voting system

Mary Gardiner mary-sounder at
Sun Mar 13 23:17:40 UTC 2005

On Sun, Mar 13, 2005, Sean Wheller wrote:
> For purpose of clarity the voting system works as follows:
> +1+1 = You agree and are willing to help.
> +1 = You agree, but cannot help.
> 0 = I don't care.
> -1 = You do not agree.
> -1-1 = You violently disagree and want further discussion.
> If we agree, then I propose we use this system.
> Cast your votes here.

You left an option out for "I'd like to see clarification before

I'm unclear on whether you propose to use this for:
 - all docteam decisions
 - docteam decisions where there are two or three incompatible positions
   each with their own defenders
 - major decisions only
 - formal binding decisions
 - an informal "show of hands" to help a discussion along.

I'm happy with it as an informal mechanism to gather whether or not an
idea is bascially acceptable to participants or not, and perhaps as a
formal mechanism for moving on from a interminable debate where the two
(or more!) sides are showing no signs of reaching a consensus.

But I'm less happy with using it as a mechanism for resolving every
decision that the team needs to make. I'd vastly prefer a
consensus-through-discussion model because it's less formal and rigid
and more open to accomodating different circumstances, particularly
cases where late in the discussion someone finds out something very
relevant that changes the whole debate (for example "the Canonical admin
team refuses to install the tool you're arguing for", "the deadline is
actually tomorrow, not 2 weeks from now") but also where someone has an
basically good idea that needs to be refined a bit. If we go to a vote
too early and people consider the vote binding, then it's hard to make
improvements on processes later.

The docteam currently has a small number of participants: small enough
for consensus to actually take place. I see formal voting procedures as
more suitable for larger projects with large numbers of decisions, and
where there's simply not room for everyone to take part in most


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