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Re: Disclosing election results -- a voice of caution

From: Brian Kardell <bkardell@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 2 Jun 2014 16:32:00 -0400
Message-ID: <CADC=+jfQ+kH33gzgnJ=SGU8b9HSh9NdbqwB=ui3Fb+q3GJAQaA@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Bassetti, Ann" <ann.bassetti@boeing.com>
Cc: Daniel Glazman <daniel.glazman@disruptive-innovations.com>, Charles McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex-team.ru>, "L. David Baron" <dbaron@dbaron.org>, "public-w3process@w3.org" <public-w3process@w3.org>
On Mon, Jun 2, 2014 at 3:59 PM, Bassetti, Ann <ann.bassetti@boeing.com>

>  Background information about me:  For the first time since 1999, I was
> not in this election.  I am American, hence familiar with
> one-vote-per-person.  I always vote.  I am quite outgoing and social, and
> not easily embarrassed. I like data. I value openness.
> Given all of that:  If I had been in this election and the votes were made
> public, there are many scenarios I would find embarrassing.  Such as: if I
> was not elected by a wide margin; or, if I was barely elected; or, if I got
> very few votes at all; or, etc.  Any scenario that would indicate I'm 'not
> liked' by the group, would be embarrassing.  Further, I can imagine my
> management would pay attention to that data, and add it to my grade.

I'm not trying to belittle what you are saying, I appreciate your comments
- but I think that W3C is the exception rather than the rule here and in a
bad way - especially because we like to think of ourselves as 'open'... It
seems hard to see how it can even 'work' (and I would argue it hasn't
worked nearly as well as it could have) without this sort of information...
Imagine for example that all these years no one noticed that there is no
'minimum number of votes rule' and - because it is dysfunctional - only 3
or 4 mega-companies even bother voting.  If you can see that data there
will be a clamor to fix it.  Without that, then what?  Similarly, if 350
orgs vote overwhelming for a shared position held by numerous elected
candidates - that _means_ something... People should take notice.  But we
really have no idea about any of this other than some vague anecdotal
evidence.  Open is better.

Plus, this isn't new - this is how elections work in every country I know
of - even in ones that have elections no one trusts - basic results are
known - in part for the opposite of the reason you cite (and actually my
own want to do it is based on this) - we get some kind of indication about
what members support and don't.  Even votes for elementary school president
or something provide this level of data in my experience.

I'm not sure how to get past that except to say that if someone is worried
that not getting votes will define them to that extent, I would suggest
that running probably isn't a good idea.  Assuming the things you say - it
seems like either way you'd be likely to have similar feelings if you lose.
 Personally - I *AM* actually easily embarrassed and not especially
outgoing, but I recognize that there are any number of factors to an
election besides being 'liked'.  I like people I wouldn't vote for at this
juncture in time, I prefer some candidates to others (some by a lot, some
by a little) - and we all know that, for example, you're more likely to
vote for someone you are reasonably familiar with than someone you aren't
regardless of what's said in a single statement.  You could say the same
about participating in standards in a way - if you post something to a
list, you might inadvertently illustrate your ignorance - not because you
are flawed as a person or in a mean spirited way, but it is possible for
you to build the same sort of "I won't ever speak because it might
embarrass me" argument, employer and all.   I don't think that this is how
_most_ people look at it and I've never really seen that to be the case.

>  I suggest to all of you who are pushing hard on this, that you should
> consider people's feelings; consider cultural values other than your own;
> consider people who are quieter than you; consider people's jobs; and so
> on.  While there may be value in honing a better voting system (about which
> you already know I am skeptical), I would not want that value to be at the
> expense of the human 'costs' described above.

>  Much of the tenor of this voting 'push' makes me want to withdraw, not
> participate. If *I* feel that, I can only imagine others may feel the same.

>  For these reasons, if data is released, I strongly urge it be
> anonymized.

DEFINITELY everyone is suggesting that it be anonymized in terms of who
voted for whom - it sounds like you are suggesting further anonymity?  What
would that data even look like?

>    -- Ann
> Ann Bassetti
> The Boeing Company
> mobile:  +
> email:  ann.bassetti@boeing.com
> *From:* Brian Kardell [mailto:bkardell@gmail.com]
> *Sent:* Monday, June 02, 2014 12:27 PM
> *To:* Daniel Glazman
> *Cc:* Charles McCathie Nevile; L. David Baron; public-w3process@w3.org
> *Subject:* Re: Disclosing election results (was Re: Result Re: Call for
> Consensus - "Use 'Schulze STV' for voting")
> On Mon, Jun 2, 2014 at 3:21 PM, Daniel Glazman <
> daniel.glazman@disruptive-innovations.com> wrote:
>  On 02/06/2014 21:06, Charles McCathie Nevile wrote:
> > I'd be happy to have the pattern data, but not the candidate names -
> i.e. anonymize them so we can't figure out who romped in, who scraped in,
> and who
> > was beaten out by a single vote - or only got 1.
> Then I disagree. Publishing anonymized data is not useful to people
> not drastically involved in W3C Process. I suggest then W3M shares
> *all* election data with the AB, in full confidentiality. I don't
> even know if it's already the case today or not, and that says
> something about the opaqueness of our electoral system...
> The AC would get, as I said earlier, number of votes globally and
> per candidate and that would be enough IMHO.
> (please note that even if the votes are ballots, the results are
>  counted per person)
> </Daniel>
> I assume that the actual system stores 'ballot' records, I'd like to
> propose that those are exported anonymously - it is possible to glean
> slightly more data that way and certainly no more difficult for a
> reasonably intelligent person to create a 'count' for each candidate even
> in a simple csv which doesn't provide that directly.  I'm reasonably sure
> that within an hour or so of release, someone will re-post with counts if
> not provided.
> Let's not overcomplicate things, just keep it simple :)
> --
> Brian Kardell :: @briankardell :: hitchjs.com

Brian Kardell :: @briankardell :: hitchjs.com
Received on Monday, 2 June 2014 20:32:29 UTC

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