[Linux-aus] Re: [LACTTE] Constitution Version 6 - Last one!

Bret Busby bret at busby.net
Wed Jan 7 17:55:02 UTC 2004

On Wed, 7 Jan 2004, Jeff Waugh wrote:

> Date: Wed, 7 Jan 2004 20:21:28 +1100
> From: Jeff Waugh <jdub at perkypants.org>
> To: linux-aus <linux-aus at lists.linux.org.au>
> Subject: Re: [Linux-aus] Re: [LACTTE] Constitution Version 6 - Last one!
> <quote who="Bret Busby">
> > But, things do go wrong - like the spamming via Linux Australia, as the
> > mailing list does not require (or has not required) posters of messages,
> > to be subscribers to the list.
> > 
> > And, when people have complained, the answer has been simple - "get
> > stuffed - this is the way we do it - like it or lump it!"
> Sorry, but a lot of people disagreed with you. Being able to voice a concern
> does not necessarily mean that you will get your way.

Ah, people may have disagreed with me, but, I was not the only one who 
objected to the list being open to all, with non-subscribers being 
allowed to post, or, who was getting fed up with a spam to message ratio 
of about 3:1.

And, the response was to all who objected.

> > > Because the current constitution does not allow for it. It has been said
> > > numerous times now that online voting and so on are goals the committee
> > > would like to achieve.
> > 
> > And, it has taken over a year, to get to "hey, maybe it is not a bad 
> > idea - let's think about it"? Well, I suppose, that is the purpose of 
> > committees...
> That's not true at all. Not even in the slightest. Yes, yes, it's not new
> technology, etc., etc. but the fact remains that the constitution did not
> allow for it, and even holding an SGM to change the consititution to do it
> for this set of elections was hard -> read the constitution. It is not a
> conspired effort to annoy you, much as it may seem so to you. I would also
> like to see this fixed up, but I'm patient enough to see it done correctly.

It is not a matter of "conspired efforts to annoy" me; it is more 
disappointment that what would have been useful, apears to have gone 
through the "committee routine" - if you want an idea stopped, send it 
to a committee".

A year is a long time, for a simple change, to have waited before being 
even considered by the committee. It could have been implemented, 
somehow, via postal polling, surely, if no other way. Dispensation could 
probably have been obtained, from the NSW Commissioner of Fair Trading, 
or whatever is responsible.

If such polling to change the constitution, to allow for the 
practicality of Internet voting and meetings, could not have been so 
brought about, it should have been able to be brought about without 
requiring the holding of the Linux conference, otherwise, once again, it 
goes to the issue of the separation of Linux Australia, from the 
conference and its attendees, and, whether Linux Australia is really 
just for the conference attendees.

> > > If they're a member, they're a member, no matter which state or country
> > > they're in.
> > 
> > Yes, that may be, but, it is like an overseas organisation in which I was
> > a member - if you were there, you had a say, and knew what was going on,
> > and, had recourse if things went awry, but, in not being where the
> > organisation was located, a member was just a passive member, with no real
> > say, and, no recourse when things go wrong.
> > 
> > What recourse does a WA member have, if the rules are broken? Fly over to
> > NSW and complain to the courts or regulatory body, in NSW? We are not all
> > millionaires.
> In an organisation that relies on the community, meritocracy and reputation,
> a lot can be achieved on the mailing list, communication between LUGs, and
> so on.

But, then, things arise, like the dispute about the notice for the SGM, 
and what exactly can be presented to the SGM, and what can be done at 
the AGM, and, then it goes to who is accredited with more knowledge or 
understanding of NSW law (in some organisations to which I have 
belonged, the chairman is regarded, ex-officio, as the decider of such 
issues, when determinations are required, unless it goes to a vote of 
No Confidence in the decision of the Chairman, in which case, at the 
particular meeting, the Chairman stands down, and a vote is taken, on 
the issue).

And, it is known, that, however much trust or good faith, exists, at a 
particular time, at another time, they may be less, for whatever 
reasons, and bitterness may prevail, which can lead to infighting and 
lack of cohesion.

And then, localities will prevail, and, those not resident in the state 
of incorporation, will lose, if registration is not federal.

Federal registration would be simpler, and, easier to manage, if it is 
implemented properly. it is that simple.

What would happen, if the president, secretary and treasurer, were all 
outside NSW, for example, in WA and SA, and some issue arose, about the 
rules? Then what would likely occur, would be a state-based war, like 
with the "One Nation Party", which has Queensland vs WA, and, I think, 
two separate factions in WA, all vying for control. And, who would have 
the advantage, in the case of Linux Australia? NSW, regardless of right 
and wrong, and, that is the state where the regulatory body, and, the 
applicable courts, reside.

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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