Talk:Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees/Call for feedback: Community Board seats/Ranked voting system

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Single transferable voteEdit

Can anyone tell me why this isn't a slam-dunk that the Board should have just proposed at the same time as the first round of changes to the Bylaws? According to the Board's own proposal page, STV "is designed to resemble proportional representation" and "should [be] a good fit for the Wikimedia Movement". On top of this, it's a legitimate voting method used in real-world elections such as the Australian Senate and the Irish delegation to the European Parliament. It certainly meets the demand for a real voting system from community members angry about the Board's shenanigans! BethNaught (talk) 22:09, 1 February 2021 (UTC)

I oppose using proportional representation while the Board is structured as it currently is. With about half the Board held by "Board-selected" (which in practice look to be heavily influenced by staff), there are risks of tilting the balance away from community control. If the WMF's continual explosive growth doesn't slow down soon, the staff will make up more than 1/6 of the votes within one election, effectively allowing the addition of a member which could be opposed by the entire community if proportional representation were used. (WMF staff are guaranteed a vote, regardless of edits. Relevant thread from 2015.) The lack of firm community control over the Board makes for quite a mess, and limits safe options for voting systems. --Yair rand (talk) 01:54, 5 February 2021 (UTC)
In practice I don't think that WMF staff all vote, or that where they vote, they all vote the same way. So I wouldn't be that worried about the circumstances where staff form a block-vote to ensure a WMF favoured candidate gets elected. I do think that where the WMF staff get to vote, affiliate staff should also be able to vote on the same basis. Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 13:54, 10 February 2021 (UTC)
Also; the number of votes cast is something like 6,000 in the 2017 and 2015 elections. I think WMF + Affiliates is some distance off having 1,000 staff, let alone 1,000 staff who actually vote in elections! Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 16:10, 10 February 2021 (UTC)
@The Land: The community also doesn't all vote the same way, and shouldn't have to just to prevent loss of the WMF. The 2017 and 2015 elections had 5120 and 5167 valid votes, respectively. The WMF hired 102 full-time staff and 37 contractors last year, and the org has been growing at a dangerous rate for its entire existence, fast enough that getting to 1/6 within an election cycle (three years) seems well within the range of possibility. (If you include affiliate staff, which I'm not as concerned about, it would likely get there even faster.) If we come to a point where the interests of the staff sharply differ from the interests of the movement, we shouldn't have a giant vulnerability of the system in place. --Yair rand (talk) 02:02, 11 February 2021 (UTC)
Hi there, Yair rand, I hear what you said about concerns about Wikimedia Foundation staff getting to vote and those votes influencing the election in a way that would not align with the community. I know some staff members are volunteer contributors too. Do you have examples of where staff voting has been an issue? I am trying to better understand so I can better capture this feedback. Is there a solution to this? Best, JKoerner (WMF) (talk) 23:17, 11 February 2021 (UTC)
JKoerner (WMF) I would say there has long been a generalized concern that staff are often badly out of alignment with the community, offset by the community-value toward inclusive participation. However there probably aren't any concrete election-result issues to cite because staff numbers were so much smaller and because we never used Single Transferable Vote (STV). STV is a problem for two reasons. First, given certain vote patterns, STV can fail badly. Each round of STV can knock out the best available candidate, leaving the final round selecting of the second-worst out of all candidates. In such a scenario it is very possible the community would cast blame on staff for the pathological result. The other problem is that STV candidates represent factions (Condorcet candidates represent everyone). STV latches on to fringe groups and elects candidates who are polarized opponents. STV is essentially designed to organize staff votes into a block electing a candidate actively hostile to the community and simultaneously organize blocks of votes electing candidates actively opposed to staff. Now... from a craven-partisan-tactical perspective STV is arguably advantageous to the community, it creates a polarized majority-faction actively fighting and winning any conflict with the isolated staff representative. In contrast Condorcet systems elect moderate/centrist candidates all of whom have the broadest possible acceptability to all voters. Staff wouldn't be able to elect any candidate who was actively hostile to the community, but they would have the power to reject hostile or unreasonable or uncompromising candidates. I would hope we all want a movement (and a board) dedicated to collaborative common-interest, not one composed of warring ideological factions. Alsee (talk) 22:28, 13 February 2021 (UTC)
Thank you all, I have captured this feedback for the upcoming weekly report. Best, JKoerner (WMF) (talk) 19:53, 15 February 2021 (UTC)
@Yair rand I keep thinking about this argument of the weight of Foundation staff votes in elections. For the discussion about voting systems, I think it points to a valid risk, the possibility that a single mid-sized or large community heavily and unfairly influences the result of an election. Are there voting systems more resistant to unfair group tactics than others?
I just don't think the Foundation is as big of a risk. While I understand the math, I think there are other considerations that heavily affect the realistic impact of Foundation staff biasing any election:
  • While before every election there has been an internal communication explaining to all staff that they can participate, it is likely that only a portion does, largely based on their own involvement in community affairs as a volunteer, and from these probably many will vote from their volunteer accounts, which have voting rights by own volunteering merits. Count me in this latter group.
  • As the number of staff increases, the percentage of staff with volunteer background or regular community ties decreases. I bet most of the newcomers without community ties decide not to vote even if they are eligible.
  • Foundation staff never got directions to vote for or against any candidate. If we would, it would become a scandal that would leak, increasing the scandal exponentially. Without a direction to vote, the possibility of introducing targeted bias decreases.
  • Compared to most (all?) wiki communities, Foundation staff is very diverse in terms of gender, languages spoken, country of residence and other cultural background aspects. Same as with thousands of volunteer voters, these personal factors may play a role when voting. I would expect the votes of Foundation staff to be quite diverse, which also decreases the possibilities of introducing a specific bias.
For all these reasons, I think that the actual power of Foundation staff to influence election results, even if someone would try to use it, wouldn't bring much, other than a potential professional disaster for whoever tries. Qgil-WMF (talk) 20:52, 2 March 2021 (UTC)

