Talk:Wikimedia Foundation elections committee

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Wikimedia Foundation Elections Committee

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20152013201120092008

Congratulations to newly formed committee[edit]

The Wikipedia Foundation election committee was just formed. Congratulations! Blue Rasberry (talk) 17:06, 21 July 2016 (UTC)

Access to SecurePoll[edit]

Does this committee control access to SecurePoll? I have some questions about the tool and am not sure where to ask. If anyone might help, please respond at Talk:SecurePoll#Questions_about_SecurePoll. Thanks. Blue Rasberry (talk) 17:06, 21 July 2016 (UTC)

Names of elections[edit]

I posted a question some months ago at Talk:Wikimedia_Foundation_elections/Board_elections#Wrong_name_here_-_need_confirmation_that_this_should_move about confusion on the names of various elections. If the new committee has any comment then I would appreciate any reply. Blue Rasberry (talk) 17:10, 21 July 2016 (UTC)

Names of committee members[edit]

Is there a very pressing reason why members of this committee should be known by pseudonyms? Given their crucial role in overseeing the selection of candidates for the Board, it seems that transparency requires that the committee members identify to the Community. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 20:29, 22 July 2016 (UTC)

No issues disclosing my own name (already done in multiple places), but I think it should be optional for committee members. Ajraddatz (talk) 20:57, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
Why so? Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 21:03, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
Because that would seem to be the standard for any positions on these sites. If you can be a steward, arbcom member, functionary, or admin without disclosing your name, there should be no need to here. Members of this committee can still be held accountable even if just their username is known. The combination of words that a person identifies themselves by doesn't change their actions or opinions. Ajraddatz (talk) 21:07, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
This Committee is functioning in the real world, putting forward real people for real positions on a real body which is responsible for real money. Transparency would benefit from their doing so under their real names. If a question of conflict of interest arises, for example, it would be all but impossible to resolve if the real identity of the individual in question were not availble for scrutiny. Even in the case of some of the posts you mention, identification to someone is required. In this case, identification to to Community would be the appropriate level. What would you impression be of an election to the board of governors of your local school if the people running the poll refused to say who they were? Is this less important? Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 21:15, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
I've worked government elections before, and was never required to disclose my name or identity (nor write a paragraph explaining who I was) to any of the electors. We aren't selecting people for the positions - we are just running the election. You still have failed to suggest any benefit from requiring this. – Ajraddatz (talk) 20:18, 8 April 2017 (UTC)
I feel like my comment on the mailing list last night didn't quite explain my position well. So I'll give this another shot:
  • "This Committee is functioning in the real world, putting forward real people for real positions on a real body which is responsible for real money" No, we are performing the technical processes of conducting the election including verifying the eligibility of electors and creating on-wiki pages for it. The final tally is released by the software through the WMF staff. As such, the ElectCom role is far more comparable to a poll clerk or DRO than it is to a returning officer. Though I hate arguing over the real-world equivalent, and really don't think such comparisons are very useful, so feel free to ignore that metaphor if you'd like. If this were a committee selecting people for board positions then this might be different.
  • "If a question of conflict of interest arises" - Given that there is no technical way for the committee members to manipulate the results, since we don't even make the tally of votes and have our vote-checking work confirmed by the other members of the committee, I'm not sure what conflict of interest there could be here. If candidate A was paying me off to support them, then there isn't much I could do about it. And having my very unimportant real name wouldn't allow you to figure out that conflict of interest any more than knowing my "anonymous" username would.
  • "Even in the case of some of the posts you mention, identification to someone is required" - Yes, and because this role deals with CU data, all members of the committee are required to identify to the Foundation. And almost all or all of us were previously functionaries. There is even a de-facto strengthened identification requirement for the Committee, though I'm not sure that I can talk about it here. I'll leave that to the WMF if they want to comment.
  • Giving a username is (IMO) a far more important revelation for wiki processes than a real name. You suggested on the list that ElectCom members could just reveal their real name instead of their wiki name, but I think that would severely cut into accountability. As it is, by providing my wiki username, you can check into every single comment I have made or interaction I have had with people. If my username was something less obviously connected to my real name, let's say Jaztaddar, then simply providing my real name would not give you any information about the useful conflicts of interest that I may have - such as, for example, a significant on-wiki conflict with one of the candidates.
  • Finally, if we go back to the terrible real-world election metaphor, the returning officer here is probably a member of the SuSa team at the Foundation. This is the person who opens and closes the polls, and gets the results. These staff are fully identified to both the Foundation and the community under their real name. The members of this Committee are just volunteers - we don't require any other volunteer role on these sites to reveal their real name. In light of the lack of benefits as highlighted above, I'm not sure why we would arbitrarily change that requirement for this role.
Apologies if I was overly dismissive of your argument here. I was getting the impression that you were just bringing this up again as a dead horse, but looking back I don't think I provided an adequate response to you the first time, so hopefully this is a bit better. – Ajraddatz (talk) 14:51, 9 April 2017 (UTC)

