Re: Voting system for elections

From: Ian Jackson <ijackson(at)chiark(dot)greenend(dot)org(dot)uk>
To: Peter Eisentraut <peter(at)eisentraut(dot)org>
Cc: spi-general(at)lists(dot)spi-inc(dot)org
Subject: Re: Voting system for elections
Date: 2016-08-16 15:22:32
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Peter Eisentraut writes ("Re: Voting system for elections"):
> On 7/18/16 9:29 AM, Ian Jackson wrote:
> > As has been discussed here many times previously, Condorcet is a bad
> > system for multi-seat elections. Rather than electing a board whose
> > composition reflects, proportionately, the views of the electorate,
> > the majoritarian or consensus candidates (as applicable) will sweep
> > the board.
> I have a concern about this:
> If, for example, there were an issue that sharply divides the SPI
> membership say 66% to 33%, an STV election would elect 6 board members
> in favor of A and 3 in favor of B, whereas a Condorcet election might
> elect 9 in favor of A. The problem with the STV board would be that
> they would constantly disagree with each other instead of getting work done.

I hope we would only elect grown-ups to the board. 6 out of 9 is of
course still a majority.

> An analogy in "real" politics is: A parliament should generally reflect
> the population's wishes proportionally, but the executive is generally
> drawn only from one or a few aligned parties.

Most British membership-run NGOs elect their board by STV. It hasn't
led to this kind of disaster.

Also, and sorry to keep coming back to this, but it is a key point:

> > SPI should adopt a system widely used elsewhere.

AFAIAA no other organisation elects a multi-member board or committee
using repeated-Condorcet.

(Nor AFAIAA has this multi-winner repeated-Condorcet even ever been
proposed in the academic literature) We have invented it, and adopted
it, almost by accident - I think just by analogy with Debian's use of
Condorcet for single-winner elections.

> Maybe this isn't a problem in practice, or maybe you/some actually want
> to the board to work that way, but I think we should consider what the
> nature of the board is or should be, and which election method best
> realizes that.

It would be nice if we had a board election system which didn't
produce Debian Debian Debian Debian out of a mixed electorate.

(in the context of SPI, clearly most closely associated with Debian)

Ian Jackson <ijackson(at)chiark(dot)greenend(dot)org(dot)uk> These opinions are my own.

If I emailed you from an address or, that is
a private address which bypasses my fierce spamfilter.

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