Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2009-01-03/ArbCom elections

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New ArbCom members appointed

By Hermione1980 and seresin, 22 December, 2008

Jimbo Wales has announced the results of the 2008 ArbCom elections. In a note on his talk page on 20 December 2008, Wales named ten new arbitrators to the Committee, expanding it from 15 to 18 seats:

The appointments were the top ten finishers in the election, according to the final vote tallies. Wales indicated that some members of the community had suggested he consider the net number of support votes each candidate received, while others proposed he consider the percentage of support compared to total votes cast. According to him, both metrics yielded the same set of appointments given that the top six would receive the three-year terms, the seventh, eighth and ninth-place finishers would be appointed to two-year terms, and the tenth-place finisher a one-year term. Since both metrics, while giving slightly different rankings, resulted in the same people being appointed to the same seats, he said it was irrelevant which method he used for the purpose of the resulting appointments.

Additionally, Deskana is resigning his seat, leaving one of the 18 seats vacant. Wales has indicated that he will fill that seat with an interim election "in March or June [2009] or so", to allow any other resignations to be handled at the same time.

Seven seats were up for election: the five expiring seats from Tranche Beta, and two vacated seats from Tranche Gamma. Wales expanded the committee by adding one seat to the existing five in each Tranche; with the appointment of Jayvdb to Tranche Beta, Wizardman to Tranche Alpha, and Coren to Tranche Gamma, ArbCom now comprises 18 seats (one vacant).

Of the 17 members, only two have served more than one year on the committee – FloNight and Kirill Lokshin, both of whom have served for two years – and five have served on the committee for one year: FayssalF, FT2, Newyorkbrad, Sam Blacketer and Stephen Bain (previously named Thebainer). Had Wales only appointed seven editors – to fill the vacant and expiring seats – the committee would have had 15 members, seven of whom would have been new. With the three expanded seats, more than half the ArbCom is new: ten of the eighteen (effectively seventeen with Deskana's resignation). This was a result of Wales' decision to implement change in the committee, as he stated on his talk page:

My exploration of the voting results tells me that this was an election for change. The only 2 current Arbs who were running [Charles Matthews and Jdforrester] were soundly defeated. This was a key factor in my decision to expand the committee – appointing 7 of 15 seats would not even be a majority, and 8 of 15 (by filling Deskana's seat) would barely be.

As it stands, we have 10 of 18 seats filled with new members, and with 1 retirement, in fact we have 10 of 17 arbs new. The community has asked for change, and I support this fully.

Wales has also stated that ArbCom proceedings should be more transparent. "While not completely outlawing all private decision making," he noted, "I will simply state that I will be strongly inclined to overturn on appeal any decision of the ArbCom that did not include a public discussion and vote." A request for clarification as to whether Wales meant "public discussion and vote" or "public discussion or vote" remains currently unanswered.



Also this week:

From the editor — ArbCom elections — Virgin Killer — Editing stats — Drug comparison — News and notes — Dispatches — In the news — WikiProject report — Features and admins — Arbitration report


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