Terminology[edit]

Before it gets too strongly embedded can we please drop the misleading terminology of "election" for community nominated members of the Board? Selection rather than election would seem to be the mot juste. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 20:32, 22 July 2016 (UTC)

No, it's still an election, so election makes sense. Ajraddatz (talk) 20:57, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
To me it looks like a process in which the Community selects a list of nominees whom the Board may or may not appoint, as they see fit. That is not what I call an election. Maybe you are indifferent to the distinction, but that doesn't mean it is one. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 21:01, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
Yes, the community selects their list in what we call an "election" in the English language. Probably not worth spending much time lawyering over the properness of the term, considering it clearly applies. Ajraddatz (talk) 21:04, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
Ah, "I am right because I say I clearly am right". I think we can both agree it's not worth spending much time on that sort of argument. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 21:20, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
There is an election in the process. The WMF BoT is not bind by the result of that election doesn't conflict with the concept that the community is electing who they are putting forward to be appointed by the board. And regarding "before it gets too strongly embedded", that might have been back in 2007, not 2016. -- KTC (talk) 21:32, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
So, as I said, you agree that the process is not an election, since a part is not the whole. There is no such thing as might be suggested by the term "Board of Trustees elections". There is a selection process, part of which is an election to the position of person designated to be considered for possible appointment to the Board by the other Board members. The literary figure of naming the whole (selection) by the part (election) is called synecdoche, and it is a rhetorical device. In this case the rhetoric is intended to make the Community feel better about the process by believing that they have a stronger stake in it that they do in reality. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 06:34, 23 July 2016 (UTC)
Sure. Or maybe you're just making a ridiculous point over something which clearly fits the general definition (from google) of "the selection by vote of a person or persons from among candidates for a position". This will be my last post on this topic, and I really would recommend that you find better windmills to tilt at than semantic naming issues - there are potential serious concerns with elections and how they are run that you could focus on, for example. Ajraddatz (talk) 06:40, 23 July 2016 (UTC)
The relationship between the Board and the Community, and the way the Community is, or is not, represented on the Board, and the way these issues are described do not seem to me to be ridiculous topics of discussion -- your opinion is clearly different. The sad story of the Board appointments and dis-appointments (see what I did there) over the last 12 months show that the Board at least does not view these selection processes in the same light as a representative democracy views its elections. In the wider political world the term "election" is co-opted in a number of cases because of the aura of legitimacy it casts over processes which do not always deserve it. If, for example, the Board were to commit to always seating the Community's preferred candidates, or not unseating them without cause except with the demonstrated approval of the Community, then it would be less objectionable to use the term "election". Will the Board make that commitment? Perhaps it is an issue that the Elections Committee might discuss with them.
If you do not have anything further to contribute to discussion of the rhetoric around the process, then perhaps you would like to open a discussion with the Community on the potential serious concerns with elections and how they are run that you refer to. It's important, indeed, somewhat alarming, that a member of the Elections Committee should take that view. I urge you to give more detail. After all, it is entirely possible that the Community, who after all are somewhat involved in this process, may be able to help you resolve those issues. But we do need you to tell us what those concerns are. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 16:11, 23 July 2016 (UTC)
Public conversations will happen. I suppose I'm a bit alarmist calling them "serious" concerns, just perhaps more serious than petty semantics. Ajraddatz (talk) 17:34, 23 July 2016 (UTC)
Glad to hear that conversations will happen. Are you in a position to inform the Community as to when, where and how those conversations will take place, or are we to await the Committee's pleasure? I hope that one of the topics of conversation will be the relationship between the Community's election of nominees, and the Board's appointment, or not, or removal of those nominees. You may regard this latter issueas petty semantics, but there are others who do not, indeed regard it as a serious concern. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 19:33, 23 July 2016 (UTC)
I don't think Ajraddatz has suggested that conversation on "the relationship between the Community's election of nominees, and the Board's appointment, or not, or removal of those nominees" is semantics, but rather arguments over the use of the word "election" is. Anyhow, no, no one is in a position to say when such and other conversations will take place since the committee haven't decided it yet. The members literally found out they are members only shortly before the public announcement (and that's assuming they checked their emails before the public announcement). I'm sure the community will be informed as soon as the committee has decided on what it's doing. -- KTC (talk) 21:08, 23 July 2016 (UTC)
I read Ajraddatz's responses as implying that the whole issue is one of "petty semantics", and as not choosing to discuss it further. You and I, on the other hand, seem to be starting a sensible discussion about the nature of the selection process. Rather than dwell on the less than constructive responses of a third party, it would be of value not only to me, but, I venture to suggest, to the Community as a whole, if you felt able to say whether you were satisfied with the Board selection process and the relationship between the Board and the Community; whether you agree that there are serious concerns with the way the elections are run; what those might be, if any; whether you view them as issues to discuss with the Community; and what, where, when and how discussions might take place. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 10:38, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
The issue of elected board members being removed is indeed an important one, KTC is correct. But that issue won't be solved in one talk page conversation, and especially when indirectly introduced under some sort of wording issue. Ajraddatz (talk) 18:17, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
The issue of community-nominated Board members being removed a short way into their term of office is certainly a part, although not the whole of, the issue of the relationship between the Community selection and the Board nomination processes. I don't, and didn't claim, that a single conversation here will resolve all those issues. So I ask members of the Committee to say where when and how they propose to conduct the conversations and consultations with the Community that will help the Committee and the Community to drive forward the resolution of these issues. Telling us what you don't think works well is may be a small part of that but is hardly the whole of it. The ball is in the court of the Committee and its members. What are you going to do? Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 19:07, 24 July 2016 (UTC)

