Candidacy FSFE Fellowship Representative

Joe Awni joe.awni at
Sat Apr 16 11:15:10 UTC 2016

I write to notify you of my candidacy for fellowship representative. I had
some messages blocked and delayed so there is a kind-of lengthy
meta-discussion before the announcement of candidacy. Feel Free to skip the

--- meta-discussion : VOTING ---

First to say how i feel about elections, and their use in the context of
Modern Free Software.

Although, many see this as an opportunity to encourage, endorse, and
ultimately grow the Free Software community. The full picture is not so
simple. I agree growth is good, but in what direction? Also, where winners
are created there are bound to be losers -- so any encouragement would come
at the expense of discouragement for others. Therefore i think it is
absolutely critical that fairness, and a desire to grow with out commercial
motivation shape the elections for FSFE representative.

Regarding the system of elected representatives. The first system of
representative governance comes from Rome, beginning in ~700BC. At the
time, it was NOT seen as an ideal solution to the challenges of governance.
Indeed, it was a compromise based on what was feasible for them at that

Although many continue to see this system as an expedient, effetibe, and
supremely feasible default-option. Long-term Free Software community
members recognize that is not how Free Software has operated. Those will
understand it as little more than blindly groping for a handle on the Free
Software community by electing/erecting a familiar
scaffolding-hierarchy-thing. In the end, you will see it's a community of
individuals free from influence of community-managers and sheep-herders;
the disturbing trend of paid community managers influencing Open Source
projects on behalf of mega-corps.

In my personal opinion, the Free Software community has not been so much
about maintaining strict community management practices and governance
models based on large corporate structures, but more about promoting
Software. I would not otherwise tarnish a valiant effort in the name of
Free Software, but i think the FSFE can lead the way on this.

*** Important Meta-Point *** In the past, a system of elected
representatives was necessitated largely by technological limitations
regarding the speed of a horse drawn carriage. Why should we continue to be
harnessed to an obsolete system who's inertia is limiting the growth of
Free Software?

Ironically, today, the technological means exist for a Fellowship card
carrying individual to vote any time any where for any purpose;
specifically, card carrying fellows have the capability to use Strong
cryptography in a secure way built into their Fellowship card.

Additionally, the fact that there is only one "official" candidate on the

If elected, i would not be afraid to make exception to a rule where the
intent of rule is preserved. In the case where only one person is on the
ballot, write-ins may be allowed in the interest of a meaningful "election."

Additionally, regarding the rule that "To be a candidate, you need to have
been an active Fellow for at least a year before the election (so April
4th, 2015). This helps to make sure that the people elected into the GA are
familiar with the organization and its work."
And, the selection of the Schulze Voting System "For the voting process we
will use the Schulze method, a popular voting system used by Debian,
Wikimedia and others. It is a well tested method and has proven to be
resistant to voting anomalies. "

Don't you think it anomalous to have an election with only one candidate?

Finally, It has come to my attention by means of blocked messages and
delayed communications that those running the election would prevent you
from voting for me (even as a write-in candidate) out of some misguided
sense that they are "helping to make sure the people elected into the GA..."

Although it is my opinion that the FSFE risks it's relevance by using their
technology as a door to exclude people from this election. However, weather
or not you are allowed to vote for me in this election is not my decision.
As i said, if elected i would not be afraid to make an obvious exception in
the interest of a meaningful election.
Ultimately, this election is not vital to the continued development of Free
Software, but your continued support and encouragement is. I am here to let
you know that the choice is yours!

If you feel strongly about my candidacy or anything i have written i ask
you to please make a vote with your personal
engorgement/discouragement/feedback/etc! Write to me! Your message could
mean i decide to make the GNUBurgers regardless of the outcome of this

--- end-meta-discussion --

Joe Awni -


For more than a decade i use exclusively Free Software. Last year, i built
a website on 100% Free Software stack: (FSF
approval pending). This year, i enjoyed traveling across Europe to computer
conferences (FOSDEM [where i saw RMS], 32C3) to promote Free Software in
innovative ways. Personally, i think the future of Free Software depends on
our ability to connect with young software developers. With that in mind, i
organized the GNUBurger.

GNUBurgers are made from a GPLv3 instruction set : and usually have the
GPLv3 logo toasted into the bun.

I'm hoping to earn your endorsement and vote to continue to representing
the Free Software community with my pledge that if elected i will make
freely available GNUBurgers to all software developers who wish. And, will
attend as many events as possible.
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