The proposal is not a rigid voting process, and discretion remains with a closing bureaucrat. A guideline is provided that suggests bureaucratic discretion between 65% and something like 80%, I forget. Not easy to accomplish a desysop with socks, sorry to disappoint you.However, if you take the socks off and go in completely naked, it might distract everyone enough.
The basic problem here is common with communities that set up a consensus standard for decisions and then don't realize that consensus changes and if a consensus is required to reverse an earlier decision, that sets up a severe bias toward the status quo. I've seen many times that the "consensus organization" status quo becomes displeasing to the majority, but it benefits enough members that they will steadfastly oppose change and be able to prevent a new consensus from forming.
And this happens even more often than is easily visible, because disgruntled members leave. So it's even possible that, if all the original members were to assemble and consider the matter, the earlier consensus would be overturned by consensus (which necessarily means, here, "rough consensus," some organizations insist on complete consensus, and they either abandon that or they die as organizations, becoming only a shell of their former position, with a few people wondering where everyone else went or dismissing them as "trolls" and "malcontents" and "whiners.")
What's really silly is that all this was worked out centuries ago, and "the consensus was" majority rule. No situation continues without the continued consent of a majority. Some decisions require "absolute majority," but even the most basic laws of an organization can be changed by an absolute majority (a vote of more than half of all eligible members. This presumes that membership is active in some way).
And then short of absolute majority, the same fundamental changes can be implemented by a supermajority, typically two-thirds, of those assembling and voting after notice. That a situation -- any situation -- would continue in the face of a two-thirds majority of those voting upon notice is preposterous, but this proposal only allows a decision beginning
Normally, officers can be elected or removed by simple majority vote; that is because officers are positions requiring trust, and majority trust is minimal, wider trust for some officers is important.
Sophisticated organizations that value consensus, then, set up consensus as a goal, not a fixed restriction. They will discuss in depth, and may back off from making quick decisions based on a mere majority. But who decides when enough is enough? The majority of those voting on the subject!
Wikipedia's adhocratic structure is not conducive to this, it needs supplementary structure that is more formal and reliable, such as a Wikipedia Assembly. Proposals to form one have long existed, and were even supported by quite a number of arbitrators, but it was assumed that consensus was necessary to form such a representative body.
That's the error, which locks the status quo in place. An Assembly should be formed, probably off-wiki, and this would not require on-wiki consensus. It would have no specific power, only the power to advise, but if properly constituted, this power would be overwhelming. It would be a representative body, and there are devices that can be used to create that efficiently. It is possible for such an Assembly to be fully representative, not merely representative of a majority, and classic organizational rules can be used effectively, all that is needed is representation in deliberation
, to keep discussions manageable.
And the Assembly could recommend that an admin be desysopped, and, if the Assembly was truly representative, even if only of a large faction, without there being any larger faction opposed, it would happen unless it were an abusive recommendation. The Assembly itself could and would set up a committee to examine any particular issue, delegating the task to a relatively small number of members, who would then prepare a report, based on collected testimony and its own investigation. The report would include recommendations, which would go back to the Assembly for an acceptance vote. Standard deliberative process! The result of that vote, absent some sort of "official recognition" of the Assembly, would simply be coherent advice, backed with evidence and considered argument, the best that could be assembled. Ultimately, it would be Completely Stupid for the WMF to ignore this, it would be practically suicidal.
For if the Assembly represented enough editors, it could, should it run into a brick wall on-wiki (unlikely, actually), simply recommend to its members, back through the chosen representatives, to the full community of Wikipedia editors represented, that they start their own damn wiki, picking up all the Wikipedia content they choose to port (start with all, by default), and having enough labor and resources available to maintain and grow the thing beyond that. But this would be the big stick carried, actually using it would be unlikely to be necessary.
On the other hand, large factions could do this anyway, if organized, and that's what scares the shit out of some arbitrators and administrators about "cabals." (Short of forking, they can seriously push and influence on-wiki activity.)
May the faction with the best ideas and the will to implement them win! But it is generally better to find ways to cooperate, it is more powerful. "Majority" is a minimal standard for where advisability of action begins, other things being equal.
QUOTE(Kevin @ Tue 23rd February 2010, 5:14am)
The most insightful thing I read there was "Wikipedia is still in its political infancy"
I thought it was a great idea, getting rid of abusive admins, until I remembered I was one of them.
Look, I've served nonprofits as an officer, and when it appeared that I no longer represented at least a majority, I've been happy to step down. In fact, I prefer to step down well before that point, it's terribly frustrating to struggle with a disunited organization, where every significant action becomes controversial.