ElectComWiki[edit]

I assume this is for you guys? :p

A new wiki was created by reedy at Mon, 06 Nov 2017 19:54:05 GMT for a Wikimedia in English (en).
Once the wiki is fully set up, it'll be visible at https://electcom.wikimedia.org

 · Salvidrim! ·  19:57, 6 November 2017 (UTC)

I do not know who might have information about this. Blue Rasberry (talk) 21:46, 7 November 2017 (UTC)
I inquired about it, and apparently it is for ElectCom. More information to come... – Ajraddatz (talk) 22:12, 7 November 2017 (UTC)
Sorry, must have not posted my message yesterday. Yes, this wiki's for the election committee. Now that the committee is a standing committee (read: it exists for longer than just three months every two years), it made sense to have a wiki to discuss things in formats that don't make sense on a mailing list. It'll also allow us to more easily onboard new election committee members, as it'll be something of a historical record for these discussions. There was a lot of feedback from last cycle about various aspects that might have gone better, a lot of which were down to time pressure. This was preventable, and this new wiki should in theory allow us to work on that. Sorry for the seeming opaqueness :) There's a Phab task for this too, phab:T174370. Joe Sutherland (Wikimedia Foundation) (talk) 17:41, 8 November 2017 (UTC)

ASBS[edit]

Hi, I have been busy as Election Gacilitator with ASBS lately. Two people were nominated to the Board through that process. I just learned about this committee. I would like to have a chat to shate experiences. Could ASBS Election Facilitators get access to the election wiki? Greetings, Ad Huikeshoven (talk) 05:57, 30 July 2019 (UTC)

