Foteos Macrides MACRIDES at WFEB2.BITNET
Tue Mar 3 10:04:00 EST 1992

>>The proposal must collect 80 YES votes in 30
>>days to pass, but may be overturned if the number of NO votes received
>>exceeds the number of YES votes.
>The requirement of 80 NO votes to overturn passing a group seems a
>bit much (my preference would be YES - NO >= 50), but if you think
>that policy would be best, then I will accept your judgment.
>Terence P. Ma

>> I rarely post to bionet (get it through USENET).  As a systems
>> administrator as well as a scientist, I find that time disappears
>> faster than I'd like when dealing with issues on-line.  For example,
>> I often do not have the time to detail my thoughts on a particular
>> issue, but may feel strongly for/against it.  Other times, someone
>> expresses my point of view and I don't want to repeat it and use up
>> the every decreasing bandwidth.  I strongly feel that NO votes are
>> valuable.  Furthermore, I also feel that the YES - NO paradigm is
>> appropriate.  Perhaps the third option is that instead of making
>> passage be YES - NO where YES > 80, a smaller number of votes should
>> be required, say 50.  From what I have read of the discussion, I
>> never saw a real justification that the number of YES votes for a
>> group should be increased, other than it was from a long time ago.
>> So, if it isn't really causing a problem, why change?
>Maybe a simple solution would be YES minus NO of at least 50
>If Dave Kristofferson was willing to propose 80 YES votes as the
>target, my formula could only negate 80 YES votes by the casting
>of 30 NO votes (which would surely have significance).  We might get a few
>things slipping though at e.g. 60 YES to 10 NO but I'm sure that the NO's
>will stop the sillier proposals.
>Jonathan B. Marder

        Perhaps I'm being naive, but I'm not personally worried about
proposals we'd consider silly getting to the stage of an actual vote.  There
will be the initial, private discussions between the proposers and BioSci
management during development of the "statement of purpose," designation of
the "discussion leader" (for discussion forums), and assessment of other NEWS
groups and/or Email lists which should be invited to participate in our public
discussion of the proposal.  Then there will be at least ten days of open
discussion in which BioSci users and "recruits" from other groups can raise
their concerns and perhaps formulate better ways to achieve the proposal's

        If the final version of the proposal receives at least 80 YES's under
these circumstances, it is like to have merit.  It will, however, be possible
that "significant" opposition still exists (due to "honest" differences of
opinion), and the question becomes:  How much opposition (NO votes) should be
considered substantial enough to block the proposal.

        When viewed in this way, the present summary proposal's requirement of
more NO's than YES's to block a proposal does also strikes as too stringent.
Since we presently require 40 YES votes to create a group, how about making
that the magic number in the difference formula (and, in effect, the minimum
number of NO votes for blocking a proposal), i.e., to create a group it must
receive at least 80 YES votes *and* at least 40 more YES's than NO's?
Remember, if a proposal fails due to NO votes, the proposers can work on it
some more and try again in 3 months.

        Should we apply the same rule as for "new group" proposals to
"reorganization" proposals, and to a new group proposal which "evolves" into a
reorganization proposal during its discussion (seems like a good idea, before
explicitly thinking about it very much 8-)?


 Foteos Macrides           Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology
 MACRIDES at WFEB2.BITNET     222 Maple Avenue, Shrewsbury, MA 01545

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