Hi Andreas,

a quick and short response: we do not provide a response on a thing that
has not been collectively discussed. That's a standard that should be kept,
and the organization of elections is definitely something that needs
discussing every time they happen (the procedure involves several months of
work of the governance committee, before going to the board discussion).

In no way the "reluctance" should be read as a commitment to organize the
future elections in some specific way.

Our approach to this particular, upcoming elections of 2 seats was
straightforward: we recognized the fact that the community input was
missing for seats historically reserved for affiliate-only nomination. Two
of these seats are upcoming for re-election, and we focused on optimizing
the process for these two seats, with no specific intent for the community
elections in the future.

I realize it is difficult not to assume that we're secretly plotting to
take over the world, but the mundane reality is that much as we would love
to, we lack the bandwidth and to a large extent focus on things as they



On Wed, Apr 27, 2022 at 5:41 AM Andreas Kolbe <jayen...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi Dariusz and all,
> Since this thread started, I (and several others) have asked in multiple
> locations whether the WMF can promise that when the four formerly
> community-selected seats come up for re-selection in 2024, community
> members will be given a free vote.
> This question seemed particularly important, given that in the Call for
> Feedback on how affiliates should participate in elections[1] – where
> mainly affiliates were invited to respond, even though the result has
> clearly affected the community as well – it was explicitly said that *"the
> answers may refer not just to the two seats mentioned, but also to other,
> Community- and Affiliate-selected seats."*
> I have received no response, nor have any of the others. And if you think
> about it, the 2021 changes to the bylaws,[2] collapsing community-selected
> seats and affiliate-selected seats into a single, new category, "Community-
> and Affiliate-selected seats", only makes sense if you do intend to abolish
> community voting. After all, these were the very words, "community voting",
> that were removed from the bylaws.
> So, given that the WMF appears reluctant to confirm that the 2024
> selection process will be a proper, free community vote, along the lines of
> the 2021 vote, I think it is safe to assume that it intends for the 2024
> procedure to be similar to this year, i.e.:
> – either the community once again voting on a shortlist pre-selected by
> the affiliates,
> – or perhaps the affiliates voting on a shortlist pre-selected by the
> community.
> Either process could be "sold" to the community by saying that because the
> community was given a say in what used to be 2 affiliate seats in 2022 (as
> was argued both in this thread and on Meta), it is only fair if the
> affiliates, in turn, get a say in the 4 former community seats in 2024.
> But while the shortlist method can be characterised as increasing
> community influence this year, its long-term effect will be a dilution of
> community influence on the board, because either way, the community vote
> will always be filtered through affiliate preferences.
> I believe Jimmy Wales recognised this dilution, when he argued strenuously
> against the bylaws change in late 2020 (and there was concurrently talk of
> removing him from the board), saying in the Wikipedia Weekly Faceboook
> group[3] (my emphases):
> *It is of course a bit awkward for me to comment here, but I think that I
> should.*
> *As is well known, I have no interest in being the boss of anything or the
> dictator of anything. My most keen interest is for the future of the
> encyclopedia, with all the core values intact: that we are a
> community-first project, that we are a charity, that we are neutral, that
> we strive for quality, and that we work towards governance that means
> safety for all these values in the long run.*
> *In the past few years, there have been several crises that have made it
> increasingly clear to me: the biggest problem on the board is not a lack of
> professional expertise, but rather a lack of community representation and
> control. I am a steadfast proponent of that - you can speak to James
> Heilman for more details (I've not consulted with him in advance but I'm
> sure he'll tell you about my concerns about the "professional" board
> members who don't seem to have our values at heart.)*
> *I am deeply concerned about the tone of some of the latest proposals from
> some quarters: a reluctance to be firmly clear that community control - in
> the form of voting and not just some vague "community-sourced board
> members" language that might mean anything or nothing - is not negotiable.*
> *I believe that we need to be moving in a mildly different direction with
