[openstack-dev] An alternative approach to enforcing "expected election behaviour"

Eoghan Glynn eglynn at redhat.com
Wed Jun 18 14:37:31 UTC 2014

> James E. Blair wrote:
> > I think our recent experience has shown that the fundamental problem is
> > that not all of the members of our community knew what kind of behavior
> > we expected around elections.  That's understandable -- we had hardly
> > articulated it.  I think the best solution to that is therefore to
> > articulate and communicate that.
> > 
> > I believe Anita's proposal starts off by doing a very good job of
> > exactly that, so I would like to see a final resolution based on that
> > approach with very similar text to what she has proposed.  That
> > statement of expected behavior should then be communicated by election
> > officials to all participants in announcements related to all elections.
> > Those two simple acts will, I believe, suffice to address the problem we
> > have seen.
> > 
> > I do agree that a heavy bureaucracy is not necessary for this.  Our
> > community has a Code of Conduct established and administered by the
> > Foundation.  I think we should focus on minimizing additional process
> > and instead try to make this effort slot into the existing framework as
> > easily as possible by expecting the election officials to forward
> > potential violations to the Foundation's Executive Director (or
> > delegate) to handle as they would any other potential CoC violation.
> Thierry Carrez wrote:
> +1
> The community code of conduct states:
> """Respect the election process. Members should not attempt to
> manipulate election results. Open debate is welcome, but vote trading,
> ballot stuffing and other forms of abuse are not acceptable."""
> Maybe just clarifying what we mean by "open debate" and giving examples
> of what we would consider "other forms of abuse" in the context of the
> TC elections is actually sufficient. Then voters can judge abuse on
> their own in their vote (reputational pressure) *and* we have an
> established process (the alleged violation of the community code of
> conduct) to escalate to in case we really need to (institutional pressure).
> I think the first part of Anita's draft captures that very well, so
> maybe that's all we need. I really think that documenting and better
> communicating expectations will actually avoid problems in the future.

Absolutely agreed with jeblair and ttx here, that communicating
expectations clearly is the key.

However I think that the choice between relying on reputational
versus institutional pressure for enforcement should be an
either-or proposition, in order for it to be most effective.

The potential problem with reputational being the default, then
falling back to institutional pressure in extremis, is that folks
may read something into the absence of an escalation.

e.g. "the openstack officialdom doesn't seem to have done
      anything about this practice, so it must be ok"

IMHO reliance on the wisdom-of-crowds for enforcement works best
when the crowd explicitly knows that it's the last line of defense.


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