The MCDC is launching a community review period with the Wikimedia movement to hear feedback on the proposed ratification methodology from April 10 to 28, 2023. People will be invited to share their feedback on the questions mainly via the Meta Talk page discussion, on the Movement Strategy Forum, and during the community conversation hours. The MCDC welcomes your input on some open questions.
Below is the draft proposal of the ratification methodology for the Movement Charter, also on Meta. (I had to post it in parts to allow for the translation widget to work. Please read in full.) The Movement Charter Drafting Committee welcomes your input on six specific questions. The community input period runs from April 10-28, 2023, including two community conversations on April 18 and April 24; you can sign up to attend the conversations on Meta and let us know if you want intepretation support.
Wikimedia Foundation staff will be collecting all feedback to produce a report after the end of the input period. The Movement Charter Drafting Committee will use the feedback to update the ratification methodology proposal later this year.
== start of proposal ==
The Movement Charter must be ratified by four different voting groups: individuals, Wikimedia projects, affiliates and Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees. Individuals will vote on the voting platform (whether that will be SecurePoll or another tool), which will determine the votes by the total individual and the project groups. Each affiliate will have one vote, and their collective vote will determine the affiliate vote. The Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees will conduct their ratification vote last, if all three of the other groups vote to ratify the Movement Charter.
The Movement Charter must be ratified by all of the four groups:
Wikimedia projects (inclusive of language projects outside the incubator like de-wiki and fr-wiktionary, and non-language projects like Wikidata and Wikicommons; several non-content groups will also be included, such as WMF staff and MediaWiki; additions can be added at the discretion of the Charter Enforcement Committee and the Movement Charter Drafting Committee; test projects are excluded)
Wikimedia projects: the majority of individual voters are associated with a project, and individual voters will select their preferred project to vote with (from a list of projects they are eligible to vote with)
Affiliates: affiliates are composed of chapters, thematic organizations and user groups. All affiliates that are recognized by the Affiliations Committee and are up to date with the Affiliations Committee’s requirements as of 3 months prior to the ratification vote are eligible to cast one vote on behalf of their affiliates. The overview of affiliate reporting data can be found here, to help assess active status.
Note: pilot hubs are excluded from the affiliate voting group to reduce duplicate representation
WMF Board of Trustees: members of the Board may cast a vote
How do each voting group vote?
Individual contributors: eligible individuals will vote through the voting platform.
Wikimedia projects: when individuals vote, they will be offered a list of projects they are eligible to vote with and be asked to select one project that their vote will count towards. The total votes at the end will determine whether a certain project votes in favor or against ratification.
Affiliates: the MCDC welcomes community input on the voting methodology for different types of affiliates
WMF Board of Trustees: the BoT will use their usual processes, in adherence to their bylaws
What is the threshold in favor of ratification?
The Movement Charter will be ratified or declined as a whole, rather than voting on individual chapters of the Charter. The ratification will not use consensus-based decision-making; it will use supermajority or majority voting within each voting group.
Individual contributors: the MCDC welcomes community input on what percentage of individual voters is needed for ratification of the Charter
Wikimedia projects: a vote in favor of ratification needs to have 50%+1 support
Affiliates: a vote in favor of ratification needs to have 50%+1 support
WMF Board of Trustees: a vote in favor of ratification needs to have 50%+1 support
Individuals will vote through the standard Securepoll/ votewiki platform, or equivalent platform.
The majority of individual voters are associated with a project, and individual voters will select their preferred project to vote with (from a list of projects they are eligible to vote with)
When individuals vote, they will be offered a list of projects they are eligible to vote with and be asked to select one project that their vote will count towards. The total votes at the end will determine whether a certain project votes in favor or against ratification.
Affiliates are composed of chapters, thematic organizations and user groups. All affiliates that are recognized by the Affiliations Committee and are up to date with the Affiliations Committee’s requirements as of 3 months prior to the ratification vote are eligible to cast one vote on behalf of their organization. The overview of affiliate reporting data can be found here, to help assess active status. (Note: pilot hubs are excluded from the affiliate voting group to reduce duplicate representation)
WMF Board of Trustees (BoT)
Members of the Board may cast a vote
The BoT will vote for ratification under their usual processes.
