iTWire – Linux Australia election results are in – but is there a mandate?

iTWire – Linux Australia election results are in – but is there a mandate?

I mostly disagree with the conclusions drawn by David here.

On voter turnout, this year we were consistent with previous years (see previous graphs, and reproduced below):

We’ve even been on a (slow) increase. How do we increase this number though?

There are also other factors as to why people didn’t vote:

  • Happy with any combination of candidates (this was voiced at the AGM)
  • Not aware of voting timeframe, or in the middle of LCA prep/travel (how do we deal with this? Longer voting time? automated pestering of people via email from the membership system?)
  • No/limited choice in executive positions

If we look at the people standing for positions over the years (reproducing this graph from previous post):

It’s quite possible to assume that many people are happy with who’s standing for executive, and not too worried about OCM positions.

There is also no way to express “I’m happy with any combination of candidates” in the election system. The query for “number of members voted” (see the source. incidently, i wish launchpad let you link to line numbers):

$result = $dbh->query("select count(distinct member_id) as count from election_vote where candidate_id in (select id from election_candidate where election_position_id in (select id from election_position where election_id=".$election['id']."))");

So if you didn’t vote for anybody, you’re not counted in having voted. Patches are welcome to fix this :)

If it’s uncontested, then many people just don’t put a 1 in the box. New MemberDB releases (what we’re likely to use for next year) have a drop-down menu of numbers, which may result in less of this. It could also be a few votes against the candidate – in the absence of another choice (or the voter choosing to stand themselves). In any of these scenarios though, it’s not a significant number of votes – all candidates got an overwhelming majority of votes.

I also feel that somebody joining the council who is *not* a new face is a very big plus. We want (and indeed need) people who understand the organisation.

I’d also like to contrast our 66 voting members to the 2006 ACS AGM with only 26 voting members present and the 2007 ACS AGM having 40 voting members present. I was unable to find out details on how many people voted for board members though…

So I don’t think Linux Australia is in a bad place with having 66 people voting… I just think it could be better.

Do we have a mandate? Well… it’s mind-numbingly simple to stand for council – get one other person to nominate you and nominate yourself. The fact that nobody has is a sign it itself (and we do have active members and the broader community watching us).

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.