Talk:Wikimedia Foundation elections/Board elections/2013

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
For discussion of the overall 2013 election (Board + FDC), see Talk:Wikimedia Foundation elections 2013

Question on voting system[edit]

Can we please use for this year a simple "support/oppose/neutral" system? There has been concerns regarding the voting system in the last rounds. I'd preferr an easier system. Best regards. -- MarcoAurelio (talk) 16:46, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for starting this discussion, MarcoAurelio. I myself have expressed concerns about the unnecessary complexity of the Schulze method, and lean toward a support/oppose/neutral system (as is standard throughout the overwhelming majority of our projects) myself. There is one question in my mind. What about if an insufficient number of candidates achieve greater than 50% support? Should we still take the top 3 in support level for the Board of Trustees positions? Risker (talk) 02:43, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
You raise a valid point. In that case I would choose none. These are community-elected trustees. If they do not achieve the "trust" of the community I don't think they should be appointed. New elections should follow. That'd be a pain but at least it'd be fair. Thanks. -- MarcoAurelio (talk) 13:27, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
Indeed an interesting point, so you'd suggest to run a new election if only two candidates for example get elected, to elect a third candidate? Just to throw some ideas out to be discussed: would it be immediately after the election, or towards the end of the year? As an alternative suggestion, although I know it wouldn't have full support, what about appointment of the third candidate?
One of the ways to mitigate this would of course be to advertise the elections as much as possible and encourage good potential candidates to stand for election. Nothing's booked in yet on the CentralNotice/Calendar for the summer, and I'm not sure how much banner fatigue actually affects users, but it could be something to consider when setting the dates to ensure the banners are the only banners running during the call for candidates? Thehelpfulone 14:46, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
You could run a limited election for the unfilled place/s say 3 months later. This could be restricted to those candidates from the last election who still wished to run, or opened to new candidates. Of course neither guarantees an over 50% vote for anyone, though if the rules said that if a 2nd round was inconclusive, then an appointment would be made, that ought to help, as I doubt many want that. Johnbod (talk) 15:23, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
If there's a RON option, either explicitly or implicitly, then you can't restrict any 2nd round election to those from the last election whom the voters has already rejected. Otherwise, it kind of defeats the whole point of running the new election. KTC (talk) 23:49, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

Can sockfarms vote too ? Is it a secret ballot where two or three like-minded people decide the outcome, or is it a public vote ? Penyulap (talk) 11:45, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

Hello. The way the vote has been conducted in the past years has been via SecurePoll which is a secret ballot. The vote results are later checked by an Election Commitee who officially tally and publish the results aftewards. Best regards. -- MarcoAurelio (talk) 12:53, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
Also to note, in the past an anonymous dump of the votes has been published to let people check the results, together with some statistics, but this didn't happen last time (for unknown reasons). --Nemo 22:38, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

Going back to the voting method discussion for this year, do the ElecCom foresee problems on implementing a traditional support/oppose/neutral system? That voting method is already avalaible for SecurePoll and it's easy to understand for everybody. Best regards. -- MarcoAurelio (talk) 15:18, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

There is no technical barrier; the code for this system has been written for a long time, and has been tested on multiple occasions. At this point, I think I can safely say that the Election Committee is very seriously considering the pros and cons of switching to the S/O/N voting system as an alternative to the Schulze method. Risker (talk) 05:52, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

I really like the system of preferential voting. I even considered it for POTY R2 where users could have used drag'n drop the images like here or there if I would have had enough time to implement it and to pull-in translation. This is something on my roadmap for POTY 2013. -- Rillke (talk) 14:19, 29 April 2013 (UTC)

  • So is there a decision on this yet? Johnbod (talk) 16:06, 19 May 2013 (UTC)
    • Yes. The voting method will be Support/Neutral/Oppose. For Board of Trustees candidates: only those who receive greater than 10% support from all voters will be considered for successful candidacy. FDC and FDC ombud candidates must receive a minimum of 30 support votes. See here. Risker (talk) 17:38, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

Must be proportional this time[edit]

It really should use the proportional variant, see Talk:Board_elections/2011/Committee/en#Winner take all vs. proportional voting by Markus Schulze in person. This is a small change from an organisational point of view, but would give much broader trust to the process. --Nemo 22:47, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

