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

Re: Case for/data about elections

From: Wayne Carr <wayne.carr@linux.intel.com>
Date: Thu, 22 May 2014 14:50:14 -0700
Message-ID: <537E7116.9050909@linux.intel.com>
To: public-w3process@w3.org

On 2014-05-22 10:42, 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.
> 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.

Voters could select fewer than the maximum allowed number of candidates 
without it being evidence of any gaming.   It could be they think 2 
people in particular should be on the AB, and that any of the other 
candidates are capable and would be fine for the remaining seats.  It 
wouldn't be surprising if people voted for 2 candidates even if they 
could have selected more.  That doesn't mean it is some sort of 
strategic voting.

I think it also is not surprising if some members don't vote at all if 
they think all the candidates are acceptable (given the information 
candidates provide).  They could recognize the importance of the AB, 
while thinking that from what they know about the candidates, any of the 
candidates would be fine.

In a body like this, if you have a strong particular view, you probably 
want people with views opposing yours in the group.  That gives the 
group the chance to work out a consensus position that could get 
approved in the AC.  The alternative of a minority position somehow 
gaining control of the AB seems useless.  The AC would reject everything 
they proposed if it didn't reflect what the AC wants.

The AB can and should report out minority proposals for AC 
consideration.  AB members can already do that.  As can AC members not 
in the AB.    A majority of the AB that didn't reflect the wishes of the 
AC would likely just be ignored.  So I'm not seeing how gaming elections 
is likely to be useful even if it could happen.

> 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?
> [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 21:50:45 UTC

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