Talk:Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees/Call for feedback: Board of Trustees elections

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Affiliate Selection Process[edit]

A contributor asked how it was decided to have an Affiliate Selection process during the 2022 Board of Trustees election. They cited disagreement about the best approach among participants of the Subsaharan and European communities.

Let me add some background first. The two Board seats with terms expiring in 2022 were selected using the Affiliate Selected Board Seats process in 2019. During the Call for Feedback, there were conversations with community members and affiliate organizations. Some people said to do the election like it was done in 2019. That would have meant 2022 would have been an Affiliate Selected Board Seat process without a community voting period. Some people said to completely get rid of the affiliate involvement and only have a community vote. The way forward was not clear.

When the Board Election Task Force] considered the procedure, they reviewed input from all of the conversations–not only MENA and Europe, but also American (both North and South) and Asian communities. The opinions varied from the call to switch to Community Elections (Asia) to repeating the 2019 process e.g. Affiliate Selected elections, and the opinions varied within the calls themselves. It was impossible to stick to one procedure preferable to one region or person without completely ignoring the wishes of the others. We tried to reach a compromise by allowing the Affiliates to select the candidates but leaving the final vote to the communities. No one’s wishes were ignored. Instead, a solution was sought that would meet the needs and expectations of as many as possible while also filling the Board’s gaps.

The elections so far show that our approach, if not ideal, is a move in the right direction:

  • There are fewer candidates - after 2021 elections wikimedians complained that there were too many candidates, which made meaningful engagement was impossible for many voters.
  • While some of the regions, notably, India, are not represented (BETF is starting to analyse why), the current candidates represent diverse geographic regions including Africa, which, if selected, would increase the diversity of the Board. (Board Election Taskforce member, Trustee) --Victoria (talk) 16:11, 25 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Our community elections have generally featured candidates from diverse regions, including Africa. The question is, and always has been, whether those candidates are likely to be elected. In any event, it's rather early to be crowing about the diversity of the candidates for this election when we're about to prevent the community from considering half of them.
  • Indeed, the filtering process you have devised is likely to filter out candidates from the less dominant regions. This is particularly true because filtering will be done before the candidates have any meaningful opportunity to campaign—since they are likely to have less name recognition, they have the most to gain from having the opportunity to make their case to the voters. (Actually, it's not clear whether anybody will have a meaningful opportunity to campaign, but that's the elections committee's fault, rather than the board's.) We shall see.
  • As far as reducing the number of candidates, your filtering system rests on the assumption that the affiliates have more capacity to consider a large number of candidates than individual voters in the community do. For the vast majority of affiliates, this assumption is false.
  • There are only 12 candidates. If there had been ~20 candidates, as there have been some years, it might have made sense to use a filtering process, but the benefit appears quite marginal in this case, and you chose not to retain flexibility on this point.
  • P.S. You do have an Indian candidate.
Emufarmers (talk) 01:52, 2 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]