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Bug#727708: call for votes on default Linux init system for jessie

On Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 12:18:41PM -0500, Sam Hartman wrote:
> >>>>> "Bdale" == Bdale Garbee <bdale@gag.com> writes:

>     Bdale> Steve Langasek <vorlon@debian.org> writes:
>     >> FWIW I have always assumed that the casting vote is implicit in
>     >> the chair's ballot.  To require the chair to explicitly exercise
>     >> their casting vote, as opposed to the chair's preferences as
>     >> expressed on the ballot being applied automatically, opens up
>     >> another set of vote gaming strategies that we really shouldn't
>     >> get into.

>     Bdale> I would have assumed that, too, but since others did not
>     Bdale> share the assumption, it seemed prudent to be explicit about
>     Bdale> it.

> This assumption does not make sense to me in the following cases:

> * Chair ranks multiple options equilly

If the chair ranked them equally in his ballot, why should he express a
different preference when it comes to the casting vote?  Or, put
differently: if the chair comes to a decision about which of the
equally-ranked options should win, why should that decision not be reflected
in his main vote (with the effect that the "casting" vote will not be used
at all)?

> * All of the options that the chair is choosing between were ranked by
>   the chair below FD

Being below FD does not imply that no preference is being expressed between
the options.  Rankings between such options are taken into account at every
other stage of the vote, there's no reason it should be different for the
casting vote.

> * At least one of the options was not ranked by the chair.

Unranked options are treated as ranked last, so whichever option is *not*
unranked gets the vote.

> * I don't know if casting votes can come up in DPL elections or if there
> are any other circumstances with secret ballots.

If they are, why should the casting vote be less secret than the normal

> I think you're safer just casting an explicit casting vote.

The only case in which it makes a difference to have an explicit casting
vote is when the preferences expressed in the casting vote do not match the
preferences expressed in the standard vote.  If that ever happened, it would
be an act of strategic voting.  When all other aspects of our voting system
are designed to minimize the rewards of strategic voting, this seems an
unnecessary bug.  It's a low-impact bug, because it requires both three
nearly-balanced ballot options, and a TC chair willing to engage in
strategic voting for all the world to see; but it's still a bug.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com                                     vorlon@debian.org

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