Debian Project Secretary Kurt Roeckx has announced the results of a closely-watched vote on what statement would be made about Richard Stallman’s readmission to the Free Software Foundation’s board.
Seven options were considered, with the Debian project’s 420 voting developers also asked to rank their preferred outcomes:
- Option 1: “Call for the FSF board removal, as in rms-open-letter.github.io”
- Option 2: “Call for Stallman’s resignation from all FSF bodies”
- Option 3: “Discourage collaboration with the FSF while Stallman is in a leading position”
- Option 4: “Call on the FSF to further its governance processes”
- Option 5: “Support Stallman’s reinstatement, as in rms-support-letter.github.io”
- Option 6: “Denounce the witch-hunt against RMS and the FSF”
- Option 7: “Debian will not issue a public statement on this issue”
While all seven options achieved a quorum of votes, two failed to achieve a majority — options 5 and 6. (“Support Stallman’s reinstatement” and “Denounce the witch-hunt…”) The option receiving the most votes was #7 (not issuing a public statement) — but it wasn’t that simple. The vote’s final outcome was determined by comparing every possible pair of options to determine which option would still be preferred by a majority of voters in each possible comparision.
In this case, that winner was still the option which had also received the most votes:
Debian will not issue a public statement on this issue.
The Debian Project will not issue a public statement on whether Richard Stallman should be removed from leadership positions or not.
Any individual (including Debian members) wishing to (co-)sign any of the open letters on this subject is invited to do this in a personal capacity.
The results are captured in an elaborate graph. Numbers inside the ovals show the final ratio of yes to no votes (so a number higher than 1.00 indicates a majority, with much higher numbers indicating much larger majorities). Numbers outside the ovals (along the lines) indicate the number of voters who’d preferred the winning choice over the losing choice (toward which the arrow is pointing).
The winning option is highlighted in blue.
To be honest this is probably the best thing they could do from a community standpoint.