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Re: Consensus on ISSUE-73

From: Peter F. Patel-Schneider <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2008 12:02:28 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <20080118.120228.191541580.pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
To: jjc@hpl.hp.com
Cc: bparsia@cs.man.ac.uk, public-owl-wg@w3.org, hendler@cs.rpi.edu

There are two terms used in the process document related to decisions:
Consensus (substantial support with no formal objections) and Dissent
(at least one formal objection).  This allows quite a number of
situations, including 
- neither Consensus nor Dissent (little support but no formal
- Dissent but not substantial support (a formal objection against a
  decision that was not made?)
- Consensus with some dissatisfaction (considerable support plus some 
  negative votes but no formal objections)
I suppose that there could even be Dissent to a unanimous decision,
perhaps if a chair refused to reopen a decision when a participant
wanted to change their stance.

I see quite a difference between voting against a decision and
registering a formal objection.  I don't see that the document disallows
negative votes without a formal objection (or even other stances like,
perhaps, that the decision is not one that the WG should be taking).

My belief is that the WG currently has consensus with some
dissatisfaction for two issues, 55 and 73.  Certainly neither had
unanimous support, which requires complete support (although the wording
in the document on unanimity is a bit weird, and could be read to allow
some negative votes).  I haven't heard of any formal objections being
filed for either issue or even a proximate threat to do so.  I also
believe that there was substantial support for both issues.


From: Jeremy Carroll <jjc@hpl.hp.com>
Subject: Re: Consensus on ISSUE-73 (was Re: Universal Property)
Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2008 16:50:10 +0000

> Hmmm,
> I see you are more up on this bit of the process document than I.
> It seems to indicate that it is not possible to vote against without 
> formal objecting ....
> Sandro, Ivan, is that the correct reading?
> Should I have been instructed to either formally object or to abstain?
> Jeremy
> Bijan Parsia wrote:
> > 
> > On 18 Jan 2008, at 16:06, Jeremy Carroll wrote:
> > [snip]
> >> "(i.e., we had consensus on the telecon)"
> >> no, I voted against (I suggest review the IRC)
> > 
> > You voted against in a straw poll and when asked didn't call for a 
> > formal vote and indicated that you didn't formally object.
> > 
> > http://www.w3.org/2005/10/Process-20051014/policies.html#Consensus
> > 
> > Saying you didn't formally object means that, in a formal vote, you 
> > would at worst abstain. So we have non-unanimous consensus:
> > 
> > """Where unanimity is not possible, a group should strive to make 
> > consensus decisions where there is significant support and few 
> > abstentions."""
> > 
> > We had strong evidence of two abstentions (i.e., Jim literally used the 
> > word "abstain" and you said, and I quote the minutes "it's not a formal 
> > objection"). By definition we have consensus.
> > 
> > Cheers,
> > Bijan.
> > 
Received on Friday, 18 January 2008 17:33:10 UTC

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