Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (325 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-project] Proposal for Decision Making Process for the formation of our Foundation
  • From: Richard Brown <RBrownCCB@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 6 Jun 2019 23:15:47 +0200
  • Message-id: <>
On Thu, 6 Jun 2019 at 20:39, Sébastien 'sogal' Poher <sogal@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

- The result of any vote that receives less than 2/3s of the current
membership will not be considered binding, but will be considered
- The openSUSE Board will then be expected to interpret that
indicative result and conduct its own vote on the topic, requiring a
2/3s majority for any decision.

I am not comfortable with the idea that the Board's vote may overcome the
comminuty vote. I would rather say that if less than 2/3 of the current
membership use their right of speech on a vote, then it's up to the Board to
wheter vote of the topic (following the rules you mention above) or explain
better the topic and reconduct the vote.

When I wrote "The openSUSE Board will then be expected to interpret that
indicative result and conduct it's own vote" the expectation is that
the Board should be using their (long established) power to rewrite
the Project's rules after a 2/3 vote in the Board, but doing so in a
way which reflects their view on the result

For example

Imagine a theoretical situation where only 50% of the Membership vote
on a proposal whether the Foundation should require that every Member
must vote in every election in order to remain a member.
But of the 50% who vote, 80% of the voters reject the idea. That is a
clearly 'indicative result' which is easy for the Board to consider.
With the rule, as it is written above, the expectation is that the
Board would use their power to quickly resolve the issue.
Any other situation could potentially deadlock the effort to make a
Foundation - and this is a process that is going to take months at the
best of times, any deadlock could easily kick this effort into taking

Also, any other proposal besides my own would require granting either
the Membership or the Board new powers which they do not have under
our current rules. Right now, we say that any rules changes in the
Project need either a 2/3rd Membership vote, OR a 2/3rd Board vote.
My proposal add a layer of structure to this for the purposes of
forming the Foundation to give MORE engagement with the community than
the current rules, which do not state when the Membership should be
consulted or when the Board should exercise their power.

Sure, I accept in my proposal there are theoretical situations where
under 2/3rd of the Membership vote and the indicative result from the
Membership vote would be less clear - imagine a 50/50 split for
example. "The Brexit-like Scenario"

In such a case, the chances of the Project getting a more clear
outcome after a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th round of voting, is unlikely..but we
have a Board precisely to help with tie-breakers like that. That's why
the rules were written to give the Board the power to change the

Of course like with any Board decision, the Board would need to
explain whatever they decided.
And if the Project doesn't like it - it only takes 20% of the
Membership to force the entire Board to be re-elected.
AND if you consider the other proposed rule where the final form of
the Foundation will be put to another Member vote where the Board will
NOT have the ability to tie-break, you should see how my proposals
should ensure that there is no way we can end up with a Foundation
that doesn't meet our Memberships satisfaction.

This is why I think my above proposed rule is the best way forward -
removing this proposed rule from my list will risk dramatically
slowing down any decision we need to make around any aspect of the
Foundation.. and we have plenty of safeguards in the Project and my
other proposed rules to make sure the Board cant 'go rogue' and steer
things in an unsatisfactory direction.
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