In what way do you feel there has been a lack of "trust" in previous outcomes? This is a pretty serious allegation to make, particularly as the Schulze example you link to gave the same result. Risker (talk) 23:26, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
Risker, please refrain from trolling, it does really not suit the role you have here: I've not made any allegation, nor said what you stated. I said much broader trust, broader: I believe we can always improve, can't we? --Nemo 08:35, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
You have not explained in what way proportional voting would increase trust, which isn't something that is particularly intuitive. Explain how the proportionality would work, and contrast with a straight support/oppose/no-vote option, as well as the current Schulze system if you could. Risker (talk) 21:47, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
Nemo .... I don't understand what's wrong with you today. This is completely out of line and some of your other comments have been as well. There is absolutely nothing in Riskers comments that are in ANY way trolling and accusing her of such (and calling her a troll in the edit summary) is an ad hominem attack that has no place on meta or any Wikimedia project. While I'm not an enormous fan of proportional voting it certainly has its positives and is something that should be discussed but this attitude only steers people away from actually paying attention to the legitimate parts of your argument. Jamesofur (talk) 07:19, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
Putting words in my mouth is definitely trolling, I stand my point: I only wanted to leave a link to a technical observation and received severe accusations in return. I'm still outraged that Risker attacks people on this talk in that way: I don't mind for myself, but it's our duty to keep Meta a comfortable space for discussion also for less thick-skinned users who could not bear such misrepresentations of their words and escalation of tones as Risker's. I've also not called anyone a troll.
Risker, I have no interest in repeating Markus Schulze's words: he has been clear enough and I'm not an expert, unlike him. I can copy it here if you prefer:

The Schulze method is a very defensible voting method to use when electing one person, but it's too bad that a winner-take-all is used to elect three seats. Although unlikely, it means that 49% of voters might strongly disagree with the views of the winners. Many NGO's use voting methods where about a third voters could have the power to elect one of three seats.

Please also remember that this is not an assignment but a discussion; it's quite clear in my first comment how this proposal does (not) relate to the above. --Nemo 22:36, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
I suspect more and more people are recognizing that Markus Schulze may have a conflict of interest in promoting his own voting methods. He's also being imprecise in his language in that it was not a winner-take-all election; if it was, there would be only one winner. Nemo bis, you talked about "broader trust to the process"; whether or not you intended it, your phrasing implied that there was a lack of broad trust in the prior results. Whatever else I've heard about the last several elections, I've not heard anything about genuine lack of trust in the results, and thus I felt (and still feel) that you were making a serious criticism of past elections by giving an example that did not bear out the concerns you were hinting at. So, who (or what) is the troll you were referring to in your edit summary? What do you think the appropriate response would have been to your initial point? In what way do you think having to write entirely new code from scratch, and then test it and verify it, would be a "small change from an organisational point of view"? I'm not being sarcastic or sharp here; if there is a very good reason to completely redevelop the voting methodology, I am interested to know what it is. For example, how would one make a one-person/one-vote election proportional? Risker (talk) 23:34, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
Nemo bis, I'm really concerned that perhaps what you're attempting to say is getting lost in the way it's being said. For instance, when you say "I'm still outraged that Risker attacks people on this talk in that way: I don't mind for myself, but it's our duty to keep Meta a comfortable space for discussion also for less thick-skinned users who could not bear such misrepresentations of their words and escalation of tones as Risker's", I have to confess that I read your initial comment, and hers, and found yours to be the aggressive and hostile tone - particularly with the edit summary "troll". So that we can truly get past how it was said and get to what was said, can you clarify what the edit summary meant? I think that a plain text reading of Risker's comment doesn't bear out a personal attack, and - the way I read it - your phrasing was the one that appeared to attack other users, and I really hate for that to be the case. It would help if you would clarify the intent of that edit summary, I think. Philippe (WMF) (talk) 00:35, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
Agree :-/ I've read the other comments from Risker on here too and can't find... any of them that were harsh or trollish ... your accusations have so far been far more severe then hers and yet you claim to be doing it in the name of defending 'the other people'. I'm sorry, but I'm incredibly confused about how that would be so. I'm also confused about how 'Must be proportional this time ' is a technical observation, it's a perfectly acceptable discussion point but it's a discussion point (worded as a requirement to gain more trust). Jamesofur (talk) 00:45, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
Fantastic, now Risker is claiming that we shouldn't trust Schulze's conclusions on the mathematical implications of his own methods because he has some obscure interest in favouring his methods (and the proportional variant over the other, I guess). I refuse to reply to posts with such pseudo-libellous red herrings as premises.
As for the rest, you all seem rather confused: «In email discussion lists, online forums, and Usenet newsgroups, a troll is not a grumpy monster that lives beneath a bridge accosting passers-by, but rather a provocative posting intended to produce a large volume of frivolous responses».[1] Of course I'm sorry for being the source of such confusion, but given the amount of OTs in this section, which was merely meant to refer to a technical mathematical consideration, I think my definition of the first response can be capped by a QED. This talk page has proved completely useless so I'm going to unwatch it and ignore the rest of the organisational process, I hope there are people who care enough about the WMF board elections to undergo such a massive waste of time for any minimal suggestion or comment but I feel too old for such things. --Nemo 19:56, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
I would like to confirm that changing the voting system to something that is not already supported is anything but "small change from an organisational point of view". The last time we change the voting system was in 2008, when we selected Schulze method for the election which was electing one seat. I personally, as a volunteer on the election committee, spent days researching and understanding the technical details of the method and software extension in use at the time and making the code changes. While someone more familiar with MediaWiki codebase may well takes less time, it'll still take a reasonable amount of time to make sure any changes works as intended. So unless someone volunteer to code changes to SecurePoll (including the testing required), it is unlikely for the committee to adopt a method that's not already supported. This does not mean we are not taking into account feedbacks from previous years. We are, just be aware that our option on this is realistically limited. -- KTC (talk) 08:36, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
Why does the proportional variant require SecurePoll changes? I thought it was just a different way to tally the same data, and as far as I know calculating results is something anyone can do (like some people did with the data dumps in the past). --Nemo 19:56, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

