Talk:Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees/Call for feedback: Community Board seats/Direct appointment of confirmed candidates

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In my opinion (s)elections for community- and affiliate seats of the Board of Trustees should be entirely organized, designed and run by the community, without involvement of the Board or staff of the WMF. The Wikimedia contributors are very well capable themselves to evaluate the candidates in an election. The Board appoints the candidates selected by the community. Half of the board seats are appointed by the Board, and that is more than enough. Ad Huikeshoven (talk) 10:52, 3 February 2021 (UTC)

+1. It's the only proper way. The members should be elected by the communities, whether in one single "voting district" or two or more should be decides by the communities here on Meta in open discussions. There must be any interference of non-elected bodies in this process. There must definitely be absolutely no inbreeding from the existing board members, they are just plain community members in that process. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 10:17, 6 February 2021 (UTC)

Strong Oppose[edit]

Indirect elections are almost always a bad idea, doubly so in a (relatively) small community such as this. There's far too much room for politicking and deal making when one or two people can potentially swing the decision. I'm straying into hyperbole here, but there is a reason that authoritarian regimes like indirect elections; a fixed, known group of decision-makers are much easier to control.

And far from removing a step from the selection process this will add several. --RaiderAspect (talk) 13:38, 5 February 2021 (UTC)

Hi there, RaiderAspect! Could I ask for some clarification? Is there anything that might make you feel differently about this idea? I'm simply asking to provoke thought for more feedback. Best, JKoerner (WMF) (talk) 22:49, 5 February 2021 (UTC)

No way[edit]

This is exactly the election system of the AffCom. I have described in detail in Talk:Wikimedia Foundation Board noticeboard/October 2020 - Proposed Bylaws changes#On diversity, groupthink and democracy why this process will go wrong — NickK (talk) 11:46, 6 February 2021 (UTC)

Can you please explain for the rest of the Wikiverse, what's wrong wit this system in one random project within the Wikiverse? I don't care about the inner conflicts of the enWP, much less like it, if this project is taken a something standing for the Wikiverse. No, this is not an anglocentric enterprise, and the enWP is anything but central for the Wikiverse, it's just one random project, and only a few insiders know about such stuff. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 12:11, 6 February 2021 (UTC)
I answered on Talk:Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees/Call for feedback: Community Board seats/Community-elected Selection Committee#Prefer to avoid. And an example: Affiliations Committee/Candidates/June 2020. In the end nobody understands what criteria were used to select candidates. We see some candidates with higher support (either in number or in diversity of supporters) not getting elected and those with lower getting elected. I don't see a clear link with the quality of answers either. The only link I see is the similarity of views to those on the committee in charge of selection. Well, as this is not the most important committee of the movement, it is not a tragedy for the democracy, but reproducing this at the Board level instead of a clear election with clear rules will be a problem for democracy of our movement — NickK (talk) 18:09, 6 February 2021 (UTC)

Close for Lack of Support[edit]

Of course not.

At what point does it makes sense to eliminate proposals like this from consideration, so that the community can focus its time on serious proposals? TomDotGov (talk) (hold the election) 23:16, 15 February 2021 (UTC)

@TomDotGov It's a call for feedback of six weeks, and two of them have passed. Maybe there are ideas withdrawn in the remaining weeks but I wouldn't count on it. You can leave your feedback here (as you have just done) and move on if you wish. Qgil-WMF (talk) 00:09, 16 February 2021 (UTC)

Ironic support (AKA oppose)[edit]

I support this insofar as editors such as TomDotGov and myself run for election to the committee on a platform of ignoring any rules or instructions established for the committee, then running an election and confirming winners of that election exactly matching the number of seats to be filled.

If you hijack the process to try and impose sham-elections, I rather enjoy the irony of double-hijacking the process to reinstate legitimate elections. Alsee (talk) 22:32, 18 February 2021 (UTC)

Hi Alsee, I'm really not sure how to respond to this. Is there feedback you want me to take down from this? Best, JKoerner (WMF) (talk) 19:55, 19 February 2021 (UTC)
If I may offer a suggestion of what I'd like to see in the report:
While there has been generally positive response to Ranked Choice voting,[1] response on Meta to the other seven proposals[2][3][4][5][6][7][8] has been unanimous opposition. Editors view the proposals as corrupting the election process, and they are so hostile to that idea that they have begun proposing how the community might actively subvert a process viewed as corrupt.
I included the links for clarity and for verification of my "unanimous" claim, but you could leave out the links if you feel it is already clear it refers to these pages. You can of course tweak the wording in general, but I'm hoping for the ideas of "unanimous opposition" and "intensity of opposition" sufficient to potentially raise serious problems. Alsee (talk) 22:58, 19 February 2021 (UTC)
P.S. The first Meta support for Quotas rolled in 14 minutes after I posted, breaking my statement about unanimous opposition to the seven proposals. :( Alsee (talk) 23:33, 19 February 2021 (UTC)
Hi Alsee, Thanks for collecting the comments that you align with in the feedback process. Unfortunately I cannot share the statement you posted in its current form, nor can I say "unanimous opposition," as it does not accurately represent feedback here on Meta. I have seen lots of collaborative discussion about these ideas and spinning off of new ideas on Meta, or even ideas I personally hope to see formally proposed as ideas (a communication process to better recruit Board members and participation from the community).
I do acknowledge a handful of participants in these discussions, yourself included, who have expressed their beliefs that this process is a trick, sham, etc. I also want to illustrate the participation in the Call for Feedback on Meta is relatively narrow compared to the whole Call for Feedback. Really only a handful of people have shared feedback on Meta compared to the whole community. I'll include some statistics about the conversations on Meta in the most recent weekly report (to be published before I finish work today).
I'll quote you here so I don't misrepresent your statement: "Editors view the proposals as corrupting the election process, and they are so hostile to that idea that they have begun proposing how the community might actively subvert a process viewed as corrupt." I largely haven't see this on Meta. Is there some other place this discussion is happening and I've missed it? Best, JKoerner (WMF) (talk) 19:12, 24 February 2021 (UTC)
Also, Alsee, I want to acknowledge your frustration. I hear you are very upset. Let me know if you'd like to have a conversation about it or if you want to share where this is coming from. I'd be glad to listen. Best, JKoerner (WMF) (talk) 19:15, 24 February 2021 (UTC)

