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Re: Working group voting procedures in Process 2018

From: David (Standards) Singer <singer@apple.com>
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2017 09:10:32 +0800
Cc: Chaals McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex.ru>, Jeff Jaffe <jeff@w3.org>, Michael Champion <Michael.Champion@microsoft.com>, W3C AC-Forum <w3c-ac-forum@w3.org>, "chairs@w3.org" <chairs@w3.org>, "ab@w3.org" <ab@w3.org>, "public-w3process@w3.org" <public-w3process@w3.org>
Message-id: <5D2F0F32-7CF6-4536-93B2-5686CD130320@apple.com>
To: "L. David Baron" <dbaron@dbaron.org>
I think we may have a storm in a teacup here. 

What we realized was that the process said that WGs charters may have more specific voting and decision procedures than those in the process, but actually there was no backup/default voting procedure in the process.

We need to be clear; W3C is a consensus organization, not a voting-majority one. Voting is only suitable for times when a decision is needed (“do we break for coffee or work through?”) and people can live with the result. For some of these questions, per-organization is right; for others (like this example) per-person is right.

Do we need to say all this? “Strive for consensus, use votes only when there is consensus a decision is needed and the group will accept the result of a move and move on, use per-person for votes that affect people, and per-organization for votes that affect the work of the group”?

> On Oct 25, 2017, at 7:18 , L. David Baron <dbaron@dbaron.org> wrote:
> 
> On Tuesday 2017-10-24 23:33 +0200, Chaals McCathie Nevile wrote:
>> I happen to think that the "one person, one vote" approach is sounder than
>> what we had, given that we are less defensive than we were 20 years ago
>> about whether organisations were trying to stack groups to get outcomes that
>> favoured thme over others. Which is not to ignore that as an issue, just
>> clarify that the assumption these days is that individuals are generally
>> expected to present their best understanding rather than a corporate policy
>> designed to achieve a competitive edge.
> 
> I think the one WG where I've heard (I think?) of votes being used
> in the last few years is Tracking Protection, which is also one of
> the working groups where I'd be most worried about this sort of
> stacking.
> 
> In other words, I think I'd agree with your characterization of
> expected behavior for most W3C working groups, but I think it's
> least true in the working groups where votes are most likely to be
> used -- the ones where neither side in a dispute is willing to move
> towards consensus.

David Singer
Manager, Software Standards, Apple Inc.
Received on Wednesday, 25 October 2017 01:11:37 UTC

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