Again a very misleading picture IMO. What we see is a mostly small number of people with strong views on this issue who make the same points again and again, but don’t follow through (I’ll come back to this).
Yes, there will be others who agree with them who don’t voice their opinion, but fifty? I don’t think you have any idea how many, but I suggest that people are more likely to voice dissent than volunteer appreciation, yet we see that again and again from new people.
Jabba, I think you ignore the possibility that this community is more inclusive because of how well it is moderated, and that new people who arrive here may be more likely to stay because they realise that it is exceptional in a positive sense. I can’t prove that and you can’t prove the opposite, but it seems more credible to me based on what I hear from new people posting here. I don’t see how we can ever know for sure, so it is for now opinion.
As for the people who’ve left, well some of those you mention were banned and not lightly. You have to try pretty hard to be banned from this forum, and simple dissent or criticism has never been a reason, obviously. Only a handful have been banned in years (ignoring spam accounts).
And as for me having set it all up, @jm5 who we see agrees very much with you was one of the people I nominated early on. And he and other mods nominated additional mods. I think I’ve nominated maybe two out of a dozen or so during about one year - the entire time - I was a mod. I don’t recall anyone being rejected after being nominated, and I think the community also nominated some. Certainly I was. Mods were not vetted on their opinions about moderation or anything else, but usually stood out - almost nominating themselves really - by their presence, enthusiasm, and an ability to interact and debate without taking things personally. The last point is hard, but essential, and why it helps to have a team who give each other support and honest feedback, and who can recognise when it’s best for them to step away and let the others handle something. I think we have a great team in these respects, particularly when the same people keep making sometimes nasty accusations about them. They keep their heads and don’t IMO use their power without well considered reasons, and whenever possible giving people a chance to think, and to have their say too.
I don’t recall any particular mod appointment being questioned or objected to by the community at the time. I do recall people complaining about moderators or moderation when they were personally affected by a moderation action. That’s understandable, but what it shows me, again, is that the community as a whole (most people most of the time) are content or appreciative with how this forum is run, and by whom.
I accept that it is hard to get major change now. That’s the nature of things I’m afraid, once established, so long as they are working at least adequately - and I think we far exceed that here.
But that is not an argument for not trying if you feel so strongly, and believe you have a good case to put. And anyway, in the past the mods said that any serious proposals would get full exposure on the front page, so it is again misleading of you Jabba, to suggest that the mods or the system is set up in a way that makes it pointless you trying.