Richard Brown wrote:
On Thu, 6 Sep 2018 at 18:31, Per Jessen email@example.com wrote:
I think being elected or appointed makes a significant difference compared to having more or less accidentally joined a team. I (as an arbitrary community member) did not choose/elect/appoint e.g. the forums team nor do I, to my knowledge, have any influence on it's composition. A select do-ocracy. Much like the openSUSE Heroes.
I have a nuanced view on this but I want to avoid a long post. I agree with your use of the word do-ocracy for the majority of the other teams in the Project. I disagree with your statement that you can't have influence on it's composition or actions. You can step up and join the forums team if you disagree with what it's doing. That is do-ocracy at work.
Right. I have no influence on the composition on any arbitrary team (other than joining it), but as an openSUSE member, I do have a right to vote (or abstain) for a board member of my choosing. That makes the Board different, IMHO.
You don't have that luxury with the Board. Nor would it make sense, the nature of Board work means that we will never be able to share all of the information behind our decisions. You shouldn't be able to step up and help out without getting additional information only the Board are entrusted with. The nature of Board work is to be discreet, to handle private incidents, and to intervene when do-ocracy fails. Which is why I consider both an element of privacy in the Board AND the fact the Board is elected to be mandatory.
Have we not all(?) arrived at that conclusion - there must be _some_ element of privacy for the Board to function. As for that also mandating an election, I'm not so sure, but that is an entirely different topic.
In my mind you can't have one without the other. The election grants the Board the mandate it requires to be able to do it's job in those private incidents.
Just playing devil's advocate - why couldn't that mandate be handed out like jury selection in the US? For instance, Gertjan is adamant that his personal opinions have no influence on his decisions on the board, so the next community member whose name begins with 'G' is equally well qualified.
Why should privacy of decision-making be afforded to those who undemocratically declare themselves a certain function in our Project? Why can you change any thing in this project without needing to proactively explain the thoughts and reasons that led you to make that change, but the Board not?
Permit me to reply with a question - you don't see the Board taking up a special position, the board is just a team, as any other?
If the Board isn't special, why is the Board elected? If the Board is special, why should the Board not be subject to different rules?
The Board is elected because it is required to do work that no one else is in a position to handle. The project-as-a-whole cannot negotiate with our sponsors on financial matters. The project-as-a-whole cannot mediate and decide on disputes between contributors.
I'll take that to mean "yes, the board is special", hence the Board is subject to different rules. For instance about transparency.
Which is why I think it's a very good thing the Board is elected, because that election is a collective mandate from the project, effectively stating "we the members who voted for you trust you to do the job we need you to do, but can't do ourselves"
I generally agree - except I don't believe that mandate leaves you immune to public scrutiny. "trust is good, control is better". Why are you so opposed to that idea?
Why are all openSUSE infra tickets private by default?
I believe the reason is that they might contain sensitive information.
Genau. And everything the Board deals with should include sensitive information (or else, the Board shouldn't be deciding on it)
That does not preclude a board member from publicly sharing his or her vote on a topic though. As Ana did. We don't even know the name of the local sports club yet nor who asked for sponsoring nor what kind of sponsoring. I personally have no desire to know either.
If all of our votes were public, the elected members of the Board who are also SUSE employees could find themselves in a very awkward position, being required to publicly go on record against their employer.
I thought it was quite clear by now that no one is asking for _every_ vote or decision to be made public, automagically? Just enable more transparency by encouraging/enabling votes to be made public, in particular if asked for or if a board member feels it is right.
I understand where you're coming from with the principle - but (for the last time, not because I'm frustrated with you but I really am tired of this thread) I do not believe the Board can be more transparent than we already are without undermining the function of the Board.
That is fair enough, I absolutely accept your position. Now shall we bring the proposal to a vote? I mean, let's finish the thread by tabling a motion for the board to vote on. I am not sure if my wording is good enough, I would prefer if someone could help out.
Yes, I would certainly like to know who voted what afterwards. :-)
Or to put it another way, I could say that I accept your principle, but if there is ever a case where the Board where the Board is deciding something where I am comfortable with my vote being public,
Richard, pardon me interrupting your flow, but why should you, as the Chairman, be uncomfortable with your vote being public? You have the explicit backing and trust of SUSE Linux GmbH, you were appointed not elected, you don't really have to answer to the community. I totally understand why you may feel obliged anyway, but you have no such obligation. Having to make a difficult vote public does in no way detract from your mandate. (possibly if you voted against your backers, but then it might be better to resign).