Interesting Twist in the openSUSE Board Elections

by Ostatic Staff - Jan. 18, 2011

After the controversy of the openSUSE artist and Board nominee being expelled from the project, packager Nelson Marques asked a series of probing questions to help determine for whom he might vote. The only trouble is he turned to the likes of Nietzsche, Stallman, and Gandhi for inspiration. Now that may not seem like a bad thing at first, but fellow lizards had a problem with it.

Marques said, "To me it is important the answer to this questions, as through such answer it will be possible for me to sharp my opinion about some of the people behind the applications." These questions are:

1. "Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." - F. Nietzsche Given the discussion regarding the recent action of the current board in expelling a member, could you please comment the quotation above having in mind that action (and your knowledge about the situation)?

2. "Resentment seems to have been given us by nature for a defense, and for a defense only! It is the safeguard of justice and the security of innocence." - Adam Smith Whats your interpretation of the quote from Adam Smith.

3. Do you consider yourself a 'forgiving' oriented person? Please justify. In case you have restrictions to 'forgiving' could please identify them? Elaborate please.

4. "In general, the Internet was not designed to accommodate deliberate failures to communicate." - Daniel J. Bernstein Could you please give us your interpretation of the previous quotation ?

5. "All governments should be pressured to correct their abuses of human rights." - Richard M. Stallman Should only 'governaments' be pressured to correct abuses on Human Rights? What's your stand regarding Human Rights? Should an organization like openSUSE subscribe the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights? Should be Board be also the safekeeper and Guardion of such? (consider that the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights also contemplates the right to 'defense').

7. "Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes." - Mahatma Gandhi Could you please comment the quotation above and relate it to your future position on the Board? Please elaborate.

6. If you take decisions on the Board on behalf of the community and the people that voted on you, do you believe that you should inform those people on controversial disputes about your standing? Where is the line between your own personal standing and the will of those who elected you?

Well, these questions didn't go over real well. Marques was a defender of Sirko Kemter and raised questions of fairness in the decision of the Board to terminate him. His choice of questions days later seemed to revolve around fairness, freedom, and rights. He received a few answers but none from other Board nominees.

Most answers expressed objection to the nature of the questions and motives behind them. One respondent called them "stranger than fiction." Another said it was "over the top" and one other called it a "passive-aggressive attack on the existing board."  He suggested Marques share what else he was going to do for openSUSE in his two year term other than trying to reinstate his friend.  Most just wanted to stick to things directly relevant to the job of serving on the Board much like the questions from Vincent Untz. 

He asked things like:

2) How much time per week can you secure (approximately) for the board?

4a) Have you experience with creating/dealing with a budget?
4b) Where will we find money for the Foundation?
4c) What should we use the money for?

7) Do you care more about Free Software or Open Source?

Needless to say, he got thoughful responses from each candidate. The candidates are Sankar P, a Novell employed programmer; Henne Vogelsang, Novell employed programmer; Chuck Payne, openSUSE Ambassador; Nelson Marques, contributor; Kostas Koudaras, openSUSE Ambassador; Peter Linnell, programmer and founder of Scribus; and Sebastian Kügler, KDE e.V. Board member and openSUSE enthusists. The election results for the two available seats should be announced on January 26, 2011.