[Foundation-l] elections

Christopher Hagar cmhagar at gmail.com
Sat Apr 7 17:42:21 UTC 2007

Instant run-off voting is a bad idea and fails some basic requirements for a
good voting system. For example, you can have situations where: if you rank
a candidate _higher_ on your ballot, he will actually do _worse_ in the
election than if you had ranked him lower.

Ranked ballots are good, but instant run-off is a bad method for evaluating
the ballots; a better way to do it is with the Condorcet method, which is
what Debian uses. See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condorcet_method and
http://www.debian.org/devel/constitution#A (section A.6)

On 4/6/07, Robert Horning <robert_horning at netzero.net> wrote:
> David Gerard wrote:
> > On 06/04/07, effe iets anders <effeietsanders at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> >
> >> 1.2) Pre-*s*election
> >> We could state extra conditions to become candidate. For instance, you
> >> need 25 or 50 supports of your candidature by different Wikimedians
> >> with >1000 edits and 9 months experience on one project. Just for
> >> instance, the numbers can easily be changed. It's about the idea.
> >> Every serious candidate should be able to get these endorsements, and
> >> the candidates who won't state any chance, wont get these
> >> endorsements. Disadvantage is that you won't be able to foresee how
> >> many candidates there will be. Another disadvantage is that you will
> >> have bureaucratic problems with the checking of the endorsements.
> >>
> >
> >
> > This sounds a good way to weed out any hopeless candidates. Can anyone
> > see a downside to this one?
> >
> >
> > - d.
> >
> For myself, if I were to suggest another alternative, is to try and go
> with Instant run-off voting
> See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instant_run-off_voting
> In other words, there is more than one way to try and weed down a large
> number of candidates to just a few.  Particularly in this case when
> there is going to be a great many candidates for several offices.  I
> will also point out that there are advantages and disadvantages of
> almost any election system, and no single method is really ideal.  The
> main point is that the system needs to be in place and firm before
> anything happens.
> I would also try to suggest that multiple rounds of voting are as likely
> to turn people off as anything else.  Some people just love to vote on
> nearly everything possible, but for something this serious we shouldn't
> be appealing to just that kind of Wikimedia user.  I'm referring here to
> things like the picture of the day/week/month/year or other similar
> kinds of contests that regularly use voting.
> As far as why I support instant run-off votes:  It allows you to rank
> your preferences instead of merely casting votes.  Far too often in
> things like logo decisions (look at the failed example of the "new"
> Wikibooks logo that has been rejected by all but fi.wikibooks... and
> expressly rejected by en.wikibooks) end up with only the most tolerable
> of a minority, where a few leading candidates come forward out of
> mediocrity but others who might have made a stronger concensus are
> rejected.  Multiple rounds merely test the patience of both voters and
> the candidates.  Certainly two rounds isn't too bad on this end, but it
> does require double the work to put it together compared to just one
> round of voting.
> Even this sort of pre-screening that is suggested here is just another
> way to put an extra round into the voting process.  There certainly
> should be some eligibility rules (as there has been in the past) that
> would require disclosure of your name, nationality, and age (needed for
> legal purposes if you actually are elected).  Not everybody would want
> to do this, and that is also understandable.  The screening should
> involve some sort of verification of this identity.  As far as getting
> some public supporters/endorsements of a particular candidate, I would
> be wary of sock puppets and other gaming that could happen, but it does
> sound like a way to demonstrate viability.  This whole thing is a
> popularity contest of a sort anyway, and signing for viability doesn't
> mean you will actually vote for them in the election itself.
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