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

Re: Case for/data about elections

From: Jeff Jaffe <jeff@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 22 May 2014 14:06:46 -0400
Message-ID: <537E3CB6.8030106@w3.org>
To: Brian Kardell <bkardell@gmail.com>, Charles McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex-team.ru>
CC: "public-w3process@w3.org" <public-w3process@w3.org>

On 5/22/2014 1:42 PM, Brian Kardell wrote:
> On Thu, May 22, 2014 at 4:08 AM, Charles McCathie Nevile 
> <chaals@yandex-team.ru <mailto:chaals@yandex-team.ru>> wrote:
>     On Sun, 18 May 2014 16:26:18 +0200, Brian Kardell
>     <bkardell@gmail.com <mailto: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 :) 
>  (briankardell.wordpress.com/2014/05/20/desparately-seeking-jimi/ 
> <http://briankardell.wordpress.com/2014/05/20/desparately-seeking-jimi/>).
>         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.

Last year there was a discussion at the Advisory Board about Voting.  
While I don't recall all of the give and take, in the end there was a 
consensus not to release information.

I see it is a topic of continued interest, and I have put it on the 
agenda for next month's Advisory Board meeting.

> 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?

I can't think of any rationale.  As I said, I don't recall all of the 
give and take from last year, but it is up for discussion again this year.

> [snip]
>         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 <mailto:chaals@yandex-team.ru>         Find
>     more at http://yandex.com
> -- 
> Brian Kardell :: @briankardell :: hitchjs.com <http://hitchjs.com/>
Received on Thursday, 22 May 2014 18:07:02 UTC

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