Talk:Wikimedia Foundation elections/Board elections/2004/FAQ

Please post questions about the election process for the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees here. Queries of a personal nature can also be addressed to WikiElections AT aol DOT com.



This vote is more serious than the usual ones, so I think the actual voting should last for at least a month. Is there a specific reason why it should be done within a week (i.e. any pressing matters)? Dori | Talk 05:35, 5 May 2004 (UTC)Reply

I agree, a week is far too short. I'll be unable to access a computer during that week myself, and I'd imagine there are others for whom that is true as well. Two weeks at least is a somewhat more reasonable timeframe. --Delirium 08:28, 5 May 2004 (UTC)Reply
Ditto. From the Talk page of the announcement itself: "Is there perhaps some way to place a proxy vote before 'voting starts'? I will be on vacation for two weeks covering the voting week; will I be able to vote? etc. +sj+ 20:24, 2004 May 5 (UTC)"
I don't feel overly concerned about this. Perhaps an advance voting system would be helpful for those who know they won't be available. These are clearly refinements to be considered in the future. Eclecticology 00:43, 7 May 2004 (UTC)Reply
The problem with advance voting is that it means the voter may be voting before all the possible candidates have declared their intention to run, and so it would discriminate against later standers. --Imran 00:06, 9 May 2004 (UTC)Reply

FPTP et al


The election is run as First Past the Post, that is, the candidate with the most votes will be declared the winner.

--> part (I think) Polyglot 05:46, 5 May 2004 (UTC)Reply

I wonder about the wisdom of first-past-the-post for this. We very quickly have six candidates, and that list could grow easily. This means that the winners could do so with a plurality that would only represents a minority of Wikimedians; with only 6 candidates that could be as small as 34%. On the other hand I would not want a repeat of the fiasco of the logo vote. I would favour multi-round voting. After the first round the two top vote getters with an absolute majority of votes are declared elected. (It's possible for more than two to have more than 50% of the votes.) If only one or none are so elected there would be a further round where the bottom vote getter from the previous ballot, anyone with less than 10% of the top vote getters vote, and anyone who chooses to leave are dropped. The process repeats itself as often as necessary. Eclecticology 00:43, 7 May 2004 (UTC)Reply
The way I read it it's even worse than that, as the two elections will be run separately, not together. Anthony DiPierro
I think Anthony is right; now we have ten candidates; perhaps we will end up with a round dozen. Then each candidate could win with under 10% of the vote. I know the initial board members won't be around forever, but they /will/ be performing a critical role for getting the non-profit off the ground and relaying information between the fledgling board and the community, so we shouldn't be too casual about the election procedure. Sj 16:19, 9 May 2004 (UTC)Reply
I have no earlier experience with the voting system that Eclecticology mentions, but it seems far harder to manipulate. Under FPTP system people being a minority in Wikipedia could all vote one likeminded candidate, while the other votes would divide. Or everyone would manoeuvre and vote some of the candidates they consider popular enough. I am disappointed with the voting system desicion. The runoff voting system is familiar to me, and it is also harder to manipulate. It would be a good choice when there are two different Wikipedia elections with both only one winner. (wink, wink)

change to Approval voting


I am very glad to see that Approval voting will be used. All of the major alternative Voting systems are better than FPTP, but Approval voting is very easy to explain, understand and implement (and translate those explanations), and is harder to manipulate than IRV and most other systems. Nealmcb 20:10, 14 May 2004 (UTC)Reply



Are dates in the explanation page in UTC? Tomos 21:02, 5 May 2004 (UTC)Reply

Yes, all of the dates/times are in GMT/UTC. --Imran 23:07, 5 May 2004 (UTC)Reply



I'm not sure if this is the right time or place to bring this up, but it occurs to me that with only two reps, representation is likely to be heavilly slanted toward those who contribute in the English Wikipedia, since there's the greatest number of us. It seems that TomK32 might be a good candidate, for example, but I don't know who he is since he contributes to no projects in common with me. At some point in the future, perhaps we should consider allowing each of the major projects to have a representative. That way there's less worry that projects like Wikibooks, Wiktionary, and the non-English 'pedias will be left out. Isomorphic 22:49, 5 May 2004 (UTC)Reply

