[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: GRs, irrelevant amendments, and insincere voting

On Sat, Nov 01, 2003 at 06:17:18PM -0500, Anthony DeRobertis wrote:
> On Nov 1, 2003, at 15:36, Branden Robinson wrote:
> >
> >[b] Debian should retain support for the x86 architecture
> >
> >That option is likely to beat almost any proposed change to the Social
> >Contract by a landslide -- *if people vote sincerely*.
> But would it beat "Debian should retain support for the x86 
> architecture, and remove SC 5."

This requires either the original proposer, or a group of 6 people, who
support taking the original proposal and tacking this irrelevant rider
onto it.

Personally, I have no intention of accepting wholly irrelevant
amendments to my proposed GR.  I think that makes for a bad legislative
process and cheapens the integrity of a deliberative body.  A lot of
awful stuff in U.S. politics is the result of "riders" tacked on to
completely unrelated legislation, which gets passed and signed into the
law because the main topic ofthe legislation is perceived as too
important to go unpassed.

I won't say that we face a combinatorial explosion of irrelevant ballot
options, because each one will have to have 6 sponsors and that will
serve as a brake on *that* variety of abuse.  But my thesis is that even
one irrelevant option on the ballot is enough to either defeat the
relevant option that would otherwise win, or promote the phenomenon of
insincere voting.

And in case I haven't already said it, I think insincere voting is a
problem in part because I have come to think of our voting method as a
useful polling apparatus.  That is, there is useful information we can
extract from a vote apart from just which option won.  Irrelevant
options, even if defeated, will tend to introduce noise into this signal
and cause the defeated options to be more of a jumble than they
otherwise would be.

Maybe that's just the (amatuer!) sociologist in me, though; maybe most
other developers don't perceive the utility in studying and
discriminating among the defeated options on a ballot once the results
are in.

G. Branden Robinson                |    A committee is a life form with six
Debian GNU/Linux                   |    or more legs and no brain.
branden@debian.org                 |    -- Robert Heinlein
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: Digital signature

Reply to: