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From Pierre Smits <>
Subject Veto! Veto?
Date Sat, 21 Mar 2015 01:04:58 GMT
Hi all,

If I understand the various documents/pages available regarding voting
correctly, voting a new member in can't be vetoed. Likewise is it with
respect to voting for board members. If I have missed a page somewhere,
please point me to it and I stand corrected.

The following document

A positive result is achieved by Consensus Approval i.e. at least 3 +1
votes and no vetoes.

Any veto must be accompanied by reasoning and be prepared to defend it.
Other members can attempt to encourage them to change.

While this document talks about getting new committers in a project, it
also seem to be applicable when it comes to getting new PMC members and
even who chairs the PMC.

So how can it be that when it comes to projects, vetoes can be expressed
and block innovation or growth?
One of the reasons I heard when discussing this was that it establishes
control or manageability of the projects member list.

Wouldn't a simple majority (more +1 than -1 votes) yield the same result?
If someone would feel that non-acceptance of a new person would benefit the
project, wouldn’t it be more proper/righteous  that he should put in the
effort and get a majority of votes?

It is understandable why the ASF (and its projects) have the veto principle
regarding code changes as it ensures that the(released) works of the
project are of a higher quality than the previous work, and that the works
don't change to something else than what is stated in the mission of the
project (meaning that e.g. the primary work of the Apache HTTP project -
httpd can't be converted into e.g. foo widget).
When it comes to people (and organisations), vetoes have proven that it is
a means to force consensus into a certain direction. It might have some
valid grounds when only a few have the biggest gun and they want to keep
others from getting the same gun (and thus rights/power), but in a
environment (as the ASF is) that builds on collaboration it is seems

What do you think? Is, when it comes to people, the veto mechanism not out
of place for an ASF project?

Best regards,

Pierre Smits

Services & Solutions for Cloud-
Based Manufacturing, Professional
Services and Retail & Trade

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