[Mpi-forum] Voting results

Bronis R. de Supinski bronis at llnl.gov
Wed May 30 16:10:06 CDT 2012


Hmm. Quite the controversy. However, the rules as enforced
in Japan are consistent with my understanding of what they
have always been. More importantly, they are consistent
with the wording in the bylaws. Here is what Jeff quoted:

     a simple majority is defined as a simple majority
     of those present and eligible to vote.

Those who abstained were present and eligible to vote.
They did not vote yes. The effect is that they voted
"no" by this definition. If they did not want their
vote effectively to be "no" then they should have left
the room. I recall several instances in which someone
was out of the room (perhaps even momentarily for a bio
break) and Jeff recorded their vote as "not present".
See the definition above -- they then do not count as
present so they do not figure into the required "yes" count.

As I stated, my understanding of the rules is consistent
with the interpretation used in Japan. I would object to
any other interpretation since the by-laws are actually
clear on this point. I agree that the by-laws should be
clear in general; while I think they are clear, I would
not object to a clarifying statement being added to the
effect that "abstentions are effectively negative votes."
I think we have many other issues that should be made
concrete in the by-laws and this is the least important.
What is required to pass a first reading is probably the
most obvious issue.


On Wed, 30 May 2012, Fab Tillier wrote:

> Jeff Squyres wrote on Wed, 30 May 2012 at 12:12:26
>> On May 30, 2012, at 2:57 PM, Jeff Hammond wrote:
>>>> The fact that some votes were still recorded as 'abstain' is an indication
>>>> that this bylaw change was half baked.
>>> Especially when the meeting is attended by so few people due to the
>>> location.  It seems like a weasel tactic to pick a remote location to
>>> change the by-laws with a single vote.
>> To be clear, the process document states:
>>     For the purposes of voting, a simple majority is defined as a simple
>>     majority of those present and eligible to vote.
>> In the context of the document, the phrase "simple majority" is used to
>> describe what is needed for ballots to pass; this sentence is attempting to
>> define that phrase.  So even though the above sentence looks like a circular
>> definition, I think it's really an open-ended definition (e.g., a google search
>> for "simple majority definition" turns up both definitions).
>> I was not there and don't know *exactly* what happened, so I'll refrain from
>> commenting further.
> If the bylaws are vague, we should clarify them.  We should not however reinterpret them at each meeting, and should all agree on a proper interpretation and stick to it, such that ambiguity is removed going forward.  Allowing our bylaws to be vague enough to afford a re-interpretation at each meeting does nobody any good.
> -Fab
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