Individual, Wikimedia projects and Affiliates voting groups will vote at the same time. Outcomes should not be published openly (especially on-wiki) until all outcomes can be published at the same time, to avoid influencing votes.
If all three voting groups choose to ratify the Movement Charter, the WMF Board of Trustees will then vote within 4 weeks.
The voting platform for the individual and project vote will utilize a built-in feedback option. Additional feedback options will be made available on Meta and other forums, as desired.
WMF will dedicate staff and support to provide a full, anonymized provision of all feedback comments. They can strike harmful or clearly inappropriate aspects of the comments (in part or in full) before sharing.
If the first ratification vote fails, the feedback collected will become the basis to improve the Movement Charter by the Movement Charter Drafting Committee (MCDC). After implementing the changes from the feedback, the MCDC will decide whether another ratification vote should be attempted. Considerations for the decision to conduct a second ratification vote includes the difference in support and oppose votes, and the level of improvement from the feedback. Any future ratification efforts within 12 months must use equivalent voting groups and thresholds. The new proposal may amend other parts, as deemed beneficial.
If the Drafting Committee has been dissolved, the successor body can use the collected feedback to improve the Movement Charter. This body will also be responsible for deciding whether another ratification vote should be attempted. If no successor body exists, the WMF Board of Trustees (BoT) may consult with the community and designate a body to update the Movement Charter based on the feedback. The BoT also has the responsibility of deciding whether or not to attempt another ratification vote.
The Movement Charter Drafting Committee specifically notes that multiple failed ratification attempts (especially by significant margins) may indicate that the Movement Charter lacks consensus, even as a concept.
Revisions to the Movement Charter
In the case that the Movement Charter is ratified but there is significant feedback that would impact implementation, an extra revision stage may be needed. If two-thirds of the Movement Charter Drafting Committee (MCDC) and the majority of the WMF Board of Trustees (BoT) agree to it, a revision stage will start to improve those aspects highlighted by the feedback. If the MCDC still exists, it can carry out these revisions. If it does not, then the successor body will carry them out. And if no such successor body exists, the BoT may consult with the community and designate a body to update the Movement Charter based on the feedback.
After the revisions to the Movement Charter have been made, a ratification vote will take place to ratify the revisions only. The ratification vote will follow this same ratification proposal, not the one in the Movement Charter for ratifying amendments to the Charter. The Movement Charter will include a chapter on Implementation and Amendments that could also provide guidance on addressing points not originally included in the Charter.
The Charter Electoral Commission will consist of 5 election commissioners drawing from at least 3 different home projects to oversee the ratification vote.
The MCDC welcomes community input on how to recruit the candidates and who will make the final selection of the 5 commissioners.
The Charter Electoral Commission (CEC) will decide on unclear or unexpected circumstances. Along with the rules contained in this document, the remaining rules of the vote will be decided by the MCDC in consultation with the CEC prior to the statement of the ratification. The CEC can override these agreed upon rules only when significant harm would happen otherwise. This decision must also not negatively impact the overall ratification process. Once made, the decisions must be made public alongside the justification.
The Charter Electoral Commission candidates must demonstrate experience that would be beneficial in their role on the Commission.
The MCDC welcomes community input on what those experiences should be and if there are any formal minimum criteria for eligibility.
To avoid potential conflicts of interest, as well as to mitigate against excessive work obligations, neither scrutineers nor commissioners should be selected from the current Elections Committee.
There will be 3 scrutineers (who must not also be commissioners), selected from volunteer stewards. The Stewards mailing list will be notified of the request well in advance, and either Stewards will pick 3 amongst themselves, or we will follow a “first come, first serve” selection process.
Instructions and purpose of scrutineers will be based on this process from the English Wikipedia Arbitration Committee.
