Re: Comment on the election rules

Hi Christian,

You make a good point, but the problem with requiring people to vote for
11 candidates is that maybe you don't know 11 people, or only have a
strong opinion about 6 people.  If we change the rules as you suggest,
then people might randomly select people to vote for, and we might end
up having to disqualify a bunch of votes because they didn't select 11
candidates, which would suck.

I think we have three safeguards against the problem you identify:
1- no more than 4 board members can be affiliated with any one company -
so there's an absolute limit on the kind of manipulation that can happen
2- only members of the GNOME Foundation can vote, so if a bunch of
Microsoft employees wanted to join, they probably wouldn't all get
accepted.  If, say, all of a sudden every single Eazel employee
registered to vote, than the membership committee would probably get
concerned and check in with someone over there to make sure that the
company wasn't trying to do something inappropriate.
3- the board can always be recalled by referendum.  If something
inappropriate were to happen, I'd be the first to launch a recall
referendum and change the voting rules.

So my tendency would be to leave the current rule in effect.  I trust
the GNOME community to elect the right group of people. If problems
arise, we can always fix them for the next elections.


Christian Schaller wrote:
> I read though the election rules and have a suggestion for a small
> change.
> Item number 7 states that up to 11 names might be listed on the election
> ballot
> from each voter. I suggest that we demand a full 11 votes from each
> voter or maybe another fixed number.
> In my youth (pretending to be very old here) I was active in youth
> politics and one thing
> that poisoned many elections I participated in was the active voting
> strategies that different fractions indulged themselves in (my own
> included).  While this will probably not be a problem at the current
> election and hopefully not ever, forcing the number of votes will at
> least dampen the possibilities of such occurrences and help prevent a
> culture for this sort of thing from ever evolving.
> For those of you who doesn't see what kind of problems I am referring to
> lets say that Microsoft (I don't want to risk insulting anyone :) has
> started supporting GNOME and want 4 members on the board. They know that
> 3 of their candidates have widespread support and a sure to be elected,
> but the 4th candidate is more unsure.  By getting all their GNOME
> foundation member employees to just vote for their own 4 candidates,
> instead of the full eleven they can then increase or maybe even be sure
> that their 4th candidate gets elected.
> While tactics like these are possible even when you have to submit 11
> names in a valid voting ballot, they are much harder to do successfully
> since you risk that the candidates you mark as low risk still ends up
> with more votes than you own.
> Christian
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