After this year’s steward elections, we have now just over 30 stewards. Well, now, when I write this there are 35 stewards, from which 2 already said they are resigning and their rights will be removed soon, and some may also lose their rights after the steward confirmations are completed, but I’m not going to talk more about it here.
When looking back to March 2014, there was 38 stewards. Since establishment of the steward user group in 2004 there were chosen every year from 5 to 12 new stewards, But this year, in 2016, we only got 2 new stewards. It’s very little. And let’s not forget that 4 stewards resigned between December 2015 and January 2016.
I agree that it’s very hard to find good candidates every year. But on the other hand I think that the requirements are too high. Many users who are voting expects that candidates can speak many languages, are active on many projects, and have been active for over 3 years.
This year, without saying any names, there was 3-5 candidates who didn’t get enough support / withdrew, who would have been a great steward.
The next steward elections will be in 2017 (if no changes will be done for that). And it’s very probable that some of the current stewards will resign before it, as has happened every year. So it may be that we have 30 stewards at the end of 2016.
From my perspective stewards are in very important role in Wikimedia. Without them small wiki’s are full of spam, vandals here and there, and what would happen with user rights? I don’t even want to imagine Wikimedia with no stewards. The less we have stewards, the more work will be.