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Re: Coming up with a new Oracle

Matthew Johnson <mjj29@debian.org> writes:

> I don't think that having another place with reams to read (M seconds,
> proposer and anyone else who fancies it) improves the matter a lot. I
> think Ian is trying to provide a middle ground where people can explain
> a bit more justification for the options than on the vote page while not
> also overloading the average voter. By all means have pages such as you
> describe (and planet seems to do that quite well atm) but I think Ian's
> suggestion of an easy to find, fairly short bit of 'extra explanation'
> which is intentionally limited is size has a lot of merit. It doesn't
> replace the -vote thread and everyone's opinions, it's for people who
> don't have time to read that much, but do want to have a bit more
> insight.

A parallel example from a real-world election system is Calfornia's
proposition system, where each proposition has included in the voter
information guide an argument in favor, an argument against, and rebuttals
to each.  Since these only reflect one of possibly many advocates and
opponents, and since space is tightly limited, these obviously aren't
comprehensive, but as a voter I find them extremely useful.  They often
provide sufficient information to vote, and if not, they pinpoint where I
want more information.

Our situation is a bit more complex (thankfully so -- the California
proposition system is generally horrible) with Condorcet and multiple
amendments, but I think something similarly limited in scope and length
would be very useful.  The point, as you say, isn't to provide complete
information, just a basic sketch of the disagreement so that people have a
starting point if they want to look for more information.

We do something like this now for DPL elections.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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