Council quorum rules clarification (was: Re: Kubuntu Policies (for council consideration))

Harald Sitter apachelogger at
Fri Jun 6 08:20:02 UTC 2014

On Fri, Jun 6, 2014 at 7:36 AM, Scott Kitterman <ubuntu at> wrote:
> On Thursday, June 05, 2014 16:35:30 Philip Muskovac wrote:
> ...
>> Now to the coucil: I'm not quite sure how to intepret [1].
>> Taking it literally, quorum is 3x +1 no matter what the other 3 people vote
>> (if at all). Which would mean though that 3x +1 and 3x -1 are a passing
>> vote of 0. Our old council voting rules [2] state that quorum is a majority
>> vote with the chair having a casting vote, but we haven't had a chair for
>> years (unless you consider jr to be the permanent chair)
>> Another quorum definition would be to require +3, with nobody voting -1
>> (which is what I personally favor, but that might be rather impractical for
>> decision making) Or we require a general majority vote of people present
>> (i.e. 3 people have to vote for >= +3, for 6 people present it's >= +4, and
>> for less than 3 people vote continues per mail unless at least +3 is
>> reached) I believe that's closest to the last CC discussion about this [3]
>> What may I understand as the correct interpretation here?
> ...
> How does this compare to what's in the documentation for kubuntu-dev to
> approave a new member?  I remember agreeing with that and think it's likely
> what we meant for the council as well, but maybe better written.

Dev is: simple majority of those present but at least 3 (so, quorum is
reached with 3 devs in attendance given they all vote the same way).
We use a present majority vote because dev has a variable member
The simple majority requirement certainly does away with all the tie
complexity as a motion simply isn't carried unless one side can form
the majority, regardless of how many people are in attendance. i.e.
dev ties default to -1.

OTOH, since currently the council has 6 seats I'd say it deliberately
enables ties in a session with all attending. That being said IMO
you'd want to change the seat count to an odd number to accomodate the
simple majority rule. Say you have 7 council members and 6 are in
attendance resulting in +3/-3 the seventh council member would always
be breaking the tie when taking to the mailing list. Alternatively
with 5 council seats in general you don't even have a case where a
quorum was given but majority prevented by a tie.

With all that in mind I suggest that you change to a simple majority
rule with at least 3 members necessary for quorum (not attendance
majority, mind you). And next year for the elections either add a seat
and raise the minimum to 4 or remove one and leave it at 3. That way
you have an uneven seat count and motions cannot be blocked while
technically having a quorum.


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