I have heard they are being strong-armed by Canonical. Canonical makes donations to Debian, that puts Canonical in a position to influence Debian.
Everybody knows that Gnome3 and Systemd suck. But the leading Linux distros are forcing that unwanted crap on users in a very Microsoft sort of way.
I am not that surprised by Red Hat, or Canonical, but I am disappointed in Debian.
I had wondered this too. I felt that the rapid adoption of systemd was very un-Debianlike. Not only because I would have never expected Debian to accept systemd based on technical merits, but also the incredible speed at which it happened. We all know how lonnnng it takes for Debian to even make decisions about changing things in the stable branch. Hell, there's a series of long-running jokes about it. But for the Debian team to just suddenly jump up and say "Yep, we're going with SystemD. End of discussion." seemed incredibly fishy to me.
Getting bullied by Canonical makes loads of sense, but I don't like it one bit.