[maemo-community] STV voting strategy

From: Graham Cobb g+770 at cobb.uk.net
Date: Fri Mar 20 15:07:49 EET 2009
Congratulations to our new council and commiserations to those who did not get 
elected.  Thanks for standing -- I would have been happy for any of you to 
have served.

On Friday 20 March 2009 10:47:59 Andrew Flegg wrote:
> BTW, this is a good discussion to have. Whilst this round of voting is
> fresh in our minds, and the votes are easily analysable, I don't see a
> problem with changing it *again* (if a consensus emerges that a change
> may be necessary).

I don't think a change is necessary.  I note that the five winners would have 
been the same under the old "first 5 past the post" system (just using first 
preference votes) and I think STV is a reasonable compromise between accuracy 
and comprehensibility (which is why I voted for it in the referendum).  STV 
has the advantage over F5PTP of protecting a "dull but worthy" or "unity" 
candidate who cannot get anyone's first preference but ends up as most 
people's second preference.

> Personally, I'm happy with the result but a discussion on how we got
> here, and how we can best explain the voting is a Good Thing[TM].

Sure.  Improving explanations to help voters is a good idea.

> My own interpretation when voting (which is probably unscientific and
> inaccurate; I don't spend all day working out voting models) was "if
> choice #1 isn't going to get elected, who would I rather see next?"
> *not* "I want all my vote to be split up and allocated in these
> proportions to these candidates".

My thought process was to pick my favourite candidate and give him 1.  Then 
consider how I would have voted if