OpinionEdit

I think this is a good idea. Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 20:43, 3 February 2021 (UTC)

Hi Chris Keating (The Land), Glad to see you sharing feedback here. Do you want to share more about why you like it? Best, JKoerner (WMF) (talk) 22:52, 4 February 2021 (UTC)
In short, because I agree with the rationale that's stated. ;) STV or a similar system does a better job of balancing different constituencies or kinds of opinion, particularly with more candidates to be elected at once. The current system also puts a very high weight on "oppose" votes - one "oppose" is worth 3 or 4 "supports" which really penalises candidates who are in any way different or controversial. Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 14:30, 5 February 2021 (UTC)
The only further thing is that there would have to be very clear communications about how the voting system worked, and ideally a demonstration and clear instructions would be built into the voting interface (and translated). While much of the world is familiar with this system, not everyone is and in the ASBS election there were problems with affiliates apparently misunderstanding. This is not an inherent problem. The ASBS process was rushed, confused, and under-resourced, and with better planning and communication these problems could be avoided. Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 17:45, 6 February 2021 (UTC)

Seems fine to me, based on the feedback from BethNaught above. It's not a system that I know well, but it's use in real-world elections from real countries makes it seem reasonable. TomDotGov (talk) (hold the election) 00:57, 5 February 2021 (UTC)

Withdrawn - Risker's argument as to how the community needs to be able to oppose candidates is convincing. TomDotGov (talk) (hold the election) 01:55, 8 March 2021 (UTC)

I'm generally a fan of STV and would support introducing it. However if it was adopted, I think staggering the trustee terms would be a good idea so that you're not electing all eight trustees at once. The more seats are open and the fewer votes that are cast, the more sensitive STV becomes to small variations. If anyone wants to see the nitty gritty details, Antony Green's blog has everything you ever wanted to know and more. --RaiderAspect (talk) 12:17, 5 February 2021 (UTC)

