[Linux-aus] Linux Australia AGM Held

Bret Busby bret at busby.net
Sun Feb 2 21:00:01 UTC 2003

On Sun, 2 Feb 2003, Jeff Waugh wrote:

> Date: Sun, 2 Feb 2003 22:42:38 +1100
> From: Jeff Waugh <jdub at perkypants.org>
> To: Linux Australia List <linux-aus at lists.linux.org.au>
> Subject: Re: [Linux-aus] Linux Australia AGM Held
> <quote who="Bret Busby">
> > The opposition is amazing, to such a simple and reasonable suggestion.
> That's because it places a hard requirement on the committee, which may
> limit the election of the best people for the job. As simple and reasonable
> as it sounds, it is also a wildly ineffective solution to the two problems
> presented: a) having a very active and butt-kicking Linux Australia ctte,
> and b) adequately representing the needs of people around the country.
> That is why there has been a lot of discussion about a representative
> sub-committee. I'm far more interested in having the absolute best people
> leading LA [1], with a group of people selected from around the country to
> offer their input and ideas when required. It's the best of both worlds,
> without abstract inefficiencies.
> Thanks,
> - Jeff
> [1] ... and this year, we *do* have the best!

There is something that has just occurred to me about this.

The nominees and the voters, are (if I understand correctly) only people 
who attended the AGM.

Thus, it appears, these people are only people who attended the 

I have previously alluded to this relationship.

Thus, people who use or are otherwise involved with Linux, in Australia, 
may have been excluded from nominating or voting, because they did not 
attend the conference, including those who could not afford to attend 
the conference, etc.

And, that is not including those who may have not attended the AGM, who 
attended the conference, but did not understand their status (I 
previously mentioned this aspect).

So, are the people who are now the members of the new committee, "the 
best people for the jobs", or, are they the people selected from and by 
a small subset of Linux Users in Australia, the small subset being the 
people who attended the conference and, of them, only the people who 
attended the AGM, and, whilst, from what I understand, the number of 
people who attended the conference, was higher than previous Linux 
conferences in Australia, I wonder what proportion of Linux users and 
others involved with Linux in Australia, are represented by the number 
of conference attendees within Australia.

Thus, then, the current committee appears to have not been selected by 
the Linux community in Australia, but only from and by, a small 
proportion of the Linux community in Australia, the criteria for 
candidacy and voting eligibility, appearing to have been attendence at 
the conference, thus excluding those who did not attend the conference 
for whatever reason, including those who could not afford to attend the 

Thus, then, if only conference attendees are eligible to nominate for, 
or, elect, the comittee, how can the committee be "the best people for 
the jobs", or, the selection result in "the best people for the jobs"?

In Seneca's Medea, is a passage; "If a person making a decision does not 
hear all the parties involved, then, while the decision may be good, the 
making of the decision will not have been good". That is a principle of 
natural justice; audi alteram partem (all parties should be heard).

Similarly, if the candidates and the voters are drawn from only the 
attendees at the annual Linux conference, what about the rest of the 
Linux community in Australia?

To what extent, was Tasmania represented at the conference, and 
therefore at the AGM? Similarly, for each of the other states and 

So, whose interests, of the users of Linux and other associated with 
Linux in Australia, does the committee represent? Only the conference 
attendees, as it is from only them, that the committee members, and, the 
voters for them, were selected.

This inequity could be simply overcome by what I have suggested.

Also, the issues relating to membership of Linux Australia need to be 
clarified; who are eligible (so far, it appears to be only conference 
attendees), what (if any) fees are payable, what is achieved by being a 
member of Linux Australia, how does membership of Linux Australia, 
relate to membership of the local LUG, etc.

I suggest that the committee needs to address these issues, for the 
organisation to progress and become more effective.

Bret Busby
West Australia

"So once you do know what the question actually is,
 you'll know what the answer means."
- Deep Thought,
  Chapter 28 of 
  "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
  A Trilogy In Four Parts",
  written by Douglas Adams, 
  published by Pan Books, 1992 

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