Elder proposal issue

Dear all, we have a small issue with the Elder proposals, and I wanted to get your input on this. This is slightly technical so please read through the explanation first:

As a quick recap, our Elder voting system is working as follows: For a Master to be promoted to Elder, all existing Elders have to vote “Yes”. If even one says no, the vote fails. You can read up on the details on the voting page.

This is working fine if one Master is being proposed for Elder, but if we have 2 (or more) at the same time, it gets tricky. If two people get all the votes for Elder at the same time, they are approved on the requirements of the current number of Elders. But since one of them was proposed earlier, the second Master theoretically should also need the vote of the first proposed to get upgraded.

This was not so much an issue in the past where Elder proposals were quite rare, but with the 2 Elders we just upgraded and the ones in the queue now, we have 7 Elders proposed in one month! This will ramp up the numbers of Elders from 10 to 17 in a quite short time. It’s not a problem as such if all the users are worthwhile candidates, but the fact that theoretically 6 people become Elders with a LOT less votes than the next one who will be promoted is an issue from my point of view. In detail that means that the 2 Elders who were just promoted, they both only needed 10 votes of those who were already Elders before them. In fact, one of them should have needed 11 votes. But as the system currently works, they got both promoted in a batch without needing each other’s votes. Now we have another 5 people who need 12 votes, but according to the theory of the system, the first one should need 12 votes, the second one 13 and so on. If all the proposals currently in the system are approved, the next proposal would need the vote of all 17 (then) Elders.

There are 3 solutions to this:

  1. We don’t care. Just let people get promoted without all Elders to approve. If several people get proposed at the same time, there should not be a cascade of the just-upgraded Elders to have to vote for the ones that are still in the queue.
    This is not recommended. It circumvents our base voting system.
  2. Let’s just upgrade the first proposed, let them then vote for the next one in the queue.
    This is technically possible, but a bit tricky. Once an Master is proposed for Elder promotion, all existing Elders get an email asking them to vote. When a Master is promoted to Elder, he does not know (yet) who else is right now being voted on. We would have to let the person know – fast. If this is late in the schedule of the next Elder proposal, the other proposed Master might time out and get denied.
  3. Let’s prevent two Masters to be proposed at the same time. Only once a Master is promoted or declined, the next one can be proposed.
    This is the most straightforward solution. It however slows down the Elder promotions, possibly substantially (up to 2 months). Specially if an Elder is voted down by someone: the system currently waits until the time given expires (which is 2 months) and only then takes the proposal out of the queue. This gives the person who voted someone down the chance to change their mind.

Generally I am for option 3 since it would make the Elder proposal something more special and not something done in “Bulk”. The consequence of this is that I would remove the other proposals and we would wait for one being promoted and then they have to be submitted again.



32 thoughts on “Elder proposal issue

  1. I have been thinking about this and on what would be most fair. When one is ranked up, they automatically get to propose and vote on those ranked below them, no matter what rank. Maybe put a limit on how many of each rank can be up for vote at a time for all the ranks. Grandfather all that are up for vote right now but for future proposes have a limit. Kicking out some that are already being voted on would not be fair. Say 1 for Elder, 2 for Master and so on.

    • You write: “When one is ranked up, they automatically get to propose and vote on those ranked below them, no matter what rank” – That is already the case like that. Not sure I understand the rest you wrote. Please note that the post above is ONLY about how we deal with Elder Proposals, in case there are more than 1 at the same time. The rest will stay as is.

  2. I agree with Vixen that the number of possible proposals at each level at the same time be limited. Say a maximum of 2 at a time for Elder/Master, 3 for Arch/Designer or such. This ensures one person, who may fail, does not repeatedly get nominated and block a single promotion spot as there should be at least 2 spot per rank, but it will still limit overall to no more than 2 or 3 at a time / 12-18 per year (at 2 months each)

    • Spengo, the re-election of someone is also already taken care of. If you fail, there will be a 2 month time out where you cannot be re-proposed.

  3. Though I’m just a small fry, I’d like to suggest something if possible? I think, as a top level Elder, maybe have them wait 2 months before it is possible for them to vote on Master to Elder promotion, that would circumvent the problem of having 1 vote on the next, 2 vote on the 3rd, and 3 vote on the 4th etc problem. It’ll be harder to implement though…

    On a side note, I think it’s a great idea for all these promotions, but is there any way to implement a comment system so whomever is nominated / voted for / against can be discussed by the voters to discuss? Say for example, Nominator: “I nominate [Name] because they have been really active and helpful” ? I think that might make it more special than “They’ve been on a long long time” etc.

    • Make them wait: How would that work in detail? If we have 2 people nominated, the first person nominated will be upgraded, what happens with the second one? They cannot be upgraded because the first guy cannot vote yet?

      The discussion is an option. However, there is a certain risk that it would stir uncomfortable discussions. Right now the whole voting is basically secret. Only I know who proposed someone, who voted for and against. If there is a public forum (even if it’s only for elders), there is the issue that one guy proposes his friend/wife/kid and then people feel that in the forum they would be forced to justify why they don’t want someone upgraded, sometimes in a language they do not speak as well etc. It might be good, but also has it’s downsides. So far – as far as I can observe – downvotes for lower ranks did not really make a dent because there were always enough people to vote up. For Elders, there were very few downvotes over time and I think that most people who did not know someone well enough to say “no” actually voted for someone.

