Re: let's do a quick vote on the charter

Daniel Veillard <Daniel Veillard w3 org> writes:

>   I'm basically afraid that slates are a too complex political
> construct considering the state of the art in this domain and in
> the Gnome community. Building those definitely would take time.
> I'm also unsure it's the best way to represent the interest of
> the Gnome community. Let's take the example of representativity
> of a portion of the gnome project (locality or activity) and use
> the representativity of the documentation project within the board:
>   - the slate approach to tackle this would be to add someone 
>     closely on touch with the Doc project within the slate(s)
>   - the direct democratic approach would be to have such
>     people on touch with the Doc project state publicly
>     "elect X or Y because we need Doc representativity in the Board"

Well, suppose we have 20 such constraints we'd like to meet, but only
9 board slots. Then 20 different constituencies each promote their own
candidate, and perhaps 9 of them get elected.

The other strong disadvantage to direct elections, which you've hinted
at here, is that it would lead to a lot more direct
campaigning. People will say things like "vote for candidate X for
reason Y", and it might get divisive. Also, some of the quieter people
won't have the stomach for campaigning at all. The slate system would
minimize campaigning on a personal level - you'd say why you thought
one group was more representative than another
I think if we end up with a good, representative board this way, it
will only be by accident.

I also disagree that slates are complex or ill-understood. It's how US
presidential elections work, and it's how most for-profit corporations
elect their boards of directors. It's a common and widely accepted
practice for electing executive bodies.

However, I think the tide of public opinion is mostly in the other
direction. People more on the margins of GNOME involvement, who don't
see themselves as part of the GNOME establishement, seem to
particularly value having a voice in the specific composition of the
board; they don't like a process where they think all they get to do
is ratify a decision made by the in crowd. I can understand these

It's not like the composition of the board is a huge life or death
issue, so we're likely to get something reasonable either way. In
fact, I suspect the composition of the board resulting from either
process will be pretty similar. So I don't think I'm going to put a
lot more effort into debating this issue.

 - Maciej

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