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Re: GRs, irrelevant amendments, and insincere voting

On Sat, 1 Nov 2003 14:58:40 -0500, Branden Robinson <branden@debian.org> said: 

> On Sat, Nov 01, 2003 at 12:23:49AM -0500, Lukas Geyer wrote:
>> Branden Robinson <branden@debian.org> writes:
>> > So, I am assuming the typical non-activist voter will think
>> > "Well, gosh, all of these good, and look like at least a marginal
>> > improvement over the status quo, but in case I'm wrong I'll rank
>> > the least disruptive options higher".[1]
>> OK, is there any voting system which would prevent this? You could
>> even argue that the electorate just gets what it wants in the case
>> you describe.

> I think such statements beg the question.  One of my premises is
> that any voting method *is* a group's means of determining "the will
> of the electorate".  But as we've seen with first-past-the-post and
> other systems, any particular voting method is not a priori
> successful at achieving this goal.  That's why election method
> theorists have come up with critera that a good voting system should
> have.  One of those criteria is that insincere voting is not
> rewarded.

> So my hypothesis is that our method of ballot construction may serve
> to reward insincere voting, *even assuming the actual method of
> tabulating the votes does not*.

	If we have reached a pass where the people are delibrately
 trying to prevent an reasonable agreement being reached; then perhaps
 the status quo is what the people want, or deserve.

>> Do you want to prohibit proposing amendments at all?

> No.  I think that would probably promote inefficiency, causing a lot
> of votes that are doomed to fail, and ultimately leading to disuse
> of the system.

> A voting method is probably most efficient when the options are
> highly competitive.  If an initiative fails by a landslide, then the
> proposer likely badly misjudged the electorate.  If an initiative
> *succeeds* by a landslide, then it might be an issue that was better
> handled by an alternative process, say an administrative one.

>> If you don't, you need some mechanism to choose among incompatible
>> amendments, and if a majority of voters prefers to stay very close
>> to the status quo, the more "revolutionary" options will always be
>> defeated.

	Then this is what the people want to do; any artificial
 process that prevents people from doing what they really want is also
 doomed to failure.

>> If there is a problem with the "6 friends" obstructionism, it seems
>> to be a matter of developer psychology, not voting systems.

> I think that's a false alternative; obstructionism could be a
> problem solvable on both fronts.  It may be possible to strengthen
> our voting system against this sort of attack, while also having
> social techniques for reining in wayward developers to attempt to
> encourage insincere voting by propounding stalking-horse amendments.

> I guess one function of this (sub-)thread is to try and spread the
> meme that proposing irrelevant amendments that an original GR
> proposer is a Bad Thing, and should be discouraged at the RFD stage,
> instead of us accepting as and article of faith that "the voting
> method will take care of it".  I am not convinced that our voting
> method will.

	I think that stifling solutions is way worse option. People
 should be able to propose whatever solutions they think are best for
 the situation at hand.

	Treat people like miscreants, and they shall behave as such.

	I think that this level of mistrust of ones fellow developer
 speaks ill of us all.

FAITH: Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks,
without knowledge, of things without parallel.  -- Ambrose Bierce
Manoj Srivastava   <srivasta@debian.org>  <http://www.debian.org/%7Esrivasta/>
1024R/C7261095 print CB D9 F4 12 68 07 E4 05  CC 2D 27 12 1D F5 E8 6E
1024D/BF24424C print 4966 F272 D093 B493 410B  924B 21BA DABB BF24 424C

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