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

Stephanie stephanie at sosdg.org
Thu Dec 7 00:31:24 UTC 2006

effe iets anders wrote:

>Afaik has there never been a closed vote on the wiki for local policy. Even
>more, there has in my memory never been a closed vote other then for the
While I'd recomend that we look at secret ballots for some policy issues 
too, they are more insulated from the problems
that make a public ballot unsuitable for this election. Elections of 
individuals have much more at stake - both emotionally, and politically, 
where as votes on policy are very straightforward. In an election such 
as the arbcom election, there are factors such as personal relationships 
that should take a back seat to what a voter thinks is best for 
en.wikipedia - with the votes public, that's not possible. A lot of the 
factors that influence a vote such as this are subtle and hidden, and 
remain hidden even when voting in this format. The temptation to vote to 
gain percieved political favor is one of the worst aspects of such a 
system, and if it happens in RFA !votes, where much less is at stake, 
then we can be sure that it happens in arbcom votes.

To put it quite bluntly, people are unwilling to risk the consequences 
of voting their concience, going against the masses, going against their 
friendships in an "open" or public election. People are only truely open 
about their opinion when they can express  that opinion without 
possibility of reprisal. Therefore open ballots are not ballots placed 
under free will, and the election is subject to the worst kinds of 

I realize its too late to change this how this election run, however I 
also hope that this is the last time we use such an opressive method for 
an election in the name of "openness".

>I guess it's not for nothing that the system we are voting
>with for the board is called boardvote. I think it would indeed be
>interesting to use the system on the one hand as it is more peacefull and
>like we vote irl, but on the other hand it might require assistence from the
>devs, or it might be very hard to track which votes are egligable, harder as
>when using open voting (when everybody can help looking who might be
Boardvote has elegibility checks, and more importantly, the list of who 
voted is public, so that votes can be stricken in a transparent manner 
without knowing how they effect the outcom.

>So it has it's pro's and con's. I think at least the community has to decide
>herself whether she wants a open or closed voting, but as well the wmf has
>prolly to agree on voting this way (as it requires dev assistence). Maybe it
>would be best to ask the wmf first indeed :)

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