Talk:Wikimedia Chapters Association/Meetings/First Meeting

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Interim?[edit]

Hello, about the SG and DSG:

Since WCA is not yet incorporated, SG and DSG are "ad interim" (iSG and iDSG) and they'll replace the Steering Committee (as per the Berlin Agreement).
iSG and iDSG term will end when SG and DSG will be chosen and in any case by the second meeting.

According to the Charter (B1, C3), only the Council can elect and, with cause and a 2/3 majority, remove the SG and the DSG. The term is two years (if they don't resign or are removed). The Steering Committee cannot decide on that. Ziko (talk) 22:33, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

Ciao Ziko,
"ad interim" is a proposal since

  1. WCA is not yet incorporated (as I wrote)
  2. a job description was written but need to be approved by the Council, a known place of registration and information about office (if we'll decide we need it), money

These mean that there'll be a gap between Steering Committee (which will end at Wikimania) and hiring an SG, and there still is work to be done. That's why we're proposing a new, small ad interim, this time without a committee.

--Frieda (talk) 12:22, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Alright, thank you for the explanation. Still, although the WCA is not legally incorporated it exists legally. Even the Council cannot make a decision that would limit itself as an organ. The Charter opens several ways to proceed:

  1. No Council meeting in Washington, prolonging the actual state. (See Charter F2). Pro: more time to prepare. Cons: The WCA will have no Council and no Secretariat, it cannot act and make valid decisions, and it will be negative for the reputation.
  2. The Council in Washington elects a voluntary SG / Secretariat, with no real or a symbolic compensation for his/her services. (See Charter C4). The SG can resign earlier / the Council can later remove him/her by a 2/3 majority, to make way for a paid SG. Pro: The WCA will have a Secretariat and can act during Council meetings, and the Council can do its business too. Con: Members of the Secretariat cannot be members of the Council or hold a position in a chapter. This means that it will be difficult to find someone.
  3. The Council changes the Charter by a 2/3 majority in a way that makes another solution possible. Pros & Cons: a mixture of the above.

Kind regards Ziko (talk) 17:33, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

"it exists legally" -> will exist if at least 9 chapters will confirm their intention to join.
My main concern was your Con in point 2. Point 3 is an option: we could fix this issue modifying carefully Section F. Splitting meeting and elections should give us enough time to find a solution.

--Frieda (talk) 20:46, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure that #3 is a viable option; my reading of the Charter is that changing it requires the consent of 2/3 of the chapters rather than 2/3 of the Council, and it's not clear that all (or any) of the Council members appointed under the current Charter would have a mandate from their appointing chapter to change it.
I'd also like to offer a fourth option: hold the meeting, but don't elect a SG. I don't think there's anything in the Charter that requires us to elect one immediately, and I don't think it would be unreasonable for us to go through our due diligence in soliciting and evaluating candidates prior to formally electing one at a subsequent meeting. (This is similar to Frieda's suggestion above, but I don't think the few [very busy] days between the 11th and the 15th will make a difference; given where we are, I would suggest giving ourselves at least a month or so to collect and evaluate candidacies prior to making such an important decision.) Kirill [talk] 20:51, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Hello Frieda, the con in option 2 is really a problem - most activists are CMs or active in a chapter. So option 3 would be the best, although it looks not so elegant - we wouldn't show much respect to the Charter, but in an initial phase I think it is okay. For principal reasons it would be good, indeed, to put a deadline in the amendment. But what to do if we don't have a SG at the deadline?
Hello Kirill, option 3 is viable: according to the Charter (A4): "For an amendment to become effective, it must be approved by a two thirds majority of votes in the Council." I don't see anywhere that the chapters must agree. And the CMs are absolutely free to change the charter without asking chapters. If a chapter doesn't like the work of "its" CM then it can replace him, but it cannot directly force him to vote this way or another. Given that this change of the Charter would only prolongue the present situation without altering the general course of the WCA, I cannot imagine that a chapter has fundamental concerns about the change. (Otherwise it should have protested against section F earlier.)
About not electing a SG: good point, that is option 4. But doesn't this mean that the WCA will be without the executive powers the Charter reserves to the SG?
Option 5: One could think of "additional principal officers if necessary" that the Council can elect (B1,7). Wouldn't be the most elegant solution because of the SG and his "executive powers". One might say that the severe regulations about the SG are circumvented, and that B1,7 presupposes the existance of a SG. Does "additional" mean that they can only be elected if there is a SG? --Ziko (talk) 22:28, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Good point regarding option 3; I was probably recalling an older draft that had required chapter rather than representative consent.
Regarding option 4, I think that, in theory, the Council could carry out business without having an SG under the provisions of (B1,9-10); it's probably something that we need to determine in the general case anyways, since the same situation would apply if the SG unexpectedly resigns/becomes incapacitated/etc.. In practical terms, though, I doubt we'll need any of the SG's "executive powers" until we've registered and started collecting funds, which is likely to be several weeks away in any case.
As far as option 5 is concerned, C1 vests the executive powers in the Secretariat as a whole rather than the SG, and C3 requires that the SG be involved in appointing the other Secretariat members, so we probably couldn't use this method without somehow amending the charter (at which point we can do something far less convoluted anyways). Kirill [talk] 22:39, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Okay. But the "additional officers" are not members of the secretariat; if they were they would not have to be mentioned especially in that list. One might also ask, btw, what the current committee is, if not a kind of "additional officers". / I would like to see some progress on the standing orders, too.... Ziko (talk) 08:05, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

