[OpenStack Foundation] Board discussing how to improve the Individual Director election process, community input wanted

Mark McLoughlin markmc at redhat.com
Sat Nov 17 16:26:53 UTC 2012

On Tue, 2012-11-13 at 06:17 -0700, Alan Clark wrote:
> Informal conversations after the Summit led the Board, as a first
> step, to establish a sub-committee composed of primarily Individual
> Members.

AFAICT, this sub-committee was composed of Tristan Goode, Tim Bell, Rob
Hirschfeld, Hui Cheng, Toby Ford and Troy Toman.

Concerns have been expressed about the election process since August and
our response has been to:

  * have the board appoint a sub-committee consisting of directors who
    were elected using the current election process

  * not make the existence of that sub-committee publicly known

  * not invite any of those community members who worked to make
    constructive suggestions about the issue on this list in the past

  * publish the proposals mere days before they were to be adopted

I'm personally not into conspiracy theories and always assume good
faith, but is it not obvious to everyone how bad this looks?

It would have been quite straightforward to look over these archives:


then ask those making constructive contributions whether they want to
participate in the sub-committee, publish the etherpad from the very
start and encourage the sub-committee to involve the mailing list in the
discussion at all stages.

> An etherpad detailing all of the potential options explored and
> discussed is at
> https://etherpad.openstack.org/Board-2012-VotingProposals. 

Regardless of the above, thanks and kudos to those who worked on this.
It looks like you worked hard to include all proposals made on the
mailing list and weight them carefully.

> Firstly, for the August 2012 election, four questions were produced
> from mailing list input and put to each election candidate, some of
> whom responded and some did not. It is the Board's recommendation that
> we develop this into a compulsory procedure where a nominated
> candidate is required to make a clear statement of the candidate's
> contribution to OpenStack.

Very positive but IMHO is, at first glance, orthogonal to the concerns
about voter behaviour.

In the previous election, only Yujie Du and Rob Hirschfeld were elected
without answering those questions (although Rob did blog about his

Perhaps the concern we're trying to address is that if a candidate is
elected without making it clear what they're standing for, it becomes
hard for everyone to understand post-election why they were elected?

> Secondly, the Board would like to more clearly inform the electorate
> on the reasons for individual members of the Board and explain their
> role, the importance of diversity on the Board, be that international,
> cultural, technological, gender or otherwise, the role of the
> Individual members for who and or what they represent, and provide
> guidance for members to use these criteria to assess their voting
> choice.
> Thirdly, the Board asks that all organisations act honourably, be
> respectful and demonstrate responsibility and guide their staff to
> vote according to the best interests of the Community, and not their
> organisation. OpenStack's life blood is the Community.

Great. Let's make sure to have an open discussion about both sets of
guidelines in advance of the election.

> Fourthly, the Board is exploring options not requiring by-law changes
> and that fall within the current cumulative voting structure which
> will help to create a balanced representation of candidates from
> affiliated organisations, independents and minorities.

This is confusing. The board is exploring options other than those
proposed by the sub-committee?


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