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

Re: Disclosing election results -- a voice of caution

From: Brian Kardell <bkardell@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 2 Jun 2014 19:13:57 -0400
Message-ID: <CADC=+jfhxncOVvfW36caBxC3K82GkUJEoDS01gCkiw-0V0juRQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Michael Champion (MS OPEN TECH)" <Michael.Champion@microsoft.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>
On Mon, Jun 2, 2014 at 6:24 PM, Michael Champion (MS OPEN TECH) <
Michael.Champion@microsoft.com> wrote:

>  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?
>
>
>
Ahh, I see what you did there Michael... Let me clarify my own position...

1. I totally support if someone wants to build an experimental system, etc.
 We have a lot of open-source/voluteer people, it's not insane to think
they could pool together resources to build such a thing and just see who
would participate regardless of W3C endorsement (better if W3C promotes as
an experiment IMO, but not really necessary).  I definitely concur that
mathematically speaking, and theoretically - a preferential system yields
better results in every study, etc... At the same time, I don't think it is
the highest priority for AB itself and it seems to me it is a circular
discussion which will never end without data.

2. independently from anything to do with #1 (but it definitely helps the
last point) - why not provide anonymous election data.  I think it isn't
unreasonable, it isn't uncommon and I see a ton of healthy things that
could potentially come out of it.  Other than the possible exception of
Ann's point, I see literally no 'harm'.

I thought folks were largely agreeing/supporting #2, not so much commenting
on #1 - I could be wrong.  #2 seems something AB should take up to me for a
number of reasons, #1 - not as much (at least officially as a group right
now).

Assuming that we are discussing #2 - the two initial data points are kind
of all you could ask.  It's better than nothing, but falls short for me
personally.






>   *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 <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
>
> *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> 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]
> *Sent:* Monday, June 2, 2014 1:32 PM
> *To:* Bassetti, Ann
> *Cc:* Daniel Glazman; Charles McCathie Nevile; L. David Baron;
> 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>
> 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
>
> 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
>
>
>
>
>
> --
> Brian Kardell :: @briankardell :: hitchjs.com
>



-- 
Brian Kardell :: @briankardell :: hitchjs.com
Received on Monday, 2 June 2014 23:14:26 UTC

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