Wikipedia talk:Arbitration Committee Elections December 2004

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Previous discussion on the mailing list: [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], [8], [9], [10], [11], [12], [13], [14], [15], [16], [17], [18], [19], [20], [21], [22], [23], [24], [25].

See also:

Changing system vs. electing replacements[edit]

I think it is over ambitious to try to develop a new procedure at the same time as (or before) electing new members. I suggest getting the new members in first, and then allowing the committee to develop their working practices as they see fit - just as they did when the committee was first set up. I personally think that IRC could be a very useful tool in speeding up the process, and I like the sub-committee idea for reducing the number of arbitrators that have to be involved in each case. But either way, I think it's more important at this point to get the new arbitrators in and then work on any improvements that can be made to the current procedure -- sannse (talk) 20:12, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I agree with the general sentiment, it's just that the proposals for new procedures were sort of tied into the question of whether the size of the committee would shrink, stay the same, or even be expanded. That question at least should be settled before we have an election. Would it work to go ahead with the proposed reduction to 9 positions? Then we can work out the details of the new procedure and whether it would use the existing arbitrators only or bring in an additional group of magistrates. --Michael Snow 21:57, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I haven't had a chance to go through the latest mailing list posts, but I think that this discussion should probably move to the wiki, anyway. I'm strongly against both decreasing the size of the committee (the quorum should decrease, not the number - when we have problems with not enough arbitrators doing their job, we certainly don't need less of them) and creating a bunch of added bureaucracy through the magistrates proposal.
All we need for a working arbitration committee is a reduced quorum and twelve people with the inclination and time to actually do their job. So far, it's been failing, because all the workload has fallen on half the committee - and most of that on one or two people.
I don't see the solution as being in radical reform, but rather, encouraging to resign, or forcing out, the three permanently inactive arbitrators (which would make nine up for re-election) and begin encouraging talented people to run. Out of all the active Wikipedians, I could think of plenty of potential candidates. When we have six new arbitrators along the lines of Raul and Jwrozenzweig (assuming that they, and James, stand again), I think we'll find this system suddenly works for once. Ambi 22:56, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Yes, it was time to get the discussion going here rather than the mailing list. I'm all for having more active arbitrators, which would make the proposed shrinkage unnecessary, but from the sounds of things people are concerned about whether that's realistic. No doubt we could come up with nine people who are capable and qualified to do the job; the question is, how many of them would actually be prepared to spend the time and show the dedication necessary to the task? And of those, how many are then willing to step forward as candidates? --Michael Snow 23:21, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Two new arbitrators were elected last time, and they both proved capable. User:David Gerard narrowly missed out, and if he's still interested, I'm sure he'd be just as good. I'm willing to put my hand up - but equally willing to stand aside if better candidates can be found. There's two. How about putting a notice on Recent Changes? I'm aware of what happened last time, but I really think we can do better in terms of recruitment. Ambi 01:01, 13 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Why don't we figure out how many good candidates there are empirically, without necessarily settling the issue of whether we're electing six or nine people? Remove the "Do not pass GO" sign that's currently on the page, just announce that the election is open and let people declare their candidacies. Advertise the election thoroughly, and within a week or so we should have a pretty solid idea of whether there really are nine good candidates out there to be elected. --Michael Snow 02:49, 13 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Fair enough. I do hope you'll consider standing, by the way. Ambi 02:52, 13 Nov 2004 (UTC)
That suggestion makes sense to me Michael. Let's see if there is a problem first, then if necessary there can be discussion on changes to the committee structure -- sannse (talk) 20:22, 13 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I agree with this proposal. Let's test the waters before committing to anything; it won't cost us much, if anything. Johnleemk | Talk 15:15, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)


Okay, since I haven't heard any objections, I went ahead and made this more official and opened up the candidate statement page. Now to go advertise this and see how many people we actually get. --Michael Snow 20:47, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Election oversight, date changing[edit]

The question now is, am I expected to oversee this election, as I did the previous two elections. I do not mind doing this, however, I want to make clear that the dates are not dates of my choosing. Elections have traditionally started and ended on weekends, to give me time to go over the candidate list and votes. If I am overseeing this, it should be no different. As such, if I am overseeing the election, the dates will be from December 4 to December 18. Danny 02:56, 15 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I don't know if it's expected, but I haven't heard that anybody else has stepped forward to do the job. Thanks for letting us know about this consideration. The dates were simply chosen within the general parameters of having the election in the first half of December rather than the second. At this early stage I'm sure we still have some flexibility, and if nobody else volunteers to serve as election inspector over the next few days, we should just go ahead and change the dates. --Michael Snow 07:27, 15 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Yes, indeed, your oversight, Danny, would be brilliant.
James F. (talk) 16:18, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I would be willing to provide oversight, as I at present neither intend to become a candidate nor to vote. However, I would be just as happy if Danny were to do the job, if he wishes. The Uninvited Co., Inc. 00:56, 18 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Voting method[edit]

Has there been a decision (or discussion) on what voting method will be used? Mav suggested on the mailing list that we be allowed to both vote for and against candidates, with any candidates who receive net negative votes (or possibly net positive votes beneath some threshold) being disqualified. This would prevent a situation where some candidates who are widely disapproved get in simply because nobody else is running. --Delirium 07:35, Nov 15, 2004 (UTC)

Have you seen who's running? I can't see this being much of a problem, unless several of the current candidates pull out of the race and/or disappear into the west. It looks like what happened last time is going to be a one-off. Ambi 07:59, 15 Nov 2004 (UTC)
The software is set up for plain vanilla approval voting, I believe. I don't know if someone is prepared to make the necessary changes for the possibility that we might change systems at the last moment. And in a fundamental sense, approval voting is voting both for and against candidates. People need to break themselves of the psychology of voting for one candidate per position. Tactically, if you're concerned about certain candidates that you absolutely cannot support, vote against them by voting for all of the candidates you feel you can support. --Michael Snow 19:05, 15 Nov 2004 (UTC)
That does not work if the number of seats available is greater than the number of people I approve of. If the seats of the listed 'inactive members' on this page are also up for grabs, then this will be the case. An upside of going with my plan (as described by Delirium) is that we could expand the ArbCom by giving any candidate with a net positive vote a seat. That in turn would require some other changes I proposed (such as reducing the number of members needed to hear cases). --mav 19:30, 15 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Although it allows for less granularity in vote specification (you have to vote either for or not for), approval voting could still be used with similar effect if a threshold of absolute vote percentage is required. We could, for example, only accept candidates who receive more than 33% of the vote, thus requiring not only that the successful candidates be more approved than those below them, but also that they be approved by a minimum percentage of the community (which seems reasonable to me). --Delirium 20:09, Nov 18, 2004 (UTC)
Jimbo has suggested moving to Condorcet, given lots of people's requests for such a method of voting, and Tim seems to think that doing that is acheivable.
James F. (talk) 16:23, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)
That may be a good idea; I was going to suggest single transferable vote, but Condorcet is acceptable. This would likely address Delirium's concerns, which I share. - Scooter 18:02, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I'd prefer STV as well, but I agree that Condorcet is at least better than simple approval voting. Shane King 00:23, Nov 17, 2004 (UTC)
I'm personally fond of instant runoff voting, although I don't know of the advantages of others. Andre (talk) 02:37, Nov 17, 2004 (UTC)
Changing the voting system during the election is unfair. [[User:Sam Spade|Vote Sam Spade for Arbiter!]] 18:39, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)
The election is not slated to start until December 1 (or December 4 if Danny gets his way). We may change it any time until then. →Raul654 18:54, Nov 17, 2004 (UTC)
My opinion is that everyone should be able to vote for, against or abstain for all of the candidates. The candidates get +1 for every "for" vote, -1 for every "against" vote, and abstain makes no difference. This way if "person A" gets 20 "for" votes and 10 "against" votes, and "person B" gets 10 "for" votes, and no "against" votes, then they would tie (level pegging). Hope this makes sense!... --Rebroad 00:26, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I'd have a preference for at least STV (I enjoy its benefits here in Ireland, and the commonly used systems like first-past-the-post elsewhere appal me!). Condorcet sounds reasonable, though I am not familiar with it. I certainly would like to vote preferentially, with my vote always counting even if my early choices are wiped out - or don't need my vote. zoney talk 11:09, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Voting eligibility[edit]