> the board expansion. I don't want to make a specific proposal but I will
> say this: rather than an expansion that keeps community in a slight +1
> position, I think we need an expansion that gives the community an
> absolutely dominant role.*
> *I've not spoken yet about my personal role, because I want us to focus on
> the long run. But my preference is not to step aside until I am sure that
> the "professional" appointed seats are absolutely always in service to the
> community, by making sure that their numbers are - relative to the
> community numbers - reduced.*
> *Removing my voting seat - yes, it's a good idea in the long run, as I am
> just one person and not that important in the grand scheme of things. But
> for now, I feel that my role is to represent the moral conscience of the
> movement and to prevent takeover by outside interests who do not understand
> our values. So for those who ask when, I would say: when we are safe. And I
> don't think that's true just yet.*
> He had said earlier[4] that he would "personally only support a final
> revision which explicitly includes community voting and I believe it is
> abundantly clear to everyone on the board that this is mandatory."
> Unfortunately he was mistaken on both counts; in the end, community voting
> was struck from the bylaws by a unanimous board resolution, supported by
> both James and Jimmy.[5]
> Of course, if I am entirely wrong about all of this, and the board has no
> intention whatsoever of making the 2024 vote for the four former
> community-selected seats anything other than a free community vote, all it
> takes is an email to this mailing list to commit to this now – that the
> 2024 selection process will be a free and open community vote – to put such
> speculation to rest.
> And the absence of such an email will speak volumes as well.
> Best wishes,
> Andreas
> [1]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/hyperkitty/list/wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org/thread/BXIB6EYTOJEKVLVUFGXUPNKUQB7GJILQ/#BXIB6EYTOJEKVLVUFGXUPNKUQB7GJILQ
> [2]
> https://foundation.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Bylaws&diff=123603&oldid=123339
> [3]
> https://www.facebook.com/groups/wikipediaweekly/permalink/3448296538551486/?comment_id=3448469991867474
> [4]
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Wikimedia_Foundation_Board_noticeboard/October_2020_-_Proposed_Bylaws_changes#"Community_Nomination_Process";
> Diff:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Talk:Wikimedia_Foundation_Board_noticeboard/October_2020_-_Proposed_Bylaws_changes&diff=20521513&oldid=20521233
> [5]
> https://foundation.wikimedia.org/wiki/Resolution:Amended_Bylaws_Articles_IV_%26_V_(2020)
> P.S. Just for clarity, my brief comment earlier about the 5th and
> 6th-placed in last year's board selection vote was intended to indicate
> that the community is quite capable of selecting diverse candidates. If the
> two seats the WMF is looking to fill this year had been filled last year,
> along with the 4 seats that resulted from the 2021 community vote, we would
> have had, based on the reported results of that community vote:[6]
> 1. An American woman
> 2. A woman from Belarus currently living in the UK
> 3. A Polish man splitting his time between Poland and the US
> 4. An Italian man
> 5. A woman from Ivory Coast
> 6. A British man living in the Spanish island of Tenerife off the coast of
> Africa
> There are gaps here (Asia, foremost), but it's clearly not true that left
> to its own devices, the community only votes for white men living in the
> West.
> [6]
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_elections/2021/Results
> On Sun, Apr 24, 2022 at 3:13 PM Alessandro Marchetti via Wikimedia-l <
> wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org> wrote:
>> Last year the community voted that way putting diverse candidates at 5th
>> and 6th position because the election method could not work properly, even
>> assuming (as it was) a general attempt of diverse choice by the electorate.
>> The main issue was in the low threshold for the candidatures. As soon as I
>> figured out with a simple set of simulations I tried to warn and I was
>> semi-harassed on the telegram chat. One person told me to shut up because I
>> did not understand how STV worked, another one accused me of being in bad
>> taste.
>> However, my analysis was probably right. I expected the output to be
>> gender balanced but not geographically balanced because of dispersion among
>> candidates. Unfortunately people were probably too ideologically oriented
>> by how good STV system was and how great was to have so many candidates.
>> Just to be clear, I don't dislike STV, but at least I understand how to
>> simulate an election. If you want to use STV for a diverse output, put a
>> clear selection of candidates after studying how people usually vote.
