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Thu Apr 19 19:57:42 UTC 2012

"Members can be removed from the committee for misconduct by the
Fedora Project Board or by an absolute majority vote of the FAmSCo."

I'm not sure the FPL has any power to veto a FAmSCo decision. As the
Chair of the Board she has the power to veto any Board decision.

However the Board has the explicit responsibility for "Final
arbitration of complaints related to project policies." I really don't
think anyone wants either the Board or the FPL to decide the
transition. Giving some constructive help resolving what could be
deemed a complaint related to project policies can be helpful (and I
think has been helpful).

>> Changing election rules after being elected can almost always be seen
>> as involving a conflict of interest and this is one reason there is
>> normally a transition that involves the new rules not taking effect
>> until the next orderly election.
> But this would mean we'd have to wait until F19, with all it's
> consequences such as not broadening the eligible voters, not being able
> to replace inactive members, therefor not reaching a quorum, the lack of
> consistency and all that. =A0I find it hard to believe you or anybody els=
> would want that because at the beginning of your mail you said that that
> the lack of "a quorum to conduct even routine business" is your reason
> to support Nick's petition. =A0This is exactly the issue we are trying to
> address and we are trying to address it now and not in F19.

Electing some number of new people doesn't really give me that much
confidence about it being easier to achieve a quorum in IRC meetings
for a body scattered throughout so many timezones. I have suggested,
quite seriously although perhaps some thought I was joking, that the
quorum requirement simply be reduced from 4 to 3 to make getting stuff
done in meetings easier. I have more confidence that that would make
achieving a quorum easier regardless of what we do with elections.

>> > To me this is not a conflict but something very natural in a
>> > meritocratic system like Fedora. =A0Some FAmSCo members are more activ=
>> > than others and attend the meetings more regularly. =A0They are presen=
>> > when it comes to making a decision, not only today but every week.
>> >
>> > The active members also happen to be ones that get the most votes in t=
>> > elections. =A0To me this doesn't show ill will or a conflict of intere=
>> > but proves that our system work.
>> I don't see how any of this, while true, gives you the authority to
>> overturn election results.
> I don't thing we are. Look at it this way: We respect the results of the
> last election so much that we wanted to make it the base for determining
> who has to run again and who is not.
>> >> Also, our current FAmSCo seems unwilling to vote gbraad out, despite =
>> >> repeated failure to attend meetings, or participate in any discussion=
>> >
>> > This is the part that does not make sense to me. =A0On the one hand yo=
>> > complain that inactive members do not vote and the active members make=
>> > decision, but on the other hand you want to have somebody removed from
>> > FAmSCo without talking to him first and giving him a chance to chance =
>> > explain himself.
>> What is the point of him explaining himself when FAmSCo is reducing
>> his term to one release and is thereby removing him from FAmSCo now by
>> a different process?
> The point is:
> =A0 =A0 =A0* He is not removed as he can run for re-election immediately.=
> =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0he is removed according to the old guidelines, he cannot.

He is not removed for misconduct but he is still removed as a result
of his term expiring 6 months earlier than he or the electorate was
told when he was elected. And yes, he can run again. But what is the
point of him explaining himself?

> =A0 =A0 =A0* We cannot remove him without hearing him. That's the rules a=
> =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0as somebody who insists on not changing rules after an ele=
> =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0you should obey them in this case, too. =A0It's something =
we owe
> =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0not only him as a long-time very active contributor but al=
so his
> =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0voters.

I'm not advocating you remove him without concluding his lack of
participation is misconduct in your collective opinion sufficient that
you come to the conclusion that such action is in the best interest of
FAmSCo. I'm not advocating you remove him without following the rules
that existed when he was elected. That is really one of my objections
to the transition - I think he is being removed by a different method
than what was provided at the time he was elected.

>> > We have a policy for removal of members: "In the event of repeated
>> > absence without contact, or other serious misconduct or negligence, a
>> > FAmSCo member may be subject to removal. =A0Before any other process
>> > occurs, the FAmSCo member in question will be personally contacted by
>> > the FAmSCo Chair to try to resolve the situation. =A0If this contact d=
>> > not successfully resolve the situation, the FAmSCo member in question
>> > may be removed by unanimous vote of the other members of FAmSCo." [1]
>> >
>> > This is what currently happens. =A0We have started the process but not=
>> > made a decision. =A0I have contacted the person in question, got a qui=
>> > reply and we agreed he will get back to me after the weekend. =A0He wi=
>> > try to catch up with FAmSCo business and then make a decision if he ca=
>> > make it or not.
>> >
>> > Even if this person did not serve FAmSCo in this term, we prefer to no=
>> > make this decision against but with him. =A0We believe that issues can=
>> > resolved amicably and so should you.
>> FAmSCo just did make the decision to remove him without his
>> participation by deciding to make his seat open in the F18 election
>> cycle.
> But still this is something very different form a removal, see above.
> Let's not compare apples to oranges.

