[maemo-community] Election process referendum

From: Dave Neary dneary at maemo.org
Date: Mon Feb 2 17:31:06 EET 2009

Andrew Flegg wrote:
> I'm still not convinced about giving the outgoing council so much
> control, and don't want to have these debates *every* 6 months as to
> what the current council should instigate for the next election.
> So would suggest:
>   1) No change; the current process ("first-five-past-the-post") is fine.
>   2) A single-transferrable vote system. (Wording TBD)
>   3) A reweighted range voting system. (Wording TBD)
>   4) Giving the outgoing council the decision before each election. (Wording
>      TBD).
>   5) None of the above.

I think 5 choices is too many. Let's try and get a feel, through debate,
for whether the community feels the need to safeguard against possible
future abuses of the council, and if there's no need for a safeguard
then let's propose what I suggest. If the community feels there is a
need to codify this (to avoid future debates every election, or to
protect against Mugabe-type counting systems) then let's propose a 3
choice election: STV, RRV, no change.

>> The constitution should be, IMHO, a framework document, not operating
>> instructions. Let's just specify a preferential voting system (which, by
>> my reading, is possible within the current council guidelines), and let
>> the council decide what to do in practice, after consultation.
> To clarify, your reading of "The 5 nominees with the most votes are
> elected" allows "most" and "votes" to be a total number of votes
> counted by an arbitrarily-different system, rather than the highest
> number of ballots cast?

That's correct. I read "the most votes" to mean the most votes under
whatever counting procedure is chosen.

> What do other people think? Certainly not the intention, but it seems
> - as a community - the most vocal (at least) don't mind suspending the
> constitution when it befits (e.g. at the last election).

The last election was a little exceptional :) I'm not in favour of
ignoring the constitution - as I say, I think that it should codify the
minimum of things, and never ever get in the way of the council
functioning well. I have a morbid fear of excessive bureaucracy &
biannual referenda. I don't want us turning into the Swiss (with
apologies to Swiss people) :)


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