Grammar Error[edit]

It appears there is a small error on the page. "Current Wikimedia Foundation staff and contractors is qualify to vote if they have been employed by the Foundation as of April 30th 2013." Mike VTalk 08:43, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Fixed, thanks. Thehelpfulone 13:20, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

Translation[edit]

There is nothing mentioned on the page itself, but I think we need to make the election and nomination as accessible as possible. Is it planned to provide translations of this page before the submission phase starts? Alice Wiegand (talk) 08:11, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

Yes, we need to get this page and all the daughter pages marked up for translation. I shall remind my colleagues; I've not done translation markup before, so will have to ask for some help here. Risker (talk) 11:36, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, Risker! I think someone said that the members of the translation subcommittee can mark pages for translation and initialize the translation process, but I'm not sure. Alice Wiegand (talk) 11:42, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
All members of the election committee is (temporary) administrator and hence can grant themselves translation administrator rights to mark page for translation. I'm working on it. :) KTC (talk) 11:58, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
I recommend reading mw:Help:Extension:Translate/Page translation example and mw:Help:Extension:Translate/Page translation administration for some useful information about the translate extension. :-) Thehelpfulone 19:12, 7 April 2013 (UTC)

Some comments[edit]

For the text: "The eligibility requirements for candidates are the same as for voters (see voter requirements), with the following additional requirements"

The voters and voter requirements links are broken or go to the wrong place. Wikimedia Foundation elections 2013 is also missing the {{board elections 2013}} template. Wikimedia Foundation elections/Board elections/2013/Results also needs updating with the dates. Thehelpfulone 14:46, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

Translation portions too large[edit]

Please consider using either easier English or splitting the translation of sophisticated texts up into more parts. Concerning Candidates who fail to comply with the above requirements and deadlines will be disqualified. -- this should be known. Do you have to really write this down? You don't need the rules here, if they weren't enforced. -- Rillke (talk) 10:24, 29 April 2013 (UTC)

Why are current members exempt from the requirements?[edit]

> Exception: current Board of Trustees members may be candidates regardless of the above prerequisites.

I don't understand why this is the case. Can someone explain? Which prerequisites are not met by the current members? --Romanski (talk) 09:53, 2 May 2013 (UTC)

Occasionally trustees don't meet the editing requirements that are required for voters (remember, all candidates must also meet the editing standard required for voters as well). This is often true for appointed trustees but also sometimes for community trustees -- I didn't make very many edits when I was on the board because I found myself occupied with other things. All of the other requirements, though (about being of legal age and not being convicted of a crime, etc.) should be true for both current and prospective trustees. I guess we should clarify. -- phoebe | talk 15:31, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
Or if they get blocked by some rogue admin who wants to make a point :) Deryck C. 15:50, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
I'm pondering why a voter can be blocked from one of the 900 WMF sites, but not two. Tony (talk) 03:58, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
No response. At the very least, it opens the possibility of strategic blocking to prevent voting. If an intending voter is blocked from the Tajikistan WP to constitute a second block, it will appear akin to the actions of Republicans in Florida before the 2000 US presidential election in ruling that people who had ever served time in jail were banned from voting. Very American: false puritanism, while Wall St crims get away with stealing billions and remain untouched.

And while a two-blocked community member can't even vote, an existing trustee may nominate for another term no matter how many sites they're blocked from. The irony is that they wouldn't be able to vote. An existing trustee may stand again even if they've been convicted of a serious crime or any crime involving dishonesty or deception; of removed from a position at a non-profit organization or other company because of mismanagement or misconduct. Really? Tony (talk) 02:49, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

Nomination[edit]

How do I nominate myself for any of the three categories if I cannot find a way to submit my summary? --Fandelasketchup (talk) 12:15, 5 May 2013 (UTC)

See:
-- MarcoAurelio (talk) 13:39, 5 May 2013 (UTC)

No example might be preferable[edit]

I notice that there's an example question to FDC candidates: "Why do you want to be on the FDC?". Could I suggest that we just leave it up to voters to start the ball rolling rather than explicitly suggesting a very vague question? Presumably, candidates have said why they want to be on the FDC in their candidate statements. Tony (talk) 03:56, 15 May 2013 (UTC)

