Question 23: Diversity

 
Old Nov 10, 06, 8:24 am
  #1  
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Question 23: Diversity

This question was submitted by Jailer:
Should TB be reflective of FTs diversity?

FlyerTalk is a very diverse community. Do you hope to see a TalkBoard emerge that is representative of this diversity, for example women, young/old, non-US based, not a native English speaker, and/or non-European ancestry, etc.? Or, are we just one travel and upgrade crazy race thereby trumping any need for diversity?
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Old Nov 10, 06, 8:47 am
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Yes, I would love to see a diverse group of FTers on Talk Board.

We can only learn from those who are different from us. I know I have been greatly enriched by all the people I've "met" from around the world.
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Old Nov 10, 06, 8:58 am
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Originally Posted by Randy Petersen
This question was submitted by Jailer:
Should TB be reflective of FTs diversity?

FlyerTalk is a very diverse community. Do you hope to see a TalkBoard emerge that is representative of this diversity, for example women, young/old, non-US based, not a native English speaker, and/or non-European ancestry, etc.? Or, are we just one travel and upgrade crazy race thereby trumping any need for diversity?
Frankly, I think it's up to the members to come forward to run as well as the voters. If we have 25 white males from MSN running, I can't control that, although I will have to start organizing the DO immediately.

If it's important to a set of the voters that there be a diverse set of members on the board, those voters will vote that way, provided such candidates exist.

Personally, I am just interested in voting for the five members I think will do the best for TalkBoard regardless of race, gender, religion, country of origin. Since I've not met any of the candidates, they are screen names with posting history.

--Rich
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Old Nov 10, 06, 8:58 am
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TalkBoard formerly had a policy that 2(?) slots were reserved for non-US members. That's about all I can recall about it at the moment, but I'm sure Dovster, who is one of the experts in the former policy, will be along shortly to fill in the gaps. I have no real feelings either way as to whether there should be reserved seats. (Which means if it comes up, I could be swayed based upon the arguments. )

With that said, diversity is not a bad thing. We have strong female and non-US candidates, and I get the feeling that the age range is rather broad, so I believe we pretty much have all of the categories in Jailer's query covered this year. A TalkBoard that is representative of the entire FlyerTalk community can't help but be a positive.

In the end, it comes down to the voter deciding who will best serve the interests of the community.
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Old Nov 10, 06, 9:44 am
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I would hope that the TalkBoard would be a slice of diversity, but I do not think that we should force that diversity, and I do not think that someone should be put in a position based solely for this diversity. As a TalkBoard member I will be looking out for all members of FlyerTalk and their diversity as individuals.
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Old Nov 10, 06, 9:50 am
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I think members with prime numbers in their handles are very underrepresented on the TalkBoard.
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Old Nov 10, 06, 10:44 am
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I welcome FlyerTalkers from a diverse background, especially those from countries than the US, as those countries are much more fun to visit than my own.

It would be wonderful if the diversity of the board was a reflection of the diversity of the community. However, I don't think that diversity should necessarily be mandated any more than I believe in quotas (which I do not).

I represent my constituency which does have a fairly diverse background. I hope that I can continue to receive their support, as I believe FlyerTalk should not only be open to all, but all should be able to participate at whatever level they feel comfortable doing.

The most qualified candidates are the candidates that should be elected.
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Old Nov 10, 06, 10:50 am
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Originally Posted by empedocles
TalkBoard formerly had a policy that 2(?) slots were reserved for non-US members. That's about all I can recall about it at the moment, but I'm sure Dovster, who is one of the experts in the former policy, will be along shortly to fill in the gaps.
And here I am!

The former policy was that two slots would be reserved for members residing outside of North America. Theoretically, we could have had a TalkBoard completely consisting of people from Andorra but not one composed of US, Canadian, and Mexican residents.

I considered this very unfair -- not so much to the candidates as to the voters. Why should the people they wanted on TB not be allowed to serve?

Let's take a look at the current situation. We have 3 North American and one Australian members that we know will be on TB next year no matter what happens in this election.

Right now, in order for me to win this election, I have to finish among the top five vote-getters. Under the former policy, I would have won either by being among the top five or simply being the highest vote-getter among those living outside of North America.

I could have theoretically wound up in 14th place, with only 10% of the votes that the fifth ranked candidate got, and still won the election.