I strongly support this system. It already works at ASBS elections and has shown good results. It has an advantage of favouring more consensual candidates that might not necessarily be your first priority but who satisfy a significant number of electors. ASBS elections have shown that ranked voting system results in many affiliates voting for their closest (regional, linguistic, thematic etc.) candidate as a first choice, first choices with only narrow support get quickly eliminated, and second or third choices become decisive to select really qualified candidates among those having a wide enough support. It should give good results for an online community election — NickK (talk) 11:09, 6 February 2021 (UTC)

Thanks all for the feedback. I included this in the first weekly report. Best, JKoerner (WMF) (talk) 23:22, 11 February 2021 (UTC)

IssuesEdit

While I am not categorically against STV, as I am against, say, a selection panel, there are some major issues, some coming from Wikimedia related aspects and others from general STV elections, that make me currently a significant opposer. They include:

STV can risk getting non-objectionable candidates in over generally positive. It also makes the election process more complicated, not to mention that if, say, I had 4 candidates I really didn't want in a 20 candidate election, to maximise the chanced to them not getting in I'd have to cast intermediate ranking votes on those I didn't know, without a clear ability to decide (say) who warranted "7th" and who warranted "16th".

  1. Complexity - voter numbers are already fairly low in BoT elections, and considerations of tweaking en-wiki's arbcom elections methodology has previously run into resistance on grounds of complexity. Even a 10% loss in votes cast (as opposed to voters) would be too egregious a negative. Even explanation and so-on, as used in actual elections that shift to STV by no means resolve the issue
  2. Voter knowledge - STV requires knowledge of everyone if you want to be both fair and give functional oppose votes. For example, If had 4 candidates I really didn't want in a 20 candidate election, to maximise the chances of them not getting in I'd have to cast intermediate ranking votes on those I didn't know, without a clear ability to decide (say) who warranted "7th" and who warranted "16th". Whereas in a normal set-up I could support the ones I wanted, oppose the really problematic 4, and go neutral both for those I was neutral on, but also the candidates who I felt insufficiently aware of (as a note, while I read everyone's statement, to me, that would be wildly insufficient research for an election as important as BoT).
  3. WMF voting share - this issue probably can be resolved (but remains one until a viable solution is offered), but its mentioned in the first comment above, so I note it here as well
  4. Objectionable candidates - say we got a lot of unqualified candidates, which I can think of several circumstances that might cause it. STV can make it easier for one to achieve position than the current approach
  5. Non-objectionable candidates - likely to be a more common issue, this is where generally positive candidates who get lots of high ranks but very few mid-rank votes, can lose out to non-objectionable (neither heavily positive or negative) candidates.

There absolutely are positives from STV, but in my experience, they only work fairly when you can trust in the vast majority of the voters knowing significant amounts about the vast majority of candidates. Nosebagbear (talk) 10:20, 10 February 2021 (UTC)

Just my 2p, on the second point: you can put the candidates from 7th to 16th at the same level, this will make sure you give no specific preference to any of them and at the same time you prefer all of them to the ones you want to vote against — NickK (talk) 12:31, 10 February 2021 (UTC)
Hi NickK, Thanks for your continued feedback! I'm asking some questions to see if you have ideas for possible solutions. I numbered them to go along with your points:
  1. Is there a way you see to increase participation in the Board of Trustee elections?
  2. Is there a way you see to improve learning about candidates before elections?
  3. I asked the same question above, because it was noted as a concern, is there a situation where the Wikimedia Foundation staff voting has become a problem? Or is this something that you see could become a problem in the future?
  4. How might a solution to provide qualified candidates be developed? Does it align with the idea Call for types of skills and expertise or is it something different?
  5. Maybe I need to study this a bit more, but could you clarify this for me so I can better document your thoughts about this?