Hi Tony, just to clarify for other readers, this is not one of the standard questions built into the self-nomination format. I believe that is a question that was posed by a member of the community. While I agree that this should normally be covered in candidate statements, I'm hard-pressed to remove a (reasonable) question posed by someone outside the Election Committee, particularly as I believe it was posed to the candidates who put themselves forward during the first appointment phase. Risker (talk) 04:08, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, it's a real question; it's from me. I asked it because it isn't explicitly covered by the mandatory questions in the self-nom template, and I thought the candidates might like the opportunity to expand on why they want to run for this new position (beyond the short statements that also have to cover their bios, positions, etc.). What draws the candidates to this committee? It's an open-ended question, but a legitimate one, I think. -- phoebe | talk 06:21, 15 May 2013 (UTC)

Identification[edit]

I've previously identified to the Foundation (sorry, too sleepy to find the relevant link, but I am listed on the right page somewhere) - do I need to do it again? This is unclear :) --ErrantX (talk) 23:31, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

Nope, you're listed on the Identification noticeboard and this is the diff proving your identification. Thehelpfulone 23:38, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
Cheers! I figured as much but it's always good to check ;) --ErrantX (talk) 23:43, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
No problem, (speaking without any official hats on) you are going to need to shorten your candidate statement though, per the rules it can't be more than 1200 characters, including spaces I believe. Thehelpfulone 23:47, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
Actually I'm not too sure whether spaces are included or not, perhaps one of the Election Committee can clarify when they see this message. Thehelpfulone 23:50, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
Yeh, I totally didn't get it by eye ;P working on that now. Although... I assumed it was 1200 excluding spaces, it was last time (and I distinctly remember asking this same question!!) and a couple of other statements are over 1200 characters with spaces :) --ErrantX (talk) 23:52, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

character limits & spaces[edit]

The election committee has gone through and trimmed all the candidate statements to match a 1200 character limit; however, the election rules do not specify whether the statement character count includes spaces or not. I assumed that it did not, as I believe that's the way we've done it in the past, and my statement was just under 1200... plus spaces. I'd appreciate clarification on this point from the committee, and no doubt the other candidates would as well. I'd also appreciate not having my statement randomly trimmed without a warning or message ahead of time. Thanks, -- phoebe | talk 03:07, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

Yes, we had this same issue last time... *sigh*. Slightly disappointing to see it again :) --ErrantX (talk) 06:08, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
(relatedly: does this limit include wikicode as well?? Or just rendered whistespace?) --ErrantX (talk) 06:13, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
Including spaces is just about universally understood, but should have been specified to avoid confusion by those who don't know. Tony (talk) 08:15, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
ErrantX, in my view, and logically, it relates to display mode (since that is what voters will read), not edit mode. For en.WP ArbCom candidate statements in 2010 and 2011, when I was election coordinator, I pasted displayed text into word to do the count. Tony (talk) 15:23, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
In fact it is not universally understood at all. All four of the candidates that have participated before in this process -- myself, sj, ErrantX, and Milos -- appear to have understood that spaces are *excluded*. We all followed the rules as we understood them and as they've been interpreted in the past, and got no correction on this point til now. -- phoebe | talk 16:15, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Election Committee response: Several of us have reviewed the comments and concerns expressed here, and note the disparity in how similar situations have been handled in the past. As such, the Committee has decided not to include spaces in the character counts for statements. This does not negate the fact that at least some statements were well over the 1200 character limit even when spaces were excluded, and that all statements were measured using the same metric when initially reviewed. This step had to be taken before the candidacies close at 23:59 UTC today, so that candidates could make any necessary changes. A final check will be carried out in a few hours. Risker (talk) 17:16, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Thank you for the clarification Risker, I have boldly updated the three election pages to make it clear that spaces are excluded as part of the character limit. Thehelpfulone 17:22, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
Thanks Risker. Soo.... is it ok to go ahead and de-trim our statements? Thanks, -- phoebe | talk 17:24, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
Thanks Risker :D fingers crossed this is the last time this issue crops up :D --ErrantX (talk) 17:43, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
That's counting displayed text, not wikitext, right? PiRSquared17 (talk) 17:45, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
Per this I went ahead and de-trimmed my statement and sj's, both of which are just under 1200 with no spaces. Drmies had already de-trimmed his and it looks like ErrantX edited his statement? I left Leigh & Francis's statements trimmed as unfortunately these are both over the limit. Hopefully this is ok. -- phoebe | talk 19:54, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for checking, Risker. SJ talk  23:59, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

Why is there a character count limit? --MZMcBride (talk) 02:40, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

