Wikipedia talk:Arbitration policy ratification vote

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

For discussion of the old ratification vote, see Wikipedia talk:Arbitration policy ratification vote/archive

I suggest a ratification percentage of 2/3rds and voting by editors who have been here a year and made 500 edits. I have set the percentage for ratification relatively low and qualifications for voting relatively high because I want to see something pass, but with support of users with experience. Needless to say these are only suggestions. Fred Bauder 14:23, Mar 30, 2004 (UTC)

I would suggest that setting tenure requirements for participation in a vote sets precedent, and hence should not be done lightly. A one year requirement would disqualify many active Wikipedians in good standing who should have a voice. Is this likely to be such a controversial vote that special measures like this must be taken? UninvitedCompany 16:31, 30 Mar 2004 (UTC)
The idea is have the support of experienced users. Fred Bauder 18:57, Mar 30, 2004 (UTC)

My first edit was on March 28, 2003, so I slip in under the wire, but I can list any number of experienced users, many of whom are sysops, who would be excluded by this cut-off. I humbly suggest that it be reduced to something like six months, which is still a very long time on Wikipedia. -- Cyan 01:56, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I thought 2003 was a typo when I first saw this. A year seems completely excessive. Arbitration is a new process, so why stop new people voting on it? Angela. 20:42, Mar 31, 2004 (UTC)

  • I agree completely! Half of the current sysops haven't been around that long. -- Seth Ilys 20:46, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  • Agree. Fennec 20:46, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)

The vote page says 'These restrictions are intended to avoid ballot stuffing', which isn't consistent with Fred's explanation. Morwen 20:47, Mar 31, 2004 (UTC)

I don't even think all the arbitrators even have been around for a year. There doesn't seem to be much support for such stringent requirements, so I'm going to change them to a requirement that the account was created before March 30, 2004 (which is the date I first put this vote on the page, and so the first date people could create multiple accounts with the intention of stuffing this particular ballot). I'm going to keep the 500 edit requirement, as there have been no complaints about it (so far), and it should help to rule out some multiple accounts that people have had lying around for a while now.

I'm not in love with these figures, but I'm hoping to get the vote started this Friday (April 2), so if anybody objects, say so soon. --Camembert

Either is fine with me (which is weird, because they're so different, but...) I don't anticipate this vote being particularly controversial, and I'm not particular worried about setting a bad precedent (there are enough other voting precedents around, after all). So do as you will. Martin 22:40, 1 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I have activated the vote as we seem to have no additional objections or discussion. Fred Bauder 14:46, Apr 2, 2004 (UTC)

Wrong terminology?[edit]

In the last item describing the outcome of a "no" vote there is "and the community on the whole". This would seem more correct of it read "and the community as a whole" to signify that it would require an effort of the entire community. Eclecticology 16:48, 2004 Apr 2 (UTC)

"As a whole" is what I meant when I wrote it. "On the whole" sort of gets the sense across, but isn't quite right. I doubt it will be a very controversial change, so even though the vote has started, I'll risk changing it as you suggest for clarity. --Camembert

Arbitrators' eligibility to vote[edit]

Should we Arbitrators really have the ability to vote on this? It does seem a trifle odd...
James F. (talk) 22:54, 2 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I was wondering the same thing. I wasn't planning on voting myself, but I don't think there's great harm in arbitrators voting if they want to (they may, after all, be the subject of an arbitration case just like anybody else). If there were complaints from a non-arbitrator about it, I suppose those arbs who have voted would need to address them. Until then, I'm not sure it's an issue. --Camembert
The requirements for voting are 500 edits. Fred Bauder 18:23, Apr 3, 2004 (UTC)

I think it's fine for us to vote. We're users like everyone else, and it's just as important that we're happy with the policy as for anyone else. Martin 19:39, 3 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Alex's comments[edit]

User:Alex756 made the following comments in his "no" vote. I (Camembert) have moved them here, as I want to respond without cluttering up the vote page

