Upcoming Council vote

Ben Bucksch ben.bucksch at beonex.com
Mon Feb 15 13:55:28 UTC 2016

First off, thanks, Gerv, for giving Thunderbird attention and trying to 
get us into calm and safe waters. I believe you have good motivations 
and intentions, and I think you've helped Thunderbird a lot in the 
background, without us knowing.

I have to disagree below, but it's on a factual basis only, not personal.

Gervase Markham wrote on 12.02.2016 20:37:
> There is no open nomination process. The vote will be either for or
> against that proposed council, as a single group.

I think this is highly problematic and invalidates the whole vote.

This "all or nothing" vote isn't really giving much of a choice. As you 
stated yourself, a "No" would mean trouble, so arguably we have only one 
reasonable choice: "Yes". Which means there is no real choice. I also 
think it's fundamentally troublesome when a standing government 
determines the new government. (!)

May I propose a slight alteration?

Instead of putting the entire Council for vote as an entirety, we could 
propose a list of candidates (anybody who wishes would be on the list), 
and we vote on each member (all in one go). No discussion about each 
member allowed, just yes or no.

All other modalities - particularly who can vote (I don't know what you 
have in mind) and how the votes are counted (simple majority I presume) 
- would stay identical to your proposal.

I'd think that the votes would fall fairly clearly on either Yes or No 
for most candidates. If in doubt, we'd err on "No".

Why this matters:

The fact that the council is interim is not very relevant, because this 
council will decide on the future and fate of Thunderbird, so I'd argue 
it's more important than more other councils will be.

The decisions soon to be made will decide about TB's technical future, 
the future form of governance and legal home, and maybe most importantly 
the future culture and spirit of Thunderbird. Will be it free and open 
or governed behind the curtains? Will it be organized or a chaos group 
without future planning? Who will make those plans, a close group or 
will it include the wide community? Will it be open source in spirit or 
only in license? These are delicate questions.

It's important that the people who make these key decisions are well 
chosen and properly representing the future TB community.

I think my proposal is fairly simple, and only a small delay for 
compiling nominations:
* Everybody can be nominated or nominate himself
* We compile a list of candidates
* Every voter votes on every candidate with a simple Yes/No, and also 
picks a chairman.
* Voting body is the same as in your proposal (tb-planning subscribers 
as of around end of Jan).
* The vote is secret, supervised by at least 2 independent persons, and 
possibly conducted by software (there's probably lots of ready-made 
survey web software we could use)


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