Because, absent a length limit, the cumulative length of all the statements could easily overwhelm voters, especially if they also read responses to questions. There are 22 candidates as I write this; that's a lot of reading for voters to do, even with short statements. It is also, to some extent, a demonstration of the candidate's ability to distill complex ideas into a concise statement, although that is more a secondary consideration. Risker (talk) 03:46, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
After I asked this question, I realized I'd never really read the Board election rules. There are quite a few of them! Thanks for the answer re: character count. That's good to know. --MZMcBride (talk) 04:01, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
IMO, a character count is the way to go—not a word count. Is there a list of glitches/omissions in instructions for the benefit of the process next time? Could I suggest that specifying 1200 characters including spaces, from display mode, not edit mode, next time? And could I also suggest that a note about the utter strictness to the minute of the deadlines—for nominating and for voting—be added with italics or bold highlighting next time. Call me old-fashioned, but a deadline's a deadline, to me. Then there's no wriggle room. Wriggle room is bad for the appearance of fairness, and should be minimised where possible. I accept that it might be required this time, <sigh>, without the emphasis in the instructions, and given the disadvantage in many parts of the world of slow connections. <grump grump> Tony (talk) 04:07, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
I'm hoping that folks will add some of these suggestions to thepost mortem for the election, and I don't see any reason why they can't be added now. As to the point about deadlines, I have corresonded with the committee as a whole before I remove candidates for that reason, although anyone who posted their candidacy after 23:59 UTC on 17 May ought to be aware that their candidacy will be under review. Risker (talk) 04:33, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
With regards to the right-on-the-deadline nomination, I apologise for making it confusing. For what it's worth, the substantive edit with my nomination was timestamped at 23:54 (diff) with two minor edits in the subsequent minutes to fix grammar (which is allowed even after the deadline according to the rules). So, I do believe that I am within the rules even if I was cutting it fine :-) I can't speak for John (the other last-minute-candidate) but I understand that my edit caused him to have an edit-conflict which delayed him a little bit. In any case - thanks for your understanding! Wittylama (talk) 11:13, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

Date format[edit]

Hi. Please pick a date format (4 June or June 4) and then be consistent about it. --MZMcBride (talk) 03:02, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

P.S. And ordinal suffixes on dates really hurt me. Please avoid them. They're evil.

I second that. And US format requires a comma, or readers will look strangely at it ... June 15 2013 is too much like a telephone number. Tony (talk) 04:01, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
The comma issue should already be fixed. ;-) --MZMcBride (talk) 04:03, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

Help w/ Board questions[edit]

I created a second page for board candidate questions at Wikimedia Foundation elections/Board elections/2013/Questions/2 and copied over the overflowing questions from Questions/1. The Special:abusefilter won't let me remove the original questions from Questions/1 because it thinks I'm a spambot and blanking paragraphs (see my abuse log). Can somebody help and remove the overflowing questions from Wikimedia Foundation elections/Board elections/2013/Questions/1 that I have already copied over? Thanks. 64.40.54.250 01:12, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done, tell me if I messed it up. Strange abusefilter. PiRSquared17 (talk) 01:18, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
Thank you very much!Thank you very much! It looks perfect. I appreciate the quick response. 64.40.54.250 01:30, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

Election delayed[edit]

Please note: The election has been delayed by one week per the Election Committee. Voting has been rescheduled to run from June 8 through June 22, 2013. 64.40.54.63 00:48, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

Criticism published on Wikipediocracy by Tom Morton (ErrantX) about the Wikimedia Foundation, projects and affiliated organizations[edit]

As a follow-up to Tom Morton's invitation to raise specific questions about his use of Wikipediocracy as a forum to complain about Wikimedia (link), I have the following posts of concern, redacting requoted text from others at the start of each. Tom's posts state that:

  1. Wikivoyage (and Wikitravel) is spam filled junk
  2. that the WMF Legal Department make ridiculous demands
  3. that the FDC were created because the WMF does not like how rich the chapters have become
  4. that the FDC were starting with the wrong aim
  5. that Wikimedia UK (Tom's employer) gives responsibility for planning to people with no experience of the things involved
  6. that the FDC is "a magnet for corruption"

It would probably be a good thing for the election process if Tom were to explain how he intends to follow through on his public criticisms should he be successful in his bid to join the Board of Trustees of the Foundation.

