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Re: Release Candidate of the PostgreSQL Europeassociation statutes

From: Koen Martens <gmc(at)sonologic(dot)nl>
To: Magnus Hagander <magnus(at)hagander(dot)net>
Cc: damien clochard <damien(at)dalibo(dot)info>, pgeu-general(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: Release Candidate of the PostgreSQL Europeassociation statutes
Date: 2008-01-14 14:24:16
Message-ID: 20080114142415.GS7830@latitude.vpro.nl (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgeu-general
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On Mon, Jan 14, 2008 at 02:49:10PM +0100, Magnus Hagander wrote:
> On Mon, Jan 14, 2008 at 02:44:15PM +0100, damien clochard wrote:
> > On Monday 14 January 2008 13:32:31 Koen Martens wrote:
> > > On Mon, Jan 14, 2008 at 01:09:46PM +0100, Andreas 'ads' Scherbaum wrote:
> > > > On Mon, Jan 14, 2008 at 01:04:15PM +0100, Koen Martens wrote:
> > > > > It is mentioned "For the General Assembly to be validly constituted a
> > > > > quorum of 30% of the total number of members must be present or
> > > > > represented.". Is there no danger of the association ending up in dead
> > > > > water if you require such a big amount of members to be present? In my
> > > > > experience, only the 'die hards' ever come to these GA's anyway. I
> > > > > think most GA's (from political organisations and non-profits such as
> > > > > FFII) i've been to attract maybe one percent of the members, if not
> > > > > less (counting represented members also).
> > > >
> > > > Have you read the following sentence which takes care for exactly this
> > > > problem?
> > >
> > > Ah, yes, a retry within 30 days. Is this practical? I mean, it being a
> > > european organisation, it is safe to assume people who will attend the GA
> > > will have to make plans in advance. Meaning that if you schedule another
> > > one within 30 days, it is likely a lot of the attendees will not be able to
> > > come (budget, no holiday left, etc..). I think it is nearly impossible to
> > > have 30% present, so that would mean two GA's within 30 days almost by
> > > default. It should probably be considered if this is indeed what we would
> > > want..
> > 
> > Actually the quorum is 30% of members present **or represented**. Someone that 
> > can't travel to the meeting may give his voice to a member that will be 
> > physically present. The statutes also allows voting by e-mail.
> 
> Still, if we go with the "auto-adding" of regional PUG members, I agree
> that we're probably going to have a *big* problem reaching this quorum.

Even with representation i do not think the quorum will easily be reached. The point is not that people are not only not able to come, but perhaps are disinterested in coming. Of course, I might be wrong here, but in my experience most people are not interested in visiting GA's. It is not that they don't care perse, but they probably think that those who _do_ show up will do the Right Thing. 

> > > Now, a simple solution would be to drop the quorum. This is not uncommon.
> > > An objection to dropping the quorum could be democratic validity, but as
> > > said I think in practice you will always end up with a non-quorumed GA
> > > within 30 days anyway, so democractic calidity is not an argument.
> > >
> > 
> > i'm ok with that.
> > 
> > There's another quorum of 50% when the General Assembly has to discuss  about 
> > dissolving the association. Do you want to drop that quorum too ?
> 
> How about lowering the quorum, but *also* require approval by the board?
> Meaning that the GA and the board have to both agree to dissolev?

This is indeed a different matter. I'd vote for requiring the 50% quorum, because of 
the extraordinary nature of such a proposal. I'd say that, if we have such a proposal,
it would be suitable to have an online vote.

I'm a bit wary of online voting though, because that is inherently suspectible to fraud. On the other hand, it is not as if we are deciding the faith of a country here...

> > > You might want to think about a safeguard against 'takeovers' too: a rush
> > > of new members right before a GA because some malicious party wants to
> > > take-over the voting.
> > >
> > 
> > Actally only the half of the Board of Directors is renewed every year and 
> > members of the Board of Directors are elected for 2 years. So a complete 
> > takeover would take 2 years :-)

Or, give voting right to people who have been paying member for at least x months. 

Gr,

Koen

- -- 
K.F.J. Martens, Sonologic, http://www.sonologic.nl/
Networking, hosting, embedded systems, unix, artificial intelligence.
Public PGP key: http://www.metro.cx/pubkey-gmc.asc
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Subject: Re: Release Candidate of the PostgreSQL Europe association statutes
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