Wikipedia talk:Arbitration Committee Elections January 2006/Archive 3

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3

Suffrage checking

As alluded to above, I've jiggered my bot into checking signatures against contributions histories and automatically checking them for suffrage. (It's read-only, so I paste the results in myself.) It should be pretty reliable, but it'll fail if either:

  1. Someone both includes a link to someone else's user page, and either doesn't sign or doesn't have a direct link to his own user page in his sig (ie, a sig like {{user|Cryptic}} or {{User:Cryptic/sig}} won't be recognized), or
  2. Someone deliberately signs using someone else's name.

I'm perfectly willing to do the grunt work checking 'normal' cases for suffrage (and will probably do so twice a day or so, more often near the start of the election); if other folks could keep an eye open for the above two cases, I'd appreciate it. —Cryptic (talk) 05:22, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

As mentioned on my talk page, there exists a (pretty small) chance that a user will have created his account on or before September 30 but made his first edit (which is what I'm checking) afterwards. If this actually happens, drop a note on my talk page and I'll fix it. —Cryptic (talk) 06:41, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Lack of experience

There are a number of candidates that have a pile-on of "oppose" votes because of a lack of experience. While well-intended, these canidates don't really stand a chance. I believe it may be useful (for a next election) to require a certain standard one must reach before becoming a candidate (e.g. minimum of 1000 edits, or active for at least half a year, or must be an admin). Radiant_>|< 13:03, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

It's been suggestedGeni 13:25, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree with some sort of restriction, but it should not be too restrictive, either. —Nightstallion (?) 13:27, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
It will be interesting to take a look at the results of this election and see the support for candidates with less than X edits or Y months of activity. It does seem rather strange to allow candidates that don't even have suffrage to vote. I think standards of around 6 months and 1000 edits would be reasonable. Carbonite | Talk 13:32, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
I think we actually discussed this earlier (but not with as much detail, but it somehow got lost in translation? E Pluribus Anthony 17:03, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree that being to stand despite being ineligible to vote is ridiculous. It's also a waste of time; reading the statements, talk pages and user contribs has taken me the best part of a day. --kingboyk 18:05, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree that it's nice to be liberal and allow anyone to nominate themselves, but reading candidate statements/questions takes time and "for fun" nominations are just perturbing. Bring on the suffrage. feydey 16:37, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
I've been reading statements on and off all day (fitting it around my work) and I'm only got as far as Improv so far. A sensible rule imho would be to require the same requirements of candidates as voters. Thryduulf 18:15, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
If Wikipedia wants this to be a robust process, then participation needs to be as easy as possible. As best I can tell, around 1/3 of the candidates are easily rejected due to lack of experience, and yet a participant has to actively deal with them! It is even more ridiculous when the candidate does not even have sufferage. This is a serious position requiring significant experience in Wikipedia. 6 months and 1,000 edits is the absolute minimum that I would require. I suggested in the talk page for the voting 1 year and 1,000 edits, but right now I would prefer to call for 1 year and 2,500 edits. In any case, we need in the elections to be able to focus on people who are serious candidates. --EMS | Talk 16:32, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
One year is a bit too much in my opinion. Lots of good people who know the robes have been here, say, nine months. But something like three months and 1,000 edits would be fine and not too restrictive. - Haukur 10:42, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
I wonder how people rack up these high numbers of edits. I've been here for 22 month, reasonably active, and I'm just now close to 1000 edits (slightly more than half in articles). --Stephan Schulz 01:32, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
Try editting more? ;) —Nightstallion (?) 07:10, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
"I wonder how people rack up these high numbers of edits" Don't use preview. Write a sentence. Save. Correct typo. Save. Make change. Save. Add a space. Save. User contribs will show who is using this technique. GangofOne 16:29, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
RC patrol, tagging images and wikifying are all more legit ways of racking up edits.Geni 17:01, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Neutral votes

To preclude neutral votes and abstentions, as discussed previously ad nauseum, we recently massaged the rules to accommodate for this – specifically, that neutral votes are effectively "extensive" comments and shall be moved to a candidate's vote-talk page.

