Re: supermajority options
On Fri, Nov 22, 2002 at 02:56:46PM -0500, Branden Robinson wrote:
> By the way, guys, it's spelled "populace".
> "Populous" is an adjective meaning "highly populated".
Thanks, that's not something I would have looked up on my own.
> >  Is competence an issue? Why or why not?
> I'd say this is addressed by our NM system.
Are you claiming that NM is our only criteria for determining relevant
competence on all issues?
> >  Is involvement an issue? Why or why not?
> I'd say this is addressed either by quorum requirements, or by the
> simple self-selection process that compels people to vote at all.
How about on issues we don't vote on?
> Is it your suggestion that Debian should limit voting rights even
> further than we already have?
"Majority rule" would tend to limit voting rights more than the current
"tyranny by supermajority" (I'm deliberately using the terms of that
paper). I'm not currently suggesting that we make this switch.
Or, to answer your question in the way you've phrased it: no, that's
not my suggestion.
> If not, I don't understand the point you are making.
I'm trying to talk about the underlying assumptions and value judgements
which would lead to making an informed decision about supermajority.
> > > Condorecet seems pretty resilient to insincere voting. for each method
> > > of counting Supermajorities, it has been shown to where it possible, in
> > > some cases almost trivial, for an insincere vote to change the result of
> > > an election. that appears to defeat the whole purpose of using Condorcet
> > > to begin with.
> > For some methods, this is true.
> > You seem to be assuming this is true for all methods, but you offer
> > no proof.
> If we're adopting the Condorcet method without being confident in its
> properties, then I suggest we hold our horses and not vote on adopting
> it without proper understanding.
This is good advice.
However, it's not "the condorcet method" whose properties are in question
here. For that matter, there are a variety of "condorcet methods".
I think a good place to start on this endeavor would be in establishing
a proper understanding of the issues we're making decisions about.
> This is quite apart from the supermajority/quorum business. What I'm
> asking is whether or not we agree that pure Condorcet with Cloneproof
> Schwartz Sequential Dropping is resistant to strategic voting.
Why are you asking this? This has nothing to do with what I wrote,
nor is this question of yours particularly relevant to the paragraph I
was responding to. Here's that paragraph again:
. . . Condorecet seems pretty resilient to insincere voting. for each method
. . . of counting Supermajorities, it has been shown to where it possible, in
. . . some cases almost trivial, for an insincere vote to change the result of
. . . an election. that appears to defeat the whole purpose of using Condorcet
. . . to begin with.
Perhaps you thought I was only responding to the first seven words of
that paragraph? If that's what you thought, I could see why you're
asking about our confidence in Condorcet.
> > Before our constitution, Debian required near unanimous agreement
> > on all issues. The constitution was introduced as a somewhat
> > formalized relaxation of that principle.
> > Tyranny \Tyr"an*ny\ (?), n. [OE. tirannye, OF. tirannie, F.
> > tyrannie; cf. It. tirannia; Gr. &?;, &?;, L. tyrannis. See
> > Tyrant.]
> > 1. The government or authority of a tyrant; a country
> > governed by an absolute ruler; hence, arbitrary or
> > despotic exercise of power; exercise of power over
> > subjects and others with a rigor not authorized by law or
> > justice, or not requisite for the purposes of government.
> > "Sir," would he [Seneca] say, "an emperor mote need Be
> > virtuous and hate tyranny." --Chaucer.
> > 2. Cruel government or discipline; as, the tyranny of a
> > schoolmaster.
> > 3. Severity; rigor; inclemency. The tyranny of the open
> > night's too rough For nature to endure. --Shak.
> > None of the definitions of "tyranny" don't really make sense in our
> > context.
> You mean none of them *do* make sense?
Sorry, I restructured that sentence but forgot to rip out the word
> If so, I'd agree, and argue that "tyranny of the majority"-style
> rhetoric should be treated as illogical.
We agree on this point.
> > That said: Debian 3:1 supermajority is LESS OF A CONSTRAINT than a
> > requirement that a majority of the voting population agree.
> I don't follow. It's either equivalently constraining, in the sense
> that it can be expressed as a simple statement, or it's more
> constraining, in that the Project cannot take action on a proposal
> without a greater number of people being in agreement.
With our current rules, and 2000 developers, 45 people can satisfy a
3:1 supermajority requirement. With a "majority rule" system, you'd
have to have 1001.
> Would a 1:3 minority requirement also be "LESS OF A CONSTRAINT"? If
> not, why not?
Getting a small minority of interested people to agree unanimously (or
nearly unanimously) is not as hard as getting a majority of all voters
to be interested.