I am the last one to say that multi-linguality is not important. However,
given that the affiliates board is selected by an organisation that NEEDS
to communicate in English, I disagree.

It is vital for people of the affiliates to have a reasonable understanding
of English and when they do not, this is not the place to start remedying

On 6 March 2016 at 08:36, attolippip <attolip...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Dear all,
> As you are (probably) aware, the 2016 affiliate-selected Board seats
> process has started already. And I do think that the process is broken
> somewhere [1]. The democracy principles even in my country, though it is
> far from being a role model for transparency and governance, state that
> people are equal and they have rights and responsibilities. But the process
> at the moment is not fair and equal footing is not provided for. It is
> great to have dedicated friends across the Movement that can translate your
> statement into German or Chinese, but as long as not all statements are
> translated into the languages used in all affiliates eligible to vote, I
> deem the process broken.
> Thus I formally request that WMF spend enough resources to have all
> nominations pages translated into all languages requested by the affiliates
> eligible to vote [2] [3] and all languages used already by the nominees. I
> am sure that the three facilitators cannot provide it. And there are limits
> to what volunteers can do [4] or how fast. If WMF refuses, I am going to
> use my own money [5], it costs 150 UAH (around 6 USD) to have a page
> translated into Swedish, for example :) I can manage 7 pages translated
> into as many languages as my personal budget will allow, but I shall do it
> fairly at least, so we won’t have Susanna’s statement only in English and
> Spanish, while Osmar’s is also in German, Catalan and French. WMF spends
> considerable resources (mostly in staff time) on supporting the three
> "community-elected" seats, but these two seats are not lesser board seats
> than the three "community" ones.
> The nominees write their statement in English. Nothing wrong with that, of
> course. But for a tiny little (and big) thing: not everybody understands it
> well enough to make an informed choice. But even among seven board members
> of Wikimedia Ukraine, two DO NOT SPEAK English, so they can read the
> statements only if they [the statements] are translated into Ukrainian.
> They have no choice, actually. In discussing whether to endorse my
> candidacy, they either have to believe the rest of the Board members that I
> am the most wonderful candidate and the others are just not as wonderful
> and that’s it, or they are to ignore the Board meeting where this decision
> is to be made. They can spend time editing Wikipedia or reading instead.
> And beyond the language issue, there is the informing and participation
> issue: I am not sure how this process is organised in other affiliates, and
> how you make your decisions to vote for this or that possibility (in terms
> of this, I believe that there are seven possibilities presented at the
> moment, by us, as nominees. So you can accept or decline what we seven
> offer). You (actually) do not know us and if we are going to be great or
> poor as Board members of WMF, and if we are the right-for-the-moment
> choice, but you are going to choose. Are you really going to choose just
> based on your personal contacts? Remember, in most cases administrators are
> chosen more objectively, as it is almost impossible to get to know them
> first personally. They are ‘judged’ by their deeds before, during and
> after… Were you going to ask your communities what they think about the
> candidates? And the members of your affiliate? If not, please consider this
> option. We do have a sad example of an appointed Board member being not
> accepted by us, as the Community.
> I am sorry for the long letter. I do believe I have a right to request (and
> suggest) this. I was a part of a team that made sure that the Ukrainian
> community REALLY knows about the elections so the eligible users on UKWP
> have voted [6] [7] And we really worked to make that happen. As you can
> see, Board elections may be of great importance to the whole community. So
> (at least) informing your own members is important, I believe.
> Best regards,
> antanana / Nataliia Tymkiv
> Wikimedia Ukraine
> [1] There is a question about the ‘turnout in this selection process’
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliate-selected_Board_seats/2016/Questions#Turnout_in_this_selection_process
> so you’d think that people care. But do they? Really?
> [2] I think that contacting each affiliate eligible to vote and asking them
> if they need help to translate the statements and if yes, what languages
> are required by memberships/affiliates’ leadership to read the statements.
> By doing this we also make sure that they are aware of the upcoming
> elections and are engaged
> [3] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_chapters
> [4] Because they just may be not willing to do it
> [5] well, I was going to translate into Ukrainian all statement anyway,
> translating is the best way to read the statement thoughtfully :)
> [6] https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2015-May/077966.html
> [7]
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_elections_2015/Stats
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