After going about doing so on a number of talk pages, a solitary user (and an Admin, no less) has taken it upon oneself to negate these changes and revert the rules, evincing lack of discussion/consensus. I think action is necessary and believe these changes should be restored; as well, the offending user should be sanctioned for being disruptive (IMO). Thoughts? E Pluribus Anthony 17:03, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

  • Well, it's a lot better to first look for solutions before even vaguely considering punishment, y'know? This got set up because the rules one one page were not the same as the rules on the actual voting page. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 17:17, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
This is perhaps a point for clarity in the future. But what of now? OK, so what are the solutions?
  • I or anyone else can revert the changes and in fact cause additional disruption – I am reluctant to do this only because I'm not an Admin;
  • Bite our tongues and potentially allow disendorsements through indifferent votes;
  • As per prior discussions, (re)implement this change
And it's not like we haven't discussed this already (despite user protestations to the contrary, who wasn't involved in these discussions) ... you noted this yourself, jpg. Moreover the vote-page links only provide for support/oppose votes, not neutral ones, so anything else is arguably superfluous.
I contend that such changes and reverts, and a wilingness to fly in the face of what we have discussed and invoking a lack of consensus in doing so (pot, meet kettle), should be dealt with somehow and quickly ... and the offending user too. And to that end, the rules should be edited consistently in both spots to reflect this.
I wouldn't hesitate to make these editions and in firming things up as per the consensus derived here and elsewhere, but the voting page is uneditable to non-Admins like me.
I regret if I seem like I'm going overboard and will withdraw if needed, but – as with ArbComm votes – this isn't the time to equivocate and this is a problem that I think needs to be resolved. Thanks. E Pluribus Anthony 17:40, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Well, obviously I agree with you regarding the change. I think someone else needs to do it since I'm a candidate. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 17:45, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
    Brian and others will probably shoot me on sight after this, but I'll do it for now. —Nightstallion (?) 18:08, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
    Okay, let's wait for Jimbo Wales' opinion on this; I placed an inquiry on his talk page. —Nightstallion (?) 18:13, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Neutral votes are informative, and hardly seem 'extensive' in and of themselves. A neutral vote informs others in the community that the voter has looked at the page in question and is neutral. That's a different piece of information than no vote at all, which might mean neutrality or might mean that the voter just hasn't seen it. I think they should stay on the page. They are a legitimate, peaceful, and positive part of the dialogue. --Jimbo Wales 19:07, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Jimbo, thanks again for weighing in. I don't think the issue is whether they are important (they clearly are), but whether given our discussions they belonged on the vote page. If a significant number of people assert neutrality, whose to opine what those votes mean, with or without comments? Are they, effectively disendorsements? And can they not serve the same informational purpose by being moved to the talk page?
Well, I for one would take them into account were I voting, and I will of course take them into account if it becomes the case that I have to select between multiple candidates from a pool approved by the community. I don't see how they could count as disendorsements, at least as compared to an 'oppose' vote. And I think if they are moved to the talk page, they won't be where most people will see them, thus eliminating most of the information they could convey.--Jimbo Wales 22:01, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
I understand. I think we can have our cake and it eat it too, hence the initial proposal to move all neutral votes. A neutral vote is rare in a usual political vote and, as you see below, a neutral or non-vote can have any number of interpretations: abstention, protest, disendorsement, true neutrality, etc. As a result of these extended discussions, the rules and voting pages devised enabled Y/N votes only, and the intent (as per those rules) was to eliminate any real or perceived ambiguity by moving them and "extensive comments" to the vote-talk page. I know I frequently glance at talk pages before editing articles and would have an expectation of others (maybe unrealistic) to do so when providing feedback in this forum. And this would still allow for you and other Wikipedians to make an informed decision regarding candidates without wondering why. Anyhow ... E Pluribus Anthony 06:07, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
As well, the point throughout was that the voting system could've been designed any which way, but this and other notions were discussed herein and a certain set of common-sense rules/process arrived at ... overlooking them notwithstanding. :) This was a well-intentioned attempt to address this apparent 'grey area' in the rules and, given prior electoral challenges, to preclude things from running amok as before. Perhaps this is a learning point for everyone to devise rules in the future, if at all, that more clearly address this from the onset.
Indeed, I see no reason to think that any of this discussion has been anything other than well-intentioned.--Jimbo Wales 22:01, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks! I realise you're busy and appreciate that you've weighed in to help us see the forest from the trees, and to help put out any brush fires along the way. :) E Pluribus Anthony 06:07, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
In any event, mea culpa – I regret any offence or challenges posed through my comments or actions. Perhaps I've been too involved? Thanks again, Jimbo, for clarifying matters and to everyone else. And on that note, I must get some sleep.  :) E Pluribus Anthony 19:21, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Pardon me for being a bit thick here, but what was the upshot? Leave neutral votes on the voting page, move them to the discussion page (what was being done so far till it was striken in one case) or strike them completely. The third choice seems not correct but I can't quite tell which of the other two is the favoured approach now.
Jimbo has indicated that neutral votes should remain where they are – i.e., your first point. Whether it is preferable to your second point, which was initially proposed/discussed and ad hoc implemented from the election onset, is a different matter. The third option (striking them), while previously addressed, is insupportable. E Pluribus Anthony 06:30, 10 January 2006 (UTC)