I think that is a great idea and would like to add that at least one seat should be reserved for one person who primarily contributes to a language wiki other than English (any project). But, IMO, having an small set of trustees is OK (maybe even optimal) for now. If this does come to pass, then we will have to have petition campaigns and membership votes to start new projects since such a project would have its own rep (perhaps after it reaches a certain size). --mav 21:46, 6 May 2004 (UTC)Reply
I probably said something about this somewhere a long time ago, but I don't want to go into it too far at this time. I would envision a two tier leadership. A small group of trustees would be responsible for maintaining the integrity and core values of the organization; perhaps the group currently being voted for (or a slightly bigger one) would be suitable for this. A much larger group, akin to what Mav suggests could have more operational duties. Eclecticology 00:51, 7 May 2004 (UTC)Reply
Well operational issues would be taken care of by appointed officers. The structure so far combines the roles of trustee (which are representatives of the membership) with those of officers (who are the people who carry out the day to day operations of a corporation). I still think that an expanded representative body is eventually in order. --mav
I'm a little concerned by all this talk of the trustees or their appointees having operational day-to-day duties. As long as these are meant in some outside-the-projects-themselves sense, such as being responsible for donation-management or something, that's fine, but I think the projects, run by volunteer consensus, should continue to run things day-to-day. I'd certainly hope the board of directors never tries to dictate how any of the Wikipedias run their policies, for example—the users should dictate that. --Delirium 04:58, 7 May 2004 (UTC)Reply
That is why I added "of a corporation." --mav
Never mind then. =] --Delirium 09:26, 7 May 2004 (UTC)Reply
I sure consider that a board member job is absolutely not to dictate policies. If only for one reason : I believe each project should have its own set of policies, which have to be specific and in relation with the cultural background of the contributors, while following the general core values of neutrality, openness and respect of diversity. If a member has to "dictate" something, it is respect of these core values. Anything else should be run and dictated by the contributors of each project. This is very important. Day to day management of project should be entirely in the hands of the project participants. Anthere

Representation and multilinguisme


I also think that two reps for the whole project is not enough and also because of the fact that the most discussions run only in english, non-english speaker cannot really participate neither in the vote nor in the discussions. I guess the representative will be elected by a majority of english-speaker (native or not) choosen between english-speaker (native or not). Then non-english speaker will not be represented at all. I don't understand why two reps are considered as suffisiant. I imagine we could have a representative for each hundred (or two-hundred or five-hundred or thousend ???) votants grouped by project or by project groups (en:WP, other en:projects, european non-english projects, asian projects, etc. ). We could such define six seats and each candidate choose for what seat he/she's candidate, and each votant must choose in what single group he/she will vote. ArnoLagrange 08:43, 7 May 2004 (UTC)Reply

I don't think that is such a good idea since we would end up with a huge board. At most I would support one rep for each project (Wikipedia, Wikibooks, Wikitionary, etc) that have more than X content pages. Any population based approach should be self-selecting. The best way to do that is just have what we soon will have: Voting Wikimedia memberships. --mav 17:50, 7 May 2004 (UTC)Reply
Yes, I am worried about that, seeing that the main page for the election is on en: and not on meta: (i.e. Elections). Yann 19:47, 8 May 2004 (UTC)Reply
Ce n'est pas vrai Yann. La page est aussi sur méta Elections for the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation et elle est affichée au niveau des recent changes en gras !. Par ailleurs, Imran et Danny font tout ce qu'ils peuvent pour nous demander de la traduire. Anthere
I think it's necessary that the representatives at least speak English to communicate amongst themselves. How can a Greek and a Swede communicate if one only speaks Greek and one only speaks Swedish? If everyone had some other common language that'd be okay too, but English seems to be the most widely-spoken. Of course, non-English-speakers should participate as well, hopefully through translation by people who speak multiple languages. --Delirium 22:22, 8 May 2004 (UTC)Reply
I regretfully pointed out your idea is principally a linguacentrism of English-speaking people, Delirium, and agree with Arno it were better for us to have a representative of non-English-speaking people. A huge Board would not work well, but a Board with six members is IMO not huge. But anyway currently the vote is prepared we have to start with two positions for the initial board. On the other hand practically I agree with Delirium's guess that trustees should communicate in English: we must not miss Jimbo, so the other trustees would be expected to communicate with him in the languages which Jimbo speaks fluently. And it is clear he speaks English. For further discussion or voting I think it is better for Board to make it clear in what language the Board communicate as same as the way of meeting (it allows electric meetings). KIZU 19:25, 9 May 2004 (UTC)Reply
I don't see it as centrism of English-speaking people, but simply the only language people from other countries all have in common. When my relatives in Greece talk to people from Germany, they do so in English, because most Germans do not speak Greek, and most Greeks do not speak German. Say we had one representative from the German wikipedia and one from the Greek wikipedia—they'd have to communicate in English, most likely. Perhaps if Esperanto caught on that would be an answer, but so far it doesn't have enough speakers to be usable. This isn't just to speak with Jimbo, but for the volunteers to speak amongst themselves. Now what I do think might be an interesting idea is to explicitly have a representative from each language elected from each project as a contact point with the board—they wouldn't be on the board, but they'd be the first point of contact. Ideally this person would speak both English and the language of the project they're from, but the English might not be necessary, since they could communicate through one of the other members (for example, someone who speaks both Polish and German could communicate with the board through someone who speaks both German and English). --Delirium 22:20, 9 May 2004 (UTC)Reply
Sometimes things go differently: I communicate with others in a language not English, and know people who speaks plural languages but English. But factly such people are minority. Okay, back to the topic. Please let me resume your idea which sounds me interesting: besides the Board each version has a sort of Ambassador to mediate between the version concerned and the Board, or directly version-to-version. Do I grasp your idea correctly? If so, it is an idea worthy to consider. We have Ambassadors already, so your propose sounds me factly a build-up of Ambassador system of Wikimedia. Or you mean a proper role to tie the Board between a certain version? KIZU 22:50, 9 May 2004 (UTC)Reply
Embassy is certainly a good start for this. But just in case you guys are not aware, there is also a proposal made a while ago regarding the idea of having rep/contact point from each language-project. It is at Wikimedia Project Governing Committees. Besides, it is nice to see you here, KIZU! :-) Tomos 05:52, 17 May 2004 (UTC)Reply

