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Re: Voting and W3C level of engagement

From: Sylvain Galineau <galineau@adobe.com>
Date: Sat, 7 Jun 2014 17:46:33 +0000
To: Jeff Jaffe <jeff@w3.org>
CC: "public-w3process@w3.org" <public-w3process@w3.org>
Message-ID: <F1F98BA0-96FF-45A7-84E3-5674C4947919@adobe.com>

On Jun 6, 2014, at 1:31 PM, Jeff Jaffe <jeff@w3.org> wrote:

> On 6/6/2014 1:07 PM, Sylvain Galineau wrote:
>> On Jun 5, 2014, at 8:25 PM, Jeff Jaffe <jeff@w3.org> wrote:
>>> On 6/4/2014 9:57 PM, Karl Dubost wrote:
>>>> Charles, Jeff,
>>>> Le 5 juin 2014 à 06:54, Charles McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex-team.ru> a écrit :
>>>>> I think it is unfortunate that AC members cannot afford to be more engaged. But then, a lot of the members are quite small, and the cost of serious engagement in everything the AC does is quite high.
>>>> # Elections (on topic)
>>>> Some companies will join just for the publicity of being at W3C or for testing the water, which leads me to a thought about elections and decisions. It is said 25% of voters, which is low for a democracy.
>>> I don't think that 25% is low for a democracy.
>> Wait what? When 75% don't vote, the choice of the rest is simply unrepresentative of the whole. That is too low for any democracy.
> Indeed that is why I expressed a preference of 90%+.
>> Out of curiosity, what *is* your definition of low?
> The number of votes in the last several elections have been:
> 98 (AB 2014)
> 60 (TAG 2013)
> 106 (AB 2013)
> 107 (TAG 2012)
> 50 (TAG 2011)
> 53 (AB 2011)
> I would characterize 60, 50, or 53 as low.

I'd characterize all of them as low, in general.

>>> It is low for Presidential races in democracies.
>>> In those democracies that also have local races (common in the US), participation is lower than Presidential races.
>> So the claim here is that within W3C the AB is less a Presidential or Congressional election than, say, a primary vote in the woods of West Virginia, or an election for Rotary Club Treasurer in Lonelyville, NY?
> Actually, I made no mention of the woods of West Virginia or the Rotary Club.
> According to fairvote [1], typical turnout for Congressional elections in the US midterm is about 40%.  

It's 60% the other half of the time. Either of which is far better than 25%.

> I don't have comprehensive data on local elections, but when I searched for some article about that, I learned that 25% is quite typical for municipal elections [2].

Sure. Though I'm not sure why municipal elections should be the proxy for AB elections. It would seem rather circular to look for elections with a similarly low turnout and then claim relative success because AB turnouts match them. Or do you mean that since the AB has no real power we should compare it to voter interest in other institutions of limited influence? The latter is a fair point, I think. (And suggests 90% is probably unattainable).

> [1] http://www.fairvote.org/research-and-analysis/voter-turnout/
> [2] http://www.sarasotagov.com/InsideCityGovernment/Content/CAC/PDF/UofCalifornia.pdf
>> Fair enough. That's certainly an effective way to lower expectations.
>> I'm starting to get the hint this is really the wrong mailing list to figure out why anyone cares about the AB.
> I don't understand this point.  Could you elaborate?

That AB elections' low turnout is sort of OK because the AB is about as important to W3C as the average municipal authority to the entire US doesn't make the AB sound like something anyone should ever bother about. But it certainly explains why you'd think 25% to be a good score.

I suppose it's also quite possible for the low turnout to be rational. Maybe the AB does not in fact matter anywhere near enough most of the time.
Received on Saturday, 7 June 2014 17:47:08 UTC

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