Friday, December 7, 2012

Why I am no longer a voting member of the Python Software Foundation

I am from Europe. It's a place behind a big body of water from the United States, generally in the direction of the east. There are few key differencies, among other things, approach to democracy. We would typically have a large body of people making all important decisions (like a parliment) and a small body of people making more mundane decisions (like a government). In a typical scenario, the government has seriously less power than the parliment, however it's also much more agile, hence more suited for making quick decisions. A good example is budget - the government would create a budget that would then be voted by the parliment. As far as I understand, the idea is to not vote all the details, but instead create a budget that will be approved by the parliment.

The PSF is almost like this. There is a large body of people (PSF members) and a small body of people (PSF board). There is one crucial difference - the PSF members have power only on paper. The only voting that ever happens are for either broadening the powers of the board, voting for the board or for voting in new members. The board make all the actual decisions.

This is not to say that the board makes bad decisions - I seriously cannot pinpoint a single time where it did happen. I'm very happy with the board and with it's policies. However I don't feel I have any voting power. I perfectly understand why it is that way - the PSF members is a big group and even finding a way for everyone to vote in a reasonable manner would be a mission. As a European, I would think it's a mission worth trying though, but as of now I would stay as a non-voting member (also known as emeritus) and wait for the board to make a decision on everything.