Ok, everyone. If you all choose to follow the schedule I've laid out, we have three days to finalize the election procedure and election committee members. So let's get started!
On a related note, I'm offering my services as election committee member. Are there any objections? Benny the mascot (talk) 04:06, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
I don't object to your being a committee member ... now we just need to find another one. Maybe poke around on IRC for a second volunteer?
You've pretty much kept to last year's rules, I see, with the only difference being that this version employs oppose votes. In the past, we've had a straight support-only ballot, I'm not sure which is better. Tempodivalse[talk] 13:03, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
FWIW, I also offer my services as an election committee member. Sincerely, Blurpeace 22:49, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
Well I suppose we would need an odd number to eliminate the possibility of a tie. Is everyone ok with our set of election committee members? Benny the mascot (talk) 00:28, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
I dislike the idea of having an oppose vote option. I'd rather see comments and questions; subsequently withholding your vote should be sufficient comment. -- Brian McNeil (alt. account) /alt-talk • main talk 00:49, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
After asking about a bit on IRC, I'd like to suggest we consider raising the number of seats on the committee to seven. There are several reasons for this: firstly, an odd number of seats will mean there is less chance of a tie in case. Secondly, the extra seat gives us more leeway in case some board members are absent or have to recuse themselves, etc., which isn't unlikely given our small userbase. I know the ArbCom isn't exactly bustling with activity, so this isn't that important, but it could nevertheless be useful. Open to thoughts. Tempodivalse[talk] 22:57, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
I cannot see any reason for not increasing the number; there are only benefits. Sincerely, Blurpeace 23:16, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
Support this proposal as well as a net positive. —fetch·comms 23:47, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
Hmmm...do you think we can still have a competitive election? Benny the mascot (talk) 00:29, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
Probably. I can think of a few users I'd like to nominate for the arbcom that could fill out the candidate list a bit. It doesn't have to be a really long ballot, if we can muster ten people for consideration, it should be enough of a choice. Tempodivalse[talk] 00:40, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
Seven?!?! I agree, wholeheartedly, with the assumed intent (i.e. a pool of people unlikely to have been involved in disputes). So many, from such a small community; I do wonder if people with multi-project interest should have vote-eligibility criteria, or even options to be proposed as candidates. -- Brian McNeil (alt. account) /alt-talk • main talk 00:55, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
Maybe we should lower the voting suffrage criteria, to say 100 edits (maybe with extra leeway given for someone who's an admin on other projects ... not sure about that though)? It would give us a larger voter pool. Tempodivalse[talk] 01:14, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
It might help, though the current criteria is still pretty lax to me, but it is a small community (I wasn't eligible to vote on steward elections or Commons POTY this year :/). —fetch·comms 01:34, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
How about we lower to 5 members instead. Bawolff☺☻ 04:15, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
Hmm, maybe, but then that would only make it more problematic IMHO if the committee is reduced to four or three members due to recusals. Having the extra seat gives us a buffer. Tempodivalse[talk] 12:57, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
Comment - Keep it at six seats. User:Brian McNeil is correct, below, that this process seems a tad bit rushed. Combining that with making changes to the outcome procedure, seemingly at the last minute, has the potential to exacerbate things. -- Cirt (talk) 22:29, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
IMO, there aren't enough people to get 7 active users on a committee, and have good candidates. Griffinofwales (talk) 00:04, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
In the past, ArbCom elections were run on a support-only basis, with opposers simply not voting (and a tiebreaker vote in case of a tie). I kind of prefer that over the current suggestion, it seems to mimic a real election more. Tempodivalse[talk] 00:43, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
Echoes my sentiments above exactly, Tempo. I'd far rather have people putting difficult questions, then declining to vote, than a popularity contest. -- Brian McNeil (alt. account) /alt-talk • main talk 00:58, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
IMO, having people indicate their opposition gives us a better idea of who is favored more. But if you'd like to change the procedure, go right ahead. Benny the mascot (talk) 01:02, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
I think that the benefit of an oppose is, as Benny said, who is favored more. But simply leaving comments should be fine, and I would support only supports and comments rather than have an oppose. —fetch·comms 01:30, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
I am quite concerned that, with less than 48 hrs to resolve this, it has seen little input from the established community. I want an ArbCom in place, vigorously opposed shelving it last elections, but want to see it a usable facet of the project. I would, hastily, propose deferring the fixing-in-stone of process for at least another seven days.
Is there, practically, enough gap between first edit, and eligibility?
What criteria are people looking for here? Solomon offered to cut the disputed child in half to resolve a parental dispute; are we burdening people with such responsibility to threaten destruction?
Are we expecting people to be permitted to self-nominate?