Renewal and voting method[edit]

In light of recent discussions, it's clear that in a few months we'll have again an election process I (and many others) would complain about, with the same arguments as always. So, to be proactive, I'm open to volunteering on the committee, but before allocating my time to this effort I'd like to have confirmation from the board (or the chair of the board governance committee?) that the board is seriously interested in re-assessing the election method and that there will be a process to do so (including a streamlined committee and a dedicated agenda point on the relevant board and board committee meetings in due time). If so, I'll post a proposal and open a discussion before applying. JSutherland, can you relay this message to the appropriate channels? Nemo 09:26, 13 January 2020 (UTC)

@Nemo bis: You have my support as a candidate for this. I was on the election committee for Affiliate-selected Board seats/2016 and Affiliate-selected Board seats/2019 and I have appreciated your engagement in matters of Wikimedia governance. Of special interest to me is promoting transparency and accountability, and I trust that you share those as Wikimedia community values. I want the best election, but I also see the limited resources and constraints that we have. When there is wiki-style documentation then I can better accept the attempt and recommendations that an election committee can make. Blue Rasberry (talk) 15:25, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
@Nemo bis: even if there's not time to change the election method this time, how about adding a question about whether the candidates would prefer your proposal (where is your proposal?) to Wikimedia Foundation elections/Board elections/2020/Questions? EllenCT (talk) 21:15, 13 January 2020 (UTC)

2020 Process update?[edit]

Could someone on the Committee update the Meta pages referring to this year's Board elections? Even if that is to add detail about the current timeline estimates (whatever the uncertainty). –SJ talk  02:30, 15 September 2020 (UTC)

Especially after this post by Doc James I'm a bit confused, as it seems to say between the lines, that new board members for the community elected seats could be possible without an election on the next Wikimania. That's of course not possible, without an election there are no people to become board members. I think it's long overdue to start the next election, and Covid-19 has absolutely nothing to do with this, as everything is done online, and there are no restrictions for an online process due to Covid-19. Imho even the postponing in march had no real reason, as all election processes are done online. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 10:16, 4 November 2020 (UTC)

When will you start the overdue election process for the Board?[edit]

Currently the Board is not sufficiently vetted, it is in a self-proclaimed overtime. Elections of the members are long overdue. When will you finally start organising the elections? The current less valid board should not make such grave changes without some better legitimation beforehand, and the only legitimacy for the board comes from elections by the highest entity in the Wikiverse, the online community. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 05:34, 2 February 2021 (UTC)

@AbhiSuryawanshi, Carlojoseph14, HakanIST, Mardetanha, KTC, Masssly, Matanya, ProtoplasmaKid, and Ruslik0: Any answer, or will you continue to do absolutely nothing for the long overdue election, to get a properly valid board soon? Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 08:20, 24 February 2021 (UTC)
Hi, once the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees/Call for feedback: Community Board seats will conclude we will know what is the route for the next elections, and will run it, based on the outcome of the call for feedback. Matanya (talk) 08:35, 24 February 2021 (UTC)
But what should a not properly vetted board decide? First they must regain their proper status, that is now just that of some interim, pure technical, board, without proper elections there will be no legitimate board to decide anything. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 09:01, 24 February 2021 (UTC)
I understand your viewpoint, but this is not something in the mandate of the election committee to change. Matanya (talk) 10:58, 24 February 2021 (UTC)
You are the ones responsible for organising the overdue elections, so far you have not done anything in this regard despite the illegitimacy of the current board. You have thus worked against the communities here, when will you finally start doing your duty and organise the election? Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 11:32, 24 February 2021 (UTC)
They don't really have the authority to do anything at this point. Unilaterally starting the process is unlikely to end well, and must be weighed against possible repercussions. They could make a statement of some sort, but I doubt it would influence the Board's plans. (Though IMO they should anyway.) --Yair rand (talk) 13:04, 24 February 2021 (UTC)
I'll ping the paid staffers as well: @Slaporte (WMF), CRoslof (WMF), JSutherland (WMF), and GVarnum-WMF:, I can't ping Esra’a Al Shafei, as she has no pingable account. This withholding of the overdue election for the communities is no longer anything that can be just shoved away, it's becoming more and more malicious neglect of the highest entity in the Wikiverse, the online communities. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 13:16, 24 February 2021 (UTC)
Hi, the Wikimedia Foundation elections committee is a committee of the Wikimedia Foundation, appointed by the Wikimedia Foundation Board Governance Committee with members from the Wikimedia community. Its only powers are what the board gives it, and until the Board Governance Committee direct us to organise an election, we have no power to do so I'm afraid. -- KTC (talk) 17:20, 24 February 2021 (UTC)

