It's fairly obvious, but it's not the RFA process that's broken. The same system has been used ever since it was created in mid 2003: propose a candidate, support or oppose, promote if there's consensus. Of course, it's not quite like that nowadays: over time, people were able to go "neutral" (a pointless concept if you ask me, if you can't decide, don't vote); a set of standard questions were added to every request; the bureaucrat group was created; and of course the whole "!vote/vote" thing. It is a vote, always has been. Trying to claim a numbered list with a tally on top is a discussion is astounding. Then of course, trying to initiate a discussion will get a disgruntled opposer to bite your head off with "Wah!! Stop badgering me!". So, it is a vote, and always has been.
So trying to claim RFA is broken is like saying RFA has never worked, which is simply untrue since we have created nearly 1500 admins by that process. Though our community is larger, and there are more automated tools available such as Huggle, it is silly to say RFA is broken; though numbers have been dwindling as of late, people have still been passing RFA with flying colours. If it was truly broken, no one would not be passing.
What the main problem is, causing RFA to crumble, are the people who vote. Ultimately, it's their fault numbers of promotions are low, because they oppose so often, and so easily, therefore preventing RFAs from passing, and causing anyone considering it to think again.
RyanGerbil10, a relatively quiet and uncontroversial admin, expresses his thoughts about the process here. I do agree with him - it is fairly ridiculous he would probably fail an RFA if he requested now with the experience he had when he ran. This is even sillier. It is suggesting that some of the project's most respected admins would probably fail an RFA, if they ran today with the same experience they had when they did.
I do not blame the process. When Ryan ran in July 2006, the RFA looks fairly similar to today. That's because it's more or less the same. The process has not changed. The people have. I don't know why, I don't know how. But it's for the worse.
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