Option 4 looks good. We should focus on filling the four board seats, and making the decisions needed so that the legal paperwork can be filed. John Vandenberg (talk) 00:53, 10 July 2012 (UTC)

It doesn't need to be 4. Ziko (talk) 02:47, 10 July 2012 (UTC)

Small note[edit]

Not sure where to best put this. My candidacy as iDSG only stands under the condition that I can stay a board member of a chapter. I am willing to put the time and effort in making this happen alongside my duties of being the treasurer of Wikimedia Deutschland, I am not willing to step down and cut short my mandate in WMDE. I have been elected to fill that position and I intend to carry it to the end of my mandate. notafish }<';> 01:03, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

Yes. That's why I find it less than ideal to talk about a "interim Secretary General". This creates automatically a confusion with the position described in the Charter... Ziko (talk) 02:57, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

English Wikipedia Arbcom case regarding Ashley van Haeften[edit]

At the time that Ashley van Haeften was put forward as chair of the Chapters Association, there was an Arbcom case regarding him being considered on his home project, the English Wikipedia.

I would be interested to know whether all those present at the meeting had been informed that the case was on-going. If they were aware of it, had they been informed that there were a number of findings of fact critical of Mr van Haeften that had already received the number of votes required to pass? For people's information, this was the state of voting at the time. (Note the table at the end does not reflect all the votes cast.) The rather stricter motions that were eventually passed, including Mr van Haeften's banning from the English Wikipedia can be seen at [1].--Peter cohen (talk) 22:33, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

Hello, yet again, Peter Cohen. How many forums does this make it that you have been complaining about me, persistently, over the last 9 months? Surely it must be in double figures by now. I am really concerned about how many hours you spend per week following everything I do, especially considering your many months long letter writing campaign to Parliament, the Charity Commission and complaints to the Wikimedia UK chapter.
I see this is your first edit to :Meta this year, no surprise that you make it about me, again.
Anyone interested in following up on Peter Cohen's complaints would probably to well to first take a look at the evidence of his 9 month campaign following me around the projects at en:Wikipedia_talk:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Fæ/Workshop#Claims_of_stalking_and_a_.22campaign.22. I daresay I am not the only Wikimedian who has such very, very devoted "fans" following them around the internet. Thanks -- (talk) 22:59, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
It appears that the answer to my question is "No". Otherwise I assume that you would have simply said everyone was aware of the facts. For readers' information, the findings of fact passed by the En.wiki Arbcom include:
Fæ has used ad hominem attacks to try to discredit others
7) Fæ has responded to good faith concerns by attempting to link the people with concerns to the campaign against him.
Now can we have an answer to whether everyone present knew of the Arbcom case and of the voting pattern at the time that Fae was appointed Chair?--Peter cohen (talk) 23:15, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

