Martin Zobel-Helas | 11 Aug 12:08 2011
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Comments on the constitution?

Hi,

during the last DPL voting period, a question [1] about the current
length of the DPL period came up. This topic was also discussed during
recent DebConf11.

While I do not want to come up with a change of the constitution at this
point, I would like to hear a broader opinion on that topic.

And while i was looking on our constitution, i found it doesn't say any
given procedure if a DPL wants to step down. Kurt said to me during
DebConf11 that, if that happens, he will immediately start an election
process. Still i think, this should be clarified in the current
constitution.

Cheers,
Martin

[1] <20110319142059.GA31962 <at> upsilon.cc>
--

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 Martin Zobel-Helas <zobel <at> debian.org>  | Debian System Administrator
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Re: Comments on the constitution?


On Thu, Aug 11, 2011 at 12:08:45PM +0200, Martin Zobel-Helas wrote:
> And while i was looking on our constitution, i found it doesn't say any
> given procedure if a DPL wants to step down. Kurt said to me during
> DebConf11 that, if that happens, he will immediately start an election
> process. Still i think, this should be clarified in the current
> constitution.

I would say this already falls under Constitution 2.1.3 and 5.2.2, which is
an elegant solution, from a legal point of view. The Constitution already
provides for any person resigning a particular post they hold (with no reason
to exclude DPL from this rule), at any time, by stating so publicly, and
establishes that elections shall begin immediately in case there are fewer
than six weeks remaining (and therefore also in case there is no time at all)
before the leadership post becomes vacant (for any reason).

--
Guilherme de Siqueira Pastore
gpastore <at> debian.org

Wouter Verhelst | 13 Aug 09:32 2011
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Re: Comments on the constitution?

On Thu, Aug 11, 2011 at 12:08:45PM +0200, Martin Zobel-Helas wrote:
> during the last DPL voting period, a question [1] about the current
> length of the DPL period came up. This topic was also discussed during
> recent DebConf11.
> 
> While I do not want to come up with a change of the constitution at this
> point, I would like to hear a broader opinion on that topic.
> 
> And while i was looking on our constitution, i found it doesn't say any
> given procedure if a DPL wants to step down. Kurt said to me during
> DebConf11 that, if that happens, he will immediately start an election
> process. Still i think, this should be clarified in the current
> constitution.

I feel I should point you to
<http://lists.debian.org/debian-vote/2007/08/msg00079.html>, in which I
presented the results of my asking ex-DPLs (at the time) whether they
thought increasing the time of the DPL term was a good idea. Short
answer, paraphrased: "hell no".

--

-- 
The volume of a pizza of thickness a and radius z can be described by
the following formula:

pi zz a
Stefano Zacchiroli | 29 Aug 10:17 2011
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Re: Comments on the constitution?

[ M-F-T: debian-vote ]

On Thu, Aug 11, 2011 at 12:08:45PM +0200, Martin Zobel-Helas wrote:
> during the last DPL voting period, a question [1] about the current
> length of the DPL period came up. This topic was also discussed during
> recent DebConf11.
> 
> While I do not want to come up with a change of the constitution at
> this point, I would like to hear a broader opinion on that topic.

Thanks for re-raising this topic.  I guess --- given the amount of
followups --- that this discussion is not particularly intriguing for
many of us, but it still an important one to have. We won't be able to
propose any change unless we have at least an idea of how people feel
about this.

Re-reading [1], mentioned by zobel, I still find that it contains a
reasonable accounting of potential advantages and potential
disadvantages. If you'd like to chime-in, please have a look at it.

[1] http://lists.debian.org/debian-vote/2011/03/msg00042.html

The main question is: how would people feel about a DPL standing for
election for a 2 year period, provided that there is an "easy" way to
call for a mid-term election after 1 year? "Easy" should be defined in a
way that it is not socially awkward and allow any of the two parts (the
DPL or the DD body) to call for an election that by default won't
happen.

At present, I don't have any bright idea on how to implement the "not
(Continue reading)

Joachim Breitner | 29 Aug 10:55 2011
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Re: Comments on the constitution?

Hi,

Am Montag, den 29.08.2011, 10:17 +0200 schrieb Stefano Zacchiroli:
> At present, I don't have any bright idea on how to implement the "not
> socially awkward" part preserving full transparency. A possibility might
> be to allow a given number of DDs to request in private a mid-term
> election to the secretary. But that clearly trades-off transparency for
> social un-awkward-ness. IMHO it would match the spirit of the current
> Constitution provision that DPL votes are secret, but YMMV. It would
> also possibly increase the level of trust we put in the Secretary.

Obviously, it is not a problem for a DPL to call for a re-election, as
in „I’d be willing to serve another year, but I want to reaffirm that I
have the projects backing“. So the only problem is allowing the DD body
to call for an election.

How about reversing the action: By default, there is an election, unless
a reasonable, well-defined number of DD publicly state that they see no
need for a re-election.

Either, there are people willing to do that. Then not all is bad with
the current DPL and it is ok to assume that the project is happy with
the current DPL. Stating support for the current DPL is not socially
awkward (after all, we are carrying him on chairs occasionally).

