[Theforum] Re: Adding theForum to l.e.o.

Martin martin at members.evolt.org
Sat Nov 24 18:36:06 CST 2001

rudy wrote on 24/11/01 9:17 pm

>the only place a formal voting system makes sense is in a board of
>directors meeting, so let's just defer it until we actually have a board of
>directors meeting

No, I don't think that's so at all.

Any place there's policy *decisions* made, there needs to be a way
of saying and recording "We decided this". Otherwise three months
later if it all goes wrong, there's no accusations flying around
saying "*you* screwed up" and "we weren't consulted".

It has happened before, it *will* happen again.

The larger the decision-making body, the more it will happen.

Proper decision making is 100% essential CYA. It's as essential
as backups. It's as essential as documentation. It's as essential
as security.

Sure, you might go for a period without a major disaster.
But that's down to luck. And that's true for backups, security,
documentation and proper decision-making.

Rudy, I have every respect for you as a database guru. But I've
worked in *so* many voluntary organisations. I've seen them
born, live and die. I've seen them fall apart in clouds of acid.

Nearly every group which has died - and *all* of them which
have died acrimoniously - have been because the people running
them (including me in some cases) have arrogantly thought
that open decision-making can be short-cut.

It can't. You have to do it properly, or there is absolutely
no point whatsoever in doing it.

Simple choice - it's open, or it's process-free. You can't
have both.

Many revolutionary societies have been the same. 
They've reasonably quickly become either a normal
democracy - with formal process - or they've become
a dictatorship. Some have been a dictatorship first
and moderated into formal process.

Off the top of my head:
* Russia
* France
* Cambodia
* Iran
* Argentina
* Uganda
* Zambia


email: martin at easyweb.co.uk             PGP ID: 0xA835CCCB
       martin at members.evolt.org      snailmail: 30 Shandon Place
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