Re: Voting by mail

classic Classic list List threaded Threaded
6 messages Options
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Voting by mail

Rich Freeman
On 02/25/2010 09:42 PM, Denis Dupeyron wrote:
> In a few words here is the problem. Is it a good idea to allow council
> members to vote by email when they're not able to make it to the
> meeting?

How the council wants to run itself should really be up to each council
- the devs elected them, and I'm not sure we really need a GLSA/etc to
govern how it operates beyond the general charter.

Personally, I've found that board meetings tend to work best when
they're just formalizations of decisions that have already been made.
If an item needs discussion, then it should be discussed, and probably
not voted unless there is a rush (since in theory everybody should think
about it and maybe allow for general dev input).  If an item needs
voting, then it should be voted, and not discussed (since discussion
should have taken place on lists/etc).

Of course, in a crisis you just do what needs to be done, and chances
are you're not in a scheduled meeting anyway.

If somebody wants to convince the council of something, they're best off
writing up a concise argument and sending it to the list.  Some items
are complex enough to require interactive discussion, but in that case
time should be set aside for it, and there shouldn't necessarily be an
expectation that a vote take place immediately afterwards.  If somebody
wants to just read the irc logs and email in a vote later, I'm not sure
that really is an abdication of responsibility.

With gentoo spanning so many timezones, and with the desire to have
exceptional people as leaders, we do need to recognize that it isn't
always possible for people to be in-person at meetings.  If we really
want "the best" to lead gentoo, then we need to recognize that these
sorts of people often have a lot of other things going on as well, and
making a meeting at 10AM on a work day, or 3AM on a weekend, or whatever
might not always be possible.  We really need to make the most of tools
like email/forums/etc and when we are meeting in-person we should treat
that time as being very precious.

Just some thoughts - every team needs to work out the rules they work
best under.  I wouldn't expect every council to work in the same way as
the current one, and if people leave and join the current council needs
to take into account whether it needs to change.

Rich

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Voting by mail

Roy Bamford-2
On 2010.02.26 02:42, Denis Dupeyron wrote:

> (We have informally discussed this on the alias but I would like us
> to
> have a more serious and open discussion about it. It looks like the
> agenda for the next meeting isn't going to be as loaded as usual so
> it's a good opportunity. I'm posting this in advance of the meeting
> announcement so that I can link to here from it.)
>
> In a few words here is the problem. Is it a good idea to allow
> council
> members to vote by email when they're not able to make it to the
> meeting? If so how? Should that be done before or allowed to be done
> after the meeting? Do we want to limit the number of members voting
> by
> email for a given meeting? What do we do in case there are more votes
> by email than the limit we set? Feel free to add more questions and
> your opinion. This discussion isn't limited to council members by the
> way.
>
> As usual I'll wait a bit before giving my personal opinion so that
> nobody thinks I'm pushing a personal agenda.
>
> Denis.
>
Team,

Votes by email must be after the meeting. How else can council members
voting by email take into account any discussion on the topic that
happened at the meeting?

Anything that allows flexibility is a good thing as long as
transparency is maintained, so vote emails need to be posted with the
records of council meetings.

--
Regards,

Roy Bamford
(Neddyseagoon) an member of
gentoo-ops
forum-mods
trustees


attachment0 (205 bytes) Download Attachment
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Voting by mail

Tobias Scherbaum
In reply to this post by Rich Freeman
Heya,

Am Donnerstag, den 25.02.2010, 19:42 -0700 schrieb Denis Dupeyron:
> In a few words here is the problem. Is it a good idea to allow council
> members to vote by email when they're not able to make it to the
> meeting?

Yes, it is. (I thought we had agreed on considerung previously noted
votes via mail, thus I mailed my votes before our last meething)

> If so how? Should that be done before or allowed to be done
> after the meeting?

It should be up to the council member in question - if one feels he's
able to vote before the meeting i see no problem with doing so. I've
some ambivalent feelings about votes after a meeting though ...

> Do we want to limit the number of members voting by
> email for a given meeting? What do we do in case there are more votes
> by email than the limit we set? Feel free to add more questions and
> your opinion. This discussion isn't limited to council members by the
> way.

The number should be somewhat limited to make sure all council members
who are able to attend a meeting are present. Having a 50% attendance
limit for meetings allows us to have 3 members being able to vote by
mail - that might work as an indirect limit.

- Tobias

--
Praxisbuch Nagios
http://www.oreilly.de/catalog/pbnagiosger/

https://www.xing.com/profile/Tobias_Scherbaum

signature.asc (205 bytes) Download Attachment
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Voting by mail

Petteri Räty-2
In reply to this post by Rich Freeman
On 02/26/2010 04:42 AM, Denis Dupeyron wrote:

>
> In a few words here is the problem. Is it a good idea to allow council
> members to vote by email when they're not able to make it to the
> meeting? If so how? Should that be done before or allowed to be done
> after the meeting? Do we want to limit the number of members voting by
> email for a given meeting? What do we do in case there are more votes
> by email than the limit we set? Feel free to add more questions and
> your opinion. This discussion isn't limited to council members by the
> way.
>
My opinion is to move to the web application that I proposed a while
ago. Any votes should be cast after the meeting.

