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

Anthony Towns <aj@azure.humbug.org.au> writes:

> In our past votes, we've variously had:
> 	Constituion: Yes/No/Further Discussion
> 	Election 1: [nominees] + None of the above
> 	Logo License: Single/Dual/Further Discussion
> 	New Logo: [submissions, including current logo] + Further
> 	Swap Logo: For/Against/Further Discussion
> 	Election 2: [nominees] + Further Discussion

Note that the two elections aren't strictly relevant - they're conducted
under 'Concorde Vote Counting', but not under the Standard Resolution
Procedure (5.2.7).

> What I'm trying to do is say that the best interpretation of
> "supermajority" is to only use it when comparing an option requiring a
> supermajority and an option that changes absolutely *nothing*.
I think this is something about which reasonable people can
disagree. Your way (effectively weighting the 'status quo' option or
options up) seems to be closer to the way the constitution works at
present: I read A.3.1-3 the same way as you do, so for

	60 ABS
	40 BAS, 

with A but not B requiring a change to the constitution, A wins the
'amendment ballot', and defeats S (or maybe N and F) in the 'final
ballot'. Fair enough.

The alternative way (effectively weighting the supermajority-requiring
options down) is similar to a system in which all proposals which do not
involve amending the constitution are voted on first, and attempts to
modify the constitution only get their chance afterwards. This also
seems reasonable to me.

Consider that there might be an existing 'party' which wishes to make an
amendment to the constitution, and that it has a majority of voters
on-side, but does not have the requisite supermajority. It would not
normally be able to do so.

Now imagine that some problem arises, which would be solved by the
consitutional amendment in question, and can also be solved in another
way. Everyone agrees that the problem should be solved, and that either
solution is better than the status quo.

Now, if a member of the first 'party' proposes their constitutional
change as a solution to the problem, and one of their opponents proposes
an amendment to solve it the other way, if everyone votes honestly the
constitution will be changed.

It's not clear to me that this is a good result; it seems that the
existence of a single problem which would be fixed by a constitutional
amendment can be leveraged to change the constitution without requiring
a supermajority.

(Well, more likely if everyone knows what's going on then the voters who
do not wish the constitution to be changed will dishonestly put status
quo ahead of the constitutional change, and the result will be a problem
which doesn't get fixed - also a Bad Thing.)


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