My survey of Tom's posts about Wikimedia projects and organizations on Wikipediocracy is not exhaustive. Thanks -- (talk) 09:58, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

Most of those comments are innocuous :) But for the record; when I made the latter comment r.e. WMUK my "role" was entirely as a volunteer, and I was not taken on as a contractor till several months later. At the time I was intensely frustrated with some situations (including the developer position) which I'd openly criticised on the WMUK mailing list, probably in stronger terms than above. In the end it mostly turned out that I'd correctly identified issues and my (and others) solutions proved effective. To clear up a further matter, Wikimedia UK is not my employer. I am a freelance contractor, and Wikimedia UK is one of my clients (by no means the largest!).
To discuss some of the specific matters...
  • If I recall correctly (you're way more up to date on that site that I am Fæ) the comments r.e. WMF legal department (which has since expanded!) are a common complain I have often made on-wiki and on mailing lists in relation to the issue of opening up the admin toolset - the Foundation put down barriers related to the distribution of the viewdelete tool for supposed legal grounds, which I've looked at in detail and seem illogical to the extreme! I've written about this at length before - as a trustee I'd support the rights of communities to make more decisions about their processes, but this is not something within the remit of the board to directly influence!
  • I am still cynical about the FDC, and as I have discussed in other questions in this election I have concerns about the WMF's current view of (or relationships to) chapters. My view is that the FDC was started under the wrong environment, and although it hasn't been a disaster I'm not sure it has been the best vehicle it could be. With that said I do think the move for have the community decide on non-operational funding for the WMF is a good idea, as I noted in other questions. Generally I support the FDC continuing but I'd like to look in more detail at how it operates and is oversighted.
I'm not sure what your overall point is here... that a board candidate shouldn't be critical? I doubt you agree with this (seeing as you take every opportunity to criticise in your role as a trustee of WMUK :)). That I shouldn't be critical off-site? All of the criticisms you've highlighted I have also made publicly either on-wiki or on mailing lists, so for anyone paying attention it should not be new that I feel this way! :) --ErrantX (talk) 12:07, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for your prompt reply Tom. I am pleased to see that you stand by your criticism, as consistency is of value in a board member.
  1. Could you explain a little further what problems you have identified with Wikimedia UK's planning process and what you meant by "badly planned/funded/executed by people with no experience of the things involved"?
  2. Could you expand on how the FDC is a "a magnet for corruption"?
  3. Do you have a list of the Wikimedia Foundation's "more ridiculous demands" that you would tackle in your role as member of the Board of Trustees?
-- (talk) 12:16, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
If you wish to discuss Wikimedia UK issues then please feel free to contact me elsewhere, it's not really relevant. The key matter at the time was the stalled hiring of a developer, amongst other things. My comment was strong (and a little unfair) because I was intensely frustrated - as I am sure you will appreciate!
Anything involving money is a magnate for corruption, the FDC was set up very quickly.. I am happy to note that it in no way looks to have attracted corruption! So my fear was groundless.
No specific list, it is way too long ago for me to remember what was on my mind then. The key issue is the consistent demand for RFA as some sort of magic bullet for the legal matters surrounding viewdelete. --ErrantX (talk) 12:27, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
With regard to your criticism of the management at Wikimedia UK, this seems entirely relevant as you included in your candidate statement "I am a paid contractor for the Wikimedia UK, a mild conflict that I am confident of managing." As a member of the WMF Board of Trustees, would you avoid giving any view about Wikimedia UK and its planning, funding or management? Considering that the chapter is your client, your inside knowledge of any problems would seem to be helpful for the WMF Board in understanding key issues with Chapter governance and management. If not, then this seems more than the "mild conflict" in your statement if you are unable to follow up on previous published direct criticism from a few months ago.
I am disappointed you cannot recall the "ridiculous demands" of the Wikimedia Foundation you were criticising less than a year ago, this would have been illuminating for the changes you hope to pursue as a trustee. I would hope that a Trustee on the WMF Board of Trustees would be able to recall their public position from past meetings, and these can easily be from the previous year as board meetings are so infrequent.
Do you believe it appropriate that a WMF Trustee publish statements using language that appears to accuse their affiliated organizations, or itself of being a "magnet for corruption" as you have repeated here? This sort of language gets readily picked up by journalists for press headlines, and itself becomes a reputational risk. -- (talk) 12:44, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
That's a key, and good, question! I criticise my chapter regularly as a volunteer. I have no criticisms as a contractor, and had I any these would be passed onto the CE (or my immediate staff contact) in private - which I am sure would then filter through to you as a trustee. The criticism I posted months ago was months ago; since then the specific matter that got me cross was resolved. What happend was that Wikimedia UK had wanted to hire a tech staff for some time and had made small attempts to obtain one. Around the time of my comment a job description was written and posted; it was for a full-time role, with a very broad set of technical requirements. I explained in detail how the required skill set was very broad, and an individual filling it would naturally command a premium salary - unfortunately the salary on offer was not reasonable. I argued that we were taking the wrong approach, and that to bootstrap WMUK technology we needed contractors - although hourly contractors come at a premium I argued that a) we did not require a full time role, b) by using contractors we could fill a broad range of skills with the salary WMUK was offering (or less). I believed that contracting was a more flexible and verastile way for the charity to move forward. At the time I openly criticised those involved in the situation (mostly; a trustee and the CE) for not having an understanding of hiring tech staff, and failing to properly spec the tech work required. Some of this criticism was fair, some of my language was unnecessary and I did apologise for that. In the end I believe I was proven correct in my assessment. I think the situation demonstrates my ability to ask probing questions, and to face difficult issues with tenacity. Further more, I actually detailed an alternate proposal based on my experience. However, the language I used was at times incorrect and I have taken that on board :) You won't find a similar incident since that time!
I did have other criticisms of WMUK at the time. I felt that your behaviour was wildly inappropriate, and that the charity had done a poor job of handling it. It would probably be inappropriate to discuss this in any more detail here. I felt that the charity had been inappropriately cautious wrt the Wikimania 2013 bid and this was a major contributing factor in losing the bid. That wasn't specifically anyones fault, and I'm pleased to note that this year the lessons have been learned and the charity is giving the bid team great support!
You're right to raise the issue of my operational knowledge of WMUK; as a contractor I signed an agreement which included non-disclosure clauses, and so this information would not be accessible to the board. I'd certainly hope to increase the ties between my chapter and the board, and in my role as a member of the chapter promote its interests. As I would also support the interests of other chapters! Last year you and another trustee severely damaged the reputation of the UK chapter, and damaged the working relationship with the WMF. The WMUK staff seem to be doing an amazing job at rebuilding that relationship, and I'd hope to contribute to that process.
With that said, you are correct, I'd hope to bring some knowledge of the workings of chapters to the board - a significant part of my candidate platform is based on the idea that affiliates should be the focus of the movement in the future, and I intend to bring that perspective. The specific hiring issue is one I do reflect on, and would certainly discuss as an example should it become relevant to future discussions!
"Ridiculous" demands almost always relates to the matters relating to admin unbundling. But also some of the things related to images earlier in 2012. The fact nothing else occurs to me off-hand is because either the issues were resolved (which is very usual!) or it was simply not that important a matter. I consistently raise concerns about the Foundation on mailing lists, and so I refer you to my posts there for more details of what I think at any period of time. I am not aware of any concern I have not aired to the community :)
It probably would be inappropriate for a trustee to criticise the process in that way, in that venue! But I was not a Trustee :) The comment was short, and I do see how it could be misused by eg. the press. I will reflect on that. But the bottom line is that the underlying point of my comment was reasonable to make; and I will make hard points, publicly, even as a Trustee. What would be different is that as a trustee a) I have a better platform to make those statements and b) I have a duty of care to make those statements in the best forum and the most complete manner possible - which means Wikipediocracy is a poor venue for such criticism! :) Either way, at some point something I say (assuming the community elects me!) will be misused or misinterpreted publicly - and I refuse to feel stifled by the fear of that! I guess that, at the end of the day, I am vocal and accessible within and without the movement - I see this as a good attribute in a trustee for a charity that is committed to openness. I can't promise to be perfect, or get everything right, but I can at least promise to make sure everyone in the community is aware of how I think (and has a chance to influence that thinking). Hopefully that is a refreshing approach that will appeal to voters! :) --ErrantX (talk) 13:51, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

