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Re: Call for votes for the Condorcet/Clone proot SSD voting methodsGR

On Thu, Jun 12, 2003 at 05:26:57PM -0400, Nathanael Nerode wrote:
> Incidentally, this is by *far* the most controversial aspect of the
> amendment.  This mechanism causes the "Condorcet winner"/"ideal 
> democratic winner" to lose under certain contrived circumstances.  (They 
> are rather contrived, admittedly, and strong arguments have been made 
> that these circumstances will not really happen.)

When there's more than one condorcet winner, and voter participation
is extremely low, this mechanism can cause the selection of a different
condorcet winner than plain sequential dropping.

Is that what you're talking about?

Or are you talking about the fact that the entire vote is tossed out if
the ideal democratic winner doesn't have enough votes to meet quorum?

> Also, the mechanism used here is called "quorum" even though it bears only a 
> passing resemblance to ordinary quorums, which has been quite confusing. 

Perhaps, instead, we should have a quorum which, in essence, shuts down
debian-vote during weeks or months where traffic is too low?  That's about
as close as we could get to conventional quorum.  [Personally, I think
this would be even more confusing and, in fact, would have some bad
properties if it were closely investigated.]

Or, perhaps, we should have a formal "pre-voting" period where people
declare their willingness to participate in the vote.  That would
actually work reasonably closely to the original intent of quorum,
but would add even more red tape to the voting process.  Also, there
are some strange results here from people registering on quorum and not
voting, and vice versa.  Anyways, of the quorum alternatives to what
the amendment proposes, I think this is probably the best mechanism.
[Interestingly enough, the people "confused" by the amendment's usage
of the word quorum didn't seem to agree with me on this issue -- or,
at least, this didn't turn into a formal amendment.]

For some reason, some people think that quorum should be assessed after
the vote and should be used to toss the vote if not enough votes were
received.  That has bad properties which can discourage some voters when
participation is already low.  Interestingly enough, most of the people
who have been "confused" by the concept of quorum have been advocating
this approach.

In essence, the issues we're trying to address, with quorum, are different
from the "Everybody meets in the big hall and votes, and if not enough
people show up we can't vote" concept of classic quorum.  If people are
confused by the fact that we're voting on a mailing list (rather than
in person), that's sad but it's not a reason to use an inferior mechanism.


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