I've been away for a while and last night I checked the results of the elections, which I followed with interest and in which I voted.
I congratulate KitFox and Simchona on their election and I hope they will continue to do a good job on this site. I'm sure that all the other worthy candidates who were in excess of the number of available positions will be as actively present on EL&U as they were before. This site may certainly profit from the active participation of all its members.
However, I was quite surprised at noticing the statistics connected with the present elections. As we can read in the historical record, "2,698 voters were eligible, 604 visited the site during the election, 695 visited the election page, and 137 voted", which means that the voters were a mere 19.7% of those who visited the election page and an absurdly low 5% of the eligible ones. If you compare these figures to the ones referring to last year's elections ("654 voters were eligible, 150 visited the election, and 101 voted"), you get respectively 67.33% and 15.44%.
Surely the number of people who visit the site has increased a lot since last year and it necessarily includes people who are only mildly interested in taking part in the running of the site. This could also mirror the general disillusionment for elections (just think of the percentages of voters for political elections in most countries). However, I was wondering whether there might be other reasons which could explain this lack of interest and participation in a democratic process. Perhaps it is not perceived as a democratic site? Perhaps some members resented a certain degree of aggressiveness (or unfriendly behaviour, if you prefer) which was palpable in some of the exchanges posted. Or it may be a form of protest.
What do you think?
P.S. Last night I posted this text in the already existing pre-election discussion (2012 Community Moderator Election), but I've been advised to make it a real question as to get people talk about the subject. I suppose the other text should be removed, or merged with this one. I'm open to suggestions.