Re: Reducing the board size

On Sat, 2005-09-17 at 19:10 -0400, Luis Villa wrote: 
> On 9/15/05, Richard M. Stallman <rms gnu org> wrote:
> > It sounds like increasing the size of the board by 3 people could
> > achieve both of the goals that Dave was talking about: to get more
> > things done, and to have more contested seats **(provided enough people
> > decide to run so as to make a real contest).** 
> [Emphasis mine]
> This last is the true problem. I know that in each of the past two
> years there have been at least two candidates each year (and more last
> year) who placed their name in nomination only because they felt it
> would be embarrassing if there were fewer nominees than seats on the
> board, and/or because they felt the 'last' nominee would be a very
> poor representative on the board. I certainly found myself in this
> category last year.

I do not understand this.

Could you please clarify your statement? 

Last year there were 19 candidates and we only needed 11 for the board.

Se the election results here:

I find it very healthy that we have so many candidates to choose
amongst. Competition is good!

> To put it another way, in the current system, we're *electing* people
> every year whose primary qualification is that they self-nominated and
> are not completely unknown. We've not had an election in two years
> where fewer than 1/2 of the candidates were elected, and in that year,
> 11 of 23 were selected. So instead of focusing on picking the most
> qualified, we're focusing on disqualifying the handful of least
> qualified. 

This is normal in democratic elections.

> That's a terrible way of picking a quality board that can
> work well together and get things done. 

We can never be sure that the persons elected are able to work well
together as a team. But we can expect them to respect voting results and
be loyal to the decisions taken.

The same questions were asked to every candidate before the elections
last year and I assume that GNOME Foundation members read the answers
and placed there votes accordingly in favour of the candidates that they
liked or knew best.

In my opinion it is very important to discuss how the next board should
work and in which direction the foundation should move in the future.

It has been unclear to many what has actually been voted upon this year
on the board and by which board members and with which results. 
We need more transparency, please.

If the "consensus principle" is being defined as "everyone needs to be
in agreement"- and if this is not the case - then it means that no
decision can be taken?

I hope this is not the case because this means that one or two persons
can block all meaningful work that they might disapprove of for whatever

Reducing the size of the board without knowing what the consequences
might be is a risky thing to do. I have not heard any convincing
arguments so far in favour of reducing the number of board members.

So I recommend that you vote NO to the reduction.

In my opinion it is not how much work one person puts into doing work on
the board. Work that could/ should have been delegated to a larger group
for preparation- discussed on the mailing list within a reasonable time
limit and then send back to the board for voting- that is important.

We need a new board that is pointing very clearly to show to the GNOME
community and to the rest of the world in which direction the foundation
is moving.

So far we have earned much respect from our work and ability to involve
and include all kinds of persons and skills.

I hope that we can keep a polite way of argumentation.

Building a strong and prospering community is important to attract
newcomers from all parts of society in all parts of the world.

To be proud to be a GNOME member is to be proud of a healthy and growing
community that is welcoming diversity and helping each other making
better results and tempting new members to come along and find a way to
contribute. I wish for us to be a throughly inclusive community and
continue to make a difference.

Please let us use our time and efforts in a fruitful way on the board as
well as in the many fine projects etc..

Best wishes

Anne Østergaard <anne oestergaard nu>

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