One member of the MCDC will be selected by a majority vote within the MCDC prior to the commencement of the election to be responsible for unlocking the voting results when the election is closed.
Technical, Legal, and other relevant teams from the Wikimedia Foundation must give full support to both the Charter Electoral Commission and scrutineers. The MCDC, WMF, and Charter Electoral Commission will endeavor to name the most likely teams needed for ratification process support at least 4 months prior to the ratification vote, but it is noted that unexpected requests may be made.
In particular, during the ratification vote(s), WMF teams must share the names of the responsible staff members available to answer urgent queries and requirements. Teams should ensure that the work schedules of the named staff members permit this prioritization.
The Charter Electoral Commission, scrutineers, support teams, and interested voters can engage in a post-election review and lessons-learnt process. Issues (and utilized resolutions) should be documented on an ongoing basis throughout the process.
Below is a summary of the questions the MCDC welcomes community input on.
With regards to the voting methodology for chapters and thematic organizations:
Question: To ensure a fair and inclusive election for a vote that impacts the whole movement, what methodology should chapters and thematic organizations use to vote on the ratification of the Movement Charter? (Please select one of the following options.)
Their entire membership (as of 3 months prior to the vote) cast a vote.
The decision-making body of each chapter and thematic organization cast a vote on behalf of their respective entity.
Some other way – please share proposals.
With regards to the voting methodology for user groups (UG):
User groups, as self-governing bodies, are able to determine their internal governance as they see fit, without requirements being specified from other bodies. In other words, every user group makes decisions differently and there is no agreed-upon process that applies to all user groups.
There is also no pre-existing agreed-upon mechanism across all user groups for reaching all members of all user groups (for example, not all user groups have mailing lists) to ensure that all user group members are able to participate in the voting process.
Question: To ensure a fair and inclusive election for a vote that impacts the whole movement, what methodology should UGs use to vote on the ratification of the Movement Charter? (Please select one of the following options.)
UGs will determine the voting method themselves and report back only on the results of the vote.
UGs will submit to the Charter Electoral Commission evidence that their full membership has been consulted when they report back on the results of the vote.
The Charter Electoral Commission will specify the voting method to be applied to all UGs.
Regarding the individual voting group and their ratification threshold:
Question: What percentage of individuals should vote in favor of ratification to ratify? (Please select one of the following options.)
Other – please share what percentage.
With regards to the Charter Electoral Commission (CEC):
Question: How will the members of the CEC be recruited?
Question: Who will select the 5 members of the CEC out of all eligible candidates?
Question: What types of experience would you like to see from members of the Charter Electoral Commission? Should there be any formal minimum criteria for eligibility?
== end of proposal ==
You are invited to provide your answers to these six questions here (on the MS Forum), on the Meta Talk page, or at a community conversation. All input will be collected into a report that will be shared in May 2023 on Meta and with the Movement Charter Drafting Committee, who will update the proposal using the community input.
If you have any questions about the process, please ask. And thank you in advance for your participation!
I wanted to do that originally, but the last I heard, the poll function doesn’t allow for translation, so if I use the poll format, not everyone can see the questions and answers in their own language. That’s why I refrained from using it. (We’re checking to see if that function has been expanded; if it can now allow for translations, I’m happy to make the switch.)
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this proposal!
Every active contributor should be eligible to vote as of three months prior to the vote. Yes, not all user groups have a mailing list and not every contributor is on the existing mailing lists. Information can reach the communties through village pumps, ambassadors, and volunteers.
For uniformity and orderliness, it is okay if The Charter Electoral Commission specifies the voting method to be applied to all UGs.
Personally, 50% is cool. More is always better though
•To avoid imposing tasks, a call for willing volunteer will be great
•For selection of eligible members of the CEC, member of the MCDC and experienced community members who served in or coordinated similar roles will be cool
•Experience I’d like to see 1. Knowledge of how the electoral process works 2. Neutrality: committed to ensuring fairness without bias 3. Proper understanding of Diversity and inclusivity 4. Knowledge of electoral tools and data analysis