On 2018-08-27 11:43, James Mason wrote:
On Sat, 2018-08-25 at 22:01 +0200, Richard Brown wrote:
The Project elected a Board to do a specific job. We're not Board members as part of some political or business exercise, but to serve the Project in a very specific way, doing an often ugly job so no one else has to.
This has an analogue in juries around the world, an equally thankless task, but important one. One where the words and statements of jurors made during their deliberations cannot be made public.
The outcome of that deliberation, the decision of guilt or innocence, and the number of jurors for and against a decision are shared as an output of those deliberations, but the deliberations themselves are sacrosanct and forbidden from being aired in any court in order to ensure that those decisions can be made without any fear of external influence.
The Board have been elected to a position where they are the final arbiters of any decision that gets to their desk. If an issue gets to their desk it can be argued that it only does so because no other contributor was willing or able to make the decisions via our usual (very public) means. We are after all, decision makers and arbiters of last resort - the community should be taking care of any issue that it can long before it ever ends up needing a Board decision.
I think it is therefore highly important that those decisions which are trusted to the Board, are conducted in a way that empowers each Board member to act on their conscious, without fear of public reprisals after the fact.
The 'jury' analogy only goes so far, as a jury is an imposed responsibility, whereas joining the Board is a public action of choice
- exactly akin to running for office.
There is also the professional jury people - maybe wrong name, not jury. In my country, they decide then write a decision, but dissenting members write their own writeup if they wish. And these are public, so we know who voted what and who disagreed.
There's a reasonable expectation that a representative will share their decisions with their constituency, otherwise there is no check on the validity of their representation. That's a relatively clear and obvious core tenet of representational governing, and yes I'd like to see the Board move that direction.
On the other hand, I do recognize the jurist component, but again, you cannot separate the self-selected public nature of running for the Board, so the only fair comparison is something like the US. Supreme Court, where not only do we know the votes, and an opinion by the group in support of the decision, but any number of dissenting opinions, by those who disagree with the majority. This makes the issue completely transparent, and has the bonus of allowing future Board members the opportunity to understand the decision, and possibly correct for new conditions in the future, without "guessing" at prior intent.
While I understand the decisions of our governing Board may be not quite as dramatic as all that would suggest, I think it's fair and reasonable for the membership to ask for, and if necessary vote to impose, some more transparency from the board; e.g.
- Knowing what issues the Board has voted on, and who voted how.
- Having an opinion from the majority about the decision (this we have
now) 3) Expecting dissenters to the majority opinion to express the nature of their dissent within the bounds of the issue and majority opinion.