Who is eligible to vote? Quadell (talk) (help)[[]] 19:20, Nov 15, 2004 (UTC)

Anyone who has been a registered user for 90 days is how the software is set up. This cutoff has been used in previous elections without too much problem and the community seems to accept it. I believe Tim Starling explained that the software checks this based on when you vote (not when the election starts). --Michael Snow 07:51, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)
That excludes me then.. :-( --Rebroad 00:31, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Disputing vote exclusion[edit]

The software has excluded me from voting. I dispute this, I was invited to register on when I was told:

As my first contribution on the english lang wikipedia dates to 23:45, 11 Jul 2004, may I expect that my vote can be accepted? --M7it 14:11, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Thanks to dev Hashar my former contributions to have been reattributed in time for me to place a vote. --M7it 20
34, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)

U.S. members vs. others[edit]

Just a comment: I would hope that the composition of the Committee will not be entirely American. It's not that I don't trust Americans to be impartial, but I feel that there would be an appearance of impropriety if a Committee that was entirely composed of a single, dominant nationality were to rule on someone from outside of that nationality. I won't ask for a "set-aside", but I will be voting with this in mind, and I would encourage others to do so as well. - Scooter 18:35, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)

In the current group of candidates, I count eight nine from the US (172, Fennec, Lir, myself, Neutrality, Plato, Raul, Sam Spade, and Yoshiah ap), three from Australia (Ambi, Shane King, and TBSDY), three from the UK (Charles Matthews, James F, and Sannse), one from Canada (Grunt), one from Malaysia (Johnleemk), and one I'm not sure about (blankfaze). So the USians aren't even a majority of the candidates, and several of them are guaranteed also-rans anyway. —No-One Jones (m) 18:56, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)
FYI, Fennec is American. →Raul654 18:55, Nov 16, 2004 (UTC)
Blankfaze too, I believe. More candidates, including of course those outside the US, are still welcome (nobody from India yet?). I'm quite confident that some non-Americans will be elected. --Michael Snow 19:52, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Blankfaze is American. [[User:Neutrality|Neutrality (hopefully!)]] 03:45, Nov 17, 2004 (UTC)
I indeed am American :-( BLANKFAZE | (что??) 05:27, 18 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I'm not in the USA, if that matters to anyone (which of course it shouldn't, the anti-americanism here on the wiki seems to be accepted as a given...) [[User:Sam Spade|Vote Sam Spade for Arbiter!]] 18:31, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)
And why stop there? How many women are on the committee? Aboriginal peoples? Poor people? Businesspeople? Senior citizens? I'd say just elect who is the best candidate for the position. --Delirium 20:14, Nov 18, 2004 (UTC)
Why would it matter? There would be no impropriety whatsoever unless the vote was rigged. If Wikipedians elected only Americans that would be their business. If you look at the composition, the biggest group by far is American candidates. Garbage in, garbage out. If you really think nationality is an important issue, then you run and get other unamericans to run, and even the field. D. G. 23:42, 18 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Why it might matter: I don't think there is much to choose from among the primarily Anglophone nations, but I do think that we'd do well to have at least one person from the Scandinavian and one person from the Central European nations. The reason is that there are numerous conflicts between users and RfC's over issues relating to the changing maps of Central Europe and the ethnic concerns there. Someone from those regions would have a better perspective on the issues at play and might be better able to understand the cultural sensitivities that might be setting alight by innocent-seeming and NPOV-seeming words. I think Canadians, Americans, Australians, and Brits are going to be much more interchangeable. However, I don't think anyone needs to worry about Americans voting American, etc., because most of us haven't the vaguest idea where the others are from (as the inability to name the nation, above, illustrates). Geogre 23:08, 19 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Well, that could actually be more of a problem, if the person is from a country that is frequently a party to one of the disputes. If there's yet another German-Polish dispute, an arbitrator who is either German or Polish might have at least the appearance of bias in the matter. --Delirium 20:26, Nov 20, 2004 (UTC)
True enough, but I was kind of thinking, "The sort of person who would be worthy for arbcom from one of those nations." At least I think it would be helpful if an English-fluent person from those nations could inform arbitrators about the cultures at clash. Most of us Anglophone folks will have gotten a picture of the region that is, itself, POV for lacking nuance. The huge explosion with one of the Serb contributors some time ago was due, more than anything, to no one realizing what he was talking about, why "people" was a word that aggravated him. I'm not sure how arbcom ended up dealing with the issue, but the admins were in solidarity in announcing this fellow a troll, when what was probably necessary was just a single user who could communicate and figure out that a sentence saying, "Serbs regard the people in the area as primarily Croats" would have mollified him. Just that kind of thing, really. I think we Anglophoners have a POV of NPOV in our knowledge of ethnic tension that sometimes lets tempests brew in teapots. Geogre 17:06, 21 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I find these racist characterizations and demands for quota's offensive. Please stop making ethnic generalizations. [[User:Sam Spade|Sam Spade Arb Com election]] 18:56, 21 Nov 2004 (UTC)
If you think that is racist, I'm not sure you'd be suited for Arbcom; Apart from you, nobody has even mentioned quotas... It is no more than sensible that these sort of ethnic, national or environmental differences are taken into account if you want to keep the English language Wikipedia as an international rather than an Anglocentric encyclopedia. If we are serious about NPOV, we need to be able as much as possible to diffuse the built-in biases we get simply from living in the countries we live in, hence a larger diversity in "senior" functions is probably a good thing. --Martin Wisse 15:21, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I couldn't care less if every arbcom member was from the US (or UK or Malaysia or Chile or Afghanistan) as long as they can do the job fairly and uphold policy. Honestly, discrimination of any sort, even if done with a good intent, sickens me. Johnleemk | Talk 15:45, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I would hope that the composition of the Committee will not be entirely American. Sounds like a quota to me. anthony 警告 16:31, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Yes, well, you'd be wrong. A quota would be you may not vote for all Americans on your ballot, or, you must vote for at least one American, or whatever. I was expressing my preference; you are under no obligation to follow suit. Ideally, I would hope that the composition of the ArbCom would reflect the composition of the user base. That's all. - Scooter 21:47, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Just a comment. But for a judicial decision on how an unbalanced jury may give rise to an unfair trial, regardless of how objective its members may be see the Privy Council decision appeal 100 of 2002, acting as the final court of appeal for Gibraltar Rojas v Berllaque jguk 16:15, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)
And another. If you want a balanced, representative arb com without quotas, forget voting. You need to select members by lot from the general population, à la jury service. Of course that means that you can say good-bye to getting the best people for the job. The arbcom would only be likely to be as good as the average Wikipedian at arbitration. (Of course that will probably be the case for an arbcom consisting of elected members as well). -- Derek Ross | Talk 01:32, 2004 Nov 30 (UTC)
Which is seemingly to say, "All democratic process leads to a tyranny of the majority by definition," which I don't accept. - Scooter 21:55, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I very much disagree with you, Mr. Ross. You see, the good faith and suitability of every Wikipedia user cannot be established as equal. For instance, if Arbitrators were selected at random, and seven users such as the candidate DG, who vows to recuse himself from every case if elected, were selected, then the AC would never get anything done. Or what if vandals or trolls or all sorts of other unsavory users were selected? BLANKFAZE | (что??) 23:52, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Well, of course. But that's the price you pay for a balanced representative arb com without quotas. If you don't want to pay it (as you obviously don't), use voting... -- Derek Ross | Talk 07:01, 2004 Dec 22 (UTC)

Spam about spam[edit]

moved to Wikipedia talk:Spam/arbcom elections

Well, the person who made that header obviously has expressed his or her biases, haven't they?