Thanks for your time on this! Best, JKoerner (WMF) (talk) 23:35, 11 February 2021 (UTC)

@JKoerner (WMF): Along with my points? I think you wanted to ping rather @Nosebagbear:, I really put in just my 2p. (If these questions are still relevant to me, I can still answer them) — NickK (talk) 01:06, 12 February 2021 (UTC)
I suspect @JKoerner (WMF): did mean to ping me. So my proposal for improving participation in terms of candidates, is for the WMF to go to the communities where it would like more candidates from, much further in advance (probably at least 6 weeks) of formal nominations opening, and ask why not run, what issues they have and see if they can be mitigated. In terms of getting voters, a more "multi-spectrum" approach is needed: the general banner, dropped messages at as many of the local communities primary watering holes as possible, a better method to allow individuals to ask Trustees who speak different languages questions, a request to chapters to notify their members, and so on and so forth. Some research into why people don't vote, might also be worthwhile.
As well as the multi-lingual questions bit, I'll give some thought on learning about candidates.
So long as WMF staff remain under 5% or so of the electorate, I don't particularly have a concern - I included it as others have noted concerns (not many, but more than on this page). It's probably the least of my issues there. It could be a concern in the future. Not because I expect the WMF to start canvassing its employees or anything, but there is a benefit to staff votes to back a trustee who would aid their projects (etc), which is not necessarily the same as trustees representing the community Nosebagbear (talk) 10:27, 12 February 2021 (UTC)
Ack! Yes, my apologies, @NickK:! I should not work so late in the day. That means mistakes!
Thanks, Nosebagbear, for elaborating on this. This helps. Best, JKoerner (WMF) (talk) 12:42, 12 February 2021 (UTC)
@JKoerner (WMF): Well, as Nosebagbear answered something difficult, I can add one argument to your questions.
Regarding increasing participation, in Ukrainian Wikipedia we have managed to significantly increased participation by two measures:
  • Translation of the main candidate information (brief bios and programmes, 1 paragraph each) into Ukrainian with a discussion on the village pump.
  • Personal voting invitations in Ukrainian, explaining what these elections mean and giving a link to candidate presentations.
This worked, as roughly 25% of eligible participants actually voted — NickK (talk) 21:26, 12 February 2021 (UTC)
Thank you both for this. This is great feedback. I wonder if other communities have experiences like this, NickK. @Nosebagbear: and @NickK:, could there be an idea you want to suggest in this? I sense there might be something emerging here - something like a way to design election planning to encourage participation (voting and candidates). Best, JKoerner (WMF) (talk) 21:46, 12 February 2021 (UTC)
@JKoerner (WMF): The key word is 'election'. All of this makes sense if there is an election (and there is also a good amount of ASBS discussions as well). If there is no democratic election, there is no point in recruiting community members — NickK (talk) 16:21, 13 February 2021 (UTC)
Got it. I hear your feedback on that. Is there a sort of best practices you might be interested in drafting to encourage broader participation? It sounds like you and Nosebagbear have a lot of practical experience with this. Best, JKoerner (WMF) (talk) 13:17, 15 February 2021 (UTC)

Support, NOW OPPOSE ranked choice, preferably Schulze or other Condorcet methodEdit

I struck my comment below and I now OPPOSE Ranked choice. I will open a new section to explain and discuss. Alsee (talk) 14:54, 7 March 2021 (UTC)

I definitely support ranked choice, preferably returning to en:Schulze method which we used to use, or other en:Condorcet method. (Schulze is a member of Condorcet method family). I could write an entire essay on the subject of elections systems. Mathematicians have extensively studied elections systems and how they can fail. When there are more than two candidates you really need Ranked-choice to actually record the voter's preferences. The proposal here suggests Single Transferable Vote. While Single Transferable Vote is indeed better than a single-candidate-ballot (and better than the Support/Neutral/Oppose system we currently use), Single Transferable Vote can potentially to select the second-worst candidate. If electing multiple candidates, Single Transferable Vote could select the second worst, third worst, and fourth worst candidates.

If there is a candidate who could beat every other candidate in a one-on-one contest, Condorcet systems are the only systems guaranteed to elect that candidate. In rare cases voters may create a en:Rock-paper-scissors loop between candidates, and different Condorcet systems merely offer different ways to break that tie.

In short, any time any election system disagrees with Condorcet, it is mathematically provable that the other election system is clearly wrong and the Condorcet system is clearly right. If you put those two candidates in a head to head matchup the winner will always be the one selected by the Condorcet system.

