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Debian loses DPL election, Cabal wins by tiny margin

Anthony Towns will be Debian's next project leader. I am not happy with that outcome at all.

With just a tiny margin, aj has won over Steve. Steve was not my favorite candidate as well, but he'd be better than aj, who in my opinion stands for the cabal that is running Debian from their positions of power for years now.

Only 421 DDs have cast their vote, which is 43.3128% of all possible votes. Voter participation has thus been lower than the historic low Germany's state Sachsen-Anhalt recently had in its Landtag election. More than half of the DDs do not seem to be interested in who makes Debian's external policy and who represents the project to the outside.

On the other hand, debian-vote sees a number of people who are not currently allowed to vote, but regularly contribute to Debian. It looks like the people who could vote don't, while people who do good things to Debian are not allowed to vote. Bad.

But, IMNSHO, the really bad thing is the new DPL itself. I think he has won the election with saying that he will increase Debian's speed. On the other hand, he is member of ftpmaster, the team that might be one of the biggest causes for Debian's slow speed. He is generally regarded to be close to the "Cabal", which of course does not exist. I don't see how the speed increase is can be accomplished giving this background.

However, the vote can easily be interpreted as a vote of confidence in the Cabal, which in itself is a good thing. It shows that even the voting DD's are comfortable to be ruled by the secret club of most senior DDs. I don't have to like it, but I'll have to live with it.

aj is also one of the founders of #debian-tech, an IRC channel which has been created as a "nice" channel for technical discussions. The channel has a very strict code of conduct, and people are being removed from the channel if they do not comply. I am really really really afraid of this "be nice or else" attitude being extended to other Debian communications media during aj's term. Being robbed of the right to speak one's mind might adversely affect many people's motivation to spend time with Debian in the future.

In a nutshell: This is a sad day for Debian. But, otoh, every project gets the leadership it deserves. And it looks like Debian didn't deserve any of the better candidates.

jftr, I voted 63571824

Be warned: I have a bad history of mis-judging new DPLs just after their election. A year ago, I was quite happy about Branden being elected, and was convinced that things would change during his first term of DPLship. I really believed that he could remove the Cabal from the power, and that Debian would change to a more co-operative environment. I surely hope that I am as wrong this time as I was a year ago. It'll be more positive this time.


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Anonymous on :

I personally believe you called the last one correctly: Branden did do an excellent job of getting things done even in the face of established "cabals". Unfortunately, some of that work occurred privately, and thus his visible contributions alone tend to make him look rather ineffectual.

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