[Osmf-talk] Elections: Avoid Mandate Creep

Eugene Usvitsky eugene at usvitsky.com
Sat Nov 12 15:37:23 UTC 2011

Hi Frederik,

I personally strongly support the actions of the new Board. I have the
same understanding of things going on and if I was chosen I would seek
the same actions.
I'd like to remind you about your previous posts under the same
subject, back in the beginning of September. You never answered my
questions (rather rhetorical, but still) so I will ask the same again.
Others can read that message here -

My points was that OSM members never actually voted for OSMF creation
ever. So, Data WG (member of which you are) simply  don't have a
mandate to delete user content and ban users. So if we implement an
approach "support not control" in reality, should we dismiss all WGs
(including DWG and TWG)? Should we develop a "karma" voting system
when users can vote for each other and those with highly negative
rating will be banned automatically? Should we not limit people in
access to servers hosting OSM (both physically and electronically)
because noone is better than others?

You are writing:
> I think democracy benefits from
> options being publicly discussed among the electorate, rather than everyone
> silently and secretly posting their vote.
But do you remember your own words: "OSM is not a democracy, and does
not aspire to be one."?

The process of managing the project of such size can't be halfway
process - here we manage things, and here we are playing democracy.
OSMF IS already controlling the project in parts and this neither can
be avoided nor (more importantly) rises any large scale concerns. We
should simply stop pretending that OSM is simply a group of equal
people mapping the world. We should accept the fact that there's no
other project of such size which can live successfully without
managing its most important parts. We should at last understand that
project NEEDS management and all we as its members should do is to
avoid Wikipedia- or corporate-like extremes in it.

Other people often insist that OSM organisation type is do-ocracy. I'm
against any fancy "-cracy" names, especially of non-existing types.
But anyhow members of new Board are acting exactly this way - they do.
They do because they want to do and they can. Isn't it the OSM style?

Best wishes,

On Sat, Nov 12, 2011 at 6:23 PM, Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org> wrote:
> Hi,
> On 11/12/2011 01:52 PM, Serge Wroclawski wrote:
>> Do you believe your views have greater importance than other voters?
> The point is that I would like to *discuss* my views with the other voters,
> most of whom I assume are on this list. I think democracy benefits from
> options being publicly discussed among the elctorate, rather than everyone
> silently and secretly posting their vote.
> If you don't share my views then I would be happy to hear a
> counter-argument, for example "no, Fred, I think you're wrong in saying that
> OSMF must be run differently than a commercial organisation; the management
> and goal-setting and goal-achievement and stuff is really the same in both
> kinds of organisation because...", or "no, Fred, I think you're wrong in
> saying that OSM works well enough without strong leadership and steering
> because...", or "no, Fred, I think that it is entirely correct that
> emergency measures have to be taken in order to steer OSM away from the
> brink because...".
> Any of those and more. But not "no, Fred, you're wrong to even talk about
> what the board does on this list". What kind of democracy is that supposed
> to be? This is not osmf-announce, this is a membership list with the aim of
> aiding the political processes, the building of consensus and the making of
> decisions inside OSMF. And public discourse is an essential component of any
> democracy,
> Certainly voters have not been asked "do you think that OSM is on the brink
> of collapse and a face-to-face board meeting is required to set short term
> goals to avoid that fate", neither in this election nor in any previous
> election. And they don't *have* to be asked that. But still it may well be
> possible that voters have something to say about it; after all, electing
> someone for board means that you let them govern in your place but the
> membership doesn't lose its democratic powers just because they elect
> someone. Even if you have elected someone - and the majority of board
> members are where they are in part because I have voted for them - that
> doesn't mean that you stop looking at what they do, at least not in my
> understanding of democracy.
> (For example, it is technically possible that the board makes a decision
> that a large majority of voters find wrong. Technically the board could
> decide to spend all of OSMF's money for a week-long F2F meeting on Barbados.
> I'm not saying they are doing anything like that but they *could*. If they
> *did*, and if someone complained, would you then reply with a shrug and say
> "well we elected them, we have to live with what they do and anyone asking
> questions must be a self-important troublemaker"? If your answer to this is
> "no", then where would you draw the line - what questions are legitimate,
> and what questions make the person asking them into someone who "believes
> that his views have greater importance than that of other voters"?)
> Bye
> Frederik
> --
> Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"
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