[plt-scheme] [Scheme Steering Committee announcements] Scheme Language Steering Committee election: comment period is open

From: Mitchell Wand (wand at ccs.neu.edu)
Date: Fri Oct 24 11:28:21 EDT 2008

                     Steering Committee Replacement


The current Scheme Language Steering Committee was appointed in
January, 2004.  We have seen the Scheme Standardization process, as
envisioned in the charter from November, 2003, through to the ratification
of the R6RS in 2007.

We believe that the R6RS is not the end of the Scheme language
standardization process, and that the Scheme language must continue to

However, it was never our intention to be "Scheme Czars for Life."  It is
time to turn the process over to other hands, so that the Scheme
language will remain alive and healthy for years to come.

It is therefore the intention of the Steering Committee to hold an
election to replace its members.

The Scheme Standardization Charter says, "The Steering Committee
itself shall establish procedures for replacing its members."  This
document describes how the Steering Committee proposes to hold an
election to replace itself.

A copy of this announcement may be found at
http://www.r6rs.org/steering-committee/announcement-long.txt .

Comment Period

There will be a comment period of four weeks, during which anyone may
make comments or suggestions on the voting procedure described herein.
Comments should be sent to the r6rs-discuss at r6rs.org mailing list.


General Parameters

This -will- be a secret ballot.

In order to make it more difficult for any particular faction to gain
control of all three seats, we will be using a form of single transferable
vote proportional representation.  Each voter will rank the candidates, and
an algorithm will compute a three-member committee that tries to fairly
represent the electorate.

Note that we will -not- be using the S-expression-based voting system we
used for the ratification vote.  That system proved to be more trouble --
and less fun -- than the Steering Committee had hoped.

Voter Registration

Anybody who has a stake in the Scheme standards process -- except the
members of the Steering Committee -- may participate in the vote.

Everyone who registered for the ratification vote is automatically
registered for this vote.  We will re-verify all the email addresses on
this list.  Any voters whose addresses have changed should contact
voter-registration at r6rs.org to request a change-of-address.

People who did not register for the ratification vote may register to vote
for the new Steering Committee by suppling a "Statement of Interest"
declaring what their stake is in the Scheme standardization process.  Each
voter's statement must be original, must be at least 75 words long, and
must actually address the question of what the voter's interest is in the
process.  At the end of the registration period (but before any voting),
the list of enrolled voters will be published along with their statements
of interest.

Here are the voter instructions for the registration process:

  Download the registration form from [URL to be supplied].  The
  registration form asks for the following information:

   1.  Email Address

   2.  Full Name

   3.  Geographic Location (country, region, city, etc.)

   4.  Affiliation (optional)

   5.  Public Email Address (optional)

   6.  Web Page URL (optional)

   7.  Statement of Interest

  The email address supplied in item 1 will be used for all future
  correspondence with you, but will not be published.  The rest of the
  form will be made public.  Items 2 through 6 are for identification
  purposes only.  (The email address in item 5 is optional as spammers
  will inevitably collect any address supplied here.)

  The completed form should be mailed to "voter-registration at r6rs.org".
  We will perform a standard address confirmation on the email address you
  supply in item 1.  (i.e., we will use it to mail you something that you
  have to mail back in order to prove that the person at that address
  really wants to vote on the future of Scheme.)

  Your Statement of Interest must be original, it must be at least 75
  words long, and it must actually address the question of what your
  interest is in the Scheme standardization process.  Be aware that we
  will read your statement, and if we think you have seriously missed the
  mark, we will ask you to submit another one.  It is not our intent to
  run an essay competition here, we are just looking for evidence that
  you're taking this seriously.

Voter Registration Closes

The registration period will end at least four weeks after it starts.

When the registration period ends, the complete list of enrolled voters
will be published on www.r6rs.org.  This voter roll will include all of the
registration forms.  This publication will be advertised to the public.
Voters should check that their own information appears on the voter roll as
they expected.  Any irregularities (missing entries, fraudulent entries,
duplicate or plagiarized statements, etc.) should be brought to the
attention of the Steering Committee, who will take appropriate action.


The nomination period will start and end at the same times as the
registration period.

Anybody can nominate anybody.  Nominators do not have to be registered
voters.  Nominees do not have to be registered voters.  People can nominate

Nominations should be sent to sc-nomination at r6rs.org.  Nominations must at
least include an email address for the nominee.

Nominees will be offered a chance to decline their nomination.  If
they accept their nomination, they will be asked for additional
identifying information, similar to that used for registration, to
appear on the candidate list.  Candidates will also be asked to supply
a statement of no more than 250 words about why they should be elected
to the Steering Committee.

When the nomination period ends, the complete list of candidates
will be published on www.r6rs.org.

Candidates may also post whatever messages they wish to
comp.lang.scheme, the r6rs-discuss mailing list, or whatever other
forums they feel appropriate, and voters should feel free to discuss
the candidates and their positions on these fora.

The Vote

The voting period will begin one week after the registration and nomination
periods end.

Here are the voter instructions for the vote:

  Download the ballot from [URL to be supplied].  The ballot asks for
  the following information:

   1.  Email Address

   2.  An ordered list of one or more of the candidates.

  The email address supplied in item 1 should match the address you
  supplied in item 1 on your registration form.

  Your completed ballot should be mailed to "new-sc-vote at r6rs.org".
  We will mail you an acknowledgment when we have received your vote.

The poll will be open for two weeks.

Note that although we will not make your vote public, your vote *may*
be visible to the person or persons who open the voting email.  (We
*may* create a bot to do this, but this may or may not happen and it may
or may not work well enough to trust without manual confirmation.)

The Result

The ballots will be counted using a form of single transferable vote
proportional representation.  The basics of this system are reasonably well
described (at the time this was written) at
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_transferable_vote>.  The actual code
that will be used to perform this process can be found at
<http://www.r6rs.org/steering-committee/pr.scm>.  This code is written in
basic Scheme, and extensively commented -- any questions you may have about
the precise details of the procedure can best be answered by reading the

Should a tie-breaker be necessary, the random selection will be performed
by using some physical source of randomness (coins, dice, etc.).  This
event will take place at a pre-announced time and location, and witnesses
will be welcome to observe.

In order to allow for a tie-breaker or any irregularities to be dealt with,
the official result will not be officially announced until two weeks after
the poll closes.

Exceptional Cases

The Steering Committee may remove anyone from the list of enrolled voters,
remove anyone from the list of candidates, reject any vote, or otherwise
make exceptions to the process described herein, if they believe an attempt
has been made to cheat, or if some other unexpected circumstance has
arisen.  The Steering Committee will not take such actions capriciously,
and they will endeavor to be as fair as possible.

Sample Schedule

 0.  Comment period starts on 18 October 1008.

 1.  Voter registration and nominations start: 12:00 GMT on 15 November

 2.  Voter registration and nominations end: 12:00 GMT on 13 December 2008.

 3.  Voting starts: 12:00 GMT on 19 December 2008.

 4.  Voting ends: 12:00 GMT on 3 January 2009.

 5.  Official results announced: 17 January 2009.
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