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Re: Constitutional voting, definition of cummulative prefererence

On Wed, Dec 06, 2000 at 09:08:33AM -0600, Norman Petry wrote:
> The only ambiguity I see with the current constitution is that it cannot
> cope with circular ties.  Fortunately, these are rare, so this has never
> been an issue for Debian (all previous elections have had a Condorcet
> winner).  One thing I do as part of my involvement in the EM list is to
> carry out simulation studies of voting methods, and these suggest that
> circular ties will occur naturally about 5% of the time, so this isn't that
> big an issue.  It's a minor bug which could result in some embarrassment and
> confusion at some point, but it is not likely to affect anything in the
> short run.


> A minimal fix for this problem is to replace A.6.3 with A.6.4, and then
> create a new A.6.4 which uses the Smith set to restrict the group of
> potential winners that are then subjected to the STV count rule (or for
> something even simpler, just leave it out entirely, in which case *all* the
> candidates would be selected from using STV, if there is no Condorcet
> winner).  This doesn't address the issue of mixing options with different
> supermajority requirements, but I think Debian's existing rules can
> unambiguously cope with that -- they're sub-optimal, but serviceable.  I
> don't see anything wrong with the quota requirements as they're written.
> [...]

Wouldn't this change the results in some cases which are currently

> >> 3) It is not necessary to define 'cumulatively preferred' unless it is
> >> used as part of a voting method definition, and I'd need to see the
> >> whole method in order to judge the merits of your system.
> >
> >As I indicated above, I'm considering the implications of explicitly
> >specifying that an option "Dominates" another only where the first
> >option is transitively preferred to the second, but the second is not
> >transitively preferred to the first.
> >
> >[I'm aware that there are many alternate voting methods.  But, I think
> >we need to at least consider options based on the "don't fix what
> >ain't broke" approach.  If we completely rewrite large sections of the
> >constitution we may create future problems which we won't notice for a
> >year or two.]
> I disagree with this approach. If you redefine the underlying concepts
> used in pairwise voting, you may be able to make minimal wording
> changes yet create profound changes in voting results. On the other
> hand, major changes in wording can have little or no effect on
> outcomes.

Can you show me an example where the current constitution is unambiguous,
and my change would alter the outcome (or make the outcome ambiguous)?
[Or, can you show me an example where my change wouldn't fix the

I don't want to shy away from what I see as the proper solution, to
avoid a problem which doesn't exist.



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