On Monday 30 August 2010 00:02:33 Vincent Untz wrote:
Le mercredi 25 août 2010, à 15:54 +0200, Andreas Jaeger a écrit :
New rule: Appointment: In case that board seats will get appointed, they get appointed by the board. Appointed seats are only appointed until the next election. The board can appoint also non-Novell folks on Novell seats and vice-versa.
Overall, it makes sense. That's what the GNOME Foundation does too, and it works well -- it happened a few times in the last few years.
However, I don't think we should have the last sentence: the reason we have the non-Novell/Novell split on the board is to make sure the board stays independant. So this rule should still get respected when appointing new members, IMHO. Else, we can have people assuming Novell just takes over the board if there are Novell people in non-Novell seats. And this split is also a way to guarantee that if all Novell (or non-Novell ;-)) people get evil, then the board is still relatively in good shape.
New rule: Nominations: The election officials will take self-nominations, nominations by others and can nominate people for election. The election officials will contact the nominated people and ask them whether they stand for election.
I'm not quite sure I like that, mostly because I wonder if we really need a rule for that: people (including the board and the elections officials) already can, and should, encourage community members to run for the elections if they think those members should run. What would a rule bring here?
We had some discussion in the election team whether we would be perceived as neutral if we would encourage members to stand up or not. So, this is some kind of clarification.
New rule: Insufficient Nominations: If there are fewer nominees for elected Board seats than required to fill all seats, than the board will appoint these remaining seats.
What about first pushing back the elections two weeks, and telling the members that if there are not enough candidates, the board will appoint the seats? I guess it doesn't have to be mentioned in the rules, but I'd like this to happen so that we give a second chance to people to run.
Yes, makes sense - that's what we did last time.
So, new rule: * Extra time for candidate search: In the event of not more candidates than seats, the voting period will be delayed by two weeks. A public message will be send out to ask again for candidates and remind the openSUSE members about the alternatives.
New rule: Equal number of candidates of seats: If there is an equal number of candidates and seats, voting occurs as normal but each candidate needs to have more than 50 per cent yes votes. In case that seats do not get elected, the board will appoint them.
Hrm. I see where this is coming from, but I feel it's unfair: if there are three candidates for two seats but I'm not happy with any of the three candidates, then there's nothing I can do: two of them will still get elected. Now, with the rule you propose, if there are only two candidates for two seats, I can block the two candidates from being elected.
IMHO, in that case, we should again push back the elections two weeks to get more candidates, and if there are no more candidates, then the running candidates just get elected. The key here is that if someone feels strong against one candidate, then this person can run instead of voting "no".
New rule: Resigning: If a board member resigns, the board should appoint a new board member.
New rule: Removal: In the event of repeated absence without contact, or other serious misconduct or negligence, a Board member may be subject to removal. Before any other process occurs, the Board member in question will be personally contacted by the chairperson to try to resolve the situation. If this contact does not successfully resolve the situation, the Board member in question may be removed by unanimous vote of the other members of the Board. The board should appoint a new board member.
Sounds good. I suggest to add some timeline in the rule, to help decide when such a process is needed. Eg: what is "repeated absence"? The current board probably knows best what would be appropriate, but I'd make such a process start after 2-4 weeks of absence, and it shouldn't last more than 4 weeks -- ie, the board member in question will have one month to clarify the situatoin with the chairperson.
Yes, JDD suggested something similar.
New rule: Change of employment: The board member will continue to stay in the board until the end of the term and the next election the distribution of seats gets fixed again.
Hrm, I'll have the same argument as for the first proposed rule: the split is there for a reason, and we should respect it, IMHO. So -1 here.
In this case I would really take the rule. Changing employeers should not have an effect.
New rule: Constitution: A new board term should start on the first of January, the elections should be finished 14 days before. In the case of delays, the new board will start 7 days after the election results are published.
Based on my experience in the GNOME Foundation, it's extremly beneficial for the board to meet in-person quickly after the elections. And we actually changed the terms of the GNOME Foundation board to make the term start just before GUADEC (on July 1st, since GUADEC is in July).
We could do the same for the openSUSE board, with the openSUSE Conference. So I'd make the new term start the month of the openSUSE Conference. That'd be October 1st.
So, meeting at FOSDEM.
October 1st means either enlarging or shrinking the current election period.
(but +1 for the delay stuff)
New rule: Amendment: Changes by the election rules can be done by vote of the board where 2/3s approve including the chairperson.
Why "including the chairperson"? And why 2/3? Is there any rule about how voting works inside the board? (ie, is 2/3 used in some cases already?) But else, +1 :-)
No precedence for this. The chairperson has veto power - but I wanted to make it explicit here.
I think it also makes sense for the membership to be able to propose a change. In the GNOME Foundation, a vote can be organized at the request of the membership if 1/10 (I think) of the membership agrees to hold a vote. We could have the same thing for openSUSE, and that could be used to change election rules.
Interesting idea but I suggest to discuss this in a broader context.
Btw. I read the Fedora guidelines on Board elections and also read also what Jono Bacon wrote in “The Art of community management” on governance. Published also via: http://lizards.opensuse.org/2010/08/25/revising-the-board-election-rules/
You can also read the GNOME Foundation by-laws, which can be of interest when you think about this kind of rules: http://foundation.gnome.org/about/bylaws.pdf (it's certainly not perfect, but that's at least a good basis)
Thanks, I read through parts of the GNOME rules already but will check that one as well,