[python-committers] Transfer of power

Nathaniel Smith njs at pobox.com
Fri Jul 13 22:34:48 EDT 2018

On Fri, Jul 13, 2018 at 6:54 PM, Tim Peters <tim.peters at gmail.com> wrote:
> [Larry Hastings]
> ...
>> However, once appointed, Elders are appointed is "for life".  The only way
>> to remove one would be for them to voluntarily step down--there would be no
>> mechanism to remove one from office.  (Perhaps this is too strong--perhaps
>> one could be removed by a unanimous vote from all other Elders?)  I want the
>> Council to be immune to popular opinion, to be empowered to do what they
>> think is right without fear of anything beyond negative public opinion.
> At the time the US"s founders drafted the Constitution, mean US life
> expectancy was about 35 years   A Federal judge only had to maintain "good
> behavior" to keep their job, but I imagine they expected most judges would
> die within a decade or two regardless.

That's not really true -- life expectancy *at birth* was ~35 years,
but mostly because so many people died as infants/children. If you
survived long enough to get nominated for a judgeship, then by that
point your life expectancy wasn't too different from what we're used
to today: https://passionforthepast.blogspot.com/2011/08/average-life-expectancy-myth.html

But I think there are a lot of differences between a 21st-century
F/OSS project and an 18th-century federal government, so probably not
the most relevant model in any case. And of course it's always
tempting to start inventing neat rules and procedures, but IME those
details are actually the least important part of project governance
(compared to things like, having a healthy discussion culture, tools
for building consensus, etc. -- by the time you're voting on something
you've already failed). So debating the pros and cons of term limits
seems a bit premature to me right now :-).


Nathaniel J. Smith -- https://vorpus.org

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