2021 CoCo Election: Four or five people on the CoCo?

One question in the upcoming election will be whether the Coordination Committee should have four or five people on it. When APE 0 was being developed there was consensus that it should not be fewer than four or more than five. There were arguments in favor of each option but in the end the people who worked on APE 0 felt the voting members should decide the question.

Feel free to share your thoughts about whether it should be four or five in this thread.

Talked to Ralf G at Scipy conference a long time ago. He expressed opinion CoCo should be odd number to break ties. I still agree with that sentiment, so my vote is 5. I think we had said in the working group that the Ombudsperson could break tie in a 4-people CoCo but Ombudsperson is supposed to be impartial, so it feels weird to me.

I don’t have really strong feelings about the number. I lean a bit towards 5 but hope that the CoCo will typically act by consensus (or, even better, make as few decisions as possible by delegating its authority to others). My lean towards 5 is more because losing one person to, e.g. by being hired by google, still leaves the CoCo 4 people.

I found a comment written by me 10 months ago in favor of 4: https://github.com/astropy/astropy-APEs/pull/61#discussion_r502674283 .

The short version of that is that “4 is better than 5 because it prevents there from being a majority vs minority faction”. But honestly, part of the worry was also that it would be hard to find even 4 candidates. And given we now have at least 5, perhaps that worry has been proven incorrect! So while the above is still a valid argument in theory, it may be overwhelmed by the positive outcome of having more people engaged in CoCo work!

I had imagined we would be voting on this at the same time as the CoCo. Anyway, my vote is for 5. In practice the current CoCo was always able to reach consensus agreement (even if opinions were sometimes divided), and I think that adding another member will help to get things done.

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It is the first question on the ballot. This topic was started to make sure folks were aware of it and could express their opinions on the topic before the voting starts.

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There is no option to abstain from participating in this portion of the vote. Is that intentional and necessary to make a decision?

Yes – the thought was that a decision needs to be made as it had already been deferred from the governance working group that developed APE 0 to this first vote. TBH, this would be a totally valid way to decide :smiley:: from random import choice; print(choice([4, 5]))