even at the cost of additional GRs.


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