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Re: [Fsfe-uk] Re: Proposed roadmap

From: Alex Hudson
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] Re: Proposed roadmap
Date: Fri, 01 Jul 2005 08:30:34 +0100

Hi Mark,

(I think your clock might be in the wrong timezone?)

On Fri, 2005-07-01 at 07:57 -0400, mark wrote:
> I think you are aiming for an "ideal" solution. From my (admittedly 
> limited) experience of AFFS there is little possibility of a broad 
> consensus amongst members on a large number of issues surrounding free 
> software.

That's possibly true - AFFS is quite a broad church in many ways. I
think, though, that actually makes it more important that AGM is treated
how it should be - a decision making body, but not more than that. You
need to have very broad agreement before getting to AGM.

As an example:

> There is no reason in my view why AFFS members who are unable to attend 
> meetings should not be able to vote on certain issues, and even for 
> election of committee members. This could be done either online or by 
> post.

There is no reason why this shouldn't be the case; but at the moment
it's not because our constitution doesn't allow it (postal voting). I
tried at the last AGM to change our constitution and thought I had
fairly broad agreement before I got to AGM. When I got to AGM, new
problems with the changes were put forward and at that point you cannot
really alter your proposal. So, we've been left another year+ with the
problem still in place. (As an aside, committee did agree to put forward
a single small change to remove this restriction at the next AGM; this
will hopefully be completely uncontroversial ;)

For some changes to the way AFFS works, we must have nothing less than
almost complete consensus. Other changes won't need as broad agreement -
only constitutional amendments need a 2/3rds majority, and I don't think
we need that kind of proposal for a lot of the changes that are being
talked about here - but getting some kind of consensus is essential.
That has to happen before AGM; there isn't enough time at AGM to discuss
things fully and properly.

Change can definitely take place outside of AGM, of course, but I
suspect that any committee wouldn't be happy with doing something quite
radical without an AGM discussion.

> If the committee members can get to the point where somebody stands up
> in an AFFS meeting, fully cognisant of the AFFS minuting and
> procedures, and says something like "I'd like to say something off the
> record...." and then proceeds to outline a piece of hearsay, or their
> knowledge on a controversial topic, then you will know that the system
> is working as it reasonably should.

Well, it does pretty much work like this already. The general issue over
minutes is one particular to the committee (I don't think anyone has a
problem with our AGM minutes); what has held them up is disagreement
over format and accuracy. I think we've solved the former completely,
and are putting together a minute book. The latter may take more work.



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