Or, nobody stands up. Not doing something is not totally socially
awkward, but yet a clear vote that the project might be happier with
another election. A few close, personal friends might  want to state
their support in order to not burden their personal relationship, hence
the number required should be sufficiently higher to allow them to do
(Continue reading)

Joey Hess | 29 Aug 18:33 2011
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Re: Comments on the constitution?

Joachim Breitner wrote:
> How about reversing the action: By default, there is an election, unless
> a reasonable, well-defined number of DD publicly state that they see no
> need for a re-election.

A variant on this that would not be susceptable to this:

> I think this works well unless we have the case of a strongly polarizing
> DPL, with a large number of supporters and possibly more opponents.

... Would perhaps be to have people state that they are only interested
in a pro-forma election. If there's a consensus that the current DPL is
well respected and should continue, then we could skip strawman
candidates, DPL platforms, Q&A sessions, etc. (If NOTA wins, the
consensus was false and we have to try again.)

--

-- 
see shy jo
Peter Samuelson | 29 Aug 22:17 2011

Re: Comments on the constitution?


[Joey Hess]
> ... Would perhaps be to have people state that they are only
> interested in a pro-forma election. If there's a consensus that the
> current DPL is well respected and should continue, then we could skip
> strawman candidates, DPL platforms, Q&A sessions, etc. (If NOTA wins,
> the consensus was false and we have to try again.)

It sounds like all that is really needed is to make clear that, as a
developer body, we don't see anything wrong or unhealthy in an election
cycle where the incumbent is running unopposed.  As it is, sometimes
a developer self-nominates "because it would be a shame if there were
only 1 candidate".  If the sitting DPL is willing to go another year,
and nobody else stands for election, I don't think we should see it as
a sign of an unhealthy project, or try to correct it.
--

-- 
Peter Samuelson | org-tld!p12n!peter | http://p12n.org/

Lars Wirzenius | 29 Aug 23:09 2011
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Re: Comments on the constitution?

On Mon, Aug 29, 2011 at 12:33:15PM -0400, Joey Hess wrote:
> ... Would perhaps be to have people state that they are only interested
> in a pro-forma election. If there's a consensus that the current DPL is
> well respected and should continue, then we could skip strawman
> candidates, DPL platforms, Q&A sessions, etc. (If NOTA wins, the
> consensus was false and we have to try again.)

I'd prefer to see 1-year DPL terms and quite a short election process:
1 week for nominations, 1 week for platforms + discussion, 1 week for voting.

That should take the pain out of re-election, even as the only candidate,
and avoids having to require candidates to commit to two years of DPLship,
which can be hard to do, when it requires buy-in from spouses, family,
and employers (since the DPL will usually travel a lot).

--

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Gunnar Wolf | 30 Aug 18:29 2011

Re: Comments on the constitution?

Stefano Zacchiroli dijo [Mon, Aug 29, 2011 at 10:17:22AM +0200]:
> (…)
> The main question is: how would people feel about a DPL standing for
> election for a 2 year period, provided that there is an "easy" way to
> call for a mid-term election after 1 year? "Easy" should be defined in a
> way that it is not socially awkward and allow any of the two parts (the
> DPL or the DD body) to call for an election that by default won't
> happen.
> 
> At present, I don't have any bright idea on how to implement the "not
> socially awkward" part preserving full transparency. A possibility might
> be to allow a given number of DDs to request in private a mid-term
> election to the secretary. But that clearly trades-off transparency for
> social un-awkward-ness. IMHO it would match the spirit of the current
> Constitution provision that DPL votes are secret, but YMMV. It would
> also possibly increase the level of trust we put in the Secretary.

Humm… An idea could be:

‣ The term is defined to be for one year, with the possibility of one
  automatic renewal
‣ If by (election date + 10 months) the DPL sends a (signed,
  validated, blah) message, a simple referendum is held: secret vote
  between a "yes" and a "no" (and... Further discussion? :-} )
  ‣ If the DPL seeking renewal gets a majority, his term is prolonged to
    a second year
  ‣ If the DPL does not get a majority, he can still participate in a
    regular election
‣ This mechanism can only be used once — A DPL wanting to run a third
  term must win a regular (full) election
(Continue reading)

Daniel Kahn Gillmor | 30 Aug 20:20 2011
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Re: Comments on the constitution?

On 08/30/2011 12:29 PM, Gunnar Wolf wrote:
> Humm… An idea could be:

I like Gunnar's proposal.  Some nitpicks for clarity:

> ‣ The term is defined to be for one year, with the possibility of one
>   automatic renewal
> ‣ If by (election date + 10 months)

This should be something like "between (election date + 9 months and
election date + 10 months)" -- a DPL shouldn't be able to send this
request at the start of their term.   Or maybe, if they do people will
think it is silly and say "no", and then the fact that it can be done
only once per elected term will prevent them from doing so after they've
proved themselves.

Still, i'd prefer a strictly narrow window for this mechanism.

>   the DPL sends a (signed,
>   validated, blah) message, a simple referendum is held: secret vote
>   between a "yes" and a "no" (and... Further discussion? :-} )

If we have Further Discussion here, i think it would count the same as "no".

>   ‣ If the DPL seeking renewal gets a majority, his term is prolonged to
>     a second year
>   ‣ If the DPL does not get a majority, he can still participate in a
>     regular election
> ‣ This mechanism can only be used once — A DPL wanting to run a third
>   term must win a regular (full) election
(Continue reading)


Gmane