The benefit Single Transferable Vote might have over a Condorcet system is that some Single Transferable Vote methods are easier to explain to the public. However no one uses those simple versions because they are clearly inferior. Once you start using sophisticated system for transferring votes, it gets complicated. At that point there's no reason not to use a Condorcet system. Alsee (talk) 08:21, 13 February 2021 (UTC)

We're here for the Sum of all knowledge, so simplicity must not be any criterion, that would override correctness. The worst would be some "First past the pole" systems, were bigger minorities could rule over the clear majorities, like in Britain in the Thatcher years, or with presidents without the popular vote. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 10:59, 13 February 2021 (UTC)
I have to disagree, because it is not a dichtomy - "simplicity or correctness". All other wikipedia governance is using some degree of simplification from what the ultimate ideal would be - because otherwise you get a net-loss of correctness unless you can guarantee that every voter will have a flawless understanding, first time, of whatever more complicated method is selected. Nosebagbear (talk) 16:52, 13 February 2021 (UTC)
Nosebagbear I accept your point against a radical disregard for simplicity. I would suggest the primary practical decision here is whether to use a Ranked Choice system. Non-ranked Choice systems can fail rather badly on "correctness", and I would hope we can avoid them. I acknowledge that not everyone is familiar with Ranked Choice, and that there can be confusion mainly regarding unranked candidates. Those issues can be largely addressed with a decent voting interface. Perhaps give each candidate a slider with clearly indicated directions for "good" and "bad", and start the slider in the middle. Then there are no unranked candidates and, to the extent people are still unsure, they would be unsure about things that are literally irrelevant. Casting votes of +10 +9 -10 is the same as voting +10 0 -10 is the same as +10 -9 -10 is the same as +1 0 -1 is the same as +3 +2 +1. Or have an interface to make a ranked list, maybe dragging candidates up or down.
If we do go with Ranked Choice then there aren't really any good arguments for not using a Condorcet system (the most mathematically correct option). The Ranking interface is the same no matter which back end system is used, and the various back end systems wind up being roughly comparable in complexity. Alsee (talk) 00:33, 14 February 2021 (UTC)
Thanks all for this discussion. I have noted the feedback for this upcoming weekly report. Best, JKoerner (WMF) (talk) 20:33, 15 February 2021 (UTC)
I fully agree with Alsee and support adoption of a Condorcet method. Anthere (talk)
I also support adopting a Condorcet method, with two caveats:
  • The Board should not be deciding the method used for their own election.
  • The problems with the voting UI that existed during its prior use must be fixed before readopting the method. The use of plain text boxes (which defaulted to blank, which was interpreted as "lowest value" by the system) was very problematic, as many voters misinterpreted the system. Either use a number input defaulting to 0, or a fixed-step range input with a spectrum going from "oppose" to "support", or a drag-and-drop list ordering system like the Mediawiki logo vote.
--Yair rand (talk) 06:05, 18 February 2021 (UTC)
Hello Yair rand, I am compiling the main points for the RVS and want to ask you: if the Board shouldn't be the one deciding the voting system, who specifically should be involved in the decision for any 2021 elections? Thanks --Oscar . (WMF) (talk) 14:50, 23 February 2021 (UTC)
The Wikimedia Foundation elections committee is the org, that runs elections (and that hasn't done their job up to now, and changes could done by RfCs. The Board is just a servant and trustee of the communities. The current board is not legitimately constructed, it has not been elected in a proper election, and only a proper election validates the Board. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 21:43, 23 February 2021 (UTC)
^ That about sums it up. --Yair rand (talk) 23:49, 23 February 2021 (UTC)
@Alsee If I understand your recent comments, if the process would remain fairly open, you would still support a ranked voting system, but if there would be a filter of candidates, then you would prefer to keep the S/N/O system because it allows a negative value in votes. Correct? Qgil-WMF (talk) 23:26, 7 March 2021 (UTC)
Qgil-WMF Opposed. When the Executive Director accepted the position she sent an email to all staff saying, in part "change happens at the speed of trust".[1] This process is in reverse gear. The Foundation as a whole is stuck in reverse gear. Transferable vote is a bad ranked system, and ranked in general is incompatible with the absence of trust. If you manage to wrap up this process without doing any damage, then maybe we can discuss trying to invent a system that includes both an oppose option and ranking. Alsee (talk) 12:31, 13 March 2021 (UTC)