I made a motion to end the requirement that two places be reserved for non-North American residents. Five TB members voted in favor, two against, and two abstained.

Under today's rules, the vote would have passed but under the rules which were in effect at the time, six votes were needed for any motion to pass. Hence, it failed.

Randy, however, favored the motion that I had made and put it into effect.

The irony in all of this, of course, is that for the past several years at least, there was no need for such a rule.

In the year before I joined TB, there were two non-North Americans on it (hfly from Turkey and Kempis from Sweden. During the year that I served, there were three such members (Kempis, Attorney28 from Germany, and myself.

Last year, Kempis did not seek re-election but OzStamps from Australia joined TB and the membership still had three non-North Americans. I resigned, was replaced by Doc, but that still left two.

FlyerTalkers have repeatedly shown themselves willing to vote for someone no matter where he or she lives. "Affirmative action" is not needed.
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Old Nov 10, 06, 1:24 pm
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I should note however that I was not on the TB due to any sort of foreign handicap. When I had run for the previous TB had put my "residence" down as something like JFK/IST, therefore I did not count as a non-NA resident (had I only put IST, I would have been elected under those rules). After a certain TB member was booted off the TB, I having the next highest number of votes was put on the TB (actually to be accurate, I believe that two TB'ers left at that time, and I was one of two that came on then so I may have been the next greatest number or the one before that I don't remember).
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Old Nov 10, 06, 1:28 pm
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I'm getting confused here (an easy thing to do)...

The question was "FlyerTalk is a very diverse community. Do you hope to see a TalkBoard emerge that is representative of this diversity..."

not do you think it should be mandated. That was the question I answered.

But since you folks are answering that question, I will too.

No, it shouldn't be mandated, but I still hope it's diverse.
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Old Nov 10, 06, 1:56 pm
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Hi
Yes I agree that FlyerTalk is a very diverse community and long may it continue to stay that way .

I dont believe that race, creed, gender, colour or anything else apart from wanting to do a good job and put something back into the community should stand in the way of FlyerTalk.

FlyerTalk is truly an International Community free from a lot of the issues that cloud other places (well apart from that scary place Omni sometimes oh it gives me shivers just mentioning it).

No one really cares whos on the other side of the keyboard, I could easily be answering a question for a one legged gay lesbian half Jewish half catholic Muslim convert transsexual with a lisp, but do I care no I dont. As long as I can help then why not. This is why FlyerTalk is so diverse.

Regards

Note: The person mentioned in this posting is not ment to represent any person that is currently living or posting in FlyerTalk. If I have offended anyone with the description then I applogise in advance.
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Old Nov 10, 06, 4:21 pm
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I hope to see that the emerging TalkBoard - whomever it is - represents the diverse backgrounds we have on FlyerTalk. There are people from all walks of life - all financial background, ethic & religious backgrounds, sexual orientation backgrounds, and educational backgrounds to name a few. We all have one thing in common though - a desire to be a member of FlyerTalk and a desire to discuss travel related topics. The future TalkBoard should represent all of these travelers.

Now, to answer the question that wasn't asked, as Mary2e pointed out (and opus17, I don't forget that 2 is a prime number also!) - I don't think there should be any sort of mandatory requirements. Whoever is best suited for the open positions should be filling the open positions.
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Old Nov 10, 06, 7:26 pm
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Diversity is a great thing. But to force it is not. I have no idea who the other candidates are based on race, religion, ethic background, financial status or whatever. And it really does not matter. The priority should be experience and the desire to serve on the board. Everyone is welcome to run. Diversity of opinions and all the standard measures would just be a bonus.
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Old Nov 11, 06, 8:11 am
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Yes,
Since there are users from around the globe, each of their viewpoints would differ country to country. Having TB be all the same, wouldn't open up to discussion from different viewpoints (also based on location, gender, age, etc) that could make an impact on new/old forums.
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Old Nov 11, 06, 8:21 am
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I believe the bottom line is that whoever is elected needs to be able to represent the needs of all the membership... that is who voted for them.

Just because someone lives in one country does not mean they necessarily represent those interests... for example, an american could have moved to Jordan... but that does not change that he/she is an american...

For example, if only one white male had stood for election, would we say he should get in automatically? I hope the answer is no.

William
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