[Open Discussion] Meetings quorum

Hello community,

During the Community Council meetings we were trying to define what should be the meetings quorum.

We would like your input about this subject:

  • What is the current quorum for you board
  • What is your definition of a quorum
  • How do you think that we can improve this aspect

The main goal of this discussion is to hear your feedback, then document a clear information about boards quorums for future board members.

You can see the discussion here. From our findings, it appears the de facto standard is majority. There is most certainly disagreement in the larger world, though. Robert’s Rules of Order suggests “the largest number that can be depended on to attend any meeting,” which has some particular relevance.

We sometimes have boards of 7 people where only 3 are ever expected to show up, so the ultimate question is: what’s enough? It needs to be small enough that we can continue to get work done but large enough that a minority of people aren’t making the decisions.

The DMB has this documented here: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/DeveloperMembershipBoard/KnowledgeBase#Quorum

My understanding is that since we require a absolute majority to pass a motion, we can pass motions with >50% of members present if we are unanimously in favour. If we aren’t unanimously in favour, then we fall back to having to get enough +1 votes such that the absent members would not be able to swing the vote below a simple majority even if they were to all vote -1.

In other words, quorum doesn’t really exist as a formal concept for us. We simply need an absolute majority to pass a motion, and quorum is our informal way of describing what we need to achieve that in a single meeting with some members absent.

For the avoidance of doubt: by absolute majority I mean that the requirement is that >50% of all DMB members are in favour, whether present or not.

As an aside, we have agreed (by absolute majority) that some types of decision can be made by only one member agreeing, but that’s not really relevant to the quorum question here.

I agree with Robbie. This is how I understood it, and how it was implemented on the councils I have been a member of.

We at the LoCo council do not have an explicit rule about it but I think we have the same approach as the DMB as explained above. And I personally think that is perfectly fine and acceptable.

The undocumented convention within the Technical Board matches that of the DMB.

https://community.kde.org/Kubuntu/Policies#Kubuntu_Council says:

“Council meetings have a quorum with a simple majority of members (four) present.”

When we have a vote and there is not a quorum present, we take it to the mail list.