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Re: Condorcet Voting and Supermajorities (Re: [CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT] Disambiguation of 4.1.5)

On Sun, Dec 03, 2000 at 05:02:29PM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
> > > Well, you're welcome to disagree, but be aware that your definition
> > > doesn't match the way the current system (the N+1 votes) works, and
> > > doesn't match the way most systems work (which only provide "No, don't
> > > resolve this" as a `status-quo' option).

On Sun, Dec 03, 2000 at 06:11:07AM -0500, Raul Miller wrote:
> > You're implicitly claiming here that:
> > [1] The default option (further discussion) isn't a status quo
> > option.

On Sun, Dec 03, 2000 at 10:13:58PM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
> I will assert that the options "no" and "further discussion" aren't
> usefully different.

They're procedurally different, however.

> > Status quo options are, thus, options without supermajority.
> You're basing this on the mechanics of how a supermajority might be
> checked, not what it's there for in the first place.

I'm basing this on what I'd intended to say in the first place.

> > > Biassing the results towards options that don't require a
> > > supermajority doesn't seem a particularly useful thing to do to me
> > > [0].
> > Supermajority means that more than a majority of voters must be in
> > favor of the option before it can pass.
> The term "in favour" isn't really very helpful. Do you mean
> "exclusively in favour of, in preference to all other possibilities",
> or do you mean "in favour of, in preference to how Debian is at the
> moment"?

I mean to contrast supermajority to a regular majority.  I mean to
claim that supermajority is relevant in the same contexts (note the
plural) where a regular majority would be required.

> > If that's not biasing towards options which don't require a supermajority
> > (which only need to exceed 1 voter in favor for every one voter against),
> > I'd like to know what is?
> I'd like you to show one other voting system in use where supermajority
> is interpreted in this way.

Why?  This is debian-vote, not congress-vote.

> > [And, if you want to claim that this isn't what the constitution
> > claims, please supplement that claim with a relevant quote from the
> > constitution and an explanation of your reasoning.]
> I've done this a number of times on this list already. If you'd like
> to provide actual reasons for your interpretation, perhaps it'd be
> worth having a discussion about it.

I claim that "my first preference is yes on option A", is a yes vote
for option A.  And, if A requires a supermajority, then A.6(7) applies.

Do you claim this is not an actual reason?  Why?

> > >     and M has unanimous support over N, and then add a third option:
> > > 	* Evade constitution (E)
> > If M really has unanimous support, you wouldn't add a new option --
> > no one would want a new option.  Adding a new option only happens:
> No, M has unanimous suppoer over N, that is everyone prefers it to
> the current situation. That is, everyone wants to get rid of non-free.
> A minority of those people would rather do it by exploiting loopholes in
> the social contract ("We'll continue to provide non-free for download,
> but we won't necessarily allow people to upload to it!! Muahahaha").
> Why, exactly, is it so undesirable to modify the social contract that
> we should just ignore the expressed preferences of half/three-quarters
> of the developer body, and take the "easier" solution, instead?

I don't actually know, this is your fantasy.

At a guess, the plan would be to provide support for non-free in
some other fashion.

> Certainly, we should make sure that everyone prefers the modified
> social contract to what it says at the moment, but there's no good
> reason to accept *any* other option in favour of one requiring a
> supermajority.

You don't put just *any* option on the ballot.  Only alternatives.

> > That's my understanding of how the constitutional voting system is
> > supposed to work,
> Considering, under the most liberal interpretation, the constitution
> describes two methods, one of which works that way, and one of which
> works the other way, it seems a little bold to say that the constitution
> is *supposed* to act that way.
> Certainly, I think the constitution pretty clearly indicates that's
> *not* how votes are meant to be handled or interpreted.

Eh?  If there's a sequence of votes, and people don't like the way
that sequence went, they can vote against the final option.  They
can even keep the sequence going at the same time by voting for
"further discussion".

> > I'll note that there are other ways the ballot could have been
> > constructed, as far as introducing a gradual phase out.  For example,
> > the people proposing E could have proposed "amend the constitution AND
> > phase out gradually".  If they proposed "phase out gradually and do not
> > amend the constitution", then presumably they really are having second
> > thoughts about amending the constitution, and don't want it amended.
> Or there's someone obnoxious on the lists who makes a big stink about it
> and they underestimate their support, so they try making an option that
> only requires majority support rather than supermajority support.
> If they then get their supermajority support, why then ignore the stated
> preferences of the voters, and choose the unnecessary compromise position
> anyway?

Because people voted for a different option from the one which required
supermajority.  Do you want to discount someone's vote on the basis
that you find their position disagreeable?


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