Policy Procedures

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The method of debating and passing formatting rules on gcd-policy be defined as follows:


All GCD members who are members of the gcd-policy list may vote on topics.

Voting for GCD rules is a privilege above and beyond the normal voting privileges granted as part of membership. GCD members who have had their mailing list privileges revoked (either in general or specifically for gcd-policy) may not vote.


Debate and Voting are managed by the Policy Coordinators. These three positions, which follow the guidelines laid out by the Board in the General Framework for Coordinators, must all be filled in order to allow for a two-out-of-three system of decisions.

In the event that only two Coordinators are present, both must agree on a given point to issue a ruling.

If only one position is filled, the Board will move with all due speed to appoint at least one additional coordinator. In the interim, the single coordinator will be able to seek consensus but will not be allowed to bring an item to a vote without first seeking consensus on voting.

As specified by the framework, when this motion calls for the Policy Coordinators to issue a decision, the agreement of two out of three Coordinators is required, unless otherwise specified.


Any GCD indexer, voting member or list member may ask for an item to be placed on the agenda by the Policy Coordinators.

The Policy Coordinators are responsible for deciding which agenda items are currently open for debate.

Open items must be resolved by consensus or a vote, as described in the following sections.

The Policy Coordinators are expected to prioritize the agenda and ensure the steady stream of topics for the list, as well as preventing low-priority items from starving.

Multiple agenda items may be open at once, although the Coordinators may also opt to consider complex or controversial questions one at a time.

Policy Coordinators may opt to combine or split agenda items to facilitate debate.

Aspects of an agenda item not resolved by the first vote related to that item should be re-added to the agenda as new, more specific items rather than just keeping the partially-resolved item open.


At the discretion of a policy coordinator, consensus on an agenda item may be sought.

After three days of discussion, a policy coordinator will announce that he is seeking consensus on an agenda item and will ask for dissenting voices. Hearing none after one week and one day, the item will be declared passed by consensus.

Any dissenting voice on any significant aspect of the item (significant is determined by the coordinators) that cannot be accommodated in such a way as to prevent previously agreeable persons from now objecting, will be declared to be at an impasse and discussion will then continue as per the rules on MOVING TO A VOTE.

Moving to a Vote

An item must be open on the agenda for at least three days before a vote can occur.

A vote may be called for by consensus, or invoked by the Policy Coordinators when three days have passed without forward motion in debate.

A lack of forward motion is indicated by no significant new positions or rationales being put forward, with the discussion dominated by restatements and agreements. The Policy Coordinators determine what is "significant".

If there is a desire for gcd-policy not to issue a decision on a given topic (for reasons other than that the Board has taken up the topic), a vote may be taken to dismiss the item from the agenda unresolved.


Pass/Fail or multiple choice ballots are allowed.

Pass/Fail and choices between two options are won by a simple majority.

Ranked Choice voting, with the winner calculated by the Shulze Method is used when choosing among more than two options.

If there is a disagreement on whether to use multiple Pass / Fail ballots rather than a single Ranked Choice ballot, the Policy Coordinators shall make the decision. In general, a prompt resolution is desired, so multiple ballots should only be used with a clear reason.

Exact ties are resolved by the Board, with the votes of any Board members who voted on the policy item carrying over unchanged. Therefore if a majority of Board members voted the same way on a pass/fail question in the policy election, the tie is broken instantly without further Board intervention.

No explicit abstention ballots are to be cast- to abstain, simply do not vote. Abstentions do not count towards the total for finding a majority.

A topic remains open for voting for one week and one day.

The minimum number of votes that must be cast in order to close the vote is the same as the current full membership of the Board (9 at the time of this writing).

If a quorum is not reached, the Policy Coordinators may opt to either call for a vote to dismiss the agenda item unresolved, or call for a re-vote after one week.


The Board retains the authority to overturn gcd-policy rulings, but must do so through a new motion and debate period.

A group of members equal to twice the size of the current Board may force a Board vote to uphold or strike down the gcd-policy decision. If struck down, the Board shall then consider motions to replace the ruling.


The Policy Coordinators shall determine when and under what circumstances a question can be re-added to the Agenda for a new vote. This shall be done on a case-by-case basis.

Prior Rules

Rules passed through the PROPOSAL system on gcd-policy before the decision to take the question of gcd-policy's authority and structure to the board are considered to have the same force as rules created under the new Board-authored system. However, the PROPOSAL system is now rendered obsolete and may no longer be used.