The Foundation encourages decisions to be made via thoughtful consensus building, aimed at achieving unanimous agreement. It is unrealistic, however, to expect unanimity to emerge in all cases in a non-hierarchical community, and it is also undesirable to stall decision making perpetually in the event that unanimity is unachievable - this undermines confidence and sabotages any nascent collaboration.
To that end, the Foundation recommends the use of votes for any substantive decisions that cannot reach unanimity within a reasonable amount of time. Once it is accepted that unanimity cannot be reached on a given decision, it should be put to a vote as soon as practical - a conclusive vote result, even in the negative, is vastly preferable to the uncertainty of indecision.
The Foundation strongly recommends voting by email, as this is common practice among Open Source projects and foundations. This follows the voting mechanic described above, with the following email-specific refinements.
Votes are initiated by sending an email to the body’s mailing list. The subject of the email starts with "
[VOTE]", followed by a brief summary of the motion. The body of the email contains:
- the motion, expressed as a succinct yes/no question
- voting instructions saying to reply-all with one of:
- +1 for an "in favor" vote
- 0 for an abstention, providing a justification
- -1 for a "not in favor" vote, providing a justification
- the deadline for the vote
- optionally, any additional contextual information, references, etc.
Casting a Vote
Votes are cast by replying-all to the original email (i.e. in public to the entire list), with a single +1 (in favor), 0 (abstain) or -1 (not in favor) preference, along with a justification where required.
Result of Vote
Once the vote has completed, the initiator of the vote confirms the results by sending a result email to the same mailing list. The subject of this email starts with "
[VOTE][RESULT]", followed by the same brief summary of the motion used when the vote was initiated. The body of the email contains:
- the final tallies of each vote type (+1 / 0 / -1)
- either the statement “The motion passed.” or the statement “The motion did not pass.”, depending on whether a majority of +1s was received.