[python-committers] An alternative governance model

Jack Jansen jack.jansen at cwi.nl
Wed Jul 18 17:29:05 EDT 2018

Is it necessary to put exact percentages here?

I think a BDFL-replacement should have the support of a large majority of the community. I would expect anyone who would be considered as BDFL in the first place would voluntarily step down once this is no longer the case. I don’t think it is necessary to clearly define what “large majority” means, nor what “community” means.

If the Python community ever gets to the level infighting of Borgia popes versus de Medici popes I think things have deteriorated to a level that it won’t make much difference anyways.

I’m not 100% convinced I like Barry’s idea of a formal Council as the board of the community, but on the other hand I don’t have a good alternative (except for the anarchist village shouting match, but that has serious issues).


> On  18-Jul-2018, at 23:04 , Łukasz Langa <lukasz at langa.pl> wrote:
>> On Jul 18, 2018, at 1:23 PM, Alex Martelli <aleax at google.com> wrote:
>> Since 1179 (and with a few very minor exceptions in the centuries right after then -- none since 1612), the Catholic Church requires a super-majority of 2/3 to elect a new Pope. I don't see how the choice of a BDFL is so much more important to the Python community, than the choice of a Pope is to the Catholic Church; thus, requiring 90% rather than "just" 2/3 seems unwarranted.
> This is a good point. Moreover, I'm sure Monty Python-wise it's only fitting for us to base our rules on a papal conclave.
> If we do, then it looks like 2/3 it is. However, historically cardinal participation rates were really high so I'd like to keep the 90% participation rule there.
> I do find it a bit problematic that a papal conclave doesn't vote "yes/no" but rather just places names for a predefined position using predefined rules.
>> In fact, a 90% requirement gets dangerously close to a requirement for unanimity -- allowing any member of the Sejm to shout "Nie pozwalam!" and thus end the session and nullify every decision made in the session.
> Oh, you know how to hit close to home! However, there's a big difference between one vote vetoing the ruling and ten (as there's 100+ GitHub committers now IIRC).
> But yeah, if the Vatican is fine with two thirds, it sounds like we could, too. By the way, if we're already studying Polish parliamentary rules, 2/3 agreement is needed to make constitution changes.
> - Ł
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Jack Jansen, <Jack.Jansen at cwi.nl>, http://www.cwi.nl/~jack
If I can't dance I don't want to be part of your revolution -- Emma Goldman

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