I agree removal for misconduct is different than removal for other
reasons. When I say removal don't assume I mean removal for

> I really don't understand how somebody
> =A0 =A0 =A0* on the one hand can complain about a so-called "removal" of =
> =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0people although they were involved and heard in the discus=
> =A0 =A0 =A0* but on the other hand demand the removal of one of them
> =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0*without* hearing him.

I have never demanded anything of the sort. And I do object to
removing him without a finding of misconduct in a fashion not
consistent with the rules governing his term in effect at the time of
his election.

> That is totally inconsistent.

Yes, but it is not my position.

>> > This being said here is my proposal:
>> > =A0 =A0 =A0* Wait a few days for feedback from the ambassadors. Either=
>> > =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0share your concerns and think it is unfair to require s=
>> > =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0members to run again while not others, or they are fine=
 with our
>> > =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0decision because they agree to the results of the previ=
>> > =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0elections.
>> I thought it was unfair when FESCo changed its election rules in the
>> middle of a recent election.
> I am confused now. =A0If you consider it unfair, why did you call it an
> "example of how to do an orderly transition without overturning the
> results of a previous election" at the beginning of this very mail?

This reference was to an election where FESCo allowed nominations to
stand that were made after the nomination period ended against at
least the precedent set twice earlier when late nominations were not
placed on the final ballot.

I admire the way FESCo is run very much and I think they do things
right more than any other Fedora governance body.

>> I think this goes way beyond unfair.
>> Elections are really quite a silly exercise if four people after the
>> election can overturn the result of the election for the other three.
>> Next time perhaps the bottom four will throw out the top three, seems
>> FAmSCo thinks this sort of majority decision is fine.
> Please get the facts straight. =A0It was NOT the top four who made this
> decision and meanwhile several of the top 4 vote-getters have offered
> their seat for election.

I did not say it was the top four. Which four it is makes no
difference to me at all. Fedora ambassadors elected 3 of their fellow
members to two release terms on FAmSCo. Four FAmSCo members have just
changed those terms to one release terms. While I understand that is
expedient to get to where we both want to end up, I think it isn't the
best way to get there.

>> Is asking FAmSCo
>> to respect the result of the last election really asking for too much?
>> I can't believe I have to ask that question.
> Obviously you and Nick have very different goals, the only thing where
> you agree is to disagree to FAmSCo. =A0While Nick wanted to have everybod=
> seats open in in F18, you don't want any.

We seem to agree to disagree with FAmSCo about the transition anyway.
Perhaps we agree to disagree with each other about the transition as

>> > =A0 =A0 =A0* If there is support from the ambassadors for your petitio=
>> > =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0*all* seats will be up for the F18 election. =A0The 4 h=
>> > =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0vote-getters will serve two releases, the lowest 3 will=
 serve 1
>> > =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0release. =A0This was option 2 in my mail from last week=
>> Option 3 is an orderly transition following the example set by FESCo
>> when they made a similar transition in its election rules.
> But again, this means delaying the transition by another 6 months.
> =A0 =A0 1. Having to fight for a quorum in every meeting
> =A0 =A0 2. Effectively not being able to remove somebody. If we cannot
> =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0replace an somebody (and we cannot in the old guidelines) =
> =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0cannot remove him.
>> Option 2 is also offensive as it also overturns the result of the last
>> election. But it is a lot less offensive than Option 1 and at least
>> allows the electorate to decide who receives the short transition
>> terms. Option 2 also benefits from the fact that current FAmSCo
>> election rules do allow for an early election to be called "by the
>> Chairperson of the committee, an absolute majority vote of FAmSCo, or
>> by the Fedora Project Board." So it would be allowable under current
>> rules by my reading of them.
> The rules you quote are the old guidelines, not the current ones. They
> were ratified two weeks ago by unanimous (!) vote. =A0We are only talking
> about the one paragraph of the new guidelines that describes the
> transition, but nobody is questioning the new guidelines itself.
> So what you want is a mixture of old and new guidelines: Using the old
> guidelines to call an early election that would then follow the rules of
> the new policy. =A0Sorry, but mixing two different policies does not work
> and I am surprised you even suggest it as you insist on obeying the
> guidelines so much.

I was trying to find common ground where we could compromise. Shrug.

