[Fsfe-se] [jeremiah: Re: [diskussion] Microsofts nya hot.]

Jeremiah Foster jeremiah at mail.jeremiahfoster.com
Thu May 17 21:11:44 CEST 2007

> > Tue, May 15, 2007 at 03:00:24PM +0200:  Jonas Oberg mangled some bits into this alignment:
> >> Jeremiah Foster wrote:
> >>
> >>> - It needs more openness. Currently FLOSS is dominated by groups like FSFE and 
> >>>   the Swedish Linux Foreningen. These groups are closed - especially the FSFE. 
> >> I doubt this is really the case. This seems akin to saying that politics
> >> is closed since not anyone can be in the government!
> > 
> > I think that is specious. Yes both domains are self-selecting, i.e. you can
> > decide to be active and find a position in the domain. However the FSFE does not
> > have direct elections by its members, just a select few. This points to a lack of
> > openness. Contrast this position with debian where all that is required is 
> > previous involvement with debian and then once you are inside debian _anyone_
> > can be elected leader.
> Getting inside Debian means you have to prove some kind of skill and a
> long term commitment. Not everyone who wants get in.
> Once inside Debian you'll have a vote.
> ... same applies to FSFE.  (   s/Debian/FSFE/  )

Umm, you just repeated what I said. Here is my quote, verbatim: 

> > Contrast this position with debian where all that is required is 
> > previous involvement with debian and then once you are inside debian _anyone_
> > can be elected leader.

I will re-iterate: Lack of tranparency in proceedings of FSFE exists at nearly all levels.

Where are the minutes from the board meetings?
Where is the criteria for getting elected to country teams?
Where is the criteria for getting elected to the team? 
Is there a mission statement saying that regular votes are held for elected positions?
What is the difference between the "GA" and the "Team"?

In fact, the FSFE says they want a "structure that will allow transparency, plurality 
and participation." However what that means is unclear. For example, can any member
become "President"? If not, why not? When is the election? Who votes? If you have 
answers to these questions they ought to be publically available. 

Frankly the "Self-conception" page is vague, thereby thwarting any transparency. 
For example, the last section called "Decision Processes" offers not one single
concrete demonstration of which office makes executive descision, who is directly
responsible for policy, or how that policy gets formed. It merely says things like;

"The people of the Free Software Foundation Europe believe in consensus. We always 
seek to base our work on the consensus -- and sometimes compromise -- of our active members."
Frankly, this is not just redundant, but meaningless. Yes you want consensus - but what 
quorum is required? Consensus amongst whom? Just the members or the GA? Is there a plurality 
needed or can one person say "Nope, lets not sue Microsoft! I want out!"

A simple, clear answer to those questions would server the fellows well. As it is it seems like
FSFE is just an extension of the FSF designed to prevent a non-FSF group from co-opting or forming
a group in Europe that might duplicate or obviate the FSF. 


> About openness, here's some links:
> what we do
>       - http://www.sweden.fsfeurope.org/projects/projects.en.html
> what money we spend
>     - http://www.sweden.fsfeurope.org/about/funds/funds.en.html
> what you can do
>     - http://www.sweden.fsfeurope.org/help/help.en.html
> what info do you miss on our pages?
> Instead of discussing FSFE here I suggest switching to the list:
>    fsfe-se at fsfeurope.org
> ... I have forwarded your entire email to that list.
> /h
> _______________________________________________
> diskussion mailing list
> diskussion at lists.se.linux.org
> http://lists.se.linux.org/cgi-bin/listinfo/diskussion

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