Wikimedia Foundation elections/2021/Post Analysis
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Question selection issues
First up of several wash-up areas that occur to me: with question selection being an obvious first one. Per this thread and others on the same page, there are several issues that occur here: Nosebagbear (talk) [Duped to "Questions to Candidates" on the Post-Mortem page as that is where discussion has been occurring]
Odd question selection
The questions selected did not include the large majority of the most-endorsed questions by the actual Community. Multiple questions with no endorsements were included. The thread, as well as complaints I've seen elsewhere, also feels that a significant number of "soft-ball" questions were included, vs more critical other questions.
This involves two main facets:
- That participants were not aware that question selection would occur, as the phrasing used was "collating"
- That no reasoning was provided for which questions were selected, not selected, and that specific number
I should also note that it was indicated that much of the methodology for this election was stated to come off the 2017 set-up. Except that one also had similar complaints about transparency on "collation" raised, so I'm not sure how a functionally identical recurrence happened.
While the question reduction was covered by @JKoerner (WMF): as avoiding overwhelming candidates, 11 questions seems very few to someone who must have sufficient time to act as a good-communicating Board member, and a long-run in. While I could understand some limit (if made obvious from the start), it must be much higher than what it was.
Immediately after the above question selection, @TomDotGov:, plus numerous others, raised concerns about it, asking ElectCom to explain their choices, as well as discuss amending them etc. As far as I can see, none responded, even to confirm awareness of the issues.
2 weeks later, on the 16th July, I pinged each member of ElectCom and two of their permanent WMF advisors (as distinct from JKoerner, who was a specific BOT-election facilitator, and communicative throughout, within the areas they felt it appropriate for WMF staff to comment on). On the 17th July, another editor dropped a note on ElectCom's talk page.
Further communication attempts were made, including another request on their talk page to respond.
None of these would gather a response. Discussion with JKoerner indicated she could understand our irritation with non-responsiveness, and beyond the methods utilised by myself and others, couldn't offer a logical other communication attempt to try prior to conclusion of the election I unfortunately do not have a new solution for you. The only suggestions I have for reaching out are ways you have already reached out
Ultimately, on the 21st August I tried reaching out through the Community Affairs and Board Governance Board subcommittees. With this I garnered an impressively quick initial response by @Shani (WMF):, and some well-informed discussion, but was neither able to resolve the issues nor, as of this post, confirm reasoning for the non-responsiveness.
Given the 9 week timescale, I'm not sure what the lack of response, from some well-experienced editors on Electcom, was due to. Obviously in the close-run period there would be on-going demands on their time, but not full-time when the concerns were first raised and especially to the tune of no member even noting the presence of major concerns. Nosebagbear (talk) 19:02, 7 September 2021 (UTC)