Thanks Sänger and Yair. Going back to the topic of the thread, another interesting fact is that The Schulze method used for Board elections and then changed for the current method. Does anyone know why that happens? There's no explanation to be found in the English Wikipedia article. --Oscar . (WMF) (talk) 23:17, 1 March 2021 (UTC)

@Oscar . (WMF): After the 2011 election and shortly before the 2013 election system was decided, a major concern was the UI allowing voters to set candidates as "unranked" ("not voting") which was counted as "most opposed" by the system, though this was not understood by all voters (some thinking it meant "neutral"). See the 2011 post mortem. (There was also a concern about the lack of a way for voters to indicate direct absolute opposition to a particular candidate, as opposed to just indicating that, between the various candidates, one would prefer all other candidates over that candidate. I personally do not understand this point.) For the 2013 elections, no members of the election committee supported the continued use of the Schulze method.
I was involved in arguing the pro-Schulze side during some of this, so I'm not sure about the fairness/completeness of this summary. Pinging User:Risker, who argued for switching away from the Schulze method, and was on the elections committee at the time: Anything you might want to add/correct on this? --Yair rand (talk) 05:40, 2 March 2021 (UTC)
Thank you for the ping, Yair rand. There are aspects to my fundamental objection to the use of the Schulze method, although some of it is readily apparent in Schulze's personal conflict of interest in massively editing the article about this system on the English Wikipedia page (he's been warned about it and there's more to the back story than meets the eye); let's just say that there are serious questions as to how that system came to be selected in the first place, long before I was involved in elections. I will point out that, at the time of the move to the Support/Oppose/Neutral system, we had very minimal choices available to us because SecurePoll at the time only supported SNO and Schulze, specifically the Schulze version that is intended to provide only one "winner". (There is a different Schulze method intended to provide multiple winners. This was not programmed into SecurePoll.) We had almost no time at all to set up that election - I think we were appointed only a few weeks before we had to open candidacies, so no time to review other voting systems - and definitely there was no time or staffing available to program any different vote tallying methods at that time. The fact was also that this election has always been intended to be used by the communities of the Wikimedia projects, almost all of which used SNO "voting" for any elections or selections that took place on their projects at the time. Whatever voting system is used, it needs to be easily and intuitively understood by contributors who probably don't read or speak languages in which translation is commonly provided (and in 2013, that was far fewer languages than today). Even as it is, the Wikipedia article on the Schulze method is only available in less than 25 languages, and is of pretty widely varying quality.

I would caution making a really major change to voting systems, unless we are in a position to clearly explain exactly what happens to votes, in simple language that is easily understood by people with little or no mathematical background. We saw at the last Affiliates election that the ranked choice voting system was misunderstood by organizations that had pretty extensive information, to the point that there had to be last-minute interventions by the Election Committee to ensure that the votes genuinely reflected the intentions of the "official voters" - and this intervention had direct impact on the outcome of the process. Any system that can be misunderstood to the point that it affects outcomes when there are fewer than 150 educated and specially selected voters is going to be a problem when dealing with the thousands of voters of widely varying knowledge.

As an aside, the opportunity to oppose candidates is something that is normal in almost all on-wiki voting processes. To this day, very few projects use any other voting system for roles within their project. And there have been multiple Board candidates over the years who many voters have found to be so objectionable that they want to be able to say "no under any circumstances". I don't have an inherent objection to some form of ranked voting system, provided that it can be easily explained and understood at what we in North America would call a "Grade Five" level, in every major language group; if it can't, then we have a problem. I'd be in favour of having a neutral third party do the work of examining voting systems and making recommendations to us about what has been successful in multilingual, multi-winner settings. Risker (talk) 07:37, 2 March 2021 (UTC)

Thank you Yair rand and Risker, I will add this explanation to the next Weekly report. --Oscar . (WMF) (talk) 15:41, 4 March 2021 (UTC)
I agree that the system must be able to be explained very simply ("Grade Five level"), and I believe that that is possible for Condorcet systems. --Yair rand (talk) 03:50, 18 March 2021 (UTC)

OPPOSE ranked choice, support status quo support/oppose systemEdit

I previously supported Ranked Choice. However I must now oppose it, as it is only suitable when one can trust elections are free and fair. Ranked Choice manufactures a supposed winner (or winners), even in a fraudulent election were the "confirmed" candidates are all overwhelmingly opposed.