Voter's guides?[edit]

Does anyone know if there are any voter's guides that have been written/collected for the election? I'm about 99% sure about my vote, but it's always nice to see what other folks think. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 07:34, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

I am unaware of any voter guides for these elections. There may be something somewhere, but i haven't heard about any. 64.40.54.71 02:36, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, voter's guides would be neat. There's usually a half-dozen or so at least for ArbCom elections. Pity that there's little interest, when this is just as important. ImperfectlyInformed (talk) 05:55, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Re voters guides: People are of course welcome to write their own thoughts about individual candidates. However, unless there are a large number of them and they are available in a significant number of languages, I wouldn't be inclined to link to such voter guides from any official election page. This isn't English Wikipedia, where everyone understands the same written language; we anticipate between 7-10x the number of voters in this election as happens on English Wikipedia arbcom elections. Risker (talk) 16:21, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
    Seriously? I'd expect around the same or less number of votes. The average steward candidate gets about as much support as an enwiki arbcom member does, even with the disgustingly long global election. Ajraddatz (Talk) 16:36, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
Board elections usually garner in the area of 5000 voters, English Wikipedia Arbcom elections usually around 700-850. This is to be expected: only English Wikipedians can vote on their own project's role, whereas the entire Wikimedia movement votes on Board and FDC seats. Risker (talk) 16:43, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
  • What exactly is a voter's guide? Does it tell you which candidates to support? Or does it just give you info to help you choose? PiRSquared17 (talk) 16:30, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
Traditionally on English Wikipedia, individual editors create voter's guides where they identify which candidates they are supporting or opposing, sometimes with a reason, sometimes not. (In other words, their quality and impartiality are widely variable.) They're controversial on English Wikipedia, although they have been around for a while. I'd link you to last year's examples, but I'm not sure how to create a link to a category on another project. Risker (talk) 16:36, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
[[:w:category:xx]] Ajraddatz (Talk) 16:37, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
For example, here is mine from last year: w:en:User:Rschen7754/ACE2012 --Rschen7754 20:28, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

