[openstack-dev] [elections][tc]Thoughts on the TC election process

Anita Kuno anteaya at anteaya.info
Tue Oct 11 15:37:22 UTC 2016

On 2016-10-04 04:53 PM, Anita Kuno wrote:
> On 16-10-04 12:54 PM, Thierry Carrez wrote:
>> Doug Hellmann wrote:
>>> John Davidge wrote:
>>>> Thierry, I'm surprised by your open hostility towards candidates.
>>>> Accusing
>>>> people of 'pretending' to care about things that they've taken the
>>>> time to
>>> This is an excellent example of needing to know the speaker, as
>>> well as their words, and why anonymous elections for leaders
>>> are a bad idea generally and favor native English speakers over
>>> other members of our community.
>>> In this case, I know that Thierry is French and, while his English
>>> is better than I could ever hope my French to be, he sometimes makes
>>> "interesting" word choices, especially where the French and English
>>> words are close in spelling or pronunciation, if not quite so close in
>>> meaning.
>>> In French, "prétendre" has a connotation of "profess" or simply
>>> "say", which is very different from the more negative connotation
>>> of "pretend" in English where common use implies some false intent.
>>> Knowing Thierry and his past contributions well enough to trust his
>>> good intentions, I was able to look past the awkward phrasing to
>>> ask what message he was trying to convey.
>> Yeah, sorry for the poor choice of words, I didn't mean that candidates
>> are trying to deceive anyone. I only meant that in my experience, past
>> members of the TC were overly optimistic in their campaign emails about
>> how much they thought they would be able to achieve. So looking at the
>> past track record is important.
>>>> A poll in the weeks leading to the self-nomination period could
>>>> be used to identify the issues people are most concerned about, and
>>>> candidates could be encouraged to address those issues directly in 
>>>> their
>>>> self-nominations. This would reduce the reliance on a potentially 
>>>> messy
>>>> question and answer period by pre-empting the greatest concerns.
>> If my memory serves well, I think Anita (anteaya) drove such a
>> structured discussion in a past election (identify key issues and ask
>> candidates to address those questions in their candidacy email). Maybe
>> she can give us a summary of how well that went.
> I had hoped to stay out of this discussion since I consider it poor 
> form to discuss the way a race is run whilst the race is being run, 
> however here we are.
> tl;dr the idea seems sound, my method doesn't scale, other tooling 
> needs to be considered if this is something folks want in future
> Indeed when I was an election official in the past one of the items 
> that both myself and my co-election official identified was the 
> difficulty the electorate was having identifying the differences 
> between the candidates (some of whom they did not know, since we were 
> and have scaled so much in such a short period of time). We felt that 
> it was important to do the best we could to give the electorate an 
> opportunity (so hard to find a window of time to consume information 
> and contemplate it anymore) to compare candidates in a neutral and 
> equal way.
> The wikipage for the TC election for 2014 has the information: 
> https://wiki.openstack.org/wiki/TC_Elections_October_2014
> I also would suggest looking at the history of edits to the page to 
> get a sense of the work involved in offering this information in this 
> way.
> I came up with the questions myself: 
> https://wiki.openstack.org/wiki/TC_Elections_October_2014#TC_Election_Questions 
> Tristan signed off on them but he didn't have as much knowledge of the 
> community as I did at the time so I composed them. We debated on 
> asking the mailing list for input but since I knew I would be doing 
> the lions share of the work on this one I didn't want to have to 
> filter through questions and then appear to either pick favourites or 
> snub someone should I select or not select their offered question. I 
> felt I had enough pressure on myself already taking this on, I didn't 
> want to dig myself a deeper hole.
> As you can see from the edits to the wikipage (I basically spent 4 
> straight days adding answers and reordering existing answers on the 
> wikipage - I had a bowl of names in my home and every time a new 
> response came in I shook the names and selected them out of the bowl 
> to create an order and then did it again for the next question - it 
> was time consuming but I felt it was worth it in terms of serving the 
> community's interests) I reordered the responses often to ensure that 
> preference in response order was moved around. I value the opportunity 
> for people to make their own decision very highly and didn't want my 
> choices in terms of how the information was presented to play a role 
> in how they perceived the information. So I shuffled the answers a lot.
> Now in the post mortem of the election tooling discussion in the infra 
> meeting we did discuss options for tooling to ensure the responses are 
> shuffled when rendered in subsequent elections (I think that may have 
> been the time I also presented the idea of moving to a git repo, I 
> can't remember) but it wasn't picked up on and I decided in fairness 
> to let others take a turn running elections and didn't pursue it.
> I did receive good feedback from folks who consumed what I offered 
> during the October TC election so that was good to hear at the time.
> Thanks,
> Anita.

Just in case folks care, now is the best time to discuss our election 
process and suggest options or changes for the next round of elections. 
I'm not adverse to discussing it I just think the best time for doing so 
is from the time the last election is over up to milestone one. Then we 
have lots of time for ideas and debate and any suggestions, if accepted, 
have time to be implemented and communicated so the process is fair for 
all, candidates and electorate.

During the election is a wonderful time for posing questions to 
candidates in order to clarify their position or stance such that the 
electorate can make an informed choice.

Thank you,

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