The result could also be interpreted as a thundering success for the voting method being used.

We have now the last year and two seen major improvement in professionalism in WMF (thanks Lila) and the chapters and their boards (thanks local ECs and boards, FDC members, Katy and Winnifred). But the professionalism of the Board has not really improved correspondingly, and is in my view the weakest link in the movement just now. And the key is here of course the recruitment to the Board.

And while I have the highest respect for the members now leaving, and see them worthy of praise, I personally think we anyway need stronger candidates more experienced in running this type of business. And I actually see the new ones having stronger background to enabale the necessary improvement in professionalism. This by the way include a more more professional election process, including a (standing) Election Committe (that exists well before the five days that was given before having to get into operational mode that was the case this time ...).

And is it not perfect that the used algorithm enables a balancing of the benefit for the existing Boardmembers of being well known with a disappointment they do not live up to the high(er) exceptions (or need of changed profiles in Board)?


Milos Rancic skrev den 2015-06-06 19:15:
Moving this discussion into a separate thread, to leave the main one
for best wishes and similar :)

Before I start talking about the voting system itself, I have to say
that, from my personal perspective, I wouldn't imagine better outcome:
a Polish steward (my favorite Wikimedian group :) ), a Croat founder
of Wikidata (whom I consider as a friend) and a very prominent English
Wikipedian, with significant record of working with smaller languages
(BTW, I didn't know that he's a candidate till I saw the results; I
didn't vote, as I still don't think I am able to make informed
decision; useful note: one year out of movement requires more than one
year to be able to fully participate again).

When I read the results for the first time, I thought that it's about
structural changes. However, it was not. Present Board members were
just punished as present board members (some people will always object
your work) with negative votes, as well as Sj was punished with lack
of positive votes because of his laziness :P

The problem is obviously the voting system. And it's one more reason
why standing committee should be created. With more time, they would
know why it's perfect for stewards and why it isn't for any kind of
democratic representatives (including English Wikipedia ArbCom; as far
as I remember, this is exactly the method how en.wp ArbCom is

Stewards have to be trusted all over the projects and 80% threshold
follows that idea. However, stewards are not reelected, they have to
show to that they are doing good job and there is the space for those
who are doing important, but not visible job. Bottom line is that
stewards themselves decide if somebody would stay a steward or not.
(If there were objections from the community.) And stewards are doing
that job perfectly.

It should be also noted that stewards are elected managers, not
democratic representatives, which Board members and en.wp ArbCom
members are.

This system is bad because of two main reasons: (1) it isn't suitable
for electing democratic representatives; and (2) it's very vulnerable
to abuse, which could easily create negative culture.

Applying this to the democratic elections consistently means one of
two things: we want to have conformists in the Board or we want to
change Board members every two years.

I hope the first is not our idea. The second could be, but two years
in office is too short period of time for a Board member to do
anything substantially. So, this method would be a valid one if the
term of a Board member would be, let's say, four years.

The output of the elections is not democratic, as well. It's obvious
that Maria got the most support and it's 5% more than the first one,
as well as Phoebe had more support than the second one.

While I think that opposing votes are important, they shouldn't be
*that* important. Successful candidate had to gather 3 supporting
votes for every opposing one. If the supporting and opposing votes
have the same weight, it would be more fair.

With the formula S-O, the results would be:
1) Dariusz: 2028-556=1472
2) Maria: 2184-775=1409
3) Phoebe: 1995-714=1281
4) James: 1857-578=1279
5) Denny: 1628-544=1084

And the results would be much more according to the expressed will of
the community: Dariusz is well respected steward and community has
given him a lot of support, and as he is a new candidate he didn't do
anything which would annoy a part of the community. Maria had
significant opposition, but also the biggest number of supporters,
which has to be acknowledged. Phoebe and James would have been very
close, while Denny wouldn't reach support threshold.

If one opposing vote has weight of three supporting votes, this could
easily change the strategy of the groups interested to see one of
their candidates as Board members. Instead of "vote for", we'd get
"vote against" attitude. That's not just abusive toward the system,
but also creates negative atmosphere, where candidates and supporting
groups could start looking into each other as enemies, not as fellow

So, while the current voting system has given refreshing results, it
would be bad to keep it as it's now. To be honest, I would avoid
negative votes at all, as I am sure that even more fair system would
be implemented, if it contains negative votes next time, we'll get
much more negative votes than this time, with negative consequences
for our culture.

On Sat, Jun 6, 2015 at 2:16 PM, Gregory Varnum <> wrote:
I have a lot of personal opinions on the method, questions process, etc.
Many of them will be shared in the committee's post mortem (others I will
be discarding as I now process the last several weeks).

Also, we are beginning to post some statistics that folks may find helpful:

We will be posting more on the blog next week about what all goes into
running the elections, and I am open to feedback on what additional
information we can share that would be helpful to the community. Our group
made an early commitment to transparency, and I hope that has come across
in our posting of major meeting minutes, posting of these stats, open
dialogue on Meta and email, a post mortem from the committee, and the
upcoming blog post.

Finally, I want to give a big thank you to my colleagues on the Elections
Committee. I was, by the nature of my tasks, a bit more visible - but
please know that everyone worked very hard, did a great job, and deserves
equal gratitude. Thank you Adrian, Anders, Daniel, Katie, Mardetanha,
Ruslan, Savh, and Trijnstel - as well as Risker, James, Alice, Philippe,
Geoff, Stephen, Sylvia, Heather, Tim, and a few others I'm sure I'm

-greg (User:Varnent)

On Sat, Jun 6, 2015 at 6:19 AM, Chris Keating <>

Congratulations to the new Board members - I am sure you will do a great
job. And commiserations to those who will be leaving the Board - thank you
for all your hard work over many years.

Also it is good to see a much higher turnout in this year's elections than
in 2013 - well done to those involved :)

On the subject of voting systems, though...

On Sat, Jun 6, 2015 at 9:08 AM, Anders Wennersten <>

David Cuenca Tudela skrev den 2015-06-06 09:01:

However I must say that the results of this election are hilarious. The
person with the most support votes doesn't win because of oppose votes
  Why hilarious? We had a full consensus in the election Committee to go
for S/N/O voting, it is a kind of standard procedure in the Wikimedia
Many people looked at voting systems before the Wikimedia movement existed
and virtually none of them settled on the system we ended up with. Perhaps
this should tell us something!

To my mind the key problems with the present system are:
1) Oppose votes have greater weight than support votes. In this case, Maria
would have needed 136 additional support votes to win, or 46 fewer oppose
votes. In effect an Oppose vote was worth 2.96 times as much as a support
vote for her. As a result, being non-opposed is much more important than
being supported. The penalty for doing anything controversial is

2) There is nothing in the process to produce any diversity in the result.
Say that there was a 2/3 to 1/3 split in the electorate on some important
issue. The right answer would surely be that you elect 2 people with one
view and 1 with the other. However, in this voting system you would likely
end up electing 3 people from the majority point of view. Because the
Wikimedia movement is much more complex than this it is difficult to
conclude that there was any particular issue like this that would have
affected the result, but still, the point applies. The voting system builds
in homogeneity not diversity.


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