Well, every time a change goes into the core of WordPress that is visual and is not liked by a vocal minority of people, the question of whether or not WordPress is a dictatorship or a community project comes up. Personally, I like having one person or a select few who guide the project along. I think if everything revolving around WordPress were community driven, it would actually hold the project back. I look at Matt and the core committers as the folks that stand by the side and say “move along now“. I will say that I don’t always agree with what goes into core and I exercise my ability to be vocal about those changes such as my stint against not having UI in the backend to control how post revisions work. I’m still upset by that but I’ve moved on, partially because a plugin exists which does it right. Also, by disagreeing with something that ends up in the core, I shouldn’t be told as a solution to fork the software and do it myself. While there is truth in that response, I don’t think that’s the way to approach disagreements.
In the end, Matt Mullenweg is the leader of the project but it’s development is largely community driven. Not everything the community wants ends up in the software but I feel the community plays a large role in which direction the software goes. Does that make it community run? I don’t think so. I think it’s more like community driven development with the final say coming down to Matt and the core committers.
At any rate, you can chime in on the discussion here in the comments after you’ve voted or in that forum thread. Interested to see where this goes.
The issues you have outlined above seem to be the same reasons I hear from Habari developers about why they jumped ship.
I’m fairly happy with the way things work though. WordPress is the best product out there so whatever they’re doing seems to be working. If it aint broke, don’t fix it!