We had these in the last election on Meta in 2011 -User:Alecmconroy/VoterGuide2011. It was out of the blue and created a situation about how to handle it. I believe the consensus from discussion then was, if a user chooses to make up their guide and have it in their userspace there was no cause to object. It was met with some mixed feelings at first, but eventually accepted and linked officially as one of the voter guides. I don't think there is anything objectionable if a user does this, this year. Theo10011 (talk) 00:10, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

You might have to look in the history for the actual voter guide, the current page has him congratulating the winners. At the time he was vehemently against one of the candidates. Theo10011 (talk) 00:16, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

Okay, here's the ones I know of: User:Rschen7754/VoterGuide2013, User:Theo10011/VoterGuide2013, User:MF-Warburg/Board election 2013. --Rschen7754 08:27, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

Thanks! I knew of the Signpost guides, of course, but didn't know of the others. The value that I, personally, find in them is that they often collect information about the various candidates in one place and puts a different spin on the facts than the candidates themselves do, regardless of whether I agree with the new spin. The additional digging into activity (that I might not be inclined to do myself) can also be useful if something important is turned up, such as blocks or bans that need to be explained by the candidate. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 03:31, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

Where do I vote? There is no link to a voting page. 92.18.31.165 09:53, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

go to your home wiki and go to the page "Special:SecurePoll". Follow the instructions from there. Wittylama (talk) 16:12, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
Thank you. The banner link from en-Wikipedia sent me to a blank page on Wikimedia Meta. 92.18.23.7 20:31, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

Great slate of candidates, esp. for Board.[edit]

I just wanted to write to say how incredibly impressed I am with what a great slate of candidates has been found, esp. for the board positions. It's a wonderful moment to know that even so many of the people who can't (mathematically) get elected are around and contributing to the project. It makes one optimistic for WMF's future. Mscuthbert (talk) 21:59, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

I don't know - seems like mostly the usual suspects to me. It's good to have the regular crowd, but more alternatives would be nice. Not saying they can't do a great job or that the status quo is bad (I don't think either of those things), but we need to keep our expectations and hopes high for the #1 source of free and open knowledge in the world. ImperfectlyInformed (talk) 18:04, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
I agree, Mscuthbert—many strong candidates. 92.18.23.7 20:58, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

Francis disqualified[edit]

There's a note on the results page that Francis Kaguna was disqualified due to a block -- really? when/where? Was this noted somewhere else? I don't remember seeing anything about this and just want to make sure that it's accurate. thanks, -- phoebe | talk 20:46, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

The block: [2]. The disqualification is consistent per the rules. While the block started before voting began, unfortunately the election committee only became aware of it after voting had started, which is why Francis wasn't removed from the ballot. -- KTC (talk) 21:07, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
To provide a bit more background: On May 31, the day before the elections were initially scheduled to begin, several committee members completed due diligence by checking for blocks on all candidates. I cannot speak for my colleagues, but I used Special:CentralAuth to do so. None of us identified the block on Francis at that time, despite the fact that it had been applied 6 days earlier. It simply wasn't on CentralAuth; it's the kind of thing that sticks out like a sore thumb so no doubt we would have seen it. Having done the process already, we did not do repeat checks just before going live on June 8; we were working pretty much right down to the wire to make sure that the SecurePoll worked properly for the election.

Because there is no way to remove a candidate once the election starts without crashing the entire election, we decided to take no action during the election proper except to notify the Board that Francis was no longer eligible. Risker (talk) 21:19, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

Fair enough, thanks for the quick update. -- phoebe | talk 00:33, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

"The results were announced on 28 June 2013"[edit]

If my calendar isn't totally wrong, this should read 24 June :-) Gestumblindi (talk) 20:53, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

Heh, too quick for me - updated, thanks. Thehelpfulone 21:00, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

Thank you very much[edit]

It's my humble to thank all those who voted to me for their trust and interest of moving our community forward but the votes was not enough to enable my presence, I thank you very much. I also thank the election committee for handling the whole process of election and tallying. With this opportunity I congratulate all elected board members hopping that you'll present the challenges posted during the election process to other 7 members for sharing that idea for good change of and revolution of our Wikimedia community. I wish all of you a successful leadership. Manawa|Talk Education First 10:57, 26 June 2013

Results[edit]

The results of the elections are here.

I'm happy that all the candidates I chose not to support finished in the bottom half. It's glad to see that other voters saw the same issues than me. I expected much narrower gaps, but they were evident because we actually read what the candidates think and voted down all inappropriate candidates.

What does worry me is the high, stable number of neutral votes. I think that a large number of voters weren't sure that the candidates were good enough to get the support. --NaBUru38 (talk) 19:17, 27 June 2013 (UTC)