voting system

Sean Wheller sean at
Mon Mar 14 05:48:53 UTC 2005

On Monday 14 March 2005 01:17, Mary Gardiner wrote:
> You left an option out for "I'd like to see clarification before
> voting".

If a person needs clarification, they do just as you did now. They send a 
message for clarification during the course of discusion they may choose to 

> 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.

All of the above. People are not always good at giving feeback because they 
don't have time to write a message, or because they don't feel like writing. 
This system gives them a short way to do just that. Oh, I should have 
mentioned that silence is taken as consent.

> 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.

Voting normally happens on proposals made to requests for change or something.

> 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.

Discussion is always possible when a person needs clarification.

> 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
> discussions.

We hope that we will grow. :-) However, some of us get lots of email. I get in 
excess of 750 messages a day. I cannot write long or short messages to all 
those that need my response. This method give a way to help reduce how much 
we need to read and write on decisions.

Hope this helps.

Sean Wheller
Technical Author
sean at
Registered Linux User #375355
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