After giving the matter much thought, I have come to the conclusion that the ill will that any votes I might make would generate will amount to more than any possible good that might come from "electing" a better candidate. I am going to boycott this election, as it is a failure of community process and upon its completion will one day serve as a textbook example of group decisionmaking gone wrong. It does not build community to encourage people to make a public, subjective evaluation of their peers based on murky criteria; and it compounds matters that the people thus chosen will be expected to be impartial judges of the actions of those who voted for and against them. One could not deliberately construct a more effective system for encouraging patronage abuses and cronyism; and as others have already pointed out to deaf ears, the perils of such voting have been well documented.

The fact that we are, as a group, embarking upon this spectacle testifies chiefly to the fact that our governance systems lack the maturity they need to fulfill the responsibility we now have for the 20th most popular web site in the world.

I encourage others to boycott this election as well, removing any votes they have already cast if necessary, and adding their names here.

The Uninvited Co., Inc. 23:26, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

I'm not voting because, as a candidiate I find it potentially dangerous (and possibly causing a lot of headaches) with an open vote. I know a few other candidates that feel similarly. —Ilyanep (Talk) 01:37, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
In the hopes of commenting or helping to 'administer' things herein with a NPOV, as before, I am/was intent on forestalling my votes until late. I think those truly administering the election (if that is an oxymoron) should refrain from voting to maintain an appearance of impartiality.
As a usual Wikipedian, though, I have every intention to vote and think it important that all Wikipedians weigh in to ensure all feedback is garnered. E Pluribus Anthony 05:30, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Mh. My personal opinion is that I don't need to be neutral regarding a certain topic to administer it fairly; I can see where you're coming from, though. —Nightstallion (?) 09:04, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
I understand and agree somewhat. To me, its about the appearance of propriety and impartiality. As in various jurisdictions, certain key individuals that conduct elections are prohibited from voting – in Canada, they are the Chief Electoral Officer and Deputy CEO. I think Wp elections would be well-served with such an indivdual/body, helping to overcome potential challenges judiciously (don't we know 'em!) while still moving forward ... and particularly given the problems of last year's election (that I only know of second-hand). That's why we approached Anthere on the board, who did not (regrettably) respond.
That being said, I guess I should just vote and get it over with. :) E Pluribus Anthony 09:13, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Moving invalid votes to talk page?

