[OpenStack Foundation] Individual Member Director Elections

Monty Taylor mordred at inaugust.com
Tue Oct 8 13:52:10 UTC 2013

On 10/08/2013 09:06 AM, Jim Jagielski wrote:
> On Tue, Oct 8, 2013 at 8:41 AM, Christopher B Ferris
> <chrisfer at us.ibm.com <mailto:chrisfer at us.ibm.com>> wrote:
>     +1 to Theirry's comments below.
>     My personal opinion is that the code of conduct is an inadequate
>     influence over behavior, as Theirry suggests. 
>     STV would go a ways to improving the situation, but it would not
>     neutralize the voting block behavior.
> It would actually go quite aways in doing so... any excess votes would
> go to the next in line in that person's vote. The key point in STV is
> that each person gets a *single* vote, which is transferred as needed
> (this is an EXTREME simplification!), and once a person gets enough
> votes to be elected, all those extra votes are basically moot, which
> means that a voting block actually has somewhat limited affect.
>     Quite honestly, and I know that many will rail against this, the
>     problem is the temptation. 
>     Eliminate the ability for any single entity to have more than one
>     seat on the board. 
> IMO, each Director should reflect the goals and desires of the OpenStack
> community, regardless of who pays their salary. True, this is a biased
> based on my own background and experience, but it works. The board
> should govern the foundation, not a single entity, and when the cards
> are stacked in favor of a single entity (or a cabal) being the
> controlling, then it's simple human nature for that to be taken
> advantage of.

This is exactly correct, and we have seen this behavior quite clearly.
None of the members of the board have behaved in a corrupt manner, nor
have they behaved as second representatives of their corporations
explicit interests. In fact, the appointed representatives haven't even
done that.

Changing the voting system is PURELY about addressing a fundamental
structural bug in our governance. It it not about mitigating a current
breakage in the board membership or behavior.

> Isn't this the *exact* thing that the OpenStack Foundation was created
> to *solve*??
>     That would increase the diversity of the board, which would be a
>     Good Thing(tm). Yes, I have heard all the arguments for allowing the
>     movers and shakers in the development community some influence at
>     the board level.. I get it, I really do. However, they have all the
>     influence they need at the TC level, where the technical decisions
>     are made. If they want to influence decisions of the board, their
>     voice alone should be sufficient to help influence the other board
>     members. 
>     The bottom line is that you can't have your cake and eat it, too.
>     Remove the temptation and the behavior will normalize. No other
>     organization that I know of permits multiplicity of representation
>     on the board from a single entity. 
>     Cheers,
>     Christopher Ferris
>     IBM Distinguished Engineer
>     IBM Software Group, Standards Strategy
>     email: chrisfer at us.ibm.com <mailto:chrisfer at us.ibm.com>
>     blog: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/page/chrisferris
>     phone: +1 508 234 2986 <tel:%2B1%20508%20234%202986>
>     -----Thierry Carrez <thierry at openstack.org
>     <mailto:thierry at openstack.org>> wrote: -----
>     To: foundation at lists.openstack.org
>     <mailto:foundation at lists.openstack.org>
>     From: Thierry Carrez <thierry at openstack.org
>     <mailto:thierry at openstack.org>>
>     Date: 10/08/2013 06:01AM
>     Subject: Re: [OpenStack Foundation] Individual Member Director Elections
>     Mark McLoughlin wrote:
>     > [...]
>     > All your points are well made and thanks for taking the time to make
>     > them.
>     >
>     > I do very much agree with your points about the election system and
>     > favoured a change to STV but, yet, I did vote to not change the system
>     > this year because:
>     >
>     >   - there was a general feeling that relatively few perceive the
>     >     problem here. Comparing our ~6000 members to the numbers
>     expressing
>     >     serious concerns on this mailing list, you can see why.
>     I suspect a lot of people consider that the already-raised concerns
>     should be enough to trigger a proper response and don't feel the need to
>     +1 to be "counted". For the record, add me to the number expressing
>     "serious concerns".
>     >   - the current system does appear to have elected committed board
>     >     members who act on behalf of the membership rather than their
>     >     affiliation. That could be a self-serving perspective, though.
>     It's a classic dilemma with democracy: the currently-elected (who decide
>     to keep or change the rules) generally don't feel like changing a system
>     that worked perfectly well to elect them.
>     >   - with such a large electorate, getting a majority of a 25+% voter
>     >     turnout to vote for an election system change is going to
>     require a
>     >     lot of awareness raising. I'm trying to imagine a massive "our
>     >     election system is broken, it's critical you turn out to fix it"
>     >     being a positive thing. I'm also concious that if we did hold a
>     >     vote to move to STV and it was rejected, that could be the end of
>     >     the matter forever.
>     >
>     >   - I do think the code of conduct will have an influence and prevent
>     >     "bad" voter behaviour. I'm basing that on the strong endorsement
>     >     all board members appear to give the code..
>     It's not that clear cut. Is giving all your votes to a single person
>     "bad behaviour" ? Is voting only for members of your company "bad
>     behaviour" ? If you answer "no" to both of the above, how can you blame
>     a company that ends up with 81% of its employees voting only on company
>     candidates ?
>     >   - I was in favour of the max-4-votes-per-candidate "tweak"
>     because we
>     >     initially thought that would not require a bylaws change. This
>     would
>     >     have had an immediate positive effect IMHO.
>     Personally I would have made it max-1-vote-per-candidate. Forcing
>     everyone to pick the 8 people they want as individual members would
>     definitely and efficiently dilute block voting. And it makes perfect
>     sense.
>     -- 
>     Thierry Carrez (ttx)
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