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[rpd] The need to review the existing soft landing policy (was Re: Two more petitioners)

Sander Steffann sander at
Tue Dec 19 17:03:36 UTC 2017

Hi Alain,

> We have gone a long way with the discussions about the existing softlanding policy and the merits of the various proposals to amend it. The version of SL-BIS  which went to last call is a merger of two of them.

Yes, and despite that there doesn't seem to be consensus that it is better than the existing soft landing policy. In a consensus-based policy development process there is a built-in bias against change: change only happens when there is consensus on a policy proposal. If there is no such consensus then the default is to keep the existing policy.

There is nothing wrong with this. I have seen many proposals that at first seem to be a great idea, but later in the process problems are identified that cannot be solved. At that point the best thing to do is to withdraw the proposal.

I encountered something similar in my own region. We had a policy proposal to slow down our version of the soft landing proposal: I personally was very much in favour of this, but discussion on the mailing list showed that the opinions were strongly divided on this. In the end the authors together with the working group chairs decided to withdraw the proposal because finding consensus would very likely be impossible, and keeping the proposal going would most likely be a waste of everybody's time.

There is no shame in not finding consensus on a policy proposal. It just shows that the existing policy has more consensus (self-evident, because it did get through the PDP successfully) than the proposed changes. Sometimes it is very frustrating because we feel very strongly about a proposal, but in the end we have to respect what the community as a whole wants.


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