[openstack-dev] An alternative approach to enforcing "expected election behaviour"

Doug Hellmann doug.hellmann at dreamhost.com
Mon Jun 16 14:29:52 UTC 2014

On Mon, Jun 16, 2014 at 9:41 AM, Mark McLoughlin <markmc at redhat.com> wrote:
> On Mon, 2014-06-16 at 10:56 +0100, Daniel P. Berrange wrote:
>> On Mon, Jun 16, 2014 at 05:04:51AM -0400, Eoghan Glynn wrote:
>> > How about we rely instead on the values and attributes that
>> > actually make our community strong?
>> >
>> > Specifically: maturity, honesty, and a self-correcting nature.
>> >
>> > How about we simply require that each candidate for a TC or PTL
>> > election gives a simple undertaking in their self-nomination mail,
>> > along the lines of:
>> >
>> > "I undertake to respect the election process, as required by
>> > the community code of conduct.
>> >
>> > I also undertake not to engage in campaign practices that the
>> > community has considered objectionable in the past, including
>> > but not limited to, unsolicited mail shots and private campaign
>> > events.
>> >
>> > If my behavior during this election period does not live up to
>> > those standards, please feel free to call me out on it on this
>> > mailing list and/or withhold your vote."
>> I like this proposal because it focuses on the carrot rather than
>> the stick, which is ultimately better for community cohesiveness
>> IMHO.
> I like it too. A slight tweak of that would be to require candidates to
> sign the pledge publicly via an online form. We could invite the
> community as a whole to sign it too in order to have candidates'
> supporters covered.


I'm less worried about the candidates, since they are in the spotlight
during the election. I'm more worried about supporters getting carried
away in their enthusiasm or not understanding how much (and why) the
community values open participation.

>>  It is already part of our community ethos that we can call
>> people out to publically debate / stand up & justify any & all
>> issues affecting the project whether they be related to the code,
>> architecture, or non-technical issues such as electioneering
>> behaviour.
>> > We then rely on:
>> >
>> >   (a) the self-policing nature of an honest, open community
>> >
>> > and:
>> >
>> >   (b) the maturity and sound judgement within that community
>> >       giving us the ability to quickly spot and disregard any
>> >       frivolous reports of mis-behavior
>> >
>> > So no need for heavy-weight inquisitions, no need to interrupt the
>> > election process, no need for handing out of stiff penalties such
>> > as termination of membership.
>> Before jumping headlong for a big stick to whack people with, I think
>> I'd expect to see examples of problems we've actually faced (as opposed
>> to vague hypotheticals), and a clear illustration that a self-policing
>> approach to the community interaction failed to address them. I've not
>> personally seen/experianced any problems that are so severe that they'd
>> suggest we need the ability to kick someone out of the community for
>> sending email !
> Indeed. This discussion is happening in a vacuum for many people who do
> not know the details of the private emails and private campaign events
> which happened in the previous cycle.
> The only one I know of first hand was a private email where the
> recipients quickly responded saying the email was out of line and the
> original sender apologized profusely. People can make mistakes in good
> faith and if we can deal with it quickly and maturely as a community,
> all the better.
> In this example, the sender's apology could have bee followed up with
> "look, here's our code of conduct; sign it now, respect it in the
> future, and let that be the end of the matter".

I agree that the penalties in the original proposal went too far. I
also think it's a good point that many people don't know the details
from the last cycle, so I think some specific guidance on how to
report issues so they can be addressed formally is an important aspect
of this proposal.


> Mark.
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