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Re: Request for comments [voting amendment]

On Sat, Nov 16, 2002 at 05:54:59AM +0100, Matthias Urlichs wrote:
> Branden Robinson:
> > In the case of elections for an office, doesn't this give the incumbent
> > an unfair advantage if he is also on the ballot as a candidate?
> > 
> Personally, for votes where there simply must be some sort of result
> (you _can't_ leave the office vacant), I would not use any supermajority
> or quorum, and I'd replace the "drop if defeated by the default-option"
> rule with one that states that if the default option wins, then it is
> eliminated, the whole vote is considered again, and the term of office of
> the 'winner' is reduced to a maximum of three months or so.

Debian currently has only one elected office: the Project Leader.

Quoting Constitution section 5.2:

# The options on the ballot will be those candidates who have nominated
  themselves and have not yet withdrawn, plus None Of The Above. If None Of The
  Above wins the election then the election procedure is repeated, many times
  if necessary.
# The decision will be made using Concorde Vote Counting. The quorum is the
  same as for a General Resolution (§4.2) and the default option is None Of The

If "procedure is repeated" means restarting from step 2, then this means
the incumbent wins another nine weeks in office by sabotaging the vote.
Alternatively, if the office is already vacant due to resignation,
recall by the Developers, or other incident, those who feel we shouldn't
have a Leader at all can buy the decapitation of the Project nine weeks
at a time.  :)

> > Is that wise?  Susceptibility to strategic voting is generally
> > considered a flaw.
> > 
> These terms are understood differently here. We mean by 'strategic voting'
> things like "I prefer A, and I can live with B, or C if must be, but I'd
> have serious problems with E or F", and I can actually _say_so_ on my
> ballot.

I thought "strategic voting" was insincere voting to as to harm an
opposed option or candidate even more than a lack of preference on one's
own ballot would indicate.

E.g., Collins might not really feel that the Project would be worse off
with no Leader at all than with Robinson as Project Leader, but ranks
Robinson below the default option on his ballot so as to increase the
odds of Robinson being in the Schwartz set.  (This is, of course, a
purely hypothetical scenario.  ;-) )

Your proposal above would only party mitigate this.  Collins might still
encourage his supporters to vote that way on the theory that three
months of Robinson is better than a year.

> With other election methods, this term means things like the well-known
> "I'd really prefer N, but I'll vote G because otherwise B will win"
> situation (you all know what the letters stand for) which is Not A Problem
> in a Condorcet voting.

(No idea who you're talking about there ;-).)

Maybe not in traditional Condorcet voting, but haven't most of the
mathematical analyses to date excluded the notiong of a "default

G. Branden Robinson                |    If you make people think they're
Debian GNU/Linux                   |    thinking, they'll love you; but if
branden@debian.org                 |    you really make them think, they'll
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |    hate you.

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