Wikizine – number: 39 Extra BIS

Board Election 2006 candidates

Very soon you will have the opportunity to elect a new board member for the WMF. To help you to make an informed choice Wikizine presents to you a personal statement of several candidates. All candidates where invited to send there statement in. This offer expires on 2006-08-28, 21:00UTC.

This publication is not an endorsement of Wikizine for these candidates.

Arno Lagrange

I am running as a candidate for the board of trustees in order to defend linguistic equal rights. We must try to find a way that any person from any project, speaking any language, can participate in discussions and decisions. Unfortunately, important discussions/decisions all happen in American English, making those who are not good speakers of that language unable to take part. True multilingualism and perspective, provided by an international neutral auxillary language (it could be Esperanto) is absolutely necessary.

It might seem trivial that in my statement I treat only the language question and none other. But as long as this important problem is not solved correctly, it seems impossible for me to look further into any other subject. How does someone enter a debate on some important subject if, because of a language barrier, I, like a great many users, cannot understand well what it is about? There is certainly an effort to develop some amount of multilingualism on meta (such as, for example, this election) but obviously the majority of the debates on the pages of meta, by IRC or mailing lists (e.g. Foundation-l) proceed only in English.

I tried to become interested in certain questions but I am constantly overwhelmed by long English messages; they lack conciseness, a summary and even a summary in other languages. One can note that those used to the English language (whether native speakers or non-native English-speakers accustomed to using English every day) are totally unaware that they leave behind all those who do not use the language as well as themselves. They do not make any effort of conciseness, stuff important messages with unimportant chatter, slang or jargon, abbreviations (which one finds neither in the dictionary nor elsewhere). Consequently even with a pretty good level of English it is impossible to enter the debates when you do not have unlimited time.

Read more;

Ross Hedvicek

I’m a candidate for the Wikimedia Foundation board of trustees. My platform is not to change anything drastically, but to improve the current situation. For example – I am aware of cases of blatant abuse of power on several language branches of Wikipedia in eastern Europe. I made the board aware of these cases. However, no action was taken by the board. This was not because they weren’t aware of the problems but because of the language barrier preventing them from making reasonable decisions and possibly due to lack of familiarity with the history, realities and facts of life in that part of the world. I am more than qualified to rectify this situation.

My election slogan is: The crap has to stop – vote for me – it is your chance for change. I have a reputation to uphold!

[[User:Ross.Hedvicek]] 18:49, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

Steve Dunlop (UninvitedCompany)

I’m a candidate for the Wikimedia Foundation board of directors. I believe that the board of directors should set up a decisionmaking structure rather than make individual decisions itself, and to that end I’ve advocated creating additional volunteer and paid positions within the Foundation with specific responsibilities.

I think that would be one means to allow interested people to become active in their particular areas of interest at the Foundation level. Another of my proposals is the designation of two Foundation contacts for each project. Especially for smaller projects, that would be a means to be sure that each project both has a voice and remains accountable to the overall goals of openness and NPOV.

I also support long-term independence for various languages as they become large enough to be self-sustaining. I’ve been involved at ENWP since March 2003, where I am a former member of the arbitration committee. I’ve participated at meta since before the inception of the Foundation, and am presently involved in the meta:OTRS mail handling system.

For more information about my candidacy, you can view my candidate statement

or the discussion page

where I have been replying to questions about my candidacy.

[[User:UninvitedCompany]] 17:21, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

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