Why is this page an orphan?


Why is this page an orphan? -- Cimon Avaro on a pogo stick 06:02, 7 May 2004 (UTC)Reply

on meta, many pages look like orphans. Technically, they ar not, as they are called by many wikipedias. We should always be careful not to delete pages here, just because they look orphans. Anthere 06:31, 7 May 2004 (UTC)Reply
that said, no good page on meta should ever be an orphan. new useful pages or page-types should be noted on Goings-on, new announcements on News, new policy pages or rants linked to from Meta:Babel or the appropriate active policy page.... Sj 03:54, 18 May 2004 (UTC)Reply

Under age


May underage people vote ? May underage people be candidate ? Anthere

I don't see why they could not vote. But there probably is some law that would preclude minors from being trustees. --mav 08:24, 7 May 2004 (UTC)Reply
FYI: § 617.0802(1) of the Florida Code: "Qualifications of directors." states:
(1) Directors must be natural persons who are 18 years of age or older but need not be residents of this state or members of the corporation unless the articles of incorporation or bylaws so require. The articles of incorporation or the bylaws may prescribe additional qualifications for directors.
While not an expert on Florida law, my review of the statute has not revealed any statutory limitation on membership. Obviously minors may not be able to enter into contractual relationships with the corporation in certain circumstances. If the bylaws do not prohibit minors being members then it appears they are allowed to vote. Regarding membership dues while they may voluntarily pay them, they might not be liable for membership dues not paid (not a legal opinion). — Alex756 | [ talk] 03:08, 8 May 2004 (UTC)Reply

Special software


Why was it decided that it is necessary to make the vote open in order to avoid sock puppets, without consulting me or another developer? It should be fairly simple to set up a system for secret votes, with automatic tallying. -- Tim Starling 03:01, 8 May 2004 (UTC)Reply

A demonstration of the voting feature I have written is here. The user "voter", with no password, has been there for the necessary 3 months. -- Tim Starling 06:25, 9 May 2004 (UTC)Reply

A two-phase system would be better, where people register to vote, all the sockpuppets are weeded out, and then people vote. This way the vote can be truly secret, not available to two people or anyone else who manages to hack in. Anthony DiPierro 11:21, 9 May 2004 (UTC)Reply

Dates again


I am relaying a point raised by a Japanese Wikipedian (TRIBESMAN) at [[1]]

Current version ofElections for the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation says that 29th is Friday, and 30th Saturday. They are Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Tomos 16:12, 10 May 2004 (UTC)Reply

Election Notice Translations


Moved from Talk:Election Notice Translations

Just to highlight a few issues:-

  1. Some Wikipedia is too small that only 1 or 2 person is eligable to vote. Do we need to translate all communications in details?
  2. If a person is active in multiple Wikipedia, do he/she have multiple votes? ie I vote in English and bahasa Melayu. (I might register under different name.)
  3. Dormant user, can he/she vote or not? someone might have create several user in various Wikipedia waiting for such today. Not so fair it's seems.

I know I should highlight this at different forum, but you'll seem to have so many forum, and I do not have time to look throught in details the proper forum to raise. I did try to find. Honest.