I genuinely hope to see ArbCom established for another term, and sit idle. I also expect those elected to, if needed, pull people out of disruptive bickering and help them formulate an appeal to to ArbCom, and articulate their dispute. I also want to see those elected prepared to issue instructions to project CUs and Oversighters to be more proactive. Mainstream news sources are going to be looking more to erect paywalls. Here, the project reputation depends on sticking to standards they might have found noble 40-50 years ago.
Yeah, the proposal hasn't seen a lot of comments. At the same time though, the seats are all due to expire in a month, so we'll probably have to extend the existing committee's terms for a few extra days to fit everything in (which shouldn't be a problem given its inactivity). Or, as an alternative, perhaps we could leave the proposals open for comment while at the same time accepting nominations? The actual voting won't start for another few weeks anyway.
I think people should be allowed to self-nominate to encourage as large a choice of candidates as possible, especially if we're going to expand the committee to seven seats. Last time we had eight candidates for six slots, which isn't as much variety as I'd like to see. Tempodivalse[talk] 01:30, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps we can finalize candidate requirements now and keep discussing voting rules for another two weeks. Would that work? Benny the mascot (talk) 02:27, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
It will, for me at least, be influential should people have self-nominated. Surely would-be candidates can find one well-established contributor to take the time to consider their desire to serve, and on-project history.
I would not lower suffrage reqirements from those previously set. Nor would I significantly increase membership. To counter concern that escalation to ArbCom comes after a quorum can be reached with uninvolved members, I would prefer co-opting stewards, or 'crats with experience on smaller projects.
I would like at least another 48 hours before candidates get put forward. In contrast to the self-nom above, my ideal would be a proposer and second. It would be a bit uncomfortable to see any candidate unable to raise at least two votes.
I'm now going to go over the current page version very carefully. We're effectively choosing the project's equivalent to the BBC Trust. Perhaps it should not be called ArbCom at all? -- Brian McNeil (alt. account) /alt-talk • main talk 23:09, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
I opined on the Water Cooler that there was no rush for the elections, and agree that there has been haste where there is no need. I'd much prefer that we took a little more time to think things through, rather than set unnecessarily short deadlines for something that actually requires a little thought (note the use of understatement here). WRT self-nominations, this is not actually new, as BRS self-nominated last year. --Александр Дмитрий (Alexandr Dmitri) (talk) 11:05, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
We're basically using the same rules as last year... what exactly do you want to change and how? If I understad the time conversions correctly, it is now July 2 in UTC time, so you therefore have 24 hours to gather consensus to change the nomination procedures or to postpone the nominations period. Benny the mascot (talk) 00:06, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
The rules from last year are,... Where? Show me a diff.
There is a huge gap between last comment on Wikinews talk:Arbitration Committee and my much-later, unresponded-to, resignation. Thus, fait-accomplit is a most-apt term for this.
You do realise that, local time here is ~0130 BST? I must work 8.5 hours tomorrow, spend circa 4 hours travelling, and sleep before doing so?
Last year's election rules are here. You will see that the rules are left mostly untouched. If you have an issue with the voting procedures, then you have two weeks to change them. Candidacy rules are going to be locked in place in less than 23 hours. IMO the nominations procedure isn't too controversial -- anyone with an account can run for election. Those candidates that we feel aren't qualified simply won't be elected. Benny the mascot (talk) 01:20, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
If you lock those rules at that specified time, you can expect me to raise it with the now-sitting ArbCom. I am leaving for work shortly, I may not be able to appropriately review the link you have posted until I get home with one hour before your deadline. I strongly suggest you review the actual ArbCom talk page, delays and deferments have taken place in the past. -- Brian McNeil (alt. account) /alt-talk • main talk 09:57, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
Comment - I agree with User:Brian McNeil and with User:AlexandrDmitri, above. There is no big rush for elections to occur, and waiting a few days or even a couple weeks or so, with defaulting to the prior members until then, will not cause the sky to fall down. ;) -- Cirt (talk) 14:04, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
My quick comment having skimmed over the discussion here, is that it doesn't really matter what the criteria are for nomination in practice. If people without many edits or experience are nominated, then they won't get any votes. If candidates are self-nominating, then so be it, but those who are voting are going to be looking a lot harder at them as to why they couldn't muster up a vote/nomination from anyone. In the end, it's down to the voting and most people around here aren't stupid and will be able to see who is responsible enough to be on the committee. I oppose increasing the numbers anymore-although the idea is the right idea, seven is far too many to have on a top committee when you look at how many contributors we have. Tris 16:30, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
I'd suggest holding off elections. It isn't as if there is any harm in letting the long idle ArbCom have a few more weeks while last minute discussion knits off the loose ends. Sincerely, Blurpeace 16:36, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
