who has time for the GA? (was: terminating memberships responsibly)

Carsten Agger agger at modspil.dk
Thu Aug 30 14:34:20 UTC 2018

On 08/30/2018 03:49 PM, Nikos Roussos wrote:
>> This brings me back to the original question then: democracy.  Annual
>> elections and allowing all the community to participate can provide
>> regular renewal.  When somebody doesn't have the time any more, either
>> they don't run for re-election or the community will help them depart by
>> voting for an alternative candidate.  Changing the tools and arbitrarily
>> expelling people are a crazy alternative to something as easy to
>> understand as democracy.
> I understand that this may be your expectation, but this hardly true for any non-profit organization out there. You have a very specific view on how FSFE should operate democratically, but that doesn't mean that this is the only way, or even that democracy is the only way to run an organization.
> I have been (and still am) member/supporter of various non-profit organizations and none of these apply the kind of democracy you envision. Rightfully so, in my opinion. As an example, I'm a member of EFF but there is no democratic way for me to be elected in the Board of Directors, or participate in their private strategic meetings. Same applies for FSF (US).
Many NGOs that I know of are run as traditional associations, with a 
yearly general assembly as te highest authority, a board elected by the 
participants at the general assembly; with all members being eligible to 
attend the general assembly and run for the board, and membership being 
open to everyone (maybe with well-defined limitations, such as a 
profession or geographical area) willing to pay membership dues.

That's true of some of the largest NGOs here in Denmark, and I believe 
it's a requirement in order to receive various kinds of public support 
(e.g., access to venues, for small associations). That has, on the other 
hand, of course, never been how e.g. the FSF or the FSFE (or the EFF) 
have worked. But it is true that such organization is a norm in some 


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