Upcoming elections[edit]

A board resolution has been published about upcoming elections Wikimedia Foundation Board noticeboard/2021-04-15 Resolution about the upcoming Board elections. They proposed a timeline. Could the Elections Committee let us know if they are going to follow this timeline? The choice of voting method is up to the Elections Committee. Could you let us know whether you are going to adopt Single Transferable Vote, or not, please. Ad Huikeshoven (talk) 08:17, 25 April 2021 (UTC)

Hi Ed, we are acrively working with foundation staff on building a timeline, an update will be shared once we have one. Sorry for the delay. Matanya (talk) 19:08, 8 May 2021 (UTC)

Upcoming elections: Schulze STV[edit]

The board resolution leaves the choice of voting method to the Elections Committee. I would like to propose Schulze STV. It is a Condorcet STV method, similar to CPO-STV. As 4 seats have to be filled, Schulze STV systematically searches for candidates who win in every 5-seat STV count. These candidates then become the final winners. Schulze STV, therefore, satisfies a generalization of the Condorcet criterion to proportional representation by the single transferable vote. Compared to other STV methods, Schulze STV also has the advantage that voters can give the same preference to more than one candidate; they can even vote approval-style or Support/Neutral/Oppose-style. I can provide the source code for this election method. Markus Schulze (talk) 09:30, 5 May 2021 (UTC)

Herr Schulze, dear Mark, thanks for pushing your method. In the last "community sourced" elections (see Affiliate-selected Board seats/Resolution 2019) single transferable vote with Droop quota was used. The software used allowed voters to give the same preference to more than one candidate. Ad Huikeshoven (talk) 12:35, 8 May 2021 (UTC)
Thank you Markus for providing some expert advice! There's a sore need for Wikimedia elections to not follow Australia's lead in considering maths optional.
Various choices are possible, but it's important to pick some sound and tested method. The Schulze STV has served us well and has proven resilient in a recent very controversial Debian vote.
Now that a complex set of criteria and preferences are sought by the WMF board, it's going to be all the more important to have a method that can fairly represent the voters' preferences. I hope WMF has budgeted enough time, software development resources etc. to adapt SecurePoll as needed. (Some fairly minimal interface changes would be enough to make the voting method more understandable for users, but they need to be tested and validated ahead of time. Last minute development is not advisable.) Nemo 18:29, 9 May 2021 (UTC)

Wahlberechtigung[edit]

Obwohl ich denke, dass Ihr hier sowieso mitlest, auch hier noch mal die Frage zur Wahlberechtigung. Der Satz, den ich da anspreche, ist sehr unklar, es ist nicht deutlich, was der Satz aussagen möchte. Es gibt zahlreiche Interpretationsmöglichkeiten, und die, die gerade von User:DBarthel (WMF) dort aufgezeigt wurde halte ich für a) zu restriktiv und b) zu manipulationsanfällig. Wenn jemand in zwei kleinen Projekten gesperrt wurde, weil er einem Admin dort auf die Füße getreten ist, dann wäre er trotz noch so gutem Standings in noch so vielen großen Projekten nicht wahlberechtigt. Und was ist überhaupt ein Projekt? Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 10:55, 29 June 2021 (UTC)

Questions about how questions were chosen[edit]

A question has been asked on the candidate questions page about how the 10 questions were chosen. If someone on behalf of the committee could address that it would be appreciated. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 16:38, 17 July 2021 (UTC)