┌─────────────────────────────────┘
Peter cohen (talk · contribs) has been engaged in a campaign of lobbying on every possible forum against me since the 28th of November 2011. It has become hard for others to credit this is really going on. Here is a non-exhaustive selection of the huge amount of evidence showing how persistent and somewhat worrying his campaign has become, this does not include his real life meetings with Wikimedia UK (meeting the UK Chief Executive to complain about me - he lives in the UK and I have met him at London wikimeets and a GLAM 1-day event I organized) or his letters/emails to UK Parliament, his extensive campaign on Wikipedia Review and Wikipediocracy (as user eppur si muove) or his complaints to the Charity Commission:

Commons
  1. 28 November 2011 to 30 December - The campaign is easy to see at Wikimedia Commons as the majority of his edits during that period on Commons are about me in a range of forums.
Wikipedia
  1. 19 July 2012 [2] SilkTork (a Wikipedia Arbitrator)
  2. 23 June 2012 [3] Arbitration
  3. 22 June 2012 [4] SilkTork
  4. 22 June 2012 [5] Jimbo Wales
  5. 22 June 2012 [6] SilkTork
  6. 28 May 2012 [7] Arbitration
  7. 24 May 2012 [8] Arbitration
  8. 2 May 2012 [9] AN
  9. 2 May 2012 [10] Arbitration
  10. 1 May 2012 [11] AN
  11. 30 March 2012 [12] Simon Corcoran
  12. 11 February 2012 [13] Jimbo Wales
  13. 9 February 2012 [14] RFC
  14. 1 February 2012 [15] RFC
  15. 30 January 2012 [16] Jimbo Wales
  16. 30 January 2012 [17] ANI
  17. 28 January 2012 [18] RFC
  18. 28 November 2012 [19] ANI
  19. 28 November 2012 [20] Bali ultimate
  20. 28 November 2012 [21] Bali ultimate
Meta
  1. 23 July 2012 [22] WCA
UK wiki
  1. 17-21 April 2012 [23] AGM

Thanks -- (talk) 23:35, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

The reason why I have to raise things repeatedly is because you always avoid answering embarassing questions. Another finding of the Arbcom case is:
Fæ has attempted to deceive the community
9) Throughout this case, Fæ has attempted to deceive the community and the Committee about the true extent and status of his accounts and contributions.
The inclusion of various items in the above list is highly deceptive but itemising them will allow Fae to succeed in side-tracking the discussion from his failure to be upfront and honest with WCA.
Getting back to the point of this thread. It is clear from his diversionary tactics that van Haeften did not inform the other delegates sufficiently about the Arbcom case against him. As a result of this, the first meeting of WCA was reported on the largest Wikimedia project in the manner seen here. Not only is En.wiki the largest Wikimedia project. It is also the home project of the majority of constituents of several Wikimedia Chapters. The Signpost report has resulted in adverse publicity for WCA. This publicity could have been avoided had Fae not had himself put forward as Chair.--Peter cohen (talk) 00:02, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
I don't know what people in the room besides myself were aware of but as the minutes show there was only one nomination and there was no discussion about or presentation of the nominee before voting (as were the case for the deputy). Ainali (talk) 06:22, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for the reply, Ainali. This confirms that Fae did not take due care to warn those in the room that he was under a cloud on en.wiki and that his appointment as Chair carried a significant risk of bringing negative publicity to the WCA.--Peter cohen (talk) 09:20, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
Was there a reason why there was only one nomination? I find that a little strange, especially since that one nominee represents an English speaking country. Ottava Rima (talk) 04:08, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

The comments above from Fae amply illustrate the pattern of behaviour that led directly to the ban. People raise valid concerns, which are ignored, or their comments are deleted. Evidence is destroyed. People repeat the concerns. Fae charges them with 'harassment'. Other people, feeling this is not quite right, join in. Fae accuses them of being a 'travelling circus' and so on and so on. Endless deception, and any attempt to get to the truth results in further charges of harassment. The Arbitration Committee, after thoroughly investigating the matter, enacted the ban. Fae apologised at en-wiki, but the behaviour above illustrates very well how he has not learned the lesson, and continues to deceive the community. Shame. Peter Damian (talk) 06:29, 24 July 2012 (UTC)

I don't think someone who is community banned (far worse than an Arbcom block) on English Wikipedia has the right to say anything here. Silver seren (talk) 07:27, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
Don't say things like that - there are people who are banned that are quite prominent in other communities. Once you talk about bans in any form, it can cause a lot of problems. Someone like Russavia is quite involved in such matters and there are others. Ottava Rima (talk) 15:39, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

