Re: Low voter registration and candidate bias

Hi Tom,

I think that 350 is just about the number of people who are actively involved
in GNOME at present.  By "actively involved" I mean folks who are contributing
code, documenting GNOME, translating it etc.  So I'm actually quite happy with
the registration turnout.

The elections are not intended for GNOME users, but for those active
developers: we want the GNOME Foundation and GNOME to be controlled by the
people who are working day in day out on GNOME.   I'd love to meet anyone who's
actively involved with GNOME who hasn't heard about the elections by now. It's
received coverage on:
- tons of general purpose news media around 8/15
- Gnome-hackers, on a number of occasions
- on #gnome on IRC, I've noticed people talking about the elections for months
- Gnotices (2 posts)
- Slashdot (2 posts)
- (a recent story about the elections)
- ZDNet (a story this week mentions the elections)
- Gnome-list
- Gnome-announce-list
- Foundation-list
- Foundation-announce
- and, of course, there's

I have to agree with Havoc that folks who haven't heard about these elections
by now don't care enough about GNOME that we want them voting.



Tom Musgrove wrote:

> 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
> follow-up).
> Thank you for taking the time to reply,
> LetterRip
> Tom M.
> TomM pentstar com
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> foundation-list mailing list
> foundation-list gnome org

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