In any case, here is a link to a better organized framework for a discussion of campaign messages. If you have some time to navigate to this subpage and read any of this, I would be encouraged to hear from you. --DV 02:47, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Get Out the Vote![edit]

While we are waiting for a consensus to develop as to whether an active, free, and open campaign will be permitted (via messages freely shared between users on their user talk pages during the campaign period), everyone is welcome to copy and paste the following banner and links onto their own user page, to help publicize the upcoming December 2004 Arbitration Committee Elections:

Arbitration Committee Elections - December 4th-18th, 2004
Election InfoCandidatesVoting

Getting out the vote will help to diversify the number of viewpoints that are represented during this election, and insure that candidates who are equally qualified, though perhaps not always a part of the "in crowd", can have a fair chance of winning.

Don't let the insiders control this election. Please vote!

--DV 02:54, 21 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Voting method redux[edit]

Returning to the question of what voting method to use (if it is too late to reach a conclusion about this, it will be soon). Personally, I've never really seen the advantages of approval voting. Does it have its defenders here, or do we just wind up using it for our elections by inertia? Condorcet seems like the gold standard for election systems (provided that you have computers counting the ballots). Its advantage is simply that it allows voters to express their preferences among different candidates more specifically by ranking them. While I don't think Condorcet is usually used for elections with multiple winners, it appears to me that it could used that way pretty easily. Another choice, as mentioned above, would be the proportional single transferable vote (STV). These could easily produce different results. The main question is whether we want a majoritarian system -- meaning that we get the six candidates, each of whom, individually, is most acceptable to 50%+ of the voters -- or a proportional one -- meaning that we get the six candidates most acceptable to separate blocs of 16%+/- of the voters, resulting in a wider spectrum of opinion being represented? In addition, Condorcet should be compatible with a negative vote option, whereas STV, as far as I know, is not. - Nat Krause 16:21, 21 Nov 2004 (UTC) (PS - is this stuff being discussed someplace else that I don't know about, or is this the best the place for it?)

Nat, I heartily endorse such changes to the voting mechanism, because it would result in a more diverse representation of the viewpoints of the Wikipedia community.
Perhaps we could set up a poll right here on this page? If you agree with such an idea, I'd recommend setting up the poll quickly, otherwise an insider might find out and "refactor" such a poll into oblivion. :)
If such an effort fails due to lack of publicity, hopefully we can at least push for more voter turnout in the upcoming election, which would make it easier to make more basic changes, such as how the vote is run, in future elections.
Unfortunately my proposals for getting out the vote are being met with a lukewarm response by the insiders around here, so I'm hopeful a grassroots effort can work around the lack of "official" publicity for the election.
-DV 00:31, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I've researched the alternatives, and I'm now in favour of using STV. Condorcet methods are single winner methods, not methods for proportional representation. Last time we used what Wikipedia calls block approval voting, but apparently it suffers from a risk of a non-proportional landslide -- a well organised party can win every seat. This is the exact reason why Australia switched from block voting to STV in 1948 for its Federal Senate elections. STV is considered to be a well-tested method for semi-proportional representation. The Center for Voting and Democracy promotes it under the name "choice voting". -- Tim Starling 04:44, Nov 22, 2004 (UTC)
Tim, since you are a developer, I'm hoping you can answer this question. If a poll indicates support for such a change, would it be possible to change the voting method this close to the election? --DV 07:49, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)

These methods both seem too complicated to me. I don't want to have to rank each and every person, if I have to do that I'm going to wind up just randomly ordering about half of the people, because I really don't care between them. The advantage of approval voting is that it's simple. I'd like it even better if we could vote Approve/Neutral/Disapprove. But as it stands now there are just too many candidates to make an informed decision ranking them all. I'd rather say "OK, I vote for Theresa and against Raul, and I really don't care about anyone else." I guess I could do that by ranking Theresa 1 and Raul last, but then I'd have to randomly order everyone else, and it doesn't seem to make sense to let such randomness affect the election (or worse, what if people use alphabetical order between the candidates they are neutral on). Of course, with approval voting it's even worse, because then I have to make a choice. Would I rather vote against Raul (by voting for everyone else) or for Theresa (by voting for only her)? I'd rather be able to express both opinions, but no opinion on anyone else. anthony 警告 04:51, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Neither STV nor Condorcet would require you to rank every candidate (unless maybe if you are trying to cast a negative vote: see below). Furthermore, Condorcet allows you to rank two candidates equally -- that means you could actually vote exactly the same way in a Condorcet election as you would in an approval voting election: just vote "1" for yes and "2" for no; or "1" for yes, "2" for neutral", and "3" for no. We could even have voters choose before hand whether they want to cast a ranked ballot or a simpler yes/no ballot, provided that the software can handle converting all the "yes" votes into 1's, etc.
STV, on the other hand, doesn't have the same ease of use if you want to vote specifically against somebody. However, a key question is still whether to go with majoritarian Condorcet (or majoritarian approval voting) or with proportional STV (our article indicates that there is also a proportional approval voting, but I don't know anything about it -- sounds complicated). I think proportional is definitely better for Wikimedia elections, etc., but I'm not sure whether it's right for something like the ArbCom. Condorcet is good at picking out compromise or consensus candidates, but, on the other hand, it is still theoretically possible for it to be dominated by a 50% + 1 majority. - Nat Krause 07:41, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I don't understand :-( What do you mean it's possible to dominated by a 50% +1 majority? Theresa Knott (Tart, knees hot) 11:26, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I mean that if there are 100 people voting and 51 of them belong to some organized viewpoint, and they nominate their six candidates and coordinate their votes, then all 6 positions will be held by members of that bloc. If we use a proportional system, then, in that event, the bloc will only get half of the positions, since they only constitute half of the voters. - Nat Krause 13:20, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Oh I see. i really don't believe we need to worry about that. The only organisied group that I have ever seen is the red faction, and last time I looked they had less than 10 members. I am confident that individuals outnumber groups by at least 10 to 1 Theresa Knott (Tart, knees hot) 01:49, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)
But no one is currently running a political-style ticket - and even if there was, they'd be very lucky to get together fifty people! (even the most organised groups on Wikipedia couldn't manage that). This makes the point kind of moot - I don't see the problem with using the same system we used to elect Raul and Jwrozenzweig in August, and the board earlier in the year. Ambi 13:43, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Hmmm, I didn't mean to imply that an organized party is a necessary condition for majority rule, although it enhances the effect. If what we are talking about is just an inchoate tendency, then maybe they wouldn't win all 6 seats -- maybe just 4 or 5. Or maybe they would win 3 or 4 seats for hardcore members of the tendency plus 2 or 3 for more moderate sympathizers, while shutting out other viewpoints. On the other hand, if it's a tendency supported by 60-someodd% of the voters, they could easily win all seats without an organization, leaving the other third of the voters unrepresented.
Provided that the above seems like an acceptable result, there's no problem with approval voting as used in the past. But my point is that I believe it to be less good than an alternative (the Condorcet method) which would allow voters greater freedom to express their preferences in detail by ranking them. - Nat Krause 03:53, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I like things very simple. Why dont we have place +1 besides the candidates we approve of -1 beside the candidates we disapprove of and 0 beside everyone else. If there are 6 places up for grabs the top 6 get the seats - end of story. In the unlikely even that there is a dead heat for the 6th place, we have another vote with only the candidates who are tied? Theresa Knott (Tart, knees hot) 11:32, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)

