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Re: Constitutional amendment: Condorcet/Clone Proof SSD vote tallying

On Fri, May 23, 2003 at 04:40:49PM -0700, John H. Robinson, IV wrote:
> Sam Hartman wrote:
> > 
> > Aj has made what seems to me to be a compelling argument that
> > 
> > 1) local quorum is not flawed in this case
> > 
> > 2) The Debian community wants B to win votes of this form.
> > 
> > What we are saying is that we are giving minorities the power in
> > certain limited cases to overrule the majority and force us to select
> > an second acceptable option in preference to an acceptable option more
> > preferred by the majority.  I.E.  when options are fairly close, a
> > minority finding a particular option unacceptable can change the
> > outcome of the election.

> correct me if i am wrong, but, isn't quorum suppoed to _prevent_
> minority rule? now you are saying that minority rule is good, and
> desired?

Er, the difference between having majority support and minority support
is always a minority.  Quorum here is doing precisely its job: to
prevent a *non-representative* minority rule.  You can't really argue
that people who voted an option below the default option aren't
representative of a silent majority; if you have a silent majority, the
*one* thing you can conclude is that the majority of eligible voters
don't care enough about resolving the issue to bother voting.  This
makes those voters who indicate they prefer the default option over the
non-default options the *best* representatives of the majority.  (That
you could later persuade the silent majority to shrug off their apathy
and take a stance on the issue does nothing to change the truth of

All of your examples so far can be easily countered with a simple
response: "so don't vote like that if that isn't what you meant."
Demonstrating that insincere voting strategies fail to sway the
election in one's favor only reinforces my belief that the current
proposal is a good one.

> if that is the case, i recommend scrapping the entire idea of quorum, as
> it breaks condorcet in strange and interesting ways.

> in this case, the options were not fairly close at all. 10 people
> prefered A over B. only five people prefered B over A. that is a 2:1
> margin. that is a 2/3'ds majority in favour of A, and it still lost.

Of course it lost -- because 100% of the voters considered B acceptable,
and only 67% of voters considered A acceptable.  This is the desired
outcome given the votes in question.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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