Between the proposal for quotas, and a committee to selectively confirm only candidates which it evaluates as preferred, there can be no assumption that supposed "winners" have any support at all. This makes it necessary that we be able to cast OPPOSE votes against every "confirmed candidate". If the Board attempts to install a supposed "winner" who has majority opposition, or 70% or 90% opposition, the status quo Support/Oppose system clearly exposes that Emperor has no clothes. Alsee (talk) 16:28, 7 March 2021 (UTC)

@Alsee: I don't really understand this. There isn't much practical difference between, "We prefer candidate X over the other candidates" and "We prefer X over the other candidates if forced to choose, but really none of them are acceptable". It's not like we can just empty the board of members, so I don't much see the point.
That said, it is still not a conflict between the voting systems. Schulze or other ranked systems could certainly have "none of the above" as an option to prefer above or below particular candidates. I don't know what electing "none" would mean, and I wouldn't advise having it as an option, but it's certainly possible. If there is a need to be able to oppose all, that's not an argument to use support/oppose instead of ranked voting. --Yair rand (talk) 03:48, 18 March 2021 (UTC)

Collected Feedback about Ranked voting system from the first and second weekly report!Edit

Hi folks! Here is the summary of the main views and opinions of Ranked voting system from last week and this week Weekly's report, these reports summarize ideas from all over the movement. We think it might be helpful to share the feedback pertaining to each idea on each idea's talk page in order to provide coherence and move the discussion further.

Ideas from the first weekly reportEdit

  • This should be used as it is similar to other real world examples in governments
  • This should not be used because the Wikimedia Foundation staff are allowed to vote and their votes could potentially sway the elections
  • Education content on how this voting system works is critical to its success
  • Feedback during a Russian WikiCommunity conversation had most attendees favoring a ranked voting system

Ideas from the second weekly reportEdit

Please reach out with questions or comments, cheers --Oscar . (WMF) (talk) 00:04, 19 February 2021 (UTC)

Common sense reformEdit

I believe this would be a common sense reform, that should not be controversial. It should help in opening up the election in a transparent way, that would be in the best interests of everyone.--Pharos (talk) 05:10, 23 February 2021 (UTC)

Collected Feedback about Ranked voting system from the third weekly reportEdit

Here is the feedback from the third weekly report covering February 15 - 21 of the Call for Feedback.

10 users from 5 different home wikis have participated in the conversation on this idea's talk page so far.
  • Attendees at a meeting of the Kurdish community said a ranked voting system would bring some trustees who don’t have a clear idea of what they need.
  • The Condorcet method is getting more support. One person said the Board should not be deciding the method used in their own election and the interface must be fixed.
  • Jon of Wikimedia Norge, former member of many election committees, mentioned STV has been discussed since 2008 and it went well in the affiliate seat selection process.
  • The 2019 ASBS facilitators and other volunteers disagree with the idea of the Board deciding a voting system for community elections and say this decision belongs to the community.
    • “ASBS elections have shown that ranked voting system results in many affiliates voting for their closest (regional, linguistic, thematic etc.) candidate as a first choice, first choices with only narrow support get quickly eliminated, and second or third choices become decisive to select really qualified candidates among those having a wide enough support.”