>> > The other option would be to let everybody finish his 1 year term
>> > (option 4), but this would delay the shift to the new guidelines.
>> This was Option 3 I believe.
> Correct, Typo.
>> Why does waiting 6 months to effect this transition make a difference?
>> You seem to think this is very urgent to do right now but I don't
>> understand why.
> It is urgent because with the old guidelines we cannot fill vacant seats
> and thus we will continue to struggle with the problem of reaching a
> quorum in every meeting again and again until F19.
> Given that at the beginning of your mail you said this is exactly your
> motivation to support Nick's petition I find it hard to believe this is
> what you had in mind.
>> > The new FAmSCo election guidelines offer some huge advantages, most
>> > notably we extend the group eligible voters from ambassadors to CLA+1,
>> > this means to everybody who signed the Contributors License Agreement
>> > and is member of at least one other group can vote. =A0This is a big
>> > advantage and we think this is a good reason to make the shift to the
>> > new guidelines ASAP.
>> This is another good reason to have an orderly election of the entire
>> body when this change takes effect. How does it make any sense for
>> four FAmSCo members who were elected by members of the Ambassadors
>> group to sit with 3 others elected by contributors who satisfy the
>> CLA+1 requirement?
> That is a good point indeed. =A0IHMO this alone justifies opening all
> seats for elections. Thank you, I did not think of this.
>> Again. I can't see any reason why waiting 6 months
>> makes a bit of difference.
> Again, it makes a huge difference. =A0Not only that we won't benefit from
> the new guidelines, we also will have to deal with the consequences of
> the fundamentally flawed old guidelines that rendered previous FAmSCos
> more or less useless.
> If you looked at the old FAmSCos as closely as you are now looking at
> this question, you would see that a lot of their decisions were invalid
> as they had no a quorum. =A0Many of them even had less members voting tha=
> the decision you are complaining about now.
> With the old guidelines vacant seats were not filled until their number
> dropped below 5. =A05 active FAmSCo members on the other hand mean, that
> only one of them has to miss a meeting and one has to disagree with the
> other 3 in order to render the committee non-functional (because 3 is no
> longer a quorum of 7). =A0In fact we already had 3 inactive members in
> FAmSCo, but no supplementary election was ever be called. =A0This clearly
> shows that the old policy does not work.
> If you still wonder why we don't want to delay the elections until F19,
> please take a look at my analysis of the old guidelines in the wiki. [1]
>> > Please note that I only speak for myself at this point and not for
>> > FAmSCo. =A0While I am personally perfectly fine with running again for
>> > F18, I still need the other members to buy in to my proposal. =A0If I =
>> > to offer you all seats for the election no matter if your petition
>> > receives support or not, a single person (you) would effectively
>> > overpower FAmSCo. I think we all agree that this is not fair either.
>> I have no idea if we can agree on anything at this point if we can't
>> agree that four people on FAmSCo don't have the authority to overturn
>> the election results for three other FAmSCo members without misconduct
>> on their part.
> I'm afraid we really will not reach a consensus here. I still don't
> think we overturn but follow the results.
> So far the supporters of the petition have raised two points:
> =A0 =A0 1. One should not change the rules until the next orderly
> =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0elections.
> =A0 =A0 2. Members should not make a decision for other members who canno=
> =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0express their view.
> If we want to address *both* these concerns, we will *never* be able to
> change the election guidelines because strictly speaking not making a
> decision on behalf of the other members also includes the members of the
> next or any future FAmSCo.

You are getting carried away now. Election reform is commonplace. And
it is commonplace when the reformed rules take effect - and that time
is usually following the departure of those from office who created
them. There is a reason for this.

> This being said we need to make a cut at some point and some people will
> always consider it a breach of the guidelines. =A0Even though I still
> think that the majority of the voters would be perfectly fine with what
> FAmSCo discussed, decided and confirmed in various meetings, I do share
> your concern about the change in the eligible voters and I am very
> thankful you pointed it out.

Has one person said Option 3 is a breach of any guidelines? I have
heard it isn't expedient, but that is all.

> Therefor we can only offer to go with option 2 (having all seats subject
> to the F18 election) or 4 (having people step down voluntarily). I am
> glad to see that we already have enough people for option 4, but I would
> prefer option 2.

I would prefer Option 2 as well.

> Regardless of what we choose and for the reasons outlined in this mail,
> several others, the wiki and many discussions, FAmSC0 wants the
> transition to happen ASAP. Lets build a better FAmSCo for the sake of
> Fedora.
> Kind regards,
> Christoph
> [1]

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