Regards,
Petteri


signature.asc (918 bytes) Download Attachment
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Voting by mail

Roy Bamford-2
In reply to this post by Tobias Scherbaum
On 2010.03.01 15:37, Tobias Scherbaum wrote:
> Heya,
>
[snip]

> > If so how? Should that be done before or allowed to be done
> > after the meeting?
>
> It should be up to the council member in question - if one feels he's
> able to vote before the meeting i see no problem with doing so. I've
> some ambivalent feelings about votes after a meeting though ...
>
[snip]
>
> - Tobias
>
> --
> Praxisbuch Nagios
> http://www.oreilly.de/catalog/pbnagiosger/
>
> https://www.xing.com/profile/Tobias_Scherbaum
>

Voting before the meeting suggests that the council members mind is
closed to any discussion that happened, or may happen at the meeting
itself. Personally, I don't like the sound of that.

However, if the council members wish to vote entirely by email
and announce the vote result (no discussion) at the meeting that's
fine, as the vote happened after discussion was done.

In summary, votes must only be cast after discussion is done.
That can be all by email, some at a meeting, others by email after the
meeting.

--
Regards,

Roy Bamford
(Neddyseagoon) an member of
gentoo-ops
forum-mods
trustees


attachment0 (205 bytes) Download Attachment
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Voting by mail

Denis Dupeyron
On Tue, Mar 2, 2010 at 2:17 AM, Roy Bamford <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Voting before the meeting suggests that the council members mind is
> closed to any discussion that happened, or may happen at the meeting
> itself. Personally, I don't like the sound of that.

Letting people vote afterward doesn't encourage them to be present or
active during the meeting. People who are missing or are not really
paying attention do not participate in discussions anyway. This
comment might seem odd but whenever I chair a meeting (which happens
often) I keep track of who speaks on what topic. I use a pen and a
paper for that but that tool is damned effective. The original
intention was to make sure everybody had the opportunity to talk
before skipping to the next topic. When I see somebody not
participating to one topic I will often highlight his name to wake him
up. Quickly though it gave me an idea of who was actually paying
attention to discussions and who wasn't. And the result is I sometimes
feel lonely during meetings.

> However, if the council members wish to vote entirely by email
> and announce the vote result (no discussion) at the meeting that's
> fine, as the vote happened after discussion was done.

How this started was when solar once sent his vote in advance because
he wasn't sure he could make it to the meeting due to work. Then for a
later meeting Tobias sent his vote also before because he wasn't
feeling well and didn't know if he'd be in shape at the time of the
meeting. We didn't accept any of them, and they wouldn't have changed
the results (I checked all votes), but I thought that was a shame
since both solar and Tobias went all the way and researched the
issues, discussed them and gave us a rather detailed opinion. I'm not
sure I could say the same of all in-meeting votes.

Anyway, my point is we didn't originally intend to make all votes
outside of the meeting, but it can definitely be discussed. That's
where Petteri's app comes into the picture.

> In summary, votes must only be cast after discussion is done.

There's two kinds of discussions. Those that occur during meetings are
of poor quality due to time constraints and amplified by the fact that
typing isn't as fast as talking, and also by the attention factor
above. Those that occur on lists before the meeting are of better
quality when we can make people interested in actually participating.
You might have noticed that I try to animate those discussions to
prevent them from dying. I have a few tricks for that like making a
summary for a rather long or old thread, nitpicking on something in
order to revive interest, or talking about these issues on irc and
bringing ideas back to the thread pretending that I understand what is
being discussed. It works, but it's a lot of work.

Overall though, my opinion is that list discussions are of infinitely
more value than meeting discussions. I never count on the latter for
more than last minute remarks. The only exception was during the last
meeting when we had an open discussion on VDB. In order for it to work
though I had to prepare a number of questions prior to the meeting and
throw them in the discussion one after the other, like I wanted to
keep a fire alive. In the end it almost looked like I was a reporter
doing an online interview of solar (thanks btw). I'm obviously
caricaturing but you get the idea.

> That can be all by email, some at a meeting, others by email after the
> meeting.

What's the point of having a meeting then?

In an ideal world we'd discuss topics thoroughly before meetings, only
topics that had been enough discussed would make it to the agenda,
only last minute remarks would be accepted during the meeting, we
wouldn't mind occasionally receiving votes by email before the
meeting, and in case there was significant discussions/remarks on a
topic and the email votes could change the outcome then we'd ask those
who voted by email to confirm their votes within, say, 48 hours.

In the end the real problem is of motivation, not of process or tools.

Denis.