Re: GNOME Foundation elections!

Bart --

Glad this is moving!  Just to weigh in with my $0.02: I'm happy with
the current membership size, and you've given two weeks for any
stragglers to get registered, which I think is good.  I think your
timeline for the actual election might be a bit compressed, but only
by a few days.

And like everyone else (it seems), I think that a public list is the
best way to count votes.  People could send simple mails with their
slates in order of preference, like this:

-- snip here --
From: Joe Hacker
To: elect gnome org
Subject: Vote.

Slate 7
Slate 3
Slate 2
Slate 4
Slate 6
Slate 1
Slate 5
-- snip here --

Highest preference first.

This seems pretty easy to parse and to emit.

Best wishes,

Bart Decrem <bart eazel com> writes:

> Hi everyone,
> Previously, I proposed that we hold elections after we complete the
> incorporation of the foundation, but for a number of reasons detailed at
> the bottom of this email, I now propose that we decouple incorporation
> from the elections and adopt the following timeline for elections:
> - October 2 (Monday): Announce the elections on Gnotices, invite people
> to register to vote, invite people to submit slates.
> - October 16 (Monday): Deadline for submitting slates for the
> elections.  Deadline for making changes to the charter.
> - October 18 (Wednesday): Slates are posted on Gnotices.
> - October 23 (Monday): Deadline to register to vote.
> - October 30 (Monday): Elections begin.
> - November 6 (Monday): Elections end.
> - November 7 (Tuesday): Election results announced.
> Please let me know if you agree with this proposal and chime in on the
> following (and other) open issues.
> Some open issues:
> --------------
> 1.  Modifying the charter.
> A draft of the charter is posted at
>  Let's continue to discuss changes
> that we may want to make but then put a stop on that around October 16
> so people have a stable document to refer to.  Few changes have been
> made since early August, so I'm assuming that there's rough consensus
> about the document.
> 2.  Signing up enough member / people who are registered to vote.
> As of right now, 204 people have registered themselves as members of the
> GNOME Foundation.  In other words, 204 members are registered to vote.
> I have posted a snapshot of the CVS document at
> (I'll update it periodically
> unless Havoc's script gets used instead).  So I think we already have
> critical mass of people who want to vote, and I'm sure after we announce
> the elections, more people will sign up.  It is particularly encouraging
> to see that the vast majority of the people who signed up are not
> affiliated with any of the 'usual suspects' companies.
> 3.  Process for adding additional members.
> The Steering Committee has created a membership subcommittee that's
> keeping an eye on the membership list and where people can send email to
> add themselves to the membership list.  They may ask Willian H. Gates
> III (sic) to clarify his past contributions to GNOME.
> 4.  Putting together slates.
> As outlined in the charter, registered voters will elect a slate of
> board members and there is a process by which members can submit
> slates.  Hopefully there'll be a number of slates from which
> GNOME hackers can choose. I believe that the GNOME Steering Committee
> will also submit a slate for the board.  Hopefully, slates will be
> submitted with a note explaining why the proposed board composition will
> best meet our needs.
> 5.  Election mechanics.
> There are 2 ways to have the elections:
> - "the basics": we set up a mailman list, auto-subscribe all the
> registered voters to the list, limit posts to the list to members of the
> list, and then ask everybody to send email to the list address (let's
> call it vote gnome org) with a slate number as the subject field.  When
> the election is closed, we can then do a quick check to make people
> didn't double-vote, and tally the results.  This is very simple, very
> open (anyone can inspect the ballots), and no machinery is required;
> - "the fancy way": people have expressed the desire to have a voting
> process where one could vote for more than one slate, with a first and
> second preference.  To explain this: take the US presidential
> elections.  Wouldn't it be great if people could vote for Ralph Nader
> (or whoever) and, if Nader doesn't get enough votes, then your vote goes
> to Gore or Bush.  This encourages people to state their real voting
> preferences as opposed to voting 'strategically', but it requires more
> complicated machinery. If someone wants to take the lead to identify
> software that can help with this, or come up with a manageable way of
> tallying the votes under such a system, then we can go this route.
> Otherwise, I recommend sticking with the basics for this election
> cycle.   We would need to make a decision on this over the next week or
> so, since it might affect what kind of slates are put together.
> So rather than having a heated debate about this, if someone is really
> excited about going the fancy way, please find software or propose a
> concrete way to do this within the proposed timeline.
> 6.  Drafting the announcement.
> To be done, but it would include links to the archives of this list, the
> foundation charter, the Foundation FAQ document and the membership
> list.   It would explain the purpose of the foundation, the timeline,
> and how to submit a slate.
> 7.  Why elections before incorporation?
> We have previously discussed the order of elections vs incorporation,
> and I most recently proposed that we first incorporate the
> GNOME Foundation and then hold elections, but I propose that we separate
> out the elections from incorporation and start organizing elections for
> the Board of Directors of the foundation.
> There's a couple of reasons for this, but most important among them is
> that it might take us a while longer (at least until November 1 is the
> current estimate) until we incorporate the foundation and, in the mean
> time, there's not really a governing model for GNOME.  A number of the
> members of the current Steering Committee are concerned that they have
> no legitimate power to make decisions on behalf of GNOME, and so there
> are a number of issues that could have been easily resolved that are
> taking up a fair amount of cycles (example: where to have GUADEC II).
> The chief argument to have elections after the foundation is
> incorporated is that we will then have by-laws and articles of
> incorporation, so it'll be more clear what the foundation is supposed to
> do.  The counter-argument to that is the charter of the GNOME Foundation
> has been fairly stable for a while now, and there is rough consensus on
> the mission of the foundation.  The process for elections is clearly
> spelled out in the draft charter.  If we go ahead and elect a board of
> directors for the foundation now, then that gives all the hackers an
> opportunity to elect a group of people that they will feel comfortably
> will make sure that the by-laws of the Foundation will properly
> represent their desires.
> 8.  I'm-out-of-steam-but-I'm-sure-there's-more-stuff-to-be-discussed.
> Bart
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-list mailing list
> foundation-list gnome org

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