I am also very concerned that ArbCom election discussions have just popped up out of nowhere. Realx, guys. There's no deadline to speak of; ArbCom has been unused for years - does it hurt to take some more time to do it properly? Blood Red Sandman(Talk)(Contribs) 17:13, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
Sure, doesn't hurt to wait. Someone just remember to disable the sitenotices if it is delayed. —fetch·comms 21:35, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
I can see that the numerous notices I've put up haven't been taken down yet, so shall I assume that the nominations period has already begun? :/ Personally I still don't see what the exact concerns are; could someone please articulate them? Benny the mascot (talk) 04:37, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
Look Up. "Postponed" is the word you're looking for in the sitenotice. The desperation to push this through was bordering on project disruption as far as I was concerned. -- Brian McNeil (alt. account) /alt-talk • main talk 09:02, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
Hmmm...for some reason I can't see the site notices. Perhaps something is wrong with my browser... As for the election schedule, what do you propose? WN:ARBCOM mandates that the election be held in July, and that the seats be filled by August 1. I suppose consensus overrides policy in this case, but what was the purpose of postponing nominations when you're not even explaining what's wrong with the candidacy rules? We've already established that self-noms have been accepted before, and that in a practical sense, candidacy rules don't even matter that much! Benny the mascot (talk) 13:44, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
With ArbCom perpetually idle, and recent events, it seemed particularly ill-judged to push this through at this time. I will have time in a couple of days to look this over more carefully and put a few points up for consideration – essentially, a synopsis of what I brought up above. I do note you've been making a few edits subsequent to concerns regarding this, I'm happy to see that. However, I think it is important there is a suitably long timescale that people who were here when the ArbCom needed set up (in the face of on-project warring) can weigh in on the issue. -- Brian McNeil (alt. account) /alt-talk • main talk 14:16, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
The community must agree on nomination procedures by July 9 and election procedures and election committee members by July 18. Nominations will be accepted July 10–19. Questions and comments may be made during that time period, but no voting shall take place. Voting will take place from July 20–30. Since the incumbent members' seats expire on July 31, the election committee must declare the winners by that date, and the new term begins on August 1.
What exactly still needs agreeing upon in the procedures? Also, who has volunteered to be on the election committee, and how will that be finalized? Thank you, —fetch·comms 21:44, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm not exactly sure what we still need to discuss regarding the procedures. So far, you, me, and Blurpeace are on the election committee, and since nobody has objected or volunteered to join us, then I think there's no need to formally "finalize" anything. Benny the mascot (talk) 16:45, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
OK, that's all I needed to know. Thanks, —fetch·comms 23:44, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
Is the general questions section really necessary? While it certainly is convenient for those posing questions to all candidates, the candidates themselves are asked to respond in multiple subsections, breaking up their statements and making it harder for voters to easily follow everything being said. Benny the mascot (talk) 18:17, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
This mirrors the WP-style format more. I don't think either way is that great, but having a general subsection is more economical overall because the same question doesn't have to be repeated over and over again. Tempodivalse[talk] 18:27, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
What do you guys feel about judges asking questions during the nominations phase? I can't speak for my fellow election committee members, but I intend to ask every candidate a question. Since Brian objected to this on my talk page, I'd like to see what people think. Benny the mascot (talk) 00:23, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
I don't really see anything wrong with it. You're not going to vote, after all, and can still remain impartial ... Tempodivalse[talk] 00:40, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
I already asked one before seeing this, but I don't find anything wrong with it either. —fetch·comms 18:28, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
I do not find it is wrong if it is to all candidates. That is not what Benny did, and was the precise reason why I challenged him on the issue. --Brian McNeil / talk 20:27, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
I will be absent during the elections, starting from within hours and lasting about a month. There are no users I actively oppose, although the fact that Tempo is often involved in disputes concerns me a little (then again, that never stopped me being on ArbCom). I would greatly appreciate it if this comment be taken as a Support for Pi zero and Bawolff, as they strike me as the two candidates who stand out above the others. I daresay Benny might view that as out of process; but do please consider this request. Blood Red Sandman(Talk)(Contribs) 10:35, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm a bit uneasy about this...this will have to go before the election committee when it convenes. :/ Benny the mascot (talk) 21:45, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
When is that, btw? I unfortunately will be without any Internet access whatsoever starting this Sunday, July 18, until next Saturday, July 24. If my presence is necessary on the election committee during that time (the actual voting starts July 20, so I will only be around for the second half of it), I will resign as a member of the committee so the election may proceed more smoothly (I hope). If this isn't an issue, then I will gladly stay on board and offer my services when I can. I'm extremely sorry for the late notice, as I didn't realize I would be gone during this time until very recently. Thanks, —fetch·comms 23:49, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