Hello, please discuss about everything you want to. But this is the talk page of the minutes of the first meeting of the WCA Council, please continue somewhere else. Ziko (talk) 15:47, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

Enough!
Take a step back and look at the overall situation. At [24] we see a community representative, Ashley van Haeften, giving a basic, clear explanation of what Wikipedia is and how it works. And we an uninvited [ahem], Peter Cohen, making a big deal out of a tiny number of contributions because van Haeften "should have known" that it's unethical to take pictures of certain streets in Germany, or that it's wrong to illustrate certain private activities. If you believe in his position, then by all means, you can recall Fae, install some other officials. Maybe you can give the positions better names, elect Delicious carbuncle as Grand Inquisitor and Jayen466 as Chief Censor. You can make your organization a satrapy of ArbCom, which is in turn a tributary of Wikipediocracy, and validate tactics by which good editors are harassed about private details, then banned for trying to exercise their right to privacy even on other projects. Or. You can start looking for solutions.
The problem with Wikipedia is that we've assembled a gigantic treasure trove of content, not all of which is properly backed up and disseminated (as is evidenced by the frequent moralistic drives to delete material). And billions of dollars worth of site traffic, one of the largest in the world. And in charge of all that is ---- whoever doesn't get voted off the island! Even if the current threat were somehow rebuffed, someone else would want it. The situation is intrinsically unstable. Wikipedia is like a sinking ship, or an elephant brought down and torn apart by hyenas. Today its purpose appears no longer to be to document events, but to censor and skew their coverage, on behalf of whatever external elements manage to win the WikiLawyering Olympics.
What you can do in WCA is make a decision not to be a mere appendage of the far from infallible en.wikipedia ArbCom, not spend all your money on a Wealthy Personage in charge or lawyers or accountants, but instead, gather together volunteer resources and effort from all over the WMF universe, and use it to create new Wikis that go beyond the WMF's limited purview, and which are not subject to their control. Like a Wiki that covers recent news, not grudgingly, not under bizarre notions of "ethics" that rule out the main headlines and smoking-gun sources, not split in two different projects, but wholeheartedly. Or a Wiki that collects creative ideas and discussion in an attempt to formally document "prior art" for all those obvious things that get patented every day. Or a Wiki that works to nucleate creative projects like writing or music. Or one where patients are free to discuss one another's conditions and provide any interesting references, without being rudely shut down for daring to give "medical advice" even when they clearly are not pretending to. Wikis to cover all the things that Wikipedia makes a practice to throw away, run by all the editors Wikipedia wrongly bans for trumped-up offenses. And you can find ways to spread these wikis out, make them run by and controlled by the entire worldwide community in millions of different independent (but collaboratively indexed) web sites administered by the editors who are interested and care to get involved, not run on some central server waiting for the censors to pull the plug. Dare to dream, or else be irrelevant. Wnt (talk) 20:59, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
Wnt, the next time your drug-addled brain vomits up a puddle of paranoid nonsense like this, make sure you edit out any references to me when you are writing it down. I have no interest in being dragged into this. Thanks. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 20:31, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
Wnt only thinks the ship is sinking because his preferred captain was tossed overboard. The Wikipedia model of governance/editing/organization/whatnot is criticized is when one is convinced they are right about a particular matter and become shocked...SHOCKED...to find that others don't always see it their way. This is Politics 101, the "ethics for thee but not for me" act, nothing more. Tarc (talk) 21:46, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

Quorum[edit]

I do not see any mention of attendance necessary to establish that there was a quorum necessary to even hold a meeting. I think this should be added, assuming there was an actual quorum. The list should be in the minutes so adding some mention of it would be good. Ottava Rima (talk) 04:09, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

"Art. 7 [Majority decisions]: Unless otherwise specified, the Council decides by simple majority, meaning more votes pro than votes contra. The quorum to conduct business is half of all Council Members."
It was not especially stated; the Council was complete as we considered showing up of the CM the final step for the confirmation that the Chapter has actually joined. But in the following meetings this should be done, indeed. Thanks for pointing it out. Ziko (talk) 12:34, 25 July 2012 (UTC)