  • I agree with the above (yes=+1 no=-1 DontCare=0). --Rebroad 15:09, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I don't mean to be rude, but I don't really see the advantage of simplicity for its own sake. Perhaps in a political election that would be a concern, but Wikipedia editors are probably competent to fill out a ranked ballot, or at least choose between a simpler ballot and a more complicated one. - Nat Krause 13:20, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)
(You aren't being rude). Simplicity is always a good thing IMO. The more complex you make something, the easier and therefore more likely it is to make an error. Everyone makes errors, even the most competant of us. Theresa Knott (Tart, knees hot) 01:49, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I'm only being half satirical when I point out that dictatorship is simpler than democracy. ;) Shane King 03:57, Nov 23, 2004 (UTC)
I prefer approval voting. I want to be able to vote for every candidate I like. Having negative votes strikes me as a bad idea, since controversial candidates like myself, with alot of support and opppositiopn are probably much better suited for a position as an arbiter than lukewarm candidates recieving a few positive votes, and none in opposition. Approval voting ends up w the candidate most approved of. Allowing disaproval votes will only end up with us recieving mediocure results. Besides, if you disapprove of a candidate, just don't vote for them! [[User:Sam Spade|Sam Spade Arb Com election]] 12:22, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)
You're very welcome to your opinion, Sam, but please note that every option under discussion so far accords you the ability to vote for every candidate you like. I'm not sure I agree that controversial candidates are best suited for the ArbCom, though. Arguably, mediocrity might be the best option for this job, I don't know. - Nat Krause 13:20, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Is mediocrity ever the best option? I think not ;) What I ment was I like the option to vote for every candidate I like, but I strongly oppose a system of voting against anybody. I don't want the least disliked arbiter, I want the ones that the most people support. [[User:Sam Spade|Sam Spade Arb Com election]] 15:26, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I really don't think it'll come to that. There are plenty of candidates, David Gerard for example, who are likely to get a huge number of support votes, with hardly any oppose votes. I don't think there will be any AC places left over for anyone else. Theresa Knott (Tart, knees hot) 01:49, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)

If condorcet allows you to rank people equally, then I like that one over STV. I definitely want to allow for negative votes though. The only issue I really care about is that Raul is not reelected. In that sense I can accomplish this vote in any system, but in a simple approval voting scheme it would be the only opinion I could express, by voting for everyone other than Raul. As for whether or not someone strongly loved and strongly hated should be an arbitrator, I don't think that's appropriate. Arbitrators, in my opinion, should take a neutral stance. They shouldn't be political, and we shouldn't have anything resembling parties. I believe this is a significant problem with the approval system we used last time. If this problem is resolved, I might even consider running. anthony 警告 18:02, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Although Wikipedia is its own world, there are natural parties that must play a role in the thinking of any Arbitrator.
For example the Deletionist and Inclusionist parties are directly at odds with one another. I'd like to know that there is a diverse range of adherents to either of those parties on the Arbitration Committee, so that when the inevitable disputes come up that are tied to that issue, we can be assured that the overall distribution of Arbitrators ensures neutrality in that respect.
To connect all of this to reality, the Supreme Court of the United States is supposed to be neutral, heck its members are appointed for life, so they don't need to worry about getting re-elected. But there are all kinds of political machinations that go on behind the scenes to try and get judges of one persuasion or another appointed and confirmed to sit on that bench. So the politicization of that tribunal (at least during the appointment and confirmation process) is inevitable.
Likewise, to operate under any illusion that a neutral group of Arbitrators can be elected in an anti-septic vacuum with absolutely no political considerations is not only naive, it is also grossly unfair to the electorate which is ill-served by efforts to protect them from such politics.
An informed electorate is a smart electorate, and it will make the right choices.
The voters don't need you to "know what's best for them" and shield them. They have a wisdom all their own and are perfectly capable of making informed decisions once they are presented with the philosophies of the candidates.
A fully free and open exchange of the viewpoints of the candidates to the widest possible audience of voters may entail some hassle, inconvenience, and even some contention, but isn't it worth it to have the power of that diversity going forward?
--DV 18:22, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)
There aren't deletionist and inclusionist parties. People fall on a spectrum. The labels tend to be used as insults (in my experience). The candidates are a bunch of individuals who have differing views ob the role of arbitratration, and on the nature and severity of measures.I don't know anything about the supreme court, are the members voted in by the general public? Because if they are not then what goes on behind the scenes is irrelavent here. Nothing is going on behind the scenes here, there are no scenes to be behind. I don't think it's naive to think that arbitration does not need to involve politics.I think we should try to avoid politics wherever possible. I expect people to vote on the basis of the experience they have had of the candidates. That's certainly how I intend to vote. Those candidate that i have has a positive experience of, who strike me as reasonable amd fair, and would IMO make goo arbitrators will get my vote. Those who do not, and those who I don't know, will not. Canvassing, offers of money (well not a measly ten dollars anyway ;-P), advice from people I know, won't make a blind bit of difference. Theresa Knott (Tart, knees hot) 02:05, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I'll gladly vote for anyone who wants to give me $10 :). But I won't vote for someone who's not going to win just because they claim they'll give me $10 if they do win. anthony 警告 02:57, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)
In my experience the currently arbitrators have largely done a good job at maintaining neutrality. In fact, I think this is the top criticism made against the arb committee, people say arbitrators don't do enough, but I see this as a good thing. I'd like to have a voting system which encourages things to stay this way. Yes, we'll never have completely neutral people, but when an arbitrator clearly is not acting neutral, it should be easy for the electorate to kick that person out, regardless of whether or not a lot of people happen to be on the same side.
The voters don't need me to know what's best for them, but most voters, and I include myself, are not informed on most of the candidates. I personally don't have the time to go through every single candidate and make an informed decision. The arb committee, and indeed Wikipedia itself, just isn't important enough for me to spend that much time on it. But I'd still like to express my viewpoint on those things I do care about. I'd like to vote against Raul. I'd like to vote for Theresa. And I'd like to do so without affect the vote on any of the other candidates in any way. With simple approval voting, I can't do this. With STV, I can sort of do it, in that I can randomly order all candidates other than the two I care about. And with condorcet, I can express exactly the vote I want. Theresa - 1, Raul - 3, everyone else - 2 (actually I'm not 100% sure I'm going to vote for Theresa yet, but I plan to take the time to get fully informed so I can make that decision, to spend the time to do this for every single candidate is just more time than I want to spend, and to the extent I'm not fully informed, I don't want my vote to affect the outcome).
anthony 警告 19:10, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)

It's not necessary for there to be an organised party or an ideological tag. All you have to do to win in block approval voting is to get together with half a dozen popular candidates, and coordinate your campaign. Make a page describing your shared objectives, and encourage your supporters to vote for your entire group and no-one else. That this hasn't happened in the past is irrelevant, my point is that block voting provides a strong incentive to do it. I'd rather get this right the first time and then not have to worry about such scenarios.

