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Re: FESCo elections

On Sat, 2007-06-23 at 17:14 -0700, Karsten Wade wrote:
> On Wed, 2007-06-20 at 10:00 -0700, Toshio Kuratomi wrote:
> > Basically, you should be able to vote if you are under FESCo's
> > authority.  You should not be able to vote if you are not.
> The problem I have with this is that FESCo, unlike all bodies save the
> Board, makes decisions that affect the entire project.
> I think "affects" should be the criteria, not "authority."
This raises some interesting thought-experiments.  Let me state my core
thought before diving off on those tangents, though:

I think "authority" should be the guiding principle.  "Affects" is much
too broad.  To take the argument to absurdium, what FESCo decides
affects Ubuntu, SuSE, and the rest of the greater Linux Community.
Should they be allowed to vote?  At some point in the spectrum between
cvsextras and absurdium, FESCo is the ruler of a body of people and
therefore needs to listen to the wishes of those people by being elected
by them.  At some point beyond that, FESCo becomes the ruler of a
neighboring project and FESCo's Project and the Neighbor Project have to
learn to get along with each other.

The farther out from the central purpose of a group that you cast your
net of enfranchisement, the more you dilute the knowledge of what work
the people you're voting for are doing presently.  What is candidate A
going to contribute to FESCo's future?  Are they active in groups that
are part of the central purpose of FESCo?  Do they make good decisions
there?  Do they stick to their guns on things that are important and
compromise on things that are not?  The wider the scope of people, the
more likely that you're going to end up with people who only know about
a single issue:  Candidate A wanted to delay the Fedora 8 Release Date,
what do I care about their decisions on acls, packaging standards,
string freeze, legality of firmware, etc.  The only thing that affected
me was the Release Date.

That said, I won't argue that FESCo's authority has been expanded since
the merge.  Is FESCo's new charter to have (loose) authority over all of
Fedora?  FESCo is in charge of implementing Board decisions so Art,
Docs, l10n, infrastructure, and the rest of Fedora are subprojects of
FESCo?  For the purposes of the election I can see a certain attraction
to this.  What you say about FESCo's decisions affecting everybody
within Fedora has merit.  For the purposes of working within the Fedora
Project I am a small bit worried, though.  Firstly, FESCo can only be a
part of so much, involved in so much, accountable for so much.
Secondly, Docs, Art, and other groups are viable independent communities
that don't need the (hopefully light) hand of another committee sitting
between them and the Board.

In concrete terms, I'm against opening the election to cla_done.  I'm
for expanding and contracting FESCo's area of authority until it
includes the groups that want to vote for FESCo (if everyone does and we
end up including every group that's not cla_done/cla_fedora I'd be a
little worried about the long term ramifications but we'll see when we
get there.)

P.S. If we include the wiki EditGroup in the "groups that can vote"
someone has to write an importer that turns the EditGroup into Fedora
Account System (FAS) accounts and adds them to a new FAS group.  This
may not be as hard as writing a new package dep solver but it is not
trivial.  And we're on a deadline.

In our current world we have one very large and powerful neighbor that
every other community has to learn to exist with.  Would the world be
better or worse if everyone affected by the neighbor had the ability to
vote in the elections held there?

Bonus points for humor if your reply starts with "Does this assume
Microsoft stocks are equally distributed or still concentrated in the
hands of a few?" ;-)


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