[Wikimedia-l] Democratizing the Wikimedia Foundation

Federico Leva (Nemo) nemowiki at gmail.com
Sat Nov 3 15:02:31 UTC 2012

Anders Wennersten, 03/11/2012 15:32:
> I do no understand.
> If they have a  "rubberstamping hall appearance" who is then perceived
> as having the power to decide.  And do you mean the preparation process
> is so excellent so no direct action is needed by the Board (which I
> would  take to be the ultimate sign of a well functioning democracy)
> what is then the issue at hand in this thread?

"Democratizing the Wikimedia Foundation", in my opinion, means making 
the board stronger, not weaker. In two ways:
1) "more power" (i.e. a greater impact in its actions; not discretionary 
power for the sake of it) to a well functioning collegial body, which 
acts clearly and transparently and is accountable for its decisions, 
means more democracy, not less[1];
2) "more democracy" in the board and the WMF in general would mean a 
greater legitimacy/ability to take important decisions and have a bigger 
impact, i.e. "more power".

Of course this assumes that increasing democracy relative to the current 
situation is good, but we need to start from something (that's why the 
subject of this thread is a productive premise).
Given the audience, there are also other major assumptions on legitimacy 
sources, as Nathan hinted, and in particular that wikimedians have 
something to say, that power doesn't legitimate itself and that "dollar 
voting" by donors is not a source of legitimacy.... but that would bring 
us too far.


[1] Maybe less anarchy.

More information about the Wikimedia-l mailing list