Is it possible to change the voting method this close to the election? Yes I think so, although there's probably half a day of work in it. I'm offerring to code STV or any other sensible method. I'm not keen on this {-1,0,1} voting idea. For a start it's identical to range voting with choices {0,1,2} except perhaps psychologically. As with all range voting, it invites tactical voting -- the only rational choices are the two extremes, and then the remainder of the strategy is identical to that described at Approval voting#Potential for tactical voting. I don't understand why Condorcet's method is relevant -- I've never heard of it being applied to multi-winner elections. Does anyone have a reference?

I'm not sure why so many people are so concerned with what the voting method enables them to express. Disapproval? Approval? Vague familiarity? Write an essay if you want to express something. You can't expect the outcome of a tallying method to accurately reflect the views of the voters if that method encourages dishonest, tactical voting. -- Tim Starling 05:20, Nov 23, 2004 (UTC)

All you have to do to win in block approval voting is to get together with half a dozen popular candidates, and coordinate your campaign. Make a page describing your shared objectives, and encourage your supporters to vote for your entire group and no-one else. Then you have to get a majority of Wikipedians to agree to do that. If most Wikipedians want to follow this (and I doubt most do), why shouldn't we give them what they want? If 20% of Wikipedians are deletionist, 20% are inclusionist, and 60% are neutral, shouldn't we have 100% neutral arbitrators? You're suggesting we should have 20% inclusionist arbitrators, 20% deletionist arbitrators, and 60% neutral ones. Futhermore, you're suggesting that a significant number of people are going to vote based on political preferences, and that we should proportion the arbitration committee to give those people what they want. I don't think that's true. I think most Wikipedians, even if they do tend to lean in a particular direction, are still going to vote for neutral arbitrators.
As with all range voting, it invites tactical voting -- the only rational choices are the two extremes, and then the remainder of the strategy is identical to that described at Approval voting#Potential for tactical voting. What's wrong with tactical voting, and you do know that STV offers the ability to vote tactically as well, right? I'm not sure why so many people are so concerned with what the voting method enables them to express. It seems to me that's the entire point of a vote, at least it's supposed to be. You can't expect the outcome of a tallying method to accurately reflect the views of the voters if that method encourages dishonest, tactical voting. How is the vote allowing people to accurately express thier view any different from the vote accurately reflecting people's views? I think you're jumping down my throat on a silly difference in terminology. STV (I'm assuming it does not allow you to rank the same person equally) does not accurately reflect the view of the voters when some of those voters are indifferent between candidates. So instead those voters are ranked randomly (at best), or worst by some common scheme which people use. That common scheme could be alphabetical, reverse alphabetical, or even just using the same pseudorandom number generator. Furthermore, STV encourages tactical voting just as much, though I'm not sure how voting can be "dishonest".
Finally, the Wikipedia article on STV only outlines a general solution. Before accepting this I'd like to see the detailed specifics, and I sure hope this is decided before the deadline to register as a candidate, so I can decide whether or not to run. My pick would be {-1,0,1}. Incidently, I'm more likely to run if we use STV, because I think I'd have a better chance of winning in that system. anthony 警告 15:14, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)
In fact, let me be more specific. Let's say 15% of Wikipedians are radical inclusionists. Let's say they all put me in first position (or behind only losing candidates). If there are just six arbitrator positions, that'd guarantee me a seat. Say 15% of voters are sockpuppets, or 15% of voters are part of a coalition to destroy Wikipedia, or 15% of voters are paid $10 a piece to vote for someone. STV would give their candidate a seat, thus making for "proportional representation". Is this really what we want? STV (at least with 6 open seats) encourages radical candidates. Approval voting encourages neutral candidates. If we use STV, and Lir gets a seat, be prepared to hear me say "I told you so". anthony 警告 15:34, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Well, it seems to me that this is the critical question: what precisely is the harm that could be inflicted by having one bad arbitrator (or, I should say, one unpopular arbitrator) on the Arbitration Committee? If we can come up with a compelling answer to this question, then I agree completely that we should avoid proportional representation, because it can certainly lead to the election of members that most people don't like. On the other hand, if we can't come up with a compelling answer in terms of the harm that a rogue arbitrator would do, then I think the default option would be to go with a proportional system. - Nat Krause 08:38, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Well, first this assumes that we'd only have one unpopular arbitrator. If we get a radical inclusionist, a radical deletionist, and a troll, that'd be three. Sure, it might not come out that way, but it could. Secondly, I think having one bad arbitrator is worse than having none. Maybe that's not compelling enough, but all other things equal I think we should move against proportional representation and towards representation which reflects the consensus (or at least the majority), not the outer fringes. Of course, note that all of the proposed systems allow for unpopular arbitrators to be chosen. To change that we'd have to limit those chosen to those who receive a majority support, and I don't think we're going to get that. To bring things into perspective, if we had required a majority support in the board election, we would have only wound up with one elected board member instead of two. I suppose it isn't too bad if we use STV, because I think I've got a chance of winning (by getting out the inclusionist vote). Of course, I myself would likely be considered an "unpopular" arbitrator (though I'd be a fair one, protecting both inclusionists and deletionists from witch hunts). anthony 警告 13:21, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I just thought of something else. There is quite a bit of havoc a single arbitrator could cause besides just voting. Many pages (related to arbitration) are traditionally believed to be editable only by arbitrators. Having a really bad arbitrator in there could significantly disrupt the arbitration process. This is besides the obvious problem that an arbitrator would have a vote. anthony 警告 13:26, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)
By the way, tactical voting in a 6-winner race is much more difficult than in a 1-winner race. It would require knowing who the 6 leading candidates are. I don't know about you but I have no idea who is likely to win. anthony 警告 15:58, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Not practical for right now, but has an interesting idea that might apply well to Wikipedia and Wikimedia. I also question the importance of proportional representation on the arbitration committee. DanKeshet 22:34, Nov 23, 2004 (UTC)

Interesting idea. Might work better for the Wikimedia board than for the arbitration committee. - Nat Krause 08:38, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Pre-poll voting?[edit]

I will be away during the month of December. Is there any way I can record my vote now? Otherwise I won't get a vote. Tannin 07:44, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I would suggest placing endorsements on your user page along with the reason you couldn't vote during the live voting period. If the election is very close for the winner with the least number of votes, the next most popular candidate would have a good case to count your "absentee vote". --DV 07:52, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Thanks, DV, I've done that. See this diff for my vote. Tannin 08:11, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Time to make some decisions[edit]

Now that the process has been underway for over a week, I think it's time we made some real progress on three questions that have yet to be definitively answered:

  1. When exactly will the election be held?
  2. Exactly how many arbitrators are we electing?
  3. What specific voting system are we using?

Dates should not be terribly difficult. Danny, Elian, and UninvitedCompany are administering the election, and Danny indicated that starting on the weekend would work better for his schedule. As I can't see any big practical difference between an election that runs from December 1-15, and one that runs from December 4-18 (other than the benefit of additional advance time for publicity), and I haven't heard anybody object to the change, I suggest we make that official.

