W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-w3process@w3.org > June 2014

RE: Disclosing election results -- a voice of caution

From: Michael Champion (MS OPEN TECH) <Michael.Champion@microsoft.com>
Date: Mon, 2 Jun 2014 22:24:33 +0000
To: Brian Kardell <bkardell@gmail.com>
CC: "Bassetti, Ann" <ann.bassetti@boeing.com>, 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>
Message-ID: <d70c51a2afde472a8614a0d2b9fb6ba6@BLUPR03MB488.namprd03.prod.outlook.com>
Forgot to respond to one Brian’s question:
> what sorts of questions would we be able to ask

Assuming we collect more data than we use in the current vote counting algorithm, questions might be:

-  What percentage of members voted?
-  What percentage of people voted for the maximum number of candidates?  How about only 1 candidate?
- Assuming that voting for one candidate is an indication of strategic voting, were there obvious patterns in the voting blocs?  OK that’s not a “statistical” question but we could ask the Team whether it was obvious to them on what was most similar about the people who voted for the same single candidate – Being in the same geographic region?  Position on a controversial issue?
- What percentage of voters were willing to go to the trouble to rank order candidates?  For those that did, would an STV system have changed the outcome?  Which STV schemes would have created the most diversity (geographical, member size, business type)?
- For those who categorized candidates as acceptable / not acceptable, what percentage of people listed more acceptable candidates than open slots?  Did a majority of voters find all candidates acceptable or were they more discriminating?

From: Michael Champion (MS OPEN TECH)
Sent: Monday, June 2, 2014 2:18 PM
To: 'Brian Kardell'
Cc: Bassetti, Ann; Daniel Glazman; Charles McCathie Nevile; L. David Baron; public-w3process@w3.org
Subject: RE: Disclosing election results -- a voice of caution

> Anything less than 'open' as elections in <stick just about any country here>' seems like it yields a question of - why is that necessary?

Let’s start with the reasons Ann gave … these are not positions that offer power or financial rewards to the winners, so why drive the inevitable losers away by exposing potentially embarrassing information about how little support they got?

From: Brian Kardell [mailto:bkardell@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, June 2, 2014 2:11 PM
To: Michael Champion (MS OPEN TECH)
Cc: Bassetti, Ann; Daniel Glazman; Charles McCathie Nevile; L. David Baron; public-w3process@w3.org<mailto:public-w3process@w3.org>
Subject: Re: Disclosing election results -- a voice of caution



On Mon, Jun 2, 2014 at 5:06 PM, Michael Champion (MS OPEN TECH) <Michael.Champion@microsoft.com<mailto:Michael.Champion@microsoft.com>> wrote:
Ann, if the Team kept the raw data confidential but answered *statistical* questions from the AB/AC/Process CG would that raise any concerns?

Brian, I know that’s not what you want, but would it address your most important concerns?

 If you can ask the right sorts of questions I suppose that would be fine - but what sorts of questions would we be able to ask?  I mean, wouldn't you expect me to immediately tend to just ask for the same statistics?  What % of members voted/what % did each candidate get?  :)  From that you could derive the suggested anyway, right?  Anything less than 'open' as elections in <stick just about any country here>' seems like it yields a question of - why is that necessary?


From: Brian Kardell [mailto:bkardell@gmail.com<mailto:bkardell@gmail.com>]
Sent: Monday, June 2, 2014 1:32 PM
To: Bassetti, Ann
Cc: Daniel Glazman; Charles McCathie Nevile; L. David Baron; public-w3process@w3.org<mailto:public-w3process@w3.org>
Subject: Re: Disclosing election results -- a voice of caution



On Mon, Jun 2, 2014 at 3:59 PM, Bassetti, Ann <ann.bassetti@boeing.com<mailto:ann.bassetti@boeing.com>> wrote:
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:  +1.206.218.8039<tel:%2B1.206.218.8039>
email:  ann.bassetti@boeing.com<mailto:ann.bassetti@boeing.com>


From: Brian Kardell [mailto:bkardell@gmail.com<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<mailto: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<mailto: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<http://hitchjs.com/>



--
Brian Kardell :: @briankardell :: hitchjs.com<http://hitchjs.com/>



--
Brian Kardell :: @briankardell :: hitchjs.com<http://hitchjs.com/>
Received on Monday, 2 June 2014 22:25:05 UTC

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