Strongest Possible Oppose[edit]

I'd trust my cat to guard a pile of smoked salmon before I trusted the WMF Board of Trustees to guard the fundamental principles of the movement. That this was even suggested is strong evidence that the Board of Trustees should have zero input into any of this and that a mere slim community majority is insufficient. Excuse me, this rump Board of Trustees that decided to simply stay in office for extremely dubious reasons, something that even a certain president didn't do at the very end. CoffeeCrumbs (talk) 23:01, 19 February 2021 (UTC)

Collected Feedback about Direct Appointment from the first weekly report[edit]

  • Indirect elections are almost always a bad idea as there is too much opportunity to sway the election
  • The criteria needs to be clear to select candidates

For questions and comments, do reach out. Best, --VPadilla (WMF) (talk) 08:40, 23 February 2021 (UTC)

Collected Feedback about Direct Appointment from the second weekly report[edit]

Reach out to us with your comments, suggestions, solutions, bright ideas. Best, --VPadilla (WMF) (talk) 09:00, 23 February 2021 (UTC)

Collected Feedback about Direct Appointment from the third weekly report[edit]

  • During a meeting with the Georgian community all participants unanimously rejected this idea as not democratic nor transparent. In addition, they added that the Board already has this ability to directly appoint members and it is impossible for all members to be appointed by the BoT.

Reach out to us with your comments, suggestions, solutions, bright ideas. Best,--VPadilla (WMF) (talk) 11:24, 1 March 2021 (UTC)

Extremely Strong Oppose[edit]

Direct appointment of candidates is not a good way to get buy-in of the participants in the different WikiMedia projects. Also, this method does not represent the community ethic so prevalent in WikiMedia projects. Also, this method risks having people join the Board without the proper skills (both board skills and knowledge of WikiMedia projects). Please do not do direct appointment of confirmed candidates to the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees. - tucoxn\talk 17:49, 3 March 2021 (UTC)

Collected feedback about Direct Appointment from the Fourth weekly report[edit]

Hi all, here is the collected feedback about Direct appointment of confirmed candidates from the fourth weekly report covering February 22 - 28 of this Call for Feedback.

Meta-wiki Talk page conversation statistics:

8 users from 5 different home wikis have participated in the conversation on this idea's talk page so far.

  • During a meeting with the Georgian community all participants unanimously rejected this idea as not democratic nor transparent. They added that the Board already has this ability to directly appoint members and it is not possible for all members to be appointed by the BoT.

Please reach out if you have any questions or comments. Best, Qgil-WMF (talk) 18:21, 7 March 2021 (UTC)

Collected feedback about Direct Appointment from the Fifth weekly report[edit]

Hello, here is the collected feedback for direct appointment of candidates from the fifth weekly report covering March 1-7 of this Call for Feedback.

  • A volunteer from Malaysia said the Board knows the best candidate it needs from the selection committee’s submitted list of candidates. It should be implemented with utmost transparency.
  • A Filipino volunteer said there should be a limit on the direct appointments done by the Board.
  • One volunteer on the idea talk page on Meta commented that direct appointment of candidates is not a good way to get buy-in from the participants in the different Wikimedia projects. They said this method does not represent the community ethic so prevalent in Wikimedia projects. They said there is an increased risk of appointing unqualified people.
  • A person from Hong Kong says the community-elected selection committee will choose the best and the brightest people that deserve to be on the Board.
  • One member of the Elections Committee considers that with the direct appointment of confirmed candidates, you end up stripping some functions that the community understands are theirs.

Reach out to us with your comments, suggestions, solutions, bright ideas. Best,--VPadilla (WMF) (talk) 15:14, 14 March 2021 (UTC)

Collected feedback about Direct Appointment from the Sixth weekly report[edit]

Hello, here is the collected feedback for direct appointment of candidates from the sixth weekly report covering March 8-14 of this Call for Feedback.

  • Two LGBT from ESEAP said the ideal scenario for this idea is if the community knows what is needed in the Board, and the community submits qualified, screened candidates who passed the Trustee evaluation procedure.

For suggestions, bright ideas and solutions, you may reach out to us. Best, --VPadilla (WMF) (talk) 23:17, 20 March 2021 (UTC)