[maemo-community] Election process referendum

From: Andrew Flegg andrew at bleb.org
Date: Fri Jan 23 21:29:50 EET 2009
On Fri, Jan 23, 2009 at 2:40 PM, Dave Neary <dneary at maemo.org> wrote:
> We can run a referendum election for changes to theh voting procedure
> pretty quickly, and as was pointed out already, we should probably get a
> move-on.

Agreed. I'm posting a version of this message to ITT[1] to highlight
what my conclusions are and pushing this forward to the referendum;
and that further discussion should be held here.

> I would really like us to use single transferrable vote, which is easy to
> understand as a voter, and easy to understand when checking the results.

Again, agreed. Despite some voices calling for "range voting"[2], some
calm heads are calling for a voting mechanism which meets three

  1) Make it easy for people to vote
  2) Make the results of the election easily verifiable (ideally for
     a voter)
  3) Ensure the result well reflects the will of the electorate.

RRV may well be optimal for the third, but the (relatively) complex
maths makes it fail on the first two.

"Preferential/preference" voting as described by Quim seems to be -
basically - a single transferable vote system[3]:

    "My opinions as community member:

         "Preferential voting (or preference voting) is a type of ballot
         structure used in several electoral systems in which voters
         rank a list or group of candidates in order of preference."
         -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preferential_voting

     All the rest is just theory and implementation details you can
     skip. :)

     In practice, instead of voting one best candidate (like last time)
     or  choosing 5 candidates at the same level (like the GNOME
     Foundation does), each voter ranks the candidates by preference
     and maths do[es] the rest."

Out of any option, this meets all 3 requirements best of all (IMHO),
even if it's sub-optimal in one or more categories.

> Does anyone have a suggestion for language that should be used in a
> referendum? Can we work this out & announce it ASAP, please?

So, for the referendum, I'm imagining there being the following
options (language and wording TBD):

  * No change. The current process[4] is fine.

  * A single transferrable vote. Bullets 4 and 5 ("Each community member
    gets one vote" and "The 5 nominees with the most votes are elected.")
    will be changed to XXX (TBD, something like "Each community member
    ranks ranks one or more candidates in order of preference" and
    "Council members will be selected according to this single-
    transferrable vote system[5]:

  * None of these options is acceptable.

The Council would decide what to do in the event of the third option
getting a majority of votes.



[1] http://www.internettablettalk.com/forums/showthread.php?p=239466
[2] http://tinyurl.com/council-vote-rrv
[3] http://tinyurl.com/council-vote-stv
[4] http://wiki.maemo.org/Task:Community_Council#Elections
[5] http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=265503753#Counting_the_votes

Andrew Flegg -- mailto:andrew at bleb.org  |  http://www.bleb.org/
Maemo Community Council member

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