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Re: Call for votes for the Condorcet/Clone proof SSD voting methods GR

On Wed, Jun 11, 2003 at 01:03:39AM +1000, Hamish Moffatt wrote:
> For the benefit of the average non-voting-geek Debian developer,
> could the proponents of this amendment please explain what problem
> it attempts to solve, with real life examples?
> An explanation of why we need such a complicated system at all would be
> interesting too.
> Follow-ups to debian-vote, please.

The biggest issue is that the current constitution is somewhat somewhat
ambiguous about how votes are to be conducted.  Fortunately, we're not
at an impasse, because the constitution also declares that the project
secretary has complete control over the interpretation -- however, it
would probably be a good thing if other people could have a good chance
of agreeing with the secretary when reading the constitution.

One of the larger areas of ambiguity has to do with how votes are
conducted which involve options with supemajority and options which
don't have supermajority.  Basically, the voting mechanism doesn't say
who wins for some sets of ballots in that case.

As an illustration of the above two points, consider:
Here, we have a reasonable person thinking that the constitution
*requires* that we use a ballot for this vote which quite possibly the
constitution's voting mechanism won't pick a winner for.  And, yes,
the secretary probably does have the power to pick the winner if that
happens -- but I imagine some people (the secretary included) would be
reasonably upset if that's how things played out.

Beyond that, the voting system has pretty good properties, as voting
systems go: It's reasonably strategy free (which means that your best
bet is to vote what you really want, as opposed to voting something
else because the likely outcome is a lesser evil).  It lets people pick
from all the possible options, rather than forcing mini-contests or some
other such contortion.

And, finally, the new voting system is (for the most part) compatible
with the intent of the existing voting system.  It supports supermajority
(which makes changing the constitution hard), and it supports quorum
(which means very low participation can invalidate the vote).



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