General Resolution: Update Standard Resolution Procedure

Time Line

Proposal and amendment Monday, 26 October 2015
Discussion Period: Friday, 30 October 2015
Voting Period: Sunday, November 29st, 00:00:00 UTC, 2015 Saturday, December 12th, 23:59:59 UTC, 2015


Sam Hartman [] [text of proposal] [Call for vote]


  1. Martin F. Krafft [] [mail]
  2. Didier Raboud [] [mail]
  3. Jakub Wilk [] [mail]
  4. Gunnar Wolf [] [mail]
  5. Philip Hands [] [mail]
  6. Scott Kitterman [] [mail]
  7. Don Armstrong [] [mail]
  8. Joerg Jaspert [] [mail]


Choice 1

   Constitutional Amendment: TC Supermajority Fix

   Prior to the Clone Proof SSD GR in June 2003, the Technical
   Committee could overrule a Developer with a supermajority of 3:1.

   Unfortunately, the definition of supermajorities in the SSD GR has a
   off-by-one  error.  In the new text a supermajority requirement is met
   only if the ratio of votes in favour to votes against is strictly
   greater than the supermajority ratio.

   In the context of the Technical Committee voting to overrule a
   developer that means that it takes 4 votes to overcome a single
   dissenter.  And with a maximum committee size of 8, previously two
   dissenters could be outvoted by all 6 remaining members; now that
   is no longer possible.

   This change was unintentional, was contrary to the original intent
   of the Constitution, and is unhelpful.

   For the avoidance of any doubt, this change does not affect any
   votes (whether General Resolutions or votes in the Technical
   Committee) in progress at the time the change is made.

   Therefore, amend the Debian Constitution as follows:

Index: doc/constitution.wml
--- doc/constitution.wml        (revision 10982)
+++ doc/constitution.wml        (working copy)
@@ -913,7 +913,7 @@
                   An option A defeats the default option D by a majority
-                  ratio N, if V(A,D) is strictly greater than N * V(D,A).
+                  ratio N, if V(A,D) is greater or equal to  N * V(D,A) and V(A,D) is strictly greater than V(D,A).
                   If a supermajority of S:1 is required for A, its majority ratio

   Constitutional Amendment: Fix duplicate section numbering.

   The current Debian Constitution has two sections numbered A.1.
   This does not currently give rise to any ambiguity but it is

   Fix this with the following semantically neutral amendment:

    - Renumber the first section A.1 to A.0.


With the current list of voting developers, we have:

 Current Developer Count = 1014
 Q ( sqrt(#devel) / 2 ) = 15.9216833280907
 K min(5, Q )           = 5
 Quorum  (3 x Q )       = 47.7650499842720


Data and Statistics

For this GR, like always, statistics will be gathered about ballots received and acknowledgements sent periodically during the voting period. Additionally, the list of voters will be recorded. Also, the tally sheet will also be made available to be viewed.

Majority Requirement

The proposal needs a 3:1 majority



Graphical rendering of the results

In the graph above, any pink colored nodes imply that the option did not pass majority, the Blue is the winner. The Octagon is used for the options that did not beat the default.

In the following table, tally[row x][col y] represents the votes that option x received over option y. A more detailed explanation of the beat matrix may help in understanding the table. For understanding the Condorcet method, the Wikipedia entry is fairly informative.

The Beat Matrix
  1 2
Option 1   208
Option 2 3  

Looking at row 2, column 1, Further Discussion
received 3 votes over Accept amendment

Looking at row 1, column 2, Accept amendment
received 208 votes over Further Discussion.

Pair-wise defeats

The Schwartz Set contains

The winners

Debian uses the Condorcet method for voting. Simplistically, plain Condorcets method can be stated like so :
Consider all possible two-way races between candidates. The Condorcet winner, if there is one, is the one candidate who can beat each other candidate in a two-way race with that candidate. The problem is that in complex elections, there may well be a circular relationship in which A beats B, B beats C, and C beats A. Most of the variations on Condorcet use various means of resolving the tie. See Cloneproof Schwartz Sequential Dropping for details. Debian's variation is spelled out in the constitution, specifically, A.6.

Debian Project Secretary