I object. I think there is an issue of the jurisdictional power of the arbitration committee to draft this and conduct this so-called "vote." While an "arbitration procedure" needs to be created I do not see why a policy needs to be "voted" on by a few members who have heard about it. If there is going to be a vote it should be done by secret ballot and universal suffrage of all English language Wikipedians. What about all the Wikipedia members who do not "vote" on this policy or who have not found out about it? The voting period need to be extended and announced for a longer time period. Is it really the arbitration committee that should develop the policy alone, or should it be done with the active participation of a committee that is also composed of others than arbitration committee members who are some voice of those who may be coming before the committee? Remember the arbitrators were not elected, but placed on the committee by executive fiat. There is supposed to be a Board of Trustees of Wikimedia and they are supposed to elect members representatives. Doesn't it make sense that these member representatives consult with Jimbo about the kinds of issues that should be subjected to the power of this committee before the unelected arbitrators decide what they can do? Such consultations would give the process a bit more democratic legitimacy. Finally I do not think this should be called a "ratification vote" it is really just a straw poll of interested members; if this is adopted over my objection I think it should be called the "interim arbitration procedure" that is in effect for a fixed short term, not indefinitely.

Decisions are made by those who show up. There was already a long comment period before the vote started. --mav

Alex: this vote was announced on Wikipedia:Goings-on and on the Wikien mailing list. I should have also announced it on Wikipedia:Announcements - that was an oversight which I shall shortly correct. I'm not sure what else can be done to make people aware of it, and I don't see any reason why the vote should last longer than a week. About a month before this, people were explicitly invited, via Goings-on, Announcements and the mailing list, to make comments on the policy at Wikipedia talk:Arbitration policy comments. A few changes were made after those comments. Again, I'm not sure what else could have been done. Prior to that, regular updates on the arbitration policy were posted to the mailing list, and the policy was visible to all here on the Wikipedia. At all times, the committee took the views of "ordinary" editors into account when drafting the policy (it will continue to do so as policy evolves). Again, I'm not sure what more could have been done.

Of the Board of Trustees I have little knowledge or, frankly, interest. Ultimately, the people who are going to be affected by the committee are Wikipedia editors, so it seems to me that asking said editors for their opinion gives the process as much "democratic legitimacy" as it needs. The committee has been in continual contact with Jimbo, and he hasn't shown himself to have any problem with this vote or with the committee in general. He's always made it clear that if this thing goes disastrously wrong, he will disband the committee. If you feel there's some sort of issue relating to the Board, you should probably take it up with Jimbo.

As to whether the "so-called vote" should really be called a "ratification vote"... well, I admit I didn't think very hard when coming up with the page title, but I doubt that said title will have any effect on people's so-called votes or indeed on anything else.

By the way--if anybody else has extensive comments on the vote, please make them here on the talk page rather than on the vote page itself. Comments on the policy itself should be either at Wikipedia talk:Arbitration policy or Wikipedia talk:Arbitration policy comments. Thanks. --Camembert

