Every Ubuntu Governance Body (Council or Board) has a specific term length for their members defined. The only exception is Mark Shuttleworth’s seat (aka SABDFL) on the Community Council and TechnicalBoard. So whenever the term length of members of a governance body ends, restaffing is necessary. There are other cases where members might decide to step down from their post because of lack of time or other obligations.


Please note that in some cases no election happens and in other cases short-listing might not be necessary. The durations mentioned below have worked well in the past.

  • Prepare announce and requirements. (1 day)
  • Optional: Call for nominations. (2 weeks)
  • Optional: Shortlisting by CC. (1 week)
  • Optional: Vote process. (2 weeks)
  • Announcement, necessary implementation. (1 day)

Appointments and Polls

Positions on leadership boards are appointed by the governance body that is delegating authority to them. In many, if not most cases, that delegation will be supported by a poll of relevant members of the community. While the Community Council and Technical Board reserve the right to make direct appointments without a supporting poll if necessary, in the majority of cases a poll will be the preferred solution.

When a poll is conducted, it will usually not involve the entire Ubuntu community. We try to arrange the community structure in such a way that there is a group of people (usually identified by a Launchpad team) that are in some way more closely associated with that particular aspect of the project. Ideally, those people are also members of Ubuntu, but that will not always be the case. Essentially, they are the group that will be most directly affected by the appointment, and we generally wish to poll them to establish their confidence in the appointments being made.

Nominations for members of the Forum Council follow a specific pattern, this is detailed at Forum Council Nomination

Calls for Nominations

In general, we prefer to conduct a call for nominations when positions of responsibility are open. The process for generating the list of nominees for a seat on a Council is as follows:

  • The existing Council will usually issue that call for nominations for additional members. (If applicable you might want to use Launchpad’s “Contact this team’s members” feature for reaching out among the voting team.)
  • The Council will verify that nominated persons are interested and willing to serve.
  • The Council or Board should forward ALL nominations to the Community Council, identifying those who are willing to serve, together with their commentary in support of or against particular nominees. The Council should not shortlist, or filter, the nominees.
  • The Community Council will then publish the final list of candidates for the seat(s). If a poll is called for, the Council will setup the poll, sometimes with the help of a member of the Community Council. The CC will determine the appropriate group to be polled.

Currently, it is practice to poll the following teams for appointments to specific leadership boards or councils:

Governance Body selected by members of this team eligible as nominees
LoCo Council Community Council members of ~ubuntumembers
IRC Council Ubuntu IRC Members members of ~ubuntumembers
Forums Council Community Council members of ~ubuntumembers
Ubuntu Membership Board Community Council members of ~ubuntumembers
Kubuntu Council Kubuntu Members members of ~ubuntumembers
Lubuntu Council Lubuntu Members members of ~ubuntumembers
Developer Membership Board Ubuntu Developers members of ~ubuntu-dev
Technical Board Ubuntu Developers members of ~ubuntu-core-dev
Community Council Ubuntu Members members of ~ubuntumembers

Confirmation Polls

In the unlikely event that the number of candidates is exactly the same as the number of seats in a Council, a confirmation poll should be run. Each candidate will run individually in “yes-no” poll. If the majority of voters approve that candidate, they will be confirmed as a member of the Council.

In order to set up a confirmation poll, you should use Launchpad poll feature available from your team page.

Announcing and planning an election

  • the team should have established guidelines for the necessary qualifications for its members, and the person running the election should provide these to help with nomination
  • the normal nomination period is 2 weeks but can be adjusted if circumstances warrant it
  • nominations should generally be open to anyone with the necessary qualifications (as established by the team), though the team may choose to do differently (e.g. the CC)

In the case of an election you will have to set up the poll and announce it once you have a suitable number of nominees. Be clear about who will be allowed to vote and set up the poll.

It is important that you ask nominees to write something about their ideas and plans on their wiki pages, so voters will be better informed about who they vote. Without this information voters will just look at a list of names that don’t say anything.

This template might be useful information to include on their personal wiki page.

== General ==
 * Name:
 * Contact details:
=== Key Achievements ===
== Vision ==
<vision for the leadership role>

== Testimonials ==
 * ... (please don't forget to sign with your `@``SIG``@`)

== Comments ==
 * ... (please don't forget to sign with your `@``SIG``@`)

The announcement should go to the most appropriate team mailing list, so you get the attention of everybody who takes an interest in that particular part of the community. For additional effect (you might want broader feedback), blog about the nomination/election, get the announce on the Fridge and put a link to the announcement in the topic of the team channel.

  • Launchpad votes are pretty straightforward, but a bit limited in its setup, either you

    • set up one poll for the whole election and see who gets the top of votes (5 of 12, when you have 12 nominees and 5 seats) or
  • set up one poll per person and see who gets the most “Yes minus No” votes.

  • CIVS makes use of the Concordet method which can be more suitable when you are selecting m-of-n candidates, for example if you have 5 candidates for 3 places. The voting algorithm used is the Shulze method. In the case of a tie, the CC will privately discuss and agree on which candidate wins.

The outcome

Make sure the new faces on the governance body are announced and maybe even ask them to introduce themselves. Developer Communication has good tips how and where to announce and why. Make sure you thank everybody who participated in the election or nomination period.

Please update Launchpad, the wiki pages, and whatever else is necessary. Also make sure they subscribe to An introduction to the governance body by existing or former members is also very valuable in bringing people up to speed.