Discussion of Server Working Group governance

Simo Sorce simo at redhat.com
Mon Oct 28 13:22:45 UTC 2013

On Mon, 2013-10-28 at 09:07 -0400, Stephen Gallagher wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> On Mon 28 Oct 2013 08:58:03 AM EDT, Simo Sorce wrote:
> > On Mon, 2013-10-28 at 08:55 -0400, Stephen Gallagher wrote:
> >> -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- Hash: SHA1
> >> 
> >> The first goal of the Working Group process is to plan our
> >> governance process for future members of the Server Working
> >> Group. I think the place we should start is by gathering a list
> >> of requirements that a governance charter will need to keep in
> >> mind. I'll list my thoughts below, please raise your own concerns
> >> as well.
> >> 
> >> In no particular order (stream of consciousness):
> >> 
> >> == Voting Members == * Number of voting members for the Working
> >> Group. * How long a term do the voting members serve? * Should
> >> there be term limits or mandatory breaks? * Should there be
> >> reserved chairs for specific constituencies (e.g. QA,
> >> Ambassadors, Release Engineering)?

Forgot to comment on this earlier. I think it is premature to think in
terms of mandatory breaks or forced seats. We should see how much
participation we get, and then after a term or 2 amendments can be
proposed to limit re-elections if we see the same old people always
sitting there although a great many self nominations come through at
every election.

>  * Voting method?[1] * Who can
> >> vote?[2] * Recalls?
> >> 
> >> == Charter == * How do we approve the initial charter?[3] * How
> >> do we later amend the charter?[4]
> >> 
> >> 
> >> == My initial thoughts == I am open to counter-arguments,
> >> naturally.
> >> 
> >> [1] For simplicity, I suspect we want to stick with range-voting
> >> as in the other elections. We already have the tools for this.
> > 
> > +1
> > 
> >> [2] I recommend we stick with FPCA+1 as a rule for voting.
> > 
> > I am not sure what FPCA+1 is, half + 1 ? If so +1
> > 
> FPCA+1 means "Must be a member of at least one FAS group besides
> "fpca" (which means you signed the Fedora Project Contributor
> Agreement). It's a balance between allowing anyone to vote vs.
> contributors (which includes QA, ambassadors, doc writers etc.).

This is for election of the committee right ? Indeed FPCA + 1 makes
sense to me.

> >> [3] For the initial charter, I think if it's not unanimous, we
> >> need to keep talking.
> > 
> > +1
> > 
> >> [4] I think amendments should require "voting members - 1". It 
> >> shouldn't be possible for a single dissenting vote to hold things
> >> up (they should get to have their say), but otherwise I think
> >> that a near-unanimous vote should be required to change the
> >> fundamental guiding document.
> > 
> I should clarify that this stance is contingent upon a fixed voting
> membership size. If we decided on a charter that says "Anyone who
> shows up at a meeting can vote", then this won't work.

That's what I think, however it does make sense to allow a larger
participation for the charter or the committee can become

Proposal 1:
I would say a qualified majority of Fedora Contributors plus and of
current committee members should be allowed to pass amendments.

Ie, once an amendment is proposed it needs a 6 out of 9 votes from the
committee, and a 6 out of 9 positive votes among all that voted,
elections are done n parallel.

Proposal 2:
Alternatively in order to put an amendment up for vote you need a
qualified majority in the committee (not sure how many votes). Once
that's up you need a qualified majority of votes from Fedora
Contributors (simple majority of voters, not half+1 of all Fedora
Contributors in existence).

The balance between prop1 and prop2 is quite different,
Prop1 is about giving the more involved members a sort of bland veto
vote if many members are against something.

Number 2 is more skewed towards committee being a filter, and vote from
Contributors is more like a yes/no referendum. But I think it would
avoid situations, where some crazy folks want to keep trying to change
the charter. With prop2 they will have to convince the committee that it
is a good idea. The committee vote is only about whether the proposal
makes sense to put up to a general vote. The committee vote is not about
whether members *like* the proposal, they just filter sensible proposals
from crap. It is true that the committee may struck down a sensible
proposal just because they do not like it if it passed but I assume
honorable committee members that want to be re-elected later.


Simo Sorce * Red Hat, Inc * New York

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