Please say more about when and under what subject the announcement was posted to the list. I looked at the list on April 2 and scanned prior items at that time and saw nothing which seemed related. I scanned again after seeing Jimbo announcing his blessing on the 9th and still don't see anything suggesting an announcement of an important policy vote. Maybe it didn't make it to the gmane news service? Jamesday 23:39, 11 Apr 2004 (UTC)
To answer my own question, it was announced on the list on 2 April, just after my last scan of the list and was complete and over and blessed by Jimbo about one week later, before my next check of the list. The title was "Aribtration Policy Ratification Vote". Jamesday 23:45, 11 Apr 2004 (UTC)
My guess is that most users don't actually care about the gory details. I've no doubt that if things happen as a result of those details that they disagree with, then they'll be kind enough to tell us. Most people seem to keen that we act faster, and not "waste" so much time in "useless" discussion, so there's a tension here between your views (Alex) and the views of others. Martin 22:57, 5 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Although I tend to agree with the major points in the proposed policy, I also agree with Alex about the use of the vote. Those who want votes seem to have a view that once a proposal is supported by a vote everything will be alright; we have an agreed policy, and if we just go ahead and enforce that policy all our problems will go away. Much of Martin's observations are correct. Certainly most users don't care about the details because they are not personally affected; if they become affected in the future they will be more than "kind enough" to let us know. I don't even think that it's accurate to say that most are that keen to have a policy quickly drafted, but they are keen to be rid of vandals, trolls and their ilk. They may form a majority of the most vocal.
Two years of Wikipedia experience has convinced me more than ever that votes are inherently evil. Sometimes, however, they are inevitable. To the extent that they are needed, the time for voting should be open-ended. Newcomers or people previously unconcerned about a policy should still be able to vote at some indefinite future time, and that vote should have influence. Obviously, action is often what is needed, and an indefinitely open vote should not prevent necessary actions. As things now stand there appears to be strong support for the proposed arbitration policy, probably enough to warrant implementation after the initial seven-day voting period. Beyond that it is conceivable that some voters would change their minds, or that newcomers will vote differently. That's fine. It could even mean a reversal of the policy in the future; no problem there either. In practical terms I don't see that happening in this case.
Democracy is a messy business. It cannot be said to be fully implemented until the opinions of the children of that democracy receive the same respect as those of their grandparents. Eclecticology 07:44, 2004 Apr 8 (UTC)
I completely agree with you that votes are not, on the whole, a good way to make decisions. I certainly don't see votes as providing the "final word" on an issue. I think in this case that a vote was useful to give the whole process some legitimacy and to give us (well, me at least) the confidence to go ahead in the knowledge that most people were supportive. I don't think it's done any harm.
But of course, you're right that future generations, as it were, should be able to express their opinion, so here's a quick idea: put the results of this vote somewhere visible (maybe the top of Wikipedia talk:Arbitration committee, with a pointer to it from the page itself) as an open-ended thing, showing who supports and who doesn't support the idea of the arbitration committee. New users can add their names, and old ones can change their mind if they like. I think that should be useful barometer of opinion on the matter, and, if support for the committee fell, could be an effective catalyst for change. --Camembert
I like this idea. Martin 17:54, 8 Apr 2004 (UTC)
It seems the policy will pass. If it functions well in practice, it will be de facto Wikipedia policy. However, there are sure to be changes either we or the community (or parts of the community) will want to make. We should consider how those are to be proposed, considered and made. The charge that what we have done is somehow illegitimate is ill-founded. We are operating directly under the supervision of Jimbo, for now the ultimate authority. As he sheds responsibility, other mechanisms will be created. Those decision making mechanisms will play in role in determining our jurisdiction, procedures and membership. Fred Bauder 13:56, Apr 8, 2004 (UTC)

Proposed alterations to the policy[edit]

I've knocked up a few proposed alterations to the Arbitration policy - thoughts?
James F. (talk) 03:21, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Continuously open voting[edit]

Snowspinner moved these votes from the project page, where they have now been restored because as it states at the top of the page voting remains open. (SEWilco 19:39, 23 December 2005 (UTC))[reply]

Very late no votes[edit]

  1. Guanaco 01:12, 6 Sep 2004 (UTC)
  2. No. The Arbitation Committee is acting arbitrarily. SEWilco 20:19, 8 December 2005 (UTC)[reply]
  3. No. Powertripping is pointless. Klonimus 05:19, 9 December 2005 (UTC)[reply]
  4. No. The Arbcom acts in an arbitrary manner and does not even abide by its own policy where recusals and transparency of finding are concerned. Rangerdude 18:40, 10 December 2005 (UTC)[reply]
  5. No. --HK 15:32, 19 December 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Very late yes votes[edit]

  1. Infrogmation 05:15, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  2. Bryan 06:21, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  3. Seth Ilys 07:56, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC). The arbcom has proven itself reasonable and there are checks available (such as this vote) it should it become unreasonable and overreach. I'm changing my vote from a year ago from abstain to support. - Seth Ilys 07:56, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  4. Charles Matthews 10:17, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  5. olivier 14:15, Mar 20, 2005 (UTC)
  6. Michael Hardy 22:37, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  7. Jiang 03:00, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  8. -- Uncle Ed (talk) 14:50, Mar 21, 2005 (UTC)
  9. Gangulf 06:58, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  10. Carnildo 08:01, 14 December 2005 (UTC)[reply]


This was intended as a continuous poll, and so there should not be a cutoff point for 'late' votes. That said, continuous polls are pretty pointless, especially as nobody seems to be watching this much, and several of the older votes are made by people no longer active. So if we want a meaningful estimation of community support for the ArbCom (and mind you, I'm not saying we actually want or need that) we should blank the entire poll and start over. Radiant_>|< 13:01, 22 December 2005 (UTC)[reply]


Since I have no interest in a stale edit war, I am going to create a new poll to supersede this. —Guanaco 03:24, 26 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]