[Foundation-l] elections

effe iets anders effeietsanders at gmail.com
Fri Apr 6 17:59:53 UTC 2007

Hello everybody,

If I recall correctly, the term of three board members (Erik, Oscar
and Kat) will end in june this year. That will mean elections. I would
like to start a civil discussion on what (if anything) should be
changed compared to last year in the procedure, so the elections will
be as nice as possible.

There are a few points I would like to bring in myself:

1) The number of candidates
Lat year, there were 15 candidates for 1 seat. A complaint heard a lot
of tmes was that it was very hard to read all the statements. There
was just too much to read. This year, there will be three seats to
decide over, and the community has in the mean while more then
doubled. It is thus very likely that the number of people willing to
be candidate will increase even more. How to keep it possible for
human beings (i.e. the people who are not able to keep track of this
list ;-) ) to read enough of all candidates to make a proper choise,
not just based on "he's american, i dont like him for that reason. I
know her, lets vote on her. He's French, and we dont want too many
french people, so oppose" and other not very rational reasons. Because
you force people to irrationalism when you make it too hard to decide

So somehow we should be able to decrease the amount of information,
without breaking down the quality of it. That is possible by somehow
making a selection in the candidates. Somehow we should be able which
candidates should make a good chance in the elections. But without
letting an "authority" decide how imho! (elections shouldnt be
influenced by an authority that much)

I see roughly two ways to go there:
1.1) Pre-elections
We could have, like in many presidential elections, have two
elections. The first would be to decrease the number of candidates.
The candidates we want in the final elections would be selected by an
election. For instance, we have three seats available. We could have
then select the six best in the pre-election, and let them go on the
the "Finals". Disadvantage is that you still have to read everything
(but maybe not that thorougly) in the first round.
1.2) Pre-*s*election
We could state extra conditions to become candidate. For instance, you
need 25 or 50 supports of your candidature by different Wikimedians
with >1000 edits and 9 months experience on one project. Just for
instance, the numbers can easily be changed. It's about the idea.
Every serious candidate should be able to get these endorsements, and
the candidates who won't state any chance, wont get these
endorsements. Disadvantage is that you won't be able to foresee how
many candidates there will be. Another disadvantage is that you will
have bureaucratic problems with the checking of the endorsements.

2) the time
Last year, the elections took three whole weeks. I think it should be
possible to shorten this period. In real life elections usually take
one day. I can understand that it should take some longer in an online
community, as people can be at work, temporarily very busy etc. But on
the other hand, these elections demand quite a work from the
candidates, and I think it will also mean usually that the board will
not decide a lot of things. (As it is not very good to decide while
being voted on you) Thus, a three week period seems a bit long to me.

I think it should be possible to have the final elections in 3-10 days
on the condition that it is outside the summer vacation.

I hope for all your ideas on this, and I hope that the discussion will
be fruitfull. I don't know exactly who will be arranging the
elections, and who is final responsible for the rules etc of it, the
foundation or the community.

Yours sincerely,

Lodewijk Gelauff

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