Thunderbird Governance 2018 - Council Elections

Matt Harris at
Fri Nov 10 23:35:42 UTC 2017

On 11-Nov-17 1:56 AM, Gervase Markham wrote:
> On 09/11/17 22:01, Goverenance TB wrote:
>> In this message we are looking for your feedback on the 2018 election
>> process, namely nominating and voting for council members.  Feedback
>> will be reviewed by the council, the results summarized back to the
>> community and used by the Thunderbird Council to inform the process to
>> be used in the 2018 election.Please send feedback (idea or concern) with
>> subject "Thunderbird Governance 2018 - Council Elections" (the subject
>> of this email) to governance at, *NOT tb-planning*.
> I think it should be acceptable, if people choose, for them to share
> their feedback in a public forum also so a discussion can develop.

I think that the involvement of a voting public is a great idea, but I 
have concerns this mailing list is not the way to go, or representative 
of anything more than a small group who managed to jump the hurdles of 
an obscure Mozilla mailing list subscription. This mailing list is being 
repeatedly held up as representative of the core Thunderbird people,  
but who is actually on this list and by what right should they be 
empowered to decide who is on the council.  I do not know those 
answers,  but I think the questions need to be answered.  Sure it was a 
convenient starting point three plus years ago.

Lets talk about either contributors (Current,  not a patch or a support 
issue 12 months ago or updating a single word in a support document), or 
the paying public as the appropriate voting group or a combination of both.

There is a substantial mailing list of financial contributors.  Why is 
it not a better "list" of those eligible for a vote?  Now the paying 
public would leave me without a vote.  I strongly suspect I would not be 
alone from the members of this list in that,  but if I were inclined a 
small cash donation would make me "financial" and eligible.  Why raise 
this?  because I think as a responsive product we need to actually 
consider the wants of those actually paying the bills.

Do they want to vote?  Should they be encouraged to support a "users 
representative" or two on the council?  Should the council actually be a 
group who represents the wants hopes and aspirations of differing parts 
of the project.

I would think a process similar to the one used by the Mozilla 
Foundation to replace their board members might be more appropriate 
really.  Otherwise I suggest that we actually advertise this mailing 
list to our users as a place to get a say in the future of the project 
if they wish to vote in future council elections.  After all,  finding 
this list is quite difficult,  almost as difficult as finding a web page 
with list the current members of the council and their contact information.

One of the frustrations of the current arrangements is that the makeup 
of the council and the process by which they get there is not easily 
locatable. Unless you are in the "know".  We need to do much better in 
advertising the council and the living breathing existence of 
Thunderbird as a "non" Mozilla product.  If we want to bring in outside 
people to the council great,  let them join in the process, but lets 
make the process very public so they can.


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