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

Bernhard E. Reiter bernhard at fsfe.org
Fri Aug 31 12:23:18 UTC 2018

Am Freitag 31 August 2018 13:22:56 schrieb Besnik Bleta:
> > convincing more than 18 thousand people code paid by
> > public money should be published as Free Software
> Funny that you declare you don't know the "demos" of the fellowship,
> although we pay (I myself no more) the membership fee through
> channels that easily let identify who we are and on the other hand you
> know that those 18 thousand people were “convinced”, when they simply
> might have shown their support to an idea older that FSFE's campaign.

"Convinced" was a short version, sorry if this was too brief. I've meant that 
many people acted upon it and a lot of them without having a strong tie to 
the FSFE or Free Software before.

The fellowship was a status were you financially supported FSFE and indicated 
that you wanted to be more involved. You could always participate without 
being a Fellow. And the "demos" means who should be allowed be part of a 
large membership organisation for Free Software? In a state there is a clear 
boundary and you are forced if you are a citizen to be part of its policial 

For an NGO like FSFE, you can go somewhere else and join or support a 
different one. If we'd allow everyone, and started representing a state,
we would not be able to bring in a non-mainstream point into the political 
debate, because the political debate would (ideally) already have the same 
representation of opinions.

> > A radical shift of structure (like moving to a "large membership"
> > model) may promise some advantages down the road, but it may also
> > could dimish the good work going on,
> Suppressing the fellowship seat was a radical shift (otherwise no need
> for an extraordinary gathering), right? 

No, as already explained: It did not work out as it was envisioned.
When FSFE decided to set a new course without Fellowship set elections, we did 
not want to organise another last election to spare everything the effort as 
respect to the candidates and the supporters who are following the 
procedings. The out-of-band generally assembly was held because of the 
timeline and we were already late. (In retrospect we probably should have 
done this decision in the written form. But the result would have been the 

> What are the reasons that the council think this move would not “dimish the
> good work going on”? 

(You may know that I am not in the council and council did not decide this.)
From my perspective: Because it reduces room for misunderstandings (that 
obviously had taken place with a minority of people) and let us find people 
who can help with the legal backbone in a better way in the future (causing 
less fuss).

Best Regards,

FSFE -- Founding Member     Support our work for Free Software: 
blogs.fsfe.org/bernhard     https://fsfe.org/donate | contribute
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