From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Noto Emoji Pie 1f4c4.svg (English) This is an essay. It expresses the opinions and ideas of some Wikimedians but may not have wide support. This is not policy on Meta, but it may be a policy or guideline on other Wikimedia projects. Feel free to update this page as needed, or use the discussion page to propose major changes.

Wikimedia politics has gotten boring and predictable. We should choose at least some board members by sortition, or some combination of voting and sortition (which might be described as "raffle voting"). For example, each ballot for a candidate goes into an (electronic) jury wheel. Once voting is closed, ballots are randomly picked out of the wheel until enough names have been pulled to fill all the vacancies. So, the more votes you get, the more likely it is that you'll get picked, but it's not guaranteed. It could make things a bit more interesting, and encourage dissidents to run who wouldn't have a chance of getting elected under our current system. Maybe it's just what we need to shake things up a bit and inject some divergent thinkers into the upper echelons of the WMF system. This might also be a good system for wikis to use in ArbCom elections, and perhaps that is where it should first be used.


There are a few different ways this could work. Let's suppose there are 12 seats on the board, 4 of which are up for election this year.

Non-preferential ballot[edit]

Each voter could be given an opportunity to cast 4 votes, each of which must be for a different candidate.

Preferential ballot[edit]

Or each voter could cast a preferential ballot. E.g., Users A and B might cast these ballots:

Voter Preference
1st 2nd 3rd 4th
A Mr. X Ms. Y Mr. Z Ms. W
B Mr. X Ms. W Mr. I Ms. H

So then, suppose User B's ballot gets drawn out of the wheel first. This would result in Mr. X getting selected, since Mr. X was User B's first choice. Suppose that then User A's ballot gets drawn from the wheel. This would result in Ms. Y getting selected, since Mr. X had already been chosen, and Ms. Y was User A's second choice.

Asset voting[edit]

Each voter could cast one vote, and if two ballots for Mr. X get picked from the jury wheel, then Mr. X gets to choose who will fill that second vacancy. Probably this will be a person who shares a lot of Mr. X's views, and thus this will be much the same outcome as in the preferential and non-preferential ballot possibilities above, since a voter who supports Mr. X probably also would have selected candidates with similar views as Mr. X as his 2nd, 3rd, and 4th preferences or votes. Asset voting could be combined with the other proposals; for example, it might be used only if a ballot picked from the jury wheel would otherwise be exhausted (e.g. due to bullet voting).


If someone leaves before his term is up, fill the vacancy by pulling another ballot out of the wheel.

Random number generation[edit]

To ensure pretty good randomness, the random number seed can be, say, the DC Lottery Powerball number for a given day. The ballots would be sequentially numbered, and the random number generator would pick one of them using that seed. All of the code to implement this would be made available beforehand so that there would be full transparency.