User:Eric Corbett/RfA review

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A Review of the

Requests for Adminship Process



Reflect - (Stats)




The Review Process
Methodology - Discussion

Requests for Adminship

Welcome to the Question phase of RfA Review. We hope you'll take the time to respond to your questions in order to give us further understanding of what you think of the RfA process. Remember, there are no right or wrong answers here. Also, feel free to answer as many questions as you like. Don't feel you have to tackle everything if you don't want to.

In a departure from the normal support and oppose responses, this review will focus on your thoughts, opinions and concerns. Where possible, you are encouraged to provide examples, references, diffs and so on in order to support your viewpoint. Please note that at this point we are not asking you to recommend possible remedies or solutions for any problems you describe, as that will come later in the review.

If you prefer, you can submit your responses anonymously by emailing them to gazimoff (at) Anonymous responses will be posted as subpages and linked to from the responses section, but will have the contributor's details removed. If you have any questions, please use the talk page.

Once you've provided your responses, please encourage other editors to take part in the review. More responses will improve the quality of research, as well as increasing the likelihood of producing meaningful results.

Once again, thank you for taking part!


When thinking about the adminship process, what are your thoughts and opinions about the following areas:

  1. Candidate selection (inviting someone to stand as a candidate)
    I believe that only administrators should invite candidates to stand. I find the sight of non-administrators racing with each other to see how many candidates they can find to nominate to be somewhat distasteful on a number of different levels.
  2. Administrator coaching (either formally or informally)
    Most so-called administrator coaching is nothing of the sort, it's coaching in the black art of passing an RfA. I struggle to see the point of administrator coaching before the candidate has become an administrator in any case. Seems to me to be analogous to teaching someone to drive without ever getting a car. If coaching is required, then it's required after the RfA has passed, not before.
  3. Nomination, co-nomination and self-nomination (introducing the candidate)
    I have no particular problem with self-nominations, but I do wish that there was a set of clear criteria expected of a candidate on prominent display to prevent some of the disappointment of a snow/notnow close. Where there are co-nominations, they should be added before transclusion. Adding a co-nomination after transclusion just makes the RfA process look like a ridiculous popularity contest.
  4. Advertising and canvassing
    I believe that the present guidleines on canvassing are absurd, and simply an open invitation for off-wiki canvassing and more subtle approaches like the frequent announcement of an intention to initiate an RfA on such-and-such a date. I can see no healthy reason why the process ought to take place in semi-secrecy. I'd like to see a clear, prominent, public announcement of each new RfA candidate in much the same way that the present trustee elections are being advertised at the top of the page.
  5. Debate (Presenting questions to the candidate)
    If the questions are directed towards some behaviour of the candidate, or an expressed opinion of the candidate, or to elicit an opinion on some relevant issue from the candidate, then they can be useful. Too often though they're are a waste of everyone's time. Anyone can look up the difference between a ban and a block, or check the G11 speedy deletion criteria whenever they need to; the ability to do so during an RfA says nothing about the candidate's own knowledge of anything.
  6. Election (including providing reasons for support/oppose)
    The present system of casting a vote in one of the Support, Oppose, or Neutral sections makes for an unecessarily adversarial system which encourages fly-by support from the candidate's mates and spiteful opposition from his or her enemies. Support ought to be the default position, and promotion only held back in the case of serious concerns. Moving towards a system more like RfC might give the bureaucrats a real job to do in establishing consensus at the end of the RfA. Anyone with a relevant, serious objection to the candidate's promotion could write a brief outline of what that objection is, which could be signed by any number of other editors as agreeing with it. Any response to that objection – effectively a Support vote – could be handled in exactly the same way, by another editor writing a counter-statement, which anyone agreeing with that could sign. No arguing, no harrying of opposers or supporters, simply statements from both sides.
  7. Withdrawal (the candidate withdrawing from the process)
    It's right and proper that the candidate should be allowed to withdraw at any stage in the process, for whatever reason.
  8. Declaration (the bureaucrat closing the application. Also includes WP:NOTNOW closes)
    I have never been persuaded that RfA is anything other than a vote, and so I don't see the necessity for a bureaucrat to close the election. Simply count the votes.
  9. Training (use of New Admin School, other post-election training)
    Ought to be mandatory.
  10. Recall (the Administrators Open to Recall process)
    I think it's an imperfect mechanism that on the few occasions it ever comes into play is too often ignored. On the other hand it's significantly better than the alternative, nothing. In general I believe that it is far too difficult to desysop an administrator, and that if both the granting and taking away of the administrator tools were easier then many of RfA's problems might disappear.

When thinking about adminship in general, what are your thoughts and opinions about the following areas:

  1. How do you view the role of an administrator?
    A confusing and inconsistent combination of policeman and janitor.
  2. What attributes do you feel an administrator should possess?
    Should ideally be a Vulcan with a self-deprecating sense of humour.

Finally, when thinking about Requests for Adminship:

  1. Have you ever voted in a request for Adminship? If so what was your experience?
    Many times. My experience is broadly neutral, slightly negative, in that it often feels like a waste of time.
  2. Have you ever stood as a candidate under the Request for Adminship process? If so what was your experience?
    I have stood twice as a candidate. I found the experience to be disspiriting, discouraging, and demotivating.
  3. Do you have any further thoughts or opinions on the Request for Adminship process?
    Yes I do, but they're not altogether fit for publication.

Once you're finished...[edit]

Thank you again for taking part in this review of the Request for Adminship process. Now that you've completed the questionnaire, don't forget to add the following line of code to the bottom of the Response page by clicking this link and copying the following to the BOTTOM of the list.

* [[User:Eric Corbett/RfA review]] added by ~~~ at ~~~~~

Again, on behalf of the project, thank you for your participation.

This question page was generated by {{RFAReview}} at 18:20 on 13 June 2008.