----- Original Message -----
From: "william(at)elan.net" <william(_at_)elan(_dot_)net>
Sent: Saturday, December 18, 2004 7:43 PM
Subject: RE: [spf-discuss] Open council and project issues
On Sat, 18 Dec 2004, Julian Mehnle wrote:
For voting, I think either Approval or Condorcet will work fine [...]
What I'm however concerned is possibility of large organization
(commercial or otherwise) asking its members/employers to join SPF in
order to advance certain candidate(s) - with large enough base of
additional people not even Condorcet will stop them from gaining the
Well, whenever groups of people are engaged in democratic elections,
there's always the risk of being "taken over". I think a good solution
that would be to require voters to register themselves a month or two in
advance of the election.
Same thing - those who want to take over will register month or two prior
to elections :)
We already have an "electoral register" It's what was used for the council
elections and is all the people on the mail-lists. We can bring that up to
date as necessary.
As such [...] I recommend that for this purpose you establish a new
body (i.e. "election commission") which goal is to supervise elections
and approve list of candidates - my recommendation is that it be small
(say 3 people) and that it be randomly composed of people who NOBODY
else at SPF Community has problems with.
The electoral committee appears to me as a good idea, and I'd have
suggested 3 people for it as well. I also can roughly agree with the
procedure you suggested for their selection, with some exceptions:
1. If you remove candidates simply because someone raises an objection,
you open yourself to "DoS" attacks from outside.
If you let everyone into the commision you end up with possibility of it
being taken over as well (even if randomly chosen with large number of
people from outside volunteering chances are they'll be on it). The whole
point is that you let people see who wants to be on it and if they know
the person to be true to the SPF goals and be able to properly decide
on the same about candidates, then there would be no objections. And
the idea is also to have comission composed of people who are not on
the "edge" and are more neutral in their positions (those would not
be likely to be objected to).
As far as DoS attack, I thought of that and that is the reason why I said
that each person has right to only ask for removal of one canidate. But
if that ever happens that some group is deliberately not letting comission
form, I believe then the rules should specify that previous year
should be asked to coninue and new chosen council can then decide to
the rules to prevent such fillibuster with comission from happening again.
2. The electoral committee shouldn't be able to veto candidates for the
council on arbitrary grounds. I think the committee should be
restricted to formal decisions.
I agree, there should be some rules that it should follow when evaluating
candidates and their qualifications. But I also think it should have
fairly strong powers to be able to protect spf community from takeover
and that requires for example being able to not accept candidate who is
not active in SPF Community or has been active only for very short time.
In cases like this it's not unusual for a candidate to need a minimum of 5
or so nominations for him/her to be considered. I debated doing that with
the council elections, but it wasn't needed in the end. Bear in mind that
just because you and a few others want things to go a certain way doesn't
mean that you're representing the views of the majority. Democracy is a
dangerous game - and there really are no rules that will make things go the
way *everyone* wants.