[Foundation-l] Concerns over en.wikipedia.org ArbCom Election Process

Stephanie Erin Daugherty stephanie at sosdg.org
Wed Dec 6 08:58:55 UTC 2006

Having not participated in last years ArbCom elections, I was quite
shocked to see, that with the important role the Arbitraton Committee
has in safeguarding the ideals and policies of the English wikipedia,
these elections are being held with an open ballot.

I cannot have any confidence in such an election. Open ballots bring out
the worst in politics - bullying, fear of retaliation, groupthink, and
voting with the hope to gain political favor in the future. While an
open ballot appears open on the surface, as history has demonstrated, it
is anything but.

There is a reason that most free elections use secret ballots. Only in
secret can someone make their true opinion known, without fear of
bullying, fear of retaliation, undue influence of others, or hurt

Secret ballots also allow for good judgement to be exercised in cases
where a moral dilemma would otherwise exist - how do you deal with
voting against someone who you are close friends with, or who is in a
position of power over you, be it actual or percieved? In an open
ballot, this at the very least means either hurt feelings, or votes that
do not reflect one's true beliefs as to right choice to make in an

We have facilities for secret ballots and approval voting. Those
facilities work well, as demonstrated in the last board elections.
Why on-wiki voting was chosen in favor of this, I don't know, to me it
defies logical sense.

In conclusion, I condemn this election in the strongest possible terms,
as being flawed, subject to tampering, and as being anything other than
a free election. I would hope that I'm not the only person that it this
way, but even if I am, I know that I cannot in good concience stand for
such an unjust and flawed process.

I would encourage anyone else that feels strongly about this to make
their voice heard, and loudly, so that future elections do not follow
the same flawed path, and so that we can have confidence in our
elections process.

Stephanie Daugherty
stephanie at sosdg.org
User:Triona on en.wikipedia.org

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