[Wikimedia-l] Voting system (was: Results of 2015 WMF Board elections)

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Voting system (was: Results of 2015 WMF Board elections)

Benjamin Lees
On Sun, Jun 7, 2015 at 3:31 PM, Milos Rancic <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On the other side, I would note
> that being a member of en.wp's ArbCom is highly stressful position and
> I don't think that there are many of long-term ArbCom members (in
> comparison to, let's say, WMF Board). I am sure that one of the most
> important reasons are negative votes, exactly. You can't do good job
> if you want to be reelected.

Newyorkbrad managed to serve for _eight years_, and most people seem
to think he did a good job.  It is true that most arbitrators don't
serve for very long,[0] but this is mainly because they either resign
or choose not to run again.  The standard reasons are "it's too
stressful" or "I'm too busy".
From what I remember, the usual panic around election time is that
there won't be enough candidates (of course, there always are).

There were elections for CheckUser and Oversight for a couple years,
but ArbCom went back to just appointing people after there was an
election in which only one person passed the vote threshold.  CU/OS is
more comparable to stewardship than to ArbCom, though.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Arbitration_Committee/History#Former_members

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Voting system (was: Results of 2015 WMF Board elections)

rupert THURNER-2
In reply to this post by Milos Rancic-2
On Jun 7, 2015 9:31 PM, "Milos Rancic" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> On Sun, Jun 7, 2015 at 9:02 PM, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > # We use S/N/O for many other kinds of votes, including FDC, steward,
> > Arbitration Committee, and featured content votes. I have not heard
> > disagreement with it until now, which suggests that generally there is
> > consensus for this system.
> > ...
> > # One of the best features of S/N/O is that it works to favor candidates
> > who have consensus for them, i.e. have both a good quantity of
supporters
> > and have few people who oppose their election. If someone has many
support

> > votes and many oppose votes, this suggests that the person is relatively
> > controversial, which probably makes them a less optimal choice for roles
> > like FDC, Steward, Arbitration Committee, and WMF Board roles.
>
> From my perspective, and I don't think it's unique, those elections
> are quite different:
>
> * FDC: Realistically, just people from chapters and thematic
> organizations are interested in this. And if I am a Board member of a
> chapter, my rational approach would be to approach other chapters and
> make a deal with them who should be elected. Basically, that
> population decides anyway. Besides the fact that a lot of us don't
> feel comfortable to make political decision for expert seats, while we
> don't have precise clue what we should require from the candidates.
> It's not the duty of *every* member of the community to be an expert
> in hiring grantmaking staff.
>
> * English Wikipedia ArbCom: At some point of time I was very active on
> en.wp, but I was never interested in en.wp governance (not even to
> become an admin). I think that the majority of non-native English
> speakers have such approach to en.wp. On the other side, I would note
> that being a member of en.wp's ArbCom is highly stressful position and
> I don't think that there are many of long-term ArbCom members (in
> comparison to, let's say, WMF Board). I am sure that one of the most
> important reasons are negative votes, exactly. You can't do good job
> if you want to be reelected.
>
> * Stewards are the third category and this system is actually perfect
> for their elections: both public and requiring 80% of support.
> Stewards are not going to reelections. Other stewards review their
> work, while openness of the group is guarantied by constant elections.
>
> * Negative votes tend to make the whole atmosphere much more tense,
> stressful for both the community and Board members. Besides the
> reasons I (and others) have given into the previous emails.
>

Just to put into perspective what risker said about neutral votes: it is
technical because one needs to click something. There is no way to remove a
radio button, and neutral was the default. I find therefore the naming
confusing or the user interface.

But for the results I am happy. I fully agree with others already noting
that controversial candidates are and imo should not be favoured. There
must be a reason Maria last time was elected and got an impressive number
of counter votes this time. It might be that denny really did awesome stuff
in the last years and one did not hear a lot from Maria the last years. For
phoebe it might have been a diversity vote, as there are already a lot of
persons from the US in the board.

Diversity can imo best reached when more candidates can be elected. I think
this would also work with experience in needed areas, not only continents,
language groups or gender.

If we have quotas or whatever to get diversity we approach a FIFA system.
Which would maybe work if we have organisations and elections for the
diverse groups.

Rupert.
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