[Members] Council Veto Guidelines and Rules

Dave Cridland dave at cridland.net
Wed Dec 17 11:40:55 UTC 2014

I'm moving this portion of the discussion to this list, since it's an
internal matter and the discussion isn't specific to this case at all.

On 17 December 2014 at 05:15, Kurt Zeilenga <kurt.zeilenga at isode.com> wrote:
> While I would not have issue if you. independent of consideration of this
> opened a discussion about how to model XMPP authorization services and
> terminology should be used, I think it inappropriate to put this ProtoXEP
on “hold”
> pending such discussions.  As you note in your OP, such an effort might
not pan out.

Please, if you think there should be specific constraints on how I should
use the veto write them up as a XEP (or patch to XEP-0001). If you believe
there are constraints I'm in violation of, campaign to have me removed as
an XSF member, which would terminate my Council appointment. My membership
reapplication is this quarter; or you can gain the requisite number of
signatures from the membership if you're in a rush.

In the absence of that, I look forward to you standing for Council next
year so you can do Council your way.

For the record, I will continue to veto submitted proposals for
architectural reasons, both as a simple rejection and as a holding action.
In fact, the only other reason I can think of would be if a proposal was so
unreadable I couldn't understand it; I'd hope that would be a "holding"
veto until I could work with the author to address that.

Other Council members probably have different views and opinions, and
that's why we have more than one Council member. If all of them disagree
with my actions, they can in extremis vote me off.

All of this is not to say my views are so inflexible I wouldn't change
them; but your arguments so far amount to:

1) Council members should only veto with the consensus of Council.

This is explicitly not the case; Council operates on a voting system
defined in the Bylaws and XEP-0001, and it's not really a "veto" if it's a
consensus Council decision.

For this argument to be convincing you need to actively change both
documents, not merely add to.

2) Council members should only veto for active harm to the standards

I'm not actually sure what this means in concrete terms, but there is no
restriction on the use of my veto. A Council member *could* veto all
proposals which have an odd number of characters. I imagine the rest of
Council would think this was unhelpful and remove them, but it's possible.

Whether we should have text in XEP-0001 that either provides guidelines for
Council or hard restrictions to prevent such abuse (rather than deal with
it post-facto) is very much up for debate; I'd welcome guidelines, and I
think we could agree that arbitrary vetoing is bad, but really the only
remedies remain the same - either the other Council members eject the
misbehaving member, or the XSF membership has to remove the Council member
from the XSF entirely.

I'd be happy to look into alternate remedies, and make removing Council
members simpler to execute (happy to, for example, have it relatively easy
to place a Council member's recall on the quarterly vote).

These all require changes or additions to XEP-0001 and the Bylaws except
voting/veto guidelines which could easily be in a new (procedural) XEP.

Of these, I'm happy to devote time and effort into defining simpler Council
recall procedures, since ejecting a Council member from the XSF is both
very difficult to arrange and somewhat circuitous.

I'm happy to discuss guidelines for various cases in Council, though I'm
generally against hard rules. I'd note for the record that any hard rules
codified in XEP-0001 would be voted on by Board, and not Council - the same
probably goes for guidelines too.

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