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

Re: Call for Consensus - "Use 'Schulze STV' for voting"

From: Nottingham, Mark <mnotting@akamai.com>
Date: Sat, 17 May 2014 22:37:52 -0500
To: Carl Cargill <cargill@adobe.com>
CC: David Singer <singer@mac.com>, Charles McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex-team.ru>, "public-w3process@w3.org" <public-w3process@w3.org>
Message-ID: <8A392FF1-875A-42C3-9614-5648DB3A1ABE@akamai.com>
Hi Carl,

On 17 May 2014, at 12:24 am, Carl Cargill <cargill@adobe.com> wrote:

> I find myself in an interesting position on this issue. While I have been trying to follow the thread diligently, I find that I cannot identify any specific rationale for changing the current voting methodology.  And this frustrates me. 
> I see glimpses of some form of frustration - Chaals and others seem to be requesting change - and yet, the rationale for the change is unclear.  Is there a belief that installing a new voting systems will magically change the mission, the status, or the impact of the AB? Or will a new host of potential candidates be identified that will suddenly appear to become involved because of the changed method of selection?  Will this selection methodology help solve (or even have an impact on) the larger issues of membership, funding, relevance, or any other of the pressing problems. If so, how? 

For me, the motivation is that first-past-the-post voting is obviously flawed and introduces significant biases. As Chaals mentioned, this was seen pretty clearly in a recent TAG election.

I’m also for even the smallest move away from big-company politics; the consortium has a significant image problem in this regard, and forcing our members to vote strategically doesn’t help.

There are obviously many alternatives, each with its own ups and downs. However, *any* kind of STV is preferable to the current regime, because it doesn’t have the gross problems associated with first-past-the-post.

So, if we’re going to subject our choice to rigorous selection criteria, I’d ask that the current system be subjected to the same scrutiny. 

> I think that the selection process of the AB is the least of the problems that we have in the W3C.  We're focusing on a solution set that is intellectually interesting (the proper voting method) while ignoring the larger set of issues that are hard and challenging - like how to keep the W3C and Web relevant in the next decade or so, how to increase participation, how to attract more technical challenges, or how to impact the policy issues that are roiling the industry.
> If we'd spent the intellectual capital on one of these pressing (possibly even survival) issues, we'd have had a discussion that might move the industry.  
> To make this explicit, I agree with Mike, David, Jeff, and others who find this discussion either premature, irrelevant, or, in my case, both. 

Given how much time and coin the Consortium has spent on useful things like Web Services, I think we can spare a bit of time to contemplate how we make decisions.

Indeed, if it’s truly irrelevant, the most expedient way for you to move on to more critical issues would be to wave through an acceptable change. The fact that some are vocally opposing it tells me that there’s more going on. 

> Let's either make this a "factful" discussion with a set of discrete issues we're trying to solve and why these issues take precedence over the more pressing technical and policy issues faced by the consortium,  or let's drop it and get back to the business of dealing with significant issues that impact W3C and the industry.

We currently have a group of people who want to change the voting regime, and a group of people who don’t think it’s worth the time to talk about changing how we vote. It has been this way for some time, and over the years I think the motivations and benefits have been discussed at length. Chaals has made a concrete proposal along those lines.

As such, I’d very much like to hear why people are voting against this, beyond “I don’t care / we don’t need it.” 

If you really want to go down the use cases route, I’ll take stab. W3C should have a voting regime that:
  * Does not require voters to vote “strategically” (e.g., not voting for their preferred candidate because it will be perceived as “throwing your vote away”)
  * Minimises the number of unrepresented or disenfranchised voters
  * Attempt to represent the membership’s voting accurately


Mark Nottingham    mnot@akamai.com   http://www.mnot.net/

Received on Sunday, 18 May 2014 03:38:28 UTC

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