Re: Voting system for elections

From: ucko(at)debian(dot)org (Aaron M(dot) Ucko)
To: spi-general(at)lists(dot)spi-inc(dot)org
Subject: Re: Voting system for elections
Date: 2016-07-22 20:44:46
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Jimmy Kaplowitz <jimmy(at)debian(dot)org> writes:

> I'd want to understand the implications of the switch as applied to SPI better
> than I currently do, but I'm not in theory opposed to it. I do like the idea of
> prioritizing people everyone can live with over everyone's ideal candidate, but
> I also like the idea of including more directors outside of SPI's dominant
> groups (and indeed I ranked some ahead of myself in my vote). Whatever works
> toward those goals might be worth switching to.

Here's a half-baked thought, for the sake of brainstorming: What if the
vote-counting software were to alternate between selecting Condorcet
winners and progressively reweighting ballots to discount those that
gave high ranks to winners that had already been selected? The problem
is coming up with a reasonable reweighting algorithm. Simplicity is a
big plus, in the interest of transparency, but there are other
considerations. In particular:

* How should the discount vary for having ranked a winner first, second,
third, etc.? What if a voter ranked any candidates equally? (Range
voting might make this question easier to address, but is a whole
separate can of worms.)

* Should discounts be rescaled so that the total weight of ballots under
consideration drops by a constant amount each round, as in STV?

* Are amateur election methods generally as inadvisable as amateur
cryptography? ;-)

Aaron M. Ucko, KB1CJC (amu at, ucko at |


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