How to non-dictatorially generate a FAQ

Rob Lanphier robla at
Sun Feb 23 01:24:56 PST 1997

On Sat, 22 Feb 1997 Saari at wrote:
> There are 3 topics here:
> 1) The "secretarial role" - a person to gather, organize and post versions of
> FAQ.
> 2) The question of content - who and how is decided what goes into the FAQ.
> 3) How we vote, e.g. to "approve" a given version of FAQ.

> 3) "We can vote when we need to."  This is the interesting meta-issue.  Rob
> says we can "vote" to approve or disapprove somebody's first draft of a FAQ,
> but there is still a completely-open issue of what constitutes a "passing
> score".  Suppose a vote is called which gets 6 "Support", 3 "Oppose", 2
> "Decline" and 3 "No response".   So, did it pass?  WHO KNOWS?

If that's what is keeping you from writing a FAQ, then fine.  I'll set the
ground rules now.

1)  Anyone may propose a FAQ, which constitutes posting the proposed FAQ
to the list with a "CFV: Frequently Asked Questions List" in the subject
line.  "CFV" meaning "Call for Votes".  From that point, there will be a
period of 7 days in which the voting will occur.

2)  Votes are collected by the person proposing the FAQ.  Voters should
vote by sending their vote directly to the person proposing the FAQ, and
optionally sending their vote to the EM list for verification purposes.
Only those on the EM list at the time at which the voting period ends may
vote on the FAQ.

3)  At the end of the 7 days, the FAQ proposer posts the name and email
address of all voting members, and the votes that the cast, in the form

   Adam Boone (ab at
   Hillary Issacs (hi at
   Oscar Peters (qr at

4) If the YES votes exceed the NO votes by a 2:1 margin, and the number of
YES votes is 4 or greater, then the FAQ becomes officially blessed as the
FAQ for the EM group.

5)  Vote fraud is punishable by termination from this list and possible
nullification of the voting results (at my discretion).  I will verify
that the represented voters are members of the list upon request.

Does that do it?

> 1) I will happily collect and collate group input for a FAQ.


> 2) I prefer the content to be generated by a group process.  If Rob prefers
> otherwise, I'll autocratically come up with a very simple starting sample and
> then ask for a vote.  Either way, we need to confront #3 soon.

Please do.  I think the fact that you are willing to do #1 and your
attitude that it should be a group consensus makes you a great candidate
for the job.  Just use common sense, make reasonable proposals with rough
consensus, and you'll be surprised by how many people abide by the
"autocratic" decisions you make. 

Rob Lanphier
robla at

More information about the Election-Methods mailing list