>> In general, this community has no literacy on electoral process but more
>> importantly, it does not want it. That's why discussing this topic seems
>> almost useless. People could mix up everything together, sometimes they
>> just take a concept and put it to the extreme.
>> The direct elections was poor because of the lack of understanding of the
>> voting behavior. I am sure even now somebody thinks we have elected so many
>> "white people" because of the "racist" (or more nuanced adjective)
>> electorate, but it would have happened with an honest attempt of diversity
>> by voters, which I think it actually occurred.
>> As for this issue, these other seats with this system. in the end it
>> looks that the power of the generic users might have increased, we are
>> switching probably from a totally affiliate-oriented election to an
>> election where the community in one step of the process cast a vote in a
>> open at-large election which is generally good. If you have a good
>> selections of candidates, the result might be balanced.
>> The ASBS2019 election was already an improvement enlarging the electoral
>> base, it was more transparent and public the previous elections of
>> affiliates seats, but it still had to face some issues. One is that some
>> affiliates cast the actual vote among few people with no real participation
>> of their members (even suggesting them to at least inform their members
>> they were casting a vote was "too much"), the other one that a small
>> fraction of active users could be more involved in the process in two or
>> more UGs.
>> Giving a power of selecting candidates and not final votes to affiliates
>> force them to care more about that step, producing convincing figures while
>> the at-large election still has some issues but it's more democratic for
>> the final choice. It might work, if correctly calibrated.
>> One issue of the at-large elections  is the threshold for candidates,
>> but delegating to the affiliates might lead to both strong and diverse
>> options, without excessive dispersion.
>> Another issue of the at-large elections are the votes of institutional
>> account that are not properly handled. Usually people here make some weird
>> comparison about civil servants voting but it has nothing to do with it.
>> You just expect people to reach voting right by themselves and not as a
>> result of c.o.i paid activity, and you should be more careful about it in
>> the case of close results. If the internal process of affiliates select the
>> candidates, than that would be a good moment to decide the weigh of this
>> type of votes at the next step if it's an at large election. Again, you
>> probably don't want to deal with  this problem with a close call.
>> In any case, again, electoral literacy is hard, while taking one concept
>> and enlarging it for a "soapbox moment" is easy. just to clear I have
>> nothing against one position or another per se. For example I disagree with
>> the merge of the two types of seats because it might lead to some
>> functional results if correctly handled but for sure with the strong
>> ideological positions we face, it can only lead to more chaos. So far, I
>> might say that both processes might end up to more open globally than in
>> the past. Although they could have been much better.
>> Like everything, we will deal with the data at the end for those who want
>> to care.
>> Alessandro
>> Il domenica 24 aprile 2022, 14:58:23 CEST, Andreas Kolbe <
>> jayen...@gmail.com> ha scritto:
>> On Sun, Apr 24, 2022 at 9:40 AM Chris Keating <chriskeatingw...@gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>> On Sat, Apr 23, 2022 at 11:32 PM Andreas Kolbe <jayen...@gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>> There is no longer any distinction between community and affiliate
>> trustees. For reference, see the "Type of seat" column in the current board
>> member table on Meta, as well as the footnote under the table.[1]
>> What Dariusz has announced here is a new process for determining
>> "community-and-affiliate trustees". This new process is being "*implemented
>> on a trial basis for the 2022 election*".
>> I don't think it follows that the Board intends to use this model for the
>> following (2024?) election of the four seats elected last year. Indeed, I
>> am virtually certain they won't, given the significance of the movement
>> governance changes that are going on, and the level of change we have seen
>> in WMF board elections in the last few years.
>> You don't say you "trial" something if you're planning to do it only this
>> once.
>> This whole change in process goes back to a "Call for feedback" that was
>> put out on December 23, 2021, i.e. one day before Christmas Eve.[1]
>> There is hardly a worse working day in the year to make such an
>> announcement, for most people in our movement, if the intent truly is to
