On Sun, Oct 5, 2014 at 5:09 AM, Craig Franklin <cfranklin(a)halonetwork.net>
I think the issue is that the employee vote is now a
of the electorate. When this was originally set up, nobody complained too
loudly about giving WMF staff the vote simply because their numbers were
small and they were too small a constituency to sway the result on their
own. The number of voters choosing to exercise their suffrage is
decreasing, while the number of staff are increasing. While this
illustrates a problem all on its own, it also means that WMF staff who may
not be participants on the projects may now have enough pull to decide a
closely fought election.
I know it's too late to change the rules for this year, but I'd really
recommend getting rid of the complex criteria for the next election, and
dialing it back to a simple "X number of edits, or Y number of patches"
rule. Not only would this be simpler to administer and easier to
understand, but I would imagine most of the WMF staff who care enough to
actually vote would probably qualify through those criteria anyway. A few
"worthy" folk might miss out on the chance to lodge a ballot, but then
that's going to be the case in any situation other than complete and
First off, setting aside the question about what I (personally) think
should be the requirements I would say that it is in no way too late to
change the rules. The election is not until mid year next year (I think we
usually do it in June?) The election committee hasn't even been sat yet and
they will be the ones to decide that in the end (that is not to say that we
shouldn't have the discussion now too if people want, just that the
decision makers aren't even decided yet).
I don't have exact numbers, but I do remember that there are already very
few people who wanted to vote, were only eligible as staff, and couldn't.
Most of them were developers and so would be eligible via patches anyway
(and most of THEM were eligible by edit count as well), among the non
developers people like myself and Philippe refrained from voting because we
were working with the election committee and felt that most appropriate. I
don't believe there was an overwhelming vote of staff members in proportion
to the total.
Voter turn out is something I really want to see better though, it's
something that I know we've discussed in the office and I'm sure that the
election committee will have as a top priority. The biggest things I see
right now is finishing SUL unification which will allow us to have '1
click' voting (and not sending people to meta first to learn about the
election/candidates then to their undefined 'home wiki' to see if they can
vote) completely anecdotally that seems to have consistently scared a lot
of voters off and confused even some of our more experienced users (it also
seems to be a bigger complaint each year) SUL will allow us to just have
everyone click a start voting button on Meta and not have to go back to
their home wiki. I also seriously wonder about the joint FDC/Board ballot
giving people too much to look at, we know for example that over 500 people
'saw' the ballot but never submitted their vote.
I also really think notifications could be incredibly helpful to get the
word out, but so far that does not seem very likely to be available by then.
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