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

Re: Case for/data about elections

From: Brian Kardell <bkardell@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 22 May 2014 13:42:14 -0400
Message-ID: <CADC=+jdSWgZMGofFJQdKMMSLk+=N+MXT6_hV1_rBEZCHUF0aqQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: Charles McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex-team.ru>
Cc: "public-w3process@w3.org" <public-w3process@w3.org>
On Thu, May 22, 2014 at 4:08 AM, Charles McCathie Nevile <
chaals@yandex-team.ru> wrote:

> On Sun, 18 May 2014 16:26:18 +0200, Brian Kardell <bkardell@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>  Spinning off a new thread in order to keep the other about actually
>> voting on votes.
> Thank you.
>  To reiterate in order to pose my questions:  I agree there are potential
>> biases in the first system, it has serious flaws.  I entirely support the
>> idea that it is worth discussing and probably fixing.
>  BUT - I am very dubious that THESE are the biases that have hurt things
>> thus far and relatively confident that other biases (apathy/lack of
>> participation or knowledge, who actually does the voting, etc) actually
>> have had a big impact
> That certainly was the case in the past. This is changing (in no small part
> through your personal effort, which I applaud). And as it changes…

Thanks.  Lots of people have questioned me on why I do, even speculated
some dark purpose.  I took the time to write a post about why which I will
reference in the future when this comes up :)  (

>  AND changing the voting system does not address these.
> No, but those are being addressed. E.g. by your efforts. And when that
> happens, the system we have effectively disenfranchises a lot of the
> membership.

I don't see how this is plausible actually, perhaps it's in how you are
stating it that is causing me to misunderstand your meaning.
"disenfranchises" implies that we are denying a right (definitely not) or
systematically marginalizing a voice.  It's my case that *currently* a
voice (arguably the most important one) is actually disenfranchised and
when I hear that working hard (and making progress) to give them a
meaningful place/voice in the process disenfranchises someone else who
currently actually has this power - it makes me shiver with
thoughts/parallels in my own country's history.

>  My assertions are easily validated with data.
> Given sufficient data of the right type. Which we don't have.
> The only data we have available are
> the candidates
>  The recent trend is for genuinely contested elections.
>  AB candidates are more than twice the number of seats.
> the winners of elections
> the eligible voters

We have anecdotal statements on lists that participation is very low, I
believe it has been stated many times that it is something like 10% or
less.  I don't see why the W3C would be adverse to releasing a generalized
statistic like this if not - perhaps Jeff or someone can just fill in rough
ideas over the last 5 elections ala.

Election 1:  N1% of members cast votes in the election 1: X% cast all
available votes, Y% cast a single vote, Z% cast more than one, but less
than the total number of available seats.

That is totally anonymous in every way but would provide enough information
to prove or disprove a lot of speculation - it might actually inspire some
people to vote, which is also a good thing.  If not, could W3C please
provide a rationale as to why this is not acceptable?


>  On several occasions now i have heard people cite recent elections.
>> The fact that candidates and folks like myself actively made an effort
>> to turn out the vote and collaborated and discussed importance out in
>> the open on issues is a perfectly rational explanation, but there is
>> adamant insistence it seems that somehow the system is rigged or
>> something.
> "Something".
> I strongly believe it is not "rigged" in the sense that "someone is
> cheating".
> The system we have now is known[1] to give slates of candidates landslide
> victories, leading to a situation where elections tend toward two slates
> of candidates (because only irrational actors would bother to run except
> on a slate that was likely to win).
> Hmm... This seems contradictory to the data.  Previously: Not enough
candidates.  Then we have organization which creates 'slates' who actually
work hard/cooperate toward a vision and, !surprise! they win.  Now we have
more candidates than seats - are there suddenly a great many more
irrational actors?  I dont think so.  I think there is a kind of genuine
interest and somewhat a healthy tug of debate on purpose/vision/etc.

> It *appears* that this is happening to the elected bodies of W3C,
> meaning that they are the candidates selected only by the largest single
> voting bloc within the membership. In elections where there are more than
> 2 candidates per seat, that may well be a minority of those who vote.

Literally every preferential system would be better than the one we have -
especially if there were some generalized information made available so
that those elected had a sense of things.  I think there are some other
biases here as well - while we have an election, people are actively
criticized for 'campaigning' (that is, making efforts beyond a couple of
paragraphs which are mostly about their background) but actually still
generally rewarded with votes for doing so because it is the main channel
available to the actual voters.  At the same time, folks like myself who
have an interest really have no "broad channel" to ACs.  You might say
"well, you're not an AC, so why would you have access to the AC forum" -
that's absolutely true - but, for example, what about candidates like Boaz
or Lea who are *candidates* without that ability who aren't part of the
member org who nominated them to help give developers a fighting change --
that's a pretty uphill battle for them... more like a giant mountain - and
not because they are bad candidates....

Yes. People have asked for such experiments, and been told to explain the

> problem first.
> Uncircling the wagons in this chain of argument and getting some real
> data would indeed be helpful. Sadly, as far as I can tell it won't happen.

If we can't do it officially, why can't we do it unofficially?  Setup a
google form and send to the AC forum.... Any data seems better than no data
else we are just talking in circles.

> Cheers
> Chaals
> --
> Charles McCathie Nevile - Consultant (web standards) CTO Office, Yandex
>         chaals@yandex-team.ru         Find more at http://yandex.com

Brian Kardell :: @briankardell :: hitchjs.com
Received on Thursday, 22 May 2014 17:42:43 UTC

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