RE: Low voter registration and candidate bias

Hi Dan,

Thank you for the response.

You wrote

"Also, I continue to take issue with comments like:"
>>Instead, I fear that the election will be a
>>tool for the companies with a vested interest in Gnome to claim legitimacy
>>in attempting to control Gnomes future to their purposes when in fact the
>>legitimacy may not exist.

I feel that I overstated the case, and for that I apologize.

I don't feel that "There is [a] great conspiracy theory going on with
corporation[s] that participate in open source
projects."  Besides, I've only seen about two episodes of X-Files <grin>.

As to your question/statement of "Why would a corporation that is
participating nicely in the open and open
source community, want to control Gnome (or any other open projects)
interest. [...]  The negative PR associated with going out and trying to
dominate an open source project with corporate goals/strategies would be
evastating, and would make it hard for a corporation to work with the open
source community in the future."

That is a very good point, and one that I wish I'd considered prior to
posting <grin>.

"Is it so far fetched to believe that the people in these corporations, who
work with open source projects, do it
because they have experience, and believe in the open source movement
themselves. I think that is the main reason they get is why I
do...I love Linux, and the open source movement...have for 20 years since I
was in college and saw the power of this with Nethack, still my favorite
game, and one I have never won without cheating."

No its not far fetched to believe at all.  Many of the candidates listed are
deeply committed to Free Software in a personal and ideological sense.  I
did not intend to be critical of the candidates.  My primary thrust was that
I felt there was inadequate participation in the process from those who were
not involved in setting up the Gnome Foundation and that I believed that
this lack of participation was the result of information not being
adequately conveyed to all of the interested parties.  In my opinion, the
results of the election will probably be (mostly) the same whether a larger
group of voters participates or not (Indeed, I doubt there are few others
that could be included as candidates that I would vote for aside from those
currently listed).  My concern is, that it may hurt the consensus building
function of the election, because there may be a significant portion of
voters who may be excluded from the process (even though the results will
likely be identical with what they would have chosen anyway).  It is an
unfortunate aspect of human nature that decisions that affect them that they
were not consulted on they will resent, even if it is the correct decision -
one that they would have made given the choice.

"As for no one knowing about this election.....the announcements and
information on this have been prominently posted on, even I (one
who does not spend a ton of time on Gnome Newgroups), found it...I find it
very hard to believe that folks who work on Gnome day in and day out are not
aware of this...especially looking @ experience and Gnome know-how and Gnome
dealings of the candidates.  Also, I would hope the candidates would
be passing the word to everyone to make sure to register to vote, if I was
running I would do the same (why not try to win if you desire to be on the
board in the 1st place)."

I feel that I  must disagree with you here.  I intermittently check, and recall seeing only one post dealing with the election (the
announcement of whom the candidates were... of course, my timing with
Gnotices could have been such that I managed to miss each mention...).
Also, as stated in my email, of the many mailing lists of Gnome related
projects that I'm on, only one had any mention of the election.  For such a
significant event, this seems odd.  Perhaps there was higher visibility for
the pre-election stuff than I was aware of, but I still believe that my
criticism on this point is legitimate.

"I also am disappointed that more people have not registered to vote...but I
also continue to be disappointed of the apathy of the American people in the
voting process...oh well, they don't cancel those elections, I don't think
we should cancel this one either."

I have to disagree with you here as well.  To be apathetic in the American
elections has some excellent reasons - and actually has a very high
'utility'. (It almost literally 'isn't worth the voters time'.  On the other
hand, Americans are one of the most politically involved of all nations, but
their involvement is often not at the national political level, whereas
political involvement in other nations is often almost exclusively at the
national political level...)  Also, the American elections are extremely
well publicized (although most of the information is worthless <grin>)
whereas in my opinion the Gnome Foundation elections have been extremely
poorly publicized and that the low 'voter turn out' is a result of this.
(If anyone has the historical voter turn out for Debian elections and the
number of voters versus the number of participants - and they are similar to
the current case, than I will gladly withdraw my criticism and apologize.
Actually I'll see if I can find them myself, and if so, will post them in a

Thank you for taking the time to reply,

Tom M.
TomM pentstar com

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