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Friday, February 22, 2008

My Thoughts on the Eclipse Voting Scheme

We have a debate going for the Eclipse Committer representative election...this is great!
Thanks to Ed and Doug for getting us thinking and writing.

Ed started with his position and Doug countered with his. Please read including all the comments.
My paraphrase: Ed wants to change to one committer, one vote. Doug likes the status quo as he believes that the current voting scheme helps promote diversity.

I feel that any voting scheme that has the impact of reducing the voter turnout is a scheme that needs at a minimum to be revisited.

This has nothing to do with being from a big company: every set of committers who work within the same company have a reduced power to influence the result of the election. In my opinion, all member company committers are partially disenfranchised.

From my experience this leads to voter apathy. Apathy is never a good thing in my books.

And I am not convinced it promotes diversity. It does allow individual committers to disproportionally vote in the election. I propose that the elected committer representatives should be proportionally composed from the various representative committer groups.

At the simplest level this is achieved with 1 committer, 1 vote.
A possible idea would be to propose reserving one seat at the board for an elected individual committer representative. Allow for diversity but give everyone an equal vote.

The companies are represented with their seat on the board. Committer reps must be there to represent committers and the best interests of the Eclipse Foundation, not their companies. Read the positions of the people running for election. If their issues resonant for you, vote for them. In my opinion, who you work for should not impact your vote nor your voting power.

I would love to work with the other members of the board to have a look at the bylaws and have a healthy debate of a potential change.

Even if you only have a partial vote...please vote!


Bjorn Freeman-Benson said...

How about "one project = one vote" and then the votes from all the committers on that project are aggregated?

Ed Merks said...

Would that be top level project or subproject? You see where I'm going?

Kim Moir said...

Regarding Bjorn's suggestion....
This would mean that people who are committers on multiple projects would be able to influence two project's votes. One committer, one vote. That sounds like democracy to me.

Doug Schaefer said...

I'll agree with one thing. The 1/200'th weight of your vote does take the wind out of voting. My first experience with it was at IBM and I didn't vote since I figured it didn't really matter anyway.

Darin Swanson said...

Cool..then lets work from what we agree on. What can we propose that empowers the vote of all committers in a representative and fair manner?
Bjorn proposed one alternative.
Ed, Kim and I have proposed "one committer = one vote" as the remedy. Lets throw out some more ideas to discuss.

Anonymous said...

What democracies often use in such situation is a two chambers system: In one chamber you would have one committer one vote, and in the other chamber you would have one company one vote? Both chambers must agree on each proposal.