>> attract widespread attention. Why not wait until the New Year, and make
>> such an announcement once people are back at their desks, undistracted by
>> holiday preparations?
>> (Announcing potentially contentious items or U-turns this close to
>> Christmas should really be forbidden. A similar thing was done in the
>> Abstract Wikipedia licensing discussion.[2])
>> Subsequently this "Call for feedback" process seems to have consisted
>> almost exclusively of four calls or meetings between the WMF and a number
>> of affiliates.[3] The description of these meetings on Meta includes the
>> following item:
>> *"By Victoria: Currently, there are a range of options for affiliates to
>> be involved; e.g. the same way as before (ASBS) or; the affiliates could
>> select among the candidates, and the community votes on those candidates,
>> or swap it around, to have the community vote on a shortlist for the
>> affiliates to vote on."*
>> I assume that "Victoria" refers to WMF Board Member Victoria Doronina. If
>> that is so, then it is somewhat obfuscatory – although not altogether
>> incorrect, of course – to say on the page on Meta summarising these
>> discussions:[4]
>> *"One member of the community suggested that diversity (regional, gender,
>> expertise and others) could be ensured if the election process was modified
>> to allow the affiliates to choose a shortlist of 10-15 candidates. This is
>> in a way similar to the Movement Charter Drafting Committee selection
>> process. The community would later vote and select their representatives
>> from that shortlist."*
>> Of course Victoria is a longstanding community member, but she is also
>> presently a WMF Board Member. If a WMF Board Member suggests changes to the
>> way the WMF Board will be constituted in future, then I think it would be
>> proper to identify this suggestion as originating from within the Board
>> itself. If another Victoria was meant, then this point is moot.
>> As for the question in your other mail, Chris, the two seats in question
>> are not affiliate seats. For better or worse, they are now
>> community-and-affiliate-selected seats.[3] They should be selected by a
>> method that is equitable. The method Dariusz announced is not.
>> A couple of people on the Kurier Diskussion page in de:WP and on Meta
>> have made comments to the effect that volunteers always end up voting for
>> white men living in the West. It's worth noting that the people placed 5th
>> and 6th in last year's community vote were a woman from Ivory Coast (who
>> lost out by the slimmest of margins) and a Brit living on Tenerife, a
>> Spanish island off the coast of Africa.
>> Andreas
>> [1]
>> https://lists.wikimedia.org/hyperkitty/list/wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org/thread/ZJZQDVRN6KARSVYJJAJIQ4S2ED5IG3YP/
>> [2]
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Abstract_Wikipedia/Licensing_discussion#Decision
>> [3]
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Board_of_Trustees/Call_for_feedback:_Board_of_Trustees_elections/Affiliations_Consultation
>> [4]
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Board_of_Trustees/Call_for_feedback:_Board_of_Trustees_elections/Reports#First_question
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list -- wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org, guidelines
>> at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
>> Public archives at
>> https://lists.wikimedia.org/hyperkitty/list/wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org/message/DFPXDHE6VVCI3BFDJPZNBFUPSGLD7UZ7/
>> To unsubscribe send an email to wikimedia-l-le...@lists.wikimedia.org
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list -- wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org, guidelines
>> at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
>> Public archives at
>> https://lists.wikimedia.org/hyperkitty/list/wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org/message/M3BL5MMKEQHRQJOUYMHUQV4TTWVSCM2O/
>> To unsubscribe send an email to wikimedia-l-le...@lists.wikimedia.org
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list -- wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org, guidelines
> at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> Public archives at
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/hyperkitty/list/wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org/message/MLAR6JQ65PNIDX4BWYVDUY76UT2H6K46/
> To unsubscribe send an email to wikimedia-l-le...@lists.wikimedia.org


*Please, note, that this email will expire at some point. Bookmark
<dariusz.jemieln...@fulbrightmail.org> as a more permanent contact
address. *
Wikimedia-l mailing list -- wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org, guidelines at: 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and 
Public archives at 
To unsubscribe send an email to wikimedia-l-le...@lists.wikimedia.org

Reply via email to