Next, how many arbitrators? I haven't heard much enthusiasm for the idea of shrinking the Arbitration Committee, so I'll assume we're not going to simply get rid of the seats held by Camembert, Delirium, and Nohat. Nohat, in spite of being informed of the discussion on Wikipedia talk:Arbitration Committee at the beginning of this process, has not responded or returned to participation in arbitration matters in any way. Unless he responds here to explain why he should be retained, I think he should simply be replaced. That would make seven positions open. Camembert has vacillated about whether he plans to leave the Committee at the end of the year. At this point, I think it's time to ask him for a final decision, so that we know whether his seat is up for election or not. Finally, Delirium has commented that he "would have resigned already" if he believed a suitable replacement was available, but the slate of candidates in the last election did not persuade him that this was the case. Perhaps we should simply ask whether he believes the current slate of candidates is good enough to provide a qualified arbitrator for his seat, and let him make whatever decision he thinks is best over the next couple days. Anyway, if we let all three know what the situation is along these lines and ask for a response, then we should know shortly how many arbitrators we are electing.

The voting system seems to still be the subject of some discussion above. Personally, I don't have a problem with changing to something like single transferable vote, but it does seem fairly complex to ask voters to rank this many candidates, even if some people will not rank all of them. But whether we stick with approval voting or make a change, I do think the decision needs to be made relatively soon. Not only do we need to make sure Tim has the time to code a change, but the format ought to be settled enough in advance to minimize complaints about "changing the rules at the last minute".

Any comments on all of this? --Michael Snow 07:30, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)

We will be electing 6 arbitrators (the seats currently filled by myself, Jwrose..g, James, Cunc, Martin, and Gutza). If Camembert decides to resign (and only in that case), that will make 7. None of the arbitrators have made any kind of announcement of resignation, and as such, their they will serve out the remainder of their terms, and will *not* be replaced in this election. →Raul654 07:45, Nov 23, 2004 (UTC)
With all respect to Raul, I don't believe it's fair to the Wikipedia community to simply declare the matter closed, considering the problems the arbitration process has had with inactivity. Camembert's position may be understandable, as he's apologised and given reasons for his absence. But he's not the only one in this position. Nohat hasn't done anything arbitration-related in months. He is active, but he's been contacted twice on this issue - by Michael Snow and Jwrozenzweig, but hasn't bothered to make a post either here or on either of their talk pages. We've got an excellent chance, with this broad field of good candidates, to, for the first time, get an entirely active Committee.
While the quorum limits remain the same, I'm somewhat uncomfortable with leaving people on the Committee who has no interest in participating at all - at the expense of one of the genuinely interested parties currently standing - and in the process, leaving the Committee at least one member short for the next two or three years. Keeping uninterested people on the Committee is the sort of stance that got us in this mess. In these circumstances, I don't believe Michael's suggestions as to requesting an answer from Delirium and simply replacing Nohat (if he cannot be bothered to show up and post) are that unreasonable.
I'm not particularly bothered about dates - I'd probably prefer the earlier one, but it's not going to make much difference. As for voting systems - I stand by what I've said all along. If the approval system was good enough to elect both the board and then Raul and Jwrozenzweig, it's good enough to be used again. I really can't see any benefit to be gained from adopting some of the alternatives (which seem to be mostly those used for political elections) - but I can see negatives, such as the taking up of developer time and potentially politicisation of the process. But in these circumstances, a poll would probably be the best way to go. Ambi 08:41, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I'd like STV much more than approval voting, where I'd have to think out tactical voting. IMO a poll about the voting system should be started now.--Wikimol 08:13, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Oh lord - am I the only one who thinks it's ridiculous to have a vote on how to vote? See m:Polls are evil and m:Don't vote on everything. I'm OK with the current system, or I'm OK with Tim just saying that we'll use STV and let that be the end of it. →Raul654 08:27, Nov 23, 2004 (UTC)
"...only long-running disputes should be the subject of a poll" - it's a real eye opener to see that written down and all, but it is curious that the qualifier "only long-running" appears to mean "weeks" for some users, but "minutes or hours" for others.
Tim Starling is on the right track looking for a voting system that encourages diverse representation. Wikimol, do you not trust Tim enough to make the right decision in this case? It's apparent that Tim has conducted careful analysis of this question, so I would trust him to make a good decision on this matter. --DV 09:18, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I think polls are particulary evil in dispute resolution (althought sometimes necessary evil). I don't see here a heated dispute. Almost everybody would be happy with any system (including me) and a poll would just measure what would be more convinient for most users.
Yes, I trust Tim :-) If there is an opposition against polls I have no problem with any other way how to decide. Ony, IMO the decission should be made soon.--Wikimol 09:46, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I can assure people that STV isn't actually too hard to do (once you get your head around it if unfamiliar with it). It's become so much a part of things here in Ireland, that it is regularly used for such humdrum activities as Student's Union elections and such, even in votes taken during a meeting (all you need is a box and paper and someone who can count and run through the elimination/surplus/transfer procedure). In fact, even in school we used it to pick class heads, etc. I think Wikipedians should be able to handle it. zoney talk 13:55, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I think we might want to separate out the questions of what system to use indefinitely in the future from the question of what system to use right now. The former we can continue to discuss for a while and see what consensus is reached. The latter we can decide either by a poll or by letting Tim decide. It doesn't really matter a lot, because, as Wikimol says, it doesn't appear to be a particularly contentious issue. If it were hotly contested, I would say we should just stick with the established practice for the moment. - Nat Krause 08:32, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I prefer condorcet voting (specifically Cloneproof Schwartz Sequential Dropping, though I do worry about whether it's practical to use it), but I guess STV could work too. However, it's important to me that the situation anthony remarked about above does not come about; perhaps we could allow users to rank candidates in a number-neutral manner. For example, say there are 10 candidates. Anthony rates Theresa as his first choice, rates Raul as his tenth choice, and leaves all other choices blank. Could such a system work? Johnleemk | Talk 15:21, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Cloneproof SSD seems to be a favourite among the technically inclined for single-winner elections, but as I keep asking, how can it be extended to multiple winners? Has there been any research done on such an extension? Would such an extension give proportional representation? -- Tim Starling 01:20, Nov 24, 2004 (UTC)
Our article on it says in the lead, "CSSD can also be used to create a sorted list of winners," but never elaborates. Hmmm. Johnleemk | Talk 07:50, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Tim, I'm fairly certain that it can be extended to multiple winners, although I must admit that I don't know of a case where it's been done before. What you would do is run the numbers once for each seat, while eliminating the previous winners from contention. However, the results will not be proportional. We would get six (or however many) majority winners. Thus, what we have to choose from are basically 1) a yes/no majority system (approval voting, with or without negative votes); 2) a majority, ranked system (the Condorcet method); or 3) a proportional, ranked system (STV). - Nat Krause 08:11, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Actually, in my famous paper (126 pages; PDF format; 5 MB), I also describe proportional representation by CSSD, creating an ordered party list by CSSD, filling vacant seats of councils that are elected by proportional representation by CSSD, how to combine supermajority requirements with CSSD, how to combine the Electoral college with CSSD, etc.. If you want a copy of this paper, then send a short mail to Markus Schulze 24 Nov 2004
That's very interesting. Can you explain it succintly enough for us to discuss it quickly? Otherwise, I don't think it will be feasible to consider it for this upcoming election. - Nat Krause 16:48, 26 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Suppose d[X,Y] is the number of voters who strictly prefer candidate X to candidate Y. Then this is "proportional representation by CSSD" (PR-CSSD):
  • Suppose S is the number of seats. Suppose _A_ and _B_ are two sets each of S candidates that differ in exactly one candidate. Suppose B is that candidate who is in _B_ but not in _A_. _A_=(A[1],...,A[S]). Suppose Q[_A_,_B_] is the maximum number such that each candidate in _A_ has a "separate quota" of Q[_A_,_B_] votes against candidate B. That means: The electorate can be divided into S+1 disjointed parts T[i] such that for i=1,...,S: (1) Each voter in T[i] strictly prefers candidate A[i] to candidate B and (2) |T[i]| >= Q[_A_,_B_].
  • Then apply the CSSD algorithm to the Q matrix instead of the d matrix. This works because, unlike Ranked Pairs, the CSSD method requires only a "strongly connected" digraph (i.e. a digraph where for each pair of knots X and Y there is a directed path from knot X to knot Y and a directed path from knot Y to knot X) and not a "complete" digraph (i.e. a digraph where for each pair of knots X and Y there is a directed link from knot X to knot Y and a directed link from knot Y to knot X). However, the motivation and the details of PR-CSSD are quite complicated.
Markus Schulze 26 Nov 2004