It shouldn't be a problem, I think. We step in and judge the election near the end, around July 30. Benny the mascot (talk) 01:19, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
OK, that's good with me. —fetch·comms 01:26, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
As with BRS above, I will be absent with sporadic internet access for the next month and would appreciate the election committee taking this comment as Support for Pi zero, Bawolff, Skenmy and Cirt. I don't oppose any of the candidates, all of whom would do a great job. This may also hamper my ability to answer questions, and for that I apologise and will do my best. Cheers! Tris 23:34, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
Should how to vote instructions tell us how many votes we have each? (Six?) --InfantGorilla (talk) 07:10, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Since it wasn't specified when voting opened, I'd think changing it now would be the sort of thing the election committee exists to prevent. I see no difficulty with the current arrangement. --Pi zero (talk) 12:47, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
What is the current arrangement? How many votes do I have? --InfantGorilla (talk) 13:42, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
If I understand correctly, there aren't any limits and you can vote for as many people as you want - even everybody (a few people did this last year). Tempodivalse[talk] 13:52, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
I don't know; it doesn't sound right: "Members of the election committee may only vote in exceptional cases (enumerated below)." I don't see any exceptions enumerated, and I don't see any votes from committee members.
My guess is that the "exceptional cases (enumerated below)" refers to the fact that, although the election committee are never allowed to vote for candidates, they would vote on "motions considered by the election committee". It sounds like legacy phrasing, though. --Pi zero (talk) 13:37, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Yep, election committee members do vote on motions, but not on specific candidates. Benny the mascot (talk) 13:39, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Ok, I think I know what happened. When I first wrote the rules for the election, I allowed the election committee to break ties. However, after a few users objected to other portions of the rules, I removed the election committee's tiebreaking powers but forgot to amend the "exceptional cases" part. In any case, the election committee still votes on certain things, such as appeals and the final election results. Benny the mascot (talk) 13:50, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
you vote on the final election results!? LOL What's the point of having an ArbCom election if you just "pick" who wins anyway...If I am interpreting your words correctly,I am offended over the time and concern I have wasted over this election. Why can't we instead of approving an election committe and allowing that committe to then approve the ArbCom, just vote for a wikinews legislature (with me as Governor-General holding executive powers =D) to govern!? Gee Whizz... or we could just accept the out right vote of the people as those who win the ArbCom elections and be done with it, leaving the election committee to just oversee that the election goes smoothly? - There is a Cabal and its name is The Election Committee!BKCW8 talk 11:02, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
I don't think "vote" is really the right word for what the election committee will do with the final results, "endorse" or "certify" might be more appropriate. They're just there to make sure the elections go smoothly, and independently check that there aren't any irregularities. Hopefully not something we should need, given the small scale of our elections, but nice to have anyway. the wub"?!" 11:11, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
why do they need to certify anything...the people want X on the ArbCom and therefore they should get X regardless of what Y thinks BKCW8 talk 11:27, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
p.s Endorse is a better word, but he didn't say that BKCW8 talk 11:29, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
There are always questions that come up. There needs to be a clear way to decide them, so that there's no ambiguity about the results of the election. (Just as a fer-instance, note the two requests on this talk page to register in advance votes to be counted in the final tally. There's always something.) We're using an election committee for the purpose. Trying to conduct a community-wide consensus discussion over each such question, besides the problem of non-termination (with each decision of the community requiring another decision of the community to certify its predecessor), is going to lead to politicalization of questions of process. Putting that much power in the hands of one person is preposterous for a wiki, and independently preposterous for a site dedicated to a neutral free press. An election committee that does not vote has a high degree of resistance to politicalization: the community watches the conduct of the committee, and everyone (both on the committee and in the community at large) understands that what we expect of the committee is objectivity. --Pi zero (talk) 12:38, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
Do the 250 edits have to have been made on Wikinews? As opposed to other English projects? I know it probably does, but I'm just checking as it's not so clear. Bydand (talk) 03:47, 31 July 2010 (UTC)
I don't know (but I agree it probably does). However (1) voting closed yesterday, there will be a run-off shortly, and (2) you are disqualified under another criterion: Your first main namespace edit must be prior to June 1, 2010, 00:00 UTC. Hope that helps, and welcome to English Wikinews. --InfantGorilla (talk) 12:50, 31 July 2010 (UTC)
Oh ok, thanks for your reply, and thanks for the welcome :) Bydand (talk) 03:47, 1 August 2010 (UTC)
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