[Wikimedia-l] Democratizing the Wikimedia Foundation

Ilario Valdelli valdelli at gmail.com
Sat Nov 3 13:11:25 UTC 2012

On Sat, Nov 3, 2012 at 1:51 PM, Thomas Dalton <thomas.dalton at gmail.com>wrote:

> Transparency is necessary for democracy, but it is only one part of it. I
> think Lodewijk wants to discuss ways of involving the community in the
> Foundation's governance, not just ways to keep it informed.
> On Nov 3, 2012 12:48 PM, "Patricio Lorente" <patricio.lorente at gmail.com>
> wrote:
This is a complex problem in my opinion.

In a democracy the better solution would be to know the opinion of all

For instance in Switzerland there are a lot of referendum but the people
having a vote are relatively cut and a referendum may give an opinion the
day after (I am speaking about opinion but in a perfect democracy this
opinion is more an "approval" vote).

The democracy is a good way if there is the possibility to have an
opportune people's opinion in a well defined time.

The problem of huge communities is to consult the people and to do it in a
timely manner in order to have an opinion in short time otherwise the
democracy may decide never and may spent the time only to find a consent.

For this reason the biggest democracies use the way of the representative

The community elects a parliament and this parliament votes and decides
instead of people (in our case we may speak about "board").

All the modern democracies are structured in this way.

For this reason I would not speak about democracy because there are people
in the WMF board elected by the communities and by the chapters. I would
speak about transparency in order to give to these representatives the
opportunity to be clearer.

The transparency may help them to keep a trusted link with the communities
and may help the communities to build a more appropriate reliance.


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