We've seen several people who do not have suffrage attempt to vote; most of them are stricken out but still stay on the page. Would moving those votes to the talk page of the candidate be a good idea or not? Thoughts on that? Thanks! Flcelloguy (A note?) 00:10, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

I think they should stay, for a couple reasons:
  • It makes them less likely to say, "What happened to my vote?" and put it back (as Arkon actually did on Fred Bauder's and Kelly Martin's pages).
  • The suffrage rules have little direct effect on the overall percentages, as currently tagged; the greater effect is to make it clear that there are suffrage rules (for those who overlooked them on the main page), and that, yes, people are watching (for those who ignored it). Hiding them on the talk page will just cause more of these votes to be cast, making more work for those tagging them.
  • It's really up to Jimbo, not us, to decide how he wants to count things; the best we can do is tag these votes and let him decide what he wants to do with them. (This is also part of why I'm just tagging, not striking. The other part, which also applies to both striking and moving to talk, is that it'll be perceived as more rude than it needs to be.) —Cryptic (talk) 02:59, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
I think given Jimbo's position on neutral votes and actions thereof (above etc.), yours is a fair assessment C. I don't necessarily agree with it, though (and hence I agree with F.): arguably, the suffrage limitations in toto are subjective too. E Pluribus Anthony 06:13, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. Flcelloguy (A note?) 01:52, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Just noticed in doing some voting that there are some neutrals on talk pages that probably could stand to be moved back... dunno for sure. Maybe I'll do it if I can remember which candidates this applied to. ++Lar: t/c 15:29, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

Suffrage cut off date

If "suffrage" is supposed to be 90 days then why is September 30 chosen as the cut-off date? Should it not be October 9th? I know this seems like splitting hairs but my vote was discounted, by three days. I feel a little miffed, believe I have a right to vote, and don't think anyone would perceive me a sock puppet with 1000+ edits. Ifnord 00:00, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

I assume the date was chosen because it's a lot "cleaner" than October 9th. An arbitrary date had to be chosen, and there will be users who fall on both sides of the fence. Unfortunately, some good editors will be caught in this; I symphatize with you. (I, myself, felt this frustration when I couldn't vote in the last Board election a few months ago; I had easily surpassed the number of edits, but was a few days short.) However, no matter what date we choose, there will be legitimate users affected, and creating exceptions would throw the election into controversy. As such, my advice: continue your good work, and then wait until the next elections to vote (I'm sure there will be another election, either Board or ArbCom, before the conclusion of 2006). Thanks! Flcelloguy (A note?) 01:51, 11 January 2006 (UTC)


I forgot to withdraw before I went on break. I don't want the job, so here's my withdrawal from the race. Redwolf24 (talk) 02:41, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

I'll update the pages for you. Thanks! Flcelloguy (A note?) 02:43, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Suffrage rules for next time

Seems the elections are going well, congratulations to all. However, for next time can we be more nuanced with the suffrage rules, publicize them ahead of time, and not change them at the last minute? Nothwithstanding the need to bar sock- and meatpuppets, there are Wikipedians who prefer to read and understand before making a smaller number of well thought-out edits. I'd argue we contribute as much to building an encyclopedia as some of those whose higher edit count is inflated by oodles of reverts or large numbers of tweaks to their own userpage. Since I joined in Sept 2005, I've made about 65 edits to new and existing articles, including RC and "random page" patrol. I spent a fair amount of time looking at candidate statements last week, since the then-current rules for suffrage as summarized on the signpost led me to believe I could vote. But when I went to vote this morning, I discovered the rules have been changed to 150+ contributions only. This slightly disgruntled comment brought to you by Martinp 12:42, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

I apologize for that; I wrote the most current and up-to-date information in the Signpost. The last minute change was one of the reasons why I initially opposed the addition of that rule, but there's nothing much that can (or should) be done now. While I understand your frustration, please continue to contribute, and you'll be sure to have suffrage next time. Thanks! Flcelloguy (A note?) 23:48, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
belive me next time a lot of things will be better organised.Geni 00:40, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