If time permits coding it, I think we should include three poll questions on whether or not Camembert, Delirium, and/or Nohat should lose their seat. If 50% of people vote that they do, then they are replaced as part of this election. This assumes none of them actually resign before the election begins. anthony 警告 16:06, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I don't think we need to do that for Camembert and Delirium. Given their earlier statements that they would or might resign, I've asked them if they could make a definitive statement one way or the other on the issue. I'm willing to let their decisions settle the question as to those two positions. Nohat, on the other hand, has simply never been an active arbitrator, has not gotten involved in any of the recent discussions about this, and should be replaced unless someone can present a compelling reason not to. No offense is intended - Nohat isn't obligated to be an arbitrator if he doesn't feel like it - but we aren't obligated to keep him either. --Michael Snow 19:25, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Shouldn't there be some kind of regular process for removing inactive arbitrators in cases such as this? It seems like it should involved a supermajority vote by the other arbitrators, possibly vetoable by Jimbo Wales, and then a retention vote by the membership, possibly requiring a supermajority as well. To evict an ArbCom member too readily would set a bad precedent. - Nat Krause 08:15, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)
It doesn't matter to me who is put up in the recall vote (personally I'd prefer it if all members were on it), but forcing an arbitrator out without at least holding a poll (or getting a board decision) does not seem like a very good idea to me. Even with a vote I suppose we should get approval, though. But I'd suggest in the future we put some kind of recall procedure in place. anthony 警告 13:32, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I've finally decided not to continue as an arbitrator beyond this forthcoming election. Apologies for the delay in making this clear. If this needs to be posted somewhere more prominent, then feel free to do so. All the best to those running in the election--Camembert

Exciting new feature to control campaign messages[edit]

Please vote at Software and features, to approve an exciting new feature that allows users to control whether or not they receive campaign messages. --DV 11:14, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)

If it turns out to be too technically cumbersome to modify the software to support this feature, but you still support the general idea of indicating your willingness to accept campaign-related messages, please feel free to copy the {{AcceptCampaignMessages}} tag onto your own user talk page. --DV 14:00, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)


This page says "The election will be held from December 1 to December 15." It gives no indication that these dates might change. But Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee Elections December 2004/Organizers statement states "Regardless of the pretty Election stickers, the vote will begin at midnight, UTC, December 4, and end at midnight, UTC, December 18." (Does that sound condescending to anyone else, or is it just me?) This is, needless to say, confusing. And the "Get Involved" section of Wikipedia:Community Portal says "Elections for the Arbitration Committee will be held from December 1-15." What's a user to believe? Quadell (talk) (help)[[]] 13:57, Nov 23, 2004 (UTC)

P.S. Wikipedia:Goings-on also says "Arbitration Committee elections, 1?15 December." I think, if the later dates are correct, the text should say "Regardless of the pretty election stickers, the Arbitration Committee election page, the Community Portal, and the Going-on page. . ." Quadell (talk) (help)[[]] 14:02, Nov 23, 2004 (UTC)

The potential date change was briefly mentioned above. Unfortunately, the reason for changing dates was not brought up until after the initial announcement using the original dates. I've changed the dates in the places I know about. If you see any more, please change them as well. I also let DV know that he needs to change the "pretty election sticker". --Michael Snow 18:09, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)
The dates on the "pretty election sticker" have been updated. As for whether their mention in the organizer's announcement was condescending or not, who gives a damn - you can't buy publicity like that for any price! My only hope is that more than 10% of the editors bother to vote. --DV 13:56, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I'm still a little confused. Will I be able to vote on December 4? How about the 18th? The notice says "the vote will begin at midnight, UTC, December 4, and end at midnight, UTC, December 18." I would tend to read this as saying that I can't vote at noon on December 4, but I can vote at noon on December 18. Is that correct? Quadell (talk) (help)[[]] 20:55, Nov 23, 2004 (UTC)

I'm almost certain that it will be the Dec 4th - 18th (Danny, who is running the election, prefers it that way). →Raul654 02:12, Nov 24, 2004 (UTC)
Pardon my density, but does that mean people can vote at noon on the 4th, and at noon on the 18th? Quadell (talk) (help)[[]] 02:32, Nov 24, 2004 (UTC)
I believe it means that you can vote at any time between 00:00 Dec 4 UTC to 23:59 Dec 18 UTC. During the old election, if you changed your mind about who you voted for, you could revote (which automatically cancelled your previous ballot). →Raul654 08:13, Nov 24, 2004 (UTC)
Great! Thanks. Note to all: if you see the incorrect dates listed somewhere, please change them. Quadell (talk) (help)[[]] 14:13, Nov 24, 2004 (UTC)

Two? Or seven?[edit]

The page Special:Boardvote has some problems. (I'd mention them there, but that page doesn't have a "talk" page.)

First it says "The vote for the new members of the Arbitration Committee has begun", but it hasn't. When you click the link to vote, it redirects you to a copy of the page, it seems. Also, the text says "The two candidates with the greatest number of votes will be declared the winner" (emphasis added.) Shouldn't this be "The seven candidates with the greatest number of votes will be declared the winners" (plural)? Quadell (talk) (help)[[]] 18:27, Dec 3, 2004 (UTC)

It hasn't been updated since the last arbcom election opened. Johnleemk | Talk 18:29, 3 Dec 2004 (UTC)
It also says that the vote will end at 24:00 on Friday 18th, even though Friday is the 17th. Hopefully that didn't disuade anyone from voting on Saturday 18th. Advising that you can vote if it lets you vote might be helpful. Jamesday 19:02, 18 Dec 2004 (UTC)


Please see Wikipedia_talk:Arbitration_Committee_Elections_December_2004#Disputing_vote_exclusion. I am concerned that being so high up on the page, this request is being neglected. [[User:Sam Spade|Sam Spade Arb Com election]] 14:18, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Voting mechanism?[edit]

(William M. Connolley 18:16, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)) Am I allowed to vote now, and to add extra votes on after? Or does each vote overwrite my previous? I can't find where this might be explained.