I'm not expecting answer but you might want to come up with guidelines to be post in wherever your guys post this kind of answer.Yosri 11:39, 10 May 2004 (UTC) :)Reply

Except translation need, you mean, you feel it unfair "multiple votes of a natrual person"? If so, I agree with you. I know some persons having multiple accounts in just one Wikipedia. But how can we identify such accounts belonging to a natural person? Just a curious. As for multiple votes on multiple Wikipedias (and other projects too), I think it better to request any voter to vote only once, even if s/he contributes much more than others. KIZU 20:46, 16 May 2004 (UTC)Reply
There will be a log of who has voted. Hopefully people from the different languages will check that log as Danny and Imran are unlikley to be aware of which users hold multiple accounts. For example, I would hope that users from the Korean Wikipedia would point out if they noticed ko:사용자:안젤라 voting when Angela had already voted. Angela 22:19, 16 May 2004 (UTC)Reply
See also Tim Starling's mailing list post related to this. Angela 01:18, 17 May 2004 (UTC)Reply

Election Notice Placements


I don't find notice of the election in very many places. It isn't on and on the english wikipedia, is only referenced from and not the or anywhere else I can see. Sorry for the full URLs - I'm in a bit of a hurry and still trying to get the cross-wiki syntax in my mind. And yes I know I can just be bold, but a good example of a canonical announcement itself is a bit hard to find, even in english. Nealmcb 20:54, 14 May 2004 (UTC)Reply

As a minimum, it should be on the recent changes for every Wikimedia wiki. There's still a lot that hasn't been done yet though. Angela 22:19, 16 May 2004 (UTC)Reply

I personally never look at "recent changes" - way too much noise. Are there statistics on which pages are seen by the highest percentage of logged-in users? (different than total hit count). I did just add an announcement to the en:Wikipedia:Community Portal on en, thinking that since it is on the left side of every page, it is a likely spot for such an announcement. Nealmcb 18:21, 25 May 2004 (UTC)Reply

It could be added to the top of watchlists. Angela 11:06, 26 May 2004 (UTC)Reply

How about getting a bot to send a message to all eligible users (with unique IPs)? MrJones 09:04, 4 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Demonstration of voting system


A test version of the Boardvote software is available. As Tim writes:

A demonstration of the voting system is at . There are two open accounts:
  • Voter -- a user who has been around for 90 days
  • Election administrator -- a user who may strike votes and view IP addresses
Both have no password.

Nealmcb 21:54, 17 May 2004 (UTC) (Hmm - after posting I noticed Tim's note above. Well, this includes a bit more info and might be a bit easier to find.)Reply

Please check the boxes next to each candidate whom you approve of.

I think the text should explain a bit more. E.g.

Please check the boxes next to each candidate whom you approve of. For each of the two available seats, you may vote for as many candidates as you like. The candidate who receives the most votes wins. This is known as Approval voting .

Note that putting a link to any articles in (e.g. for Approval voting) would run the risk of people editing the article in an attempt to sway the election so it probably isn't a good idea. Nealmcb 22:08, 17 May 2004 (UTC)Reply

I tried to log in the voting system and required to registrate. I have some questions from just curiosity.
This interface will be utilize for the coming vote too? With a particular set of user name and password in a certain Wikipedia or a different way?
Every Wikipedia should provide the user with a special voting page? Or we use one and similar interface to all linguistic version?
I'm afraid not all users of Wikipedia can't English. KIZU 12:00, 19 May 2004 (UTC)Reply
Translations will be needed, of course. --mav 19:10, 25 May 2004 (UTC)Reply
Oh. I prooved your word:) I assume the list of candidates should be translated as same as interface. KIZU 16:46, 27 May 2004 (UTC)Reply
They will be available for translation later today. Tim Starling is apparently going to put a page on meta for doing this. Angela 11:06, 26 May 2004 (UTC)Reply
It's now at Board vote interface text. Angela 11:18, 26 May 2004 (UTC)Reply

Definition of 'dues-paying member'


What exactly are dues-paying members of the Wikimedia Foundation and what is the difference to volunteer contributors. I would appreciate if somebody could point a page for me to read on the subject. Cheers Muriel Gottrop 08:42, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

At some point in the future, users will have the opportunity to become official members by paying a fee to the foundation. These people will be represented by the "Contributing Member Representative". Everyone else will be represented by the "Volunteer Member Representative". In future votes, only the contributing (fee-paying) users will be allowed to vote for the Contributing Member Representative, but in this election, everyone can vote for both. There is no page on it yet as it is not decided what these fees will be. Deciding what these fees will be is one of the roles of the Contributing Member Representative. Angela 16:49, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

(This is not a criticism of the contributors who organised this election.) Sigh Capitalism comes to the fore once again. The project has to have resources provided for it somehow. Oh well, better to have the influence of donors above board.

At a tangent, will it be possible to see who has made donations of how much (by account)? If it's not in all cases, could the country or province (e.g. state or county) of the donor be indicated? Is this being done already? MrJones 08:40, 4 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Who organised the election and where?


Who decided upon the concept of Contributing Active Member Representative and Volunteer User Representative? Where did this take place? Can links be provided? MrJones 08:46, 4 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Q: When will voting take place?

A: ???

That's funny. Dori | Talk 12:51, 12 Jun 2004 (UTC)

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