[ubuntu-uk] Citizens rejoice! Your Lord and Master stands on high, playing track 3.

Alan Pope alan at popey.com
Mon Oct 1 19:56:20 BST 2007

Hi David,

On Mon, 2007-10-01 at 18:29 +0100, David M wrote:
> Alan Pope wrote in gmane.linux.ubuntu.user.british 
>  about: Citizens rejoice! Your Lord and Master stands on high, playing	track 3. 
> > According to this:-
> >
> > https://launchpad.net/~ubuntu-uk/+poll/ubuntu-uk-point-of-contact
> >
> > Some people voted and by a nose I seem to have "won" the post of "Point
> > of Contact for the Ubuntu-UK LoCo Team".
> Hang on a minute!!
> Your post was dated:
> Sun Sep 30 16:14:32 BST 2007

That looks about right. 

> Yet the poll was not due to close until:
> > The vote should close Sunday 30th September at 21:00 (BST)

But it didn't. It closed at 12:00 on Sunday. Why, I do not know, but
someone else who knows more about how polls work in launchpad may be
able to elaborate. I didn't really notice the time, I just refreshed the
poll page and noticed it had finished and I had won. I typed a reply a
few hours later.

> [ref: https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-uk/2007-September/007274.html]
> Who prematurely closed the poll, and why?

Nobody. Once you start a poll you can't prematurely close it as I
understand it.

> (Come to that, who actually organised the poll on a technical level?)

David Walker. 

The sequence of events went a bit like this:-

* Over a year ago I said we needed a process in place to manage voting
in a new leader - more than once. Nothing was done.
* Nik stood down.
(time passes)
* I asked Michael Wood to remove Nik as an administrator and I suggested
he finds someone else (such as Dave Walker) to be the second admin of
the team. This was to enable someone other than Michael Wood to
administer the creation of the poll/vote.
* Michael Wood removed Nik and added Dave as an administrator.
(Note: at this point Dave was not a candidate).
* Dave Walker familiarises himself with the poll creation process.
* A short while before the nominations process ends, Dave Walker makes
up his mind to put himself forward for the vote (I tried to word this in
a number of ways so as not to make Dave out to be anything other than
impartial and respectful in this - this is the best I came up with).
* Dave Walker creates a poll and screws it up a bit in the process.
* Dave Walker creates a second poll which appears to be configured
* People voted.
* I saw the poll had ended, I pasted the link in the IRC channel to the
closed vote
* I discussed with Dave Walker who should announce the result and during
that conversation I suggested a humorous subject line for the
announcement, (I initially went for "Bow down subjects before your new
Leader", but upon suggestion from Dave, and a clarification of the exact
wording from my friend Hugo, I used the Dr Who reference).
* You notice that the time my mail precedes the initially published time
of the vote and make some quite rash and (in my opinion) incorrect
assumptions about myself and the process.

> With a narrow margin of only 4 votes separating the top two candidates:
>  Alan Pope for Ubuntu-uk PoC	23
>  Dave Walker for Ubuntu-uk PoC	19
> ..at the time that the poll was prematurely closed, this sham of an election 
> must be declared null and void, and re-run. With such a close result, there 
> may have been sufficient members busy doing things at the weekend who had 
> planned to vote later in the evening, who could have influenced the result 
> (either to change it or to show further support for the then-leading 
> candidate), but they have been deprived of the opportunity to cast their 
> vote.

I will happily stand again if there is sufficient call for the vote to
be held again.

> Frankly, I'm not at all impressed at a so-called community contact who
> illegally proclaims his sham victory in such a gloating and juvenile 
> fashion, and such a lack of professionalism does not inspire confidence
> in how the candidate would undertake the role.

I find this paragraph verging on a personal attack. Whilst I can't speak
for everyone, many people I'm sure will agree that for the most part the
things I do for Ubuntu are for the benefit of Ubuntu and the community.
I don't tend to act in the way you are portraying me to act. However
your interpretation of events has led me to reflect on my activities
within the Ubuntu community and for that I am grateful.

> Perhaps there will be no change in the result, but we need to be seen as
> professional and to act in a professional fashion, and for that reason
> we must re-run the election, with adequate publicity, adequate
> timescales and under no circumstances varying from the voting procedure
> once announced and agreed.

I would also appreciate it (if you would like) for you to assist in the
running of this procedure if you think that would help.

> I therefore propose that the election be re-run (with the same
> candidates [1]), starting at 0:01 on Thursday 4 October, and closing at
> 23:59 on Monday 8 October. Under no circumstances should the poll be
> closed before the closing time.

Again, I must clarify at NO point did I or ANYONE else change the poll
so that it would end early.

> [1] ..unless sufficient members feel that the poll has been mishandled
> to such an extent that they feel there should be a new call for
> candidates.

Fine by me.

> I would be grateful if somebody could advise how to create a poll on
> Launchpad, thanks.

As I understand it only administrators of the team can do this, and
launchpad imposes a limit of 2 admins per team. So either Dave or
Michael create a new poll (if required) or someone else is nominated and
performs the task.

There are certainly some lessons gleaned from this process, and I'm sure
next time (whether it's the date and process you specified above or
another) we should have this process knocked on the head.

Thanks for being alert and raising the issue.

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