[Osmf-talk] Change deadlines and add questionnaire for OSMF board elections

Michael Reichert osm-ml at michreichert.de
Tue Oct 9 07:11:25 UTC 2018


October started a few days ago and the next OSMF board elections are not
that far away. While thinking which questions to ask the candidates this
year, I wondered how our board elections could be improved. People have
pointed out two issues (and maybe more but I think these are easy to
solve and the two most important from my point of view):

(1) There are MANY emails to the OSMF-Talk list in a short time.
(2) People ask to much questions. Mikel Maron described the issue like this:
On 14 November 2017 11:47 Mikel Maron wrote on
> I think we have outgrown this format of asking questions of board
> candidates. With over 800 OSMF members, I don't see how we could use
> this format to collect and sort out all the possible questions, in a
> way that doesn't completely overload the candidates and the members.
> At the very least, we need to limit the number of questions posed by
> individual members, so that everyone has an opportunity. Even better
> would be to move to another format, like an AMA, or a series of live
> chats.

IMHO, both issues could be solved – at least partially.

(1) Change deadlines

We have had following schedule for the last few years:

2 weeks before AGM: deadline for members to put themselves forward
1 week before AGM: voting starts
start of AGM: end of voting

This schedule forces many discussions among the members on the OSMF-Talk
mailing list to happen in a short time and sets the candidates under
pressure to answer many questions within the short time. That's why I
propose following changed schedule:

4 weeks before AGM: deadline for members to put themselves forward
1 week before AGM: voting starts
start of AGM: end of voting

I hope that this spreads 400 emails over three to four weeks than one
single week.

(2) Questionnaire

I think that moving the deadline for candidates to put themselves
forward by two weeks gives the candidates more time to answer questions.
(I hope that interesting questions are asked early)

From my point of view, replacing the written solution by oral or a
proprietary one, is not the right way to do. Any oral comes with
accessibility issues for non-native English speakers and people with
impaired hearing or a low-bandwidth internet connection. A platform like
Reddit requires members to agree to its terms of service. The platform
should be hosted by the foundation and members should not be forced to
agree to any terms beyond those to access osm.org.

But instead investing time and energy into a software solution which is
used only once a year, we could try a simpler solution first. Let's set
up a questionnaire (you might call it "application form") all candidates
have to fill out.

The form should ask following questions:

- name
- nationality
- country of residence
- OSM user account(s)
- activity in OSMF working groups
- activity in local chapters
- languages spoken
- business relations with OSM
- your manifesto

This questionnaire covers most questions which are asked every year and
are not related to any "fashion", trend or ask for an opinion.

The questionnaire should be a template (not a MediaWiki template but
more a text to copy and paste [1]) and each candidate should put the
filled out questionnaire on their wiki user page or a subpage thereof.

Such a questionnaire also helps members to compare candidates more easily.

Best regards


[1] Experience with MediaWiki templates should not be a requirement to
stand up for the board. ;-)

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