Do reach out with any questions or feedback. Cheers, --Oscar . (WMF) (talk) 20:45, 25 February 2021 (UTC)

Ranked votingEdit

You can refer to the article on English Wikipedia: Comparison of electoral systems for finding a good enough system. STV is one of the proportional election systems. The number of seats available in an election determines the minimum relative size of a minority to have a chance of being elected. A global south candidate will get elected in a proportional system with say 5 to 8 seats available if they are seen as THE representative of ALL global south communitiesm because the big languages make up 80% of all active contributors. The remaining 20% belong to hundreds of small language communities, across three continents. Someone told me contributors in Africa are more likely to contribute to English or French Wikipedia than one of the languages native to this continent. Ad Huikeshoven (talk) 12:59, 4 March 2021 (UTC)

Collected Feedback about Ranked voting system from the fourth weekly reportEdit

Here is the feedback from the fourth weekly report covering February 22 - 28 of the Call for Feedback.

  • During a meeting with the Georgian community one person commented that this system is not suitable for elections, as it can be manipulated and disadvantage the best candidates.
  • The WMRU representative said the principle is normal, but one can also criticize it for its shortcomings. He thinks it might be better to leave this system for the future.
  • During a meeting with the Brazilian community, one person stated that this system creates a clear approach and eliminates the thought about being disqualified by candidates from larger communities..
  • One person from the Wikimedistas of Ecuador User Group feels there may be some problems with this system and it might end up being another type of popularity contest.
  • One person from the Wikimujeres User Group doesn't have any problem with this method because it allows for a more nuanced vote and allows defining preferences in a better way.
  • At an open European community conversation, One person supports the idea as it might help to increase diversity. Another supports the idea too, he likes the idea of having multiple choices. Another person remarks that the current ASBS system is a ranked voting system too and results might not differ very much after a change.

Do reach out with any questions or feedback. Cheers, --Oscar . (WMF) (talk) 15:46, 4 March 2021 (UTC)

Collected Feedback about Ranked voting system from the fifth weekly reportEdit

Here is the feedback from the fourth weekly report covering March 1 - 7 of the Call for Feedback.

  • One person on the Talk page outlined concerns from historic use of the Schulze method in Wikimedia elections. Another person expanded on the situations that led to the issues using the Schulze method in previous elections. They reiterated the needs that have been expressed before from other community members:
    • Choosing the right ranked voting system
    • Explain the voting system simply
    • Clear interface design
    • Ensuring only qualified voters are voting
  • One person suggested looking on English Wikipedia: Comparison of electoral systems article. They indicated how the opportunity for underrepresented communities to get elected is proportional to the seats available and that would mean the person elected would be one person out of a large portion of underrepresented people.
  • One member of the Elections Committee thinks that we could move toward a Ranked Voting System but is still debatable what kind of system to put in place.
  • One person on the idea talk page on Meta now opposes ranked choice voting citing concerns over the Board installing “a supposed ‘winner’” who has majority opposition. They note the idea of quotas and the idea of a “committee to selectively confirm only candidates which it evaluates as preferred” changed their mind. One other person indicated they prefer to have “oppose” as an option as well.
  • A historical perspective was provided by one person who has been involved in prior election cycles.

Do reach out with any questions or feedback. Cheers, --Oscar . (WMF) (talk) 00:13, 15 March 2021 (UTC)

Collected Feedback about Ranked voting system from the sixth weekly reportEdit

Hi all, there is the feedback from the sixth and final weekly report covering March 8 - 14 of the Call for Feedback.

  • One person on the idea talk page on Meta said, “Transferable vote is a bad ranked system...maybe we can discuss trying to invent a system that included both an oppose option and ranking.”
  • One volunteer in the "Board-Global Council-Hubs" panel session was in favor of this idea for the upcoming board election, with some fairly loose quotas of representation, because the support/oppose voting system puts an awful lot of weight on opposing votes. And, the volunteer said that without preferential voting or quotas then the elections will result in very similar kinds of people being elected.
  • From the anonymous feedback form: they strongly advise choosing the ranked voting system which is already used in many situations (as the Open Street Map Foundation board elections), which gives the community the full power.

Thank you everyone, --Oscar . (WMF) (talk) 10:37, 18 March 2021 (UTC)

Return to "Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees/Call for feedback: Community Board seats/Ranked voting system" page.