      Further, we did not have a open forum regarding this so that people won’t know that they are being proposed in the first place. This was to prevent people from begging for proposals or trying to influence voters in unethical ways.

      As a compromise, what we could be doing is allow voters to leave comments that other voters can see to explain their votes. The other voters won’t see who made the comment but can use it to form their own opinion.

      • I understand the thought behind wanting an official place to discuss nominees but respectfully disagree. While well-intended, I think the ultimate result would be a lot of drama. That’s a can of worms that can’t be contained once opened, and I hope we don’t open it for any reason.

        • You’re right, it might cause too much drama… Wish there was a way to implement a discussion without drama lol…

      • I wouldn’t have the specifics on how it’ll be implemented, I’m not too familiar with our promotion system, but my idea would be that the first person who is voted in to Elder will not get to weigh in on any further Master to Elder votes until they have been an Elder for 2 months. So if 5 Masters were proposed closely, all 5 would be promoted by the same amount of Elders.

        Regarding the discussion, upon further thoughts, I will have to say I agree with Dani’s thoughts that there might be too much drama and might be better off left alone, thank you for hearing me out though!

        • “I wouldn’t have the specifics on how it’ll be implemented, I’m not too familiar with our promotion system, but my idea would be that the first person who is voted in to Elder will not get to weigh in on any further Master to Elder votes until they have been an Elder for 2 months.”

          That sounds like a nice way to solve the technical problem with minimal change to the existing system, but it also implies some coding.

          • I agree that it would need some coding done on there, not sure if it’ll be something that would be easily implemented.

          • Technically it’s easier to just limit current elder votes to one. If new elders are prevented from voting, then it’s made easier for successive proposals to get promoted since they don’t need those votes.

        • We should trust new elders once they are promoted. Let’s rather make promotion hard instead of implicitly distrust people even if they made it to elder.

  4. I think point 3 might be the best to prevent an elder inflation as we see it right now. 2 masters to be upgraded and then the next would be allwed to be set on the list sounds okay for me. The possibilty of vetoeing should not be taken away – just say that…
    Also i think we should begin with that system/rule right now and just have the first 2 masters on the list.
    Lower grades should not be affected :)

  5. I think #3 is the right solution. This could be debated a million ways.Elders have always been a very special and well deserved ranking. Lets keep it that way.

  6. I have to agree with both riedi and lillroc, being promoted to elder is something that is earned not given out like it does not mean anything.
    Option 3

  7. Is there a limit to how often one person can nominate someone?

    • No, but if someone is nominated and denied, they cannot be nominated again for two months.

  8. There may be some kind of queue forming right now for Elder promotion, but in the long run option 3 should not be such a big issue. In the end it’s just a couple of months delay.. not so much if you consider the overall average delay for users to become Elder. I’m pretty much comfortable saying that I would have said the same thing even before knowing that I was proposed as an Elder.

    As an alternate proposal (3bis), maybe there could be a 4th vote option: “final veto”, which in the case of an Elder promotion, might earn everybody in the queue some time. To be used with caution of course as it would be a no-return button.

  9. I’d say option #3, if no other are offered. Elder is the highest rank; let people watch the process carefully to avoid multiple promotions.

  10. I think the elder que getting held up for a month or two per vote is not necessarily a bad thing. Option number 3 makes sense to me, 1 vote at a time, and then move onto the next person after that. I think incorporating Zed’s idea too would be interesting. I get that for the majority of voting that it should be blind or anonymous, but isn’t the elder position too important to not have a discussion about the merits and concerns?

  11. Option #3 seems like a great idea, especially since it’s straightforward to implement. One unintended consequence might be that since someone wanting to propose an elder would have to wait for the right time, rather than having 7 elders proposed at once you might get 12 months of non-stop rolling proposals. Might get annoying to current elders, but I’m not sure.

    • Yeah that risk is there. However I would not store pending approvals. So nobody can hog the queue. Once someone is proposed, the next one has to be submitted on a first-come first-serve basis. Maybe that would help a bit.

  12. Option 3 for sure. As far as my memory goes there has never been two Elders nominated at once. I’m very grateful for my promotion, but it does detract from the grandeur of it all if you are lumped in with several others in the same month. We are in great need of active Elders, but keeping it special would be best.

  13. I mean, we could go back to the very first we had.
    Elders may suggest Unc via ticket/mail who (master) they wanted/wished as next elder. If that proposed user may have support of more then one elder only (this should be pointed out in the ticket/mail), only Unc would promote…
    This might be a 4th way to go…

  14. I’m inclined to say 3 seems like the cleanest way to do it.

    Some part of me is also curious about “rank ratio caps” (as in, let’s say, you need x amount of masters to “open up” an elder slot etc) but then not sure how that would work with inactive users of a high level.

    Whatever happens it needs to feel special to show people have done a lot to earn the title.

    • That sounds interesting. What we do is a bit the opposite: if there are more elders, it becomes harder to progress since you need more votes. That is meant to achieve the same: prevent an over-crowding if the higher levels.

  15. I’ve not been on much lately due to family and such, but i think 3 is the better option.. It’s a special and very earned title. letting it take a little more time doesnt seem like a big issue.

  16. I vote option 3!
    On a related note, I have not been receiving the emails when elder promotions are proposed. My email hasn’t changed and I check my spam regularly. The last one I received was from April 2017.

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