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To: Alistair Bush <ali_bush@g.o>
From: Richard Freeman <rich0@g.o>
Subject: Re: Spending money authority
Date: Thu, 12 Jun 2008 06:30:05 -0400
Alistair Bush wrote:
> Richard Freeman wrote:
>> Well, if the two bodies have the same constituency I can't see this 
>> being too likely to happen.
> Why?  There are plenty of examples within democracies of Governments 
> ignoring their constituency when passing law's etc.

Yes - and when this does happen - it tends to happen regardless of the 
checks and balances that are put into place.

> Except that a fork doesn't limit the foundations powers,  it just 
> influences the state of Gentoo after all the developers abandon it.

If a majority of developers abandon Gentoo (a drastic outcome, I'll 
admit), I think we can all agree that the state of Gentoo will be far 
worse than it is now.  This is something to be avoided, which in 
practice limits the foundation's powers, unless the foundation is more 
focused on proving a point than furthering Gentoo.

> Really?  You read the news don't you?  Have learnt some history?  Why do 
> you think most governments have Upper and Lower Houses?  

As a check and balance - but in the case of a government we're talking 
bodies that govern millions of people - not 100 or so.  Also - in most 
cases the upper and lower houses tend to have the same constituencies 
(which is my whole point).  Governments also have sources of revenue 
sufficient to fund their operation - they don't rely on volunteers to 
any large degree.  That enables them to survive for quite a long time 
even when they are highly inefficient - if Gentoo were as well-run as a 
typical government I think most of us would find better places to devote 
our energy.

 > There is one
> thing that I want to make clear.  I don't want to overly formalise the 
> whole governance structure gentoo, but I also don't want it to be 
> ad-hoc.  The one problem I see is that Conventions will never work 
> within an open-source org as developers will change them willy nilly to 
> prove a point.   Therefore, I believe, we need some simple, easy to 
> follow rules.

No argument there.  But keep in mind that the devs should drive the 
rules - not the other way around.

>>  Both groups have the needs of Gentoo at heart, and as a result 
>> neither can afford to start a war with the other...
> And yet that won't stop a war from happening.  At least if both the 
> Foundation and the Council have the right to call elections then the 
> power rest firmly with those who vote.  If for instance the Foundation 
> were to dismiss the Council against the wishes of the large dev 
> community I would expect the community to vote the Council members back 
> in and give the Foundation its marching orders.

Again, that is fine - as long as both have the same constituency.  If 
they have different constituencies then this could turn into a huge mess 
- as both groups would keep getting re-elected by their different 
constituencies, and the issues wouldn't actually get resolved.

My argument isn't really one of what the council/trustee's authority 
should be.  My point is that for gentoo to be successful these groups 
need to work well together.  We can't really afford for either group to 
discover a mandate to be an overseer to the other - it will just lead to 
a massive waste of resources that will only serve to weaken the distro. 
  I don't think it is constructive when we dream up all kinds of 
scenarios where the two bodies can enter into open war against the other.
gentoo-nfp@g.o mailing list

Re: Spending money authority
-- Alistair Bush
Spending money authority
-- William L. Thomson Jr.
Re: Spending money authority
-- Alistair Bush
Re: Spending money authority
-- Richard Freeman
Re: Spending money authority
-- Alistair Bush
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Updated Jun 17, 2009

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