I believe each time you vote, it overrides your previous votes. --Michael Snow 01:00, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • I was able to place my vote twice. How come? KNewman 05:47, Dec 5, 2004 (UTC)
Your vote is only counted once. The second vote overrides the first, and so on. So if you vote for Candidate X the first time but vote for Candidates X and Y the second time, only your second time counts. Johnleemk | Talk 13:47, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)


I have a problem. Although I've been here since 2003 and my first edit is early 2004, I'm not being allowed by the software to vote because my current account is only 74 days old. I had never applied for a username change before since I didn't think the hassle was worth it since I didn't care at all about having my contributions attributed to me really. But now I HAVE filed for an attribution change.

My theoretical problem lies in that the username change page suggeests that it might take weeks or months for the developers to actually get around to it?!?! If that is the case I'll be unable to vote. What should I do? D. G. 23:21, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)

You can always vote under your old user name. If it was an anon account, you need to be here for the appropriate amount of time. Danny 23:32, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)

That actually had not occured to me. I tried it though, and it didn't work. Perhaps because my prior account was an IP? So unless the username change goes through soon, I don't know what to do about this. D. G. 01:21, 6 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Then I don't think we can help you, the IP not being a registered account. The little restrictions we have are good since they prevent bad things© from happening. It's not a very big deal, you will be able to vote next time. ✏ Sverdrup 02:47, 6 Dec 2004 (UTC)

There should be a link to where to vote on this page. It was not so easy to find. VeryVerily 06:24, 7 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Unable to vote - account too new[edit]

Why is it that users who made their first contribution in the last 90 days are unable to vote? I have 500+ edits (inc. minor ones) and am unable to vote due to my account being completed recently - couldn't this system be changed to judge based on edits, not days registered? (My first edit was in April with no account, first few with an account were in July as User:somebodywww which I forgot the password for). Somebody in the WWW 07:08, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Why is it that users who made their first contribution in the last 90 days are unable to vote?

We consider they are too new to know the community and community rules and habits. If the rule was only based on edits, a vandal with a bot could be allowed to vote within 2 days.
Can you prove you owned the account ? Did it have a email adress registered ? SweetLittleFluffyThing
How could I prove it? I had no email address registered, I was using the auto-generated password displayed to my browser. 06:41, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)
(i added the last message - forgot to login. Somebody in the WWW 10:57, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC))

Just an FYI on how awfully cheated I feel[edit]

"Sorry, your first contribution was only 89 days ago. You need to have been contributing for at least 90 days to vote in this election."

Somehow the idea that "well, your vote is NOT that important ANYHOW and you can vote next time!" is not much consolation. Especially since I could have voted if someone had gotten my username change through (filed two weeks ago). I guess I mistakenly failed to realise the types of timescales that the username changing thing works on. I didn't really think they meant it when they said it might take months.

Not that I'm bitter or anything, should anyone take the wrong impression. In the end I guess I lied, the idea that well, it's one vote out of many, IS some consolation. I don't mean to be violent against anyone in this regard, certainly not the hardworking people behing username change, which oddly enough, I understand are actually DEVELOPERS (who we have to thank for their proliferous work on the code and databases behind all this) rather than sysops (of which there's so many and they're so omnipresent at everything else, that if username changing was in their hands, I'm sure it'd be a quick process).

Still I'm somewhat disappointed enough, just enough to mention it to the community. It's annoying. But, eh. Not Wikipedia Administrator 06:20, 18 Dec 2004 (UTC)

  • The reason name changes have to be done by developers, I think, is that in order to do a name change one must access the database in order to change the attribution of edits. Most sysops probably don't know anything about the database. [[User:Blankfaze|VOTE BLANKFAZE]] | (что??) 08:54, 18 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • Just an update, I just voted. Amazingly enough. I didn't think it'd happen. When I posted this it was the eighteenth, I guess the point at which the day changed over was... somewhere there? Ah, well. Nothing like complaining for nothing :) Not Wikipedia Administrator 19:27, 18 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I concede the position and do not want a recount[edit]

Just in case you were wondering, see Wikipedia_talk:ArbCom_Election_Results_December_2004:

I hereby concede any and all question of relative victory between myself and User:Grunt. He's a good guy (heck, I voted for him!), and besides, all this arbitration business sounds like a lot of work. ;-) -Fennec (はさばくのきつね) 04:05, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)


The Red Faction notes that Tim Starling has done nothing to assure the community that the election was in any way fair. Lirath Q. Pynnor

If I'm not mistaken, the source code for the voting is all part of Mediawiki and you are free to download it and peruse it for yourself. →Raul654 08:30, Dec 20, 2004 (UTC)
If I'm not mistaken, that would not be any assurance whatsoever. Lirath Q. Pynnor
You are mistaken, that would be a great deal of assurance to many. --Dante Alighieri | Talk 19:26, Dec 21, 2004 (UTC)

Terms of Office[edit]

Considering the results of the election, especially the fact that only one candidate actually received more than 50 percent of the vote, and even then just barely, I would strongly urge the newly elected members of the Arb Com to reconsider these three year terms. Wikipedia has hardly been around that long, and even board terms are for one year only. I would hope to see greater democratization of Wikipedia, and I trust that the members of the Arb Com will lead the way in that. Danny 00:16, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)

While I agree with Danny that 3 year terms are a bit long, they're what our current policy requires -- I think your comments, Danny, suggest that the new AC members had something to do with the length of the terms. Anyway, I'd happily reduce the length of the terms (shoot, 4 1/2 months on the AC felt like an eternity -- 3 years is beyond my ability to conceive), but that will take a community-wide vote, I think. Jwrosenzweig 03:55, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I want to add that three years might be fine in the case of a static project, Wikipedia has evolved considerably overthe past three years, and there is no reason to assume that it will not evolve even further in the coming three years. Apart from attrition (it would be interesting to find out the average amount of time individuals are active on Wikipedia), it can reasonably be assumed that the project will change sufficiently that the conditions which led to the election of certain individuals will change over time. Nor am I convinced that one year is not enough for people to learn the ropes. Most people have been on Arb Com for less and have already mastered the tasks. Danny 09:32, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I largely agree w danny, but isn't this a descision for jimbo to make? BTW, I'm far more concerned about the mediation committee, which IMO is doing a terrible job of mediating conflict (especially article conflict), and which has been given the right to determine its own new membership! The mediation committeshould be our primary method, w the arbitration committee refered to only in the most intransigent cases. Unfortunately the mediation committe has become so inefficient as to be left out of the loop entirely oftentimes. [[User:Sam Spade|Sam]] Spade wishes you a merry Christmas! 12:06, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)
In defense of the MC, it's the being left out of the loop that is the CAUSE of the "inefficiency", not the result. The ArbCom has been of little/no help in ensuring that Mediation remains a part of the resolution process. Also, don't forget that as soon as one of the parties in a dispute says anything to the effect of, "I refuse Mediation" there is literally nothing we can do. --Dante Alighieri | Talk 01:28, Dec 24, 2004 (UTC)


initial terms of four more (James W. Rosenzweig and Mark - why does "Mark" direct to User:Raul654? 20:36, 22 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Uh, because I'm Mark. →Raul654 21:10, Dec 22, 2004 (UTC)

Uncle Ed says, "Wow!"[edit]

Thank you all for your support. I didn't expect more than a few dozen votes (I didn't even campaign), but such a "gross" display of support as 144 votes is an immense treasure! I'm glad all my favorite Wikipedians were elected, and I trust that they all will serve our community well! --user:Ed Poor (talk) 21:02, Dec 24, 2004 (UTC)