[Mpi-forum] Voting in July (and beyond)

David Solt dsolt at us.ibm.com
Thu Jun 14 10:53:52 CDT 2012

> At the Japan meeting we took consensus from the room because there was 
no clear ruling on this known to *anyone* in the room.

I disagree.  I felt there was a clear ruling on this and stated that at 
the Japan meeting.  I don't know how people can be so out of touch with 
what goes on at the meetings to not know how we have been voting for 


From:   Dave Goodell <goodell at mcs.anl.gov>
To:     Main MPI Forum mailing list <mpi-forum at lists.mpi-forum.org>
Date:   06/14/2012 10:30 AM
Subject:        Re: [Mpi-forum] Voting in July (and beyond)
Sent by:        mpi-forum-bounces at lists.mpi-forum.org

On Jun 14, 2012, at 9:15 AM CDT, Jeff Squyres wrote:

> On Jun 14, 2012, at 9:25 AM, Richard Graham wrote:
>> First, I would not note that as a mishap - a specific question came up, 
and the forum did it's best to address the question, and interpret what 
majority vote means. 
> I'm not debating what happened.  But the mishap = mistake, and this was 
clearly a mistake, regardless of good intentions.
> So however you want to define it, I don't think that anyone disagrees 
that the voting rules were different in Japan than they had been in all 
prior meetings. 

They may not, however, have been *observably* different.  If we never had 
a close vote in the past then nobody but you would have known that the 
voting rules were changed.

>> We need to keep with what was the consensus at the meeting,
> I'm not disagreeing with the fact that we need to abide by the voting 
results as they were decided in the room in Japan (because everyone 
knew/understood the "Japan" rules when they were voting).

Absolutely, almost anything else would be crazy and/or a waste of 
everyone's time.

>> and change that ONLY after further discussion.  So, it at this stage 
pass mean yes > 0.5 * total vote. 
> No.
> The Japan rules were a mistake.
> It is not proper to change the voting rules:
> a) with discussion from only one meeting, and 
> b) when the secretary -- i.e., the guy who knows the rules -- was not 
even present
> In July, voting should be the same as it has been for all prior 2.x and 
3.x Forum meetings: pass = yes > no (abstains don't count).
> *** We =CANNOT= abolish "abstain" at the whim of one mis-guided decision 
from one meeting ***

You are effectively asserting that your voting rules are more correct 
because you said that they came first, even though they were not clearly 
documented to anyone else.

>> We can have this as the first item for discussion on Monday, but have 
to have a discussion before we change.
> I do not think it is proper to change the voting rules based on any one 
meeting.  To me, changing the voting rules should require 2 formal votes 
(just like text) using the currently established rules.

We have no procedure for this.  AFAIK we never voted the original rules 
into place.  At the Japan meeting we took consensus from the room because 
there was no clear ruling on this known to *anyone* in the room.  Both 
members of the steering committee that were present (Bill & Rich) felt the 
"abstains can't change the denominator" view was correct.

I think that an in-person discussion about this on the first day of the 
upcoming meeting is the most appropriate way to deal with this debate. 
Perhaps a two-votes-over-two-meetings-scheme is appropriate, perhaps not. 
When we have made other procedural changes, such as the "ticket 0" 
concept, I don't think that we used a two vote process.  I don't see this 
as substantially different.

The most important thing for us to do is not bicker over which rules were 
correct at various points in the past, but instead we should attempt to 
agree on rules that work for the Forum going forward.  That could be 
either interpretation of simple majority, or possibly some more 
complicated scheme (can we somehow shoehorn instant-runoff voting into the 
process? ;) ).


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