How to determine results: A carefully thought-out proposal

Since ArbCom is supposed to be impartial, I propose the following selection technique: 1. disqualify anyone with >25% negative votes (because of concerns about impartiality - anyone may have a few people who don't like them, but if they have a substantial minority of people who don't like them they are clearly not seen as impartial - you might say there is no consensus that they are suitable - therefore the number of supporters of their views does not matter) 2. of the rest, select the top N candidates ordered by Positive Votes minus Negative Votes (negative votes negate exactly one positive vote each). ObsidianOrder 09:29, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

AFAIK, it has already been determined that any candidate with more supports than opposes will be eligible to be appointed to ArbCom by Jimbo. Nightstallion 09:45, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
I understand. Anyone who would be selected under my proposal would be eligible; this merely addresses which of the eligible people to pick. Of course Jimbo may select whoever, it's his show; but I feel it may be useful if he were to start from what I proposed and then make adjustments if he feels any are necessary. Just a thought. ObsidianOrder 10:03, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
rather than the greatest margin, wouldn't it make more sense to just look at the ratio of positive to negative votes, the same as is done for RFA? By the method you suggest, someone who has a vote of 91-20 would be seen as better than someone with a vote of 70-0. I'm not really sure that would be true. Grutness...wha? 11:56, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
You have a point, but using ratios a 20-0 would be better than a 90-10 ;) You may say that my threshold is set too high, maybe it should be a 15-20%? I'm pretty sure that anyone who does a good job on ArbCom will piss off a certain number of people, so some negative votes are to be expected, just as long as they don't add up to a substantial dissenting group. ObsidianOrder 19:46, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
I think that 25% was too high, as that would probably take away more than what we want (we need 8 people) [although I haven't checked recently]. It may be a good thing to keep in mind, but in the end Jimbo probably decides based on merit. Ilyanep 23:38, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

General Comment on sentiment

I was looking at the list of candidates and thinking that I haven't had much dealing with any of them except two. The only one I know and have a positive impression of has already pulled out. The only two I feel able to cast a vote on are candidates I don't support because of past bad experience with them: is this the nature of our dealings here (that you only know and remember people you've had conflict with) or is it just bad luck that none of the people I have positive impressions of are in the race? Ender 07:30, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Unfortunately, Ender, I had to flag your votes because you don't meet the suffrage requirements. (Your first edit was November 28.) To reply to your question, the reason why you most likely didn't have interaction with a large number of candidates was probably because of the newness of a significant amount of the candidates, and also your relative newness (and I don't mean that in an insulting manner). Half of the candidates had extremely low amounts of edits (some with less than a 100); it is very doubtful that even our most experienced editors had interacted with them before. However, the other half consists of respected Wikipedians, ranging from people who gained adminship a week before the election started, to people who had gained adminship before our current system (WP:RfA) was set up in July of 2003. Also among our candidates are bureaucrats, and the person with the most edits. The point is that the longer and more active the candidate (and yourself), the more likely you'll have had interactions with them. (I recognized the majority of the names.) I've had many experiences with a number of the candidates, both positive and negative. I hope that answers your question! Thanks! Flcelloguy (A note?) 14:45, 16 January 2006 (UTC)


What are the requirements to be allowed to vote? Chris M. 01:47, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Any registered user can vote provided that s/he created an account on or before September 30, 2005, and had 150 edits at the start of the election (January 9). The full details are at Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee Elections January 2006/Vote. Thanks! Flcelloguy (A note?) 02:02, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
Here's a new (by edits, not registration date) person question, how do you check your edits? Thanks btw Chris M. 02:04, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
If you click on your user page, on the left, under the "Toolbox" heading, you'll see "User contributions". Click on those, and you can see all your edits. It's a link to Special:Contributions/Mason11987. To count the number of edits, you can use one of the tools listed at WP:KATE. You currently have 84 edits, which means that you, unfortunately, don't have suffrage. Thanks! Flcelloguy (A note?) 02:08, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

'Late' votes

Please be aware when you check page history that timestamps are offset according to your local time. Regards, Ben Aveling 07:55, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Protected Talk page re:KM

The talk page for KM for ArbCom has been protected from editing. This is highly irregular. --Dschor 02:07, 27 January 2006 (UTC)