Debian and Deliberation

I was very concerned by Martin Krafft’s appeal to voters in the Debian Project Leader election to shut up about their own "biased" opinions on the race. He argued that the candidates should campaign and that anyone who wants to spread their point of view should be running themselves or keeping their opinions to themselves and getting real work done.

Perhaps I just buy into the whole deliberative democracy concept but I think this attitude is dangerous. In fact, I think it’s essential that Debian publicly weigh the benefits of possible decisions and discuss, argue, and debate as a group. I think that every instance of public discourse (and no, flaming is not discourse) on project policy or leadership is a sign of a healthy and involved electorate and I’d like to see more of it.

The leadership of the Debian project is at stake in this election. Our organization is more complex than a wheel with the DPL at the center. Our decision should be made as a project with a complex organization. That means conversations need to work the way the project does.

Obviously, we vote as individuals. But that’s precisely why conversations and discussions, through which we can make decisions as a community, play such an important role in informing our votes.

I’ll leave talking about enfranchisement in Debian, and the lack thereof, for another day.

2 thoughts on “Debian and Deliberation”

  1. Here here.

    People do have to think and talk about their choices. Proposing silence, and labeling others discussion as bias just sounds bias! If I didn’t read Krafft’s blog on the auld planet all the time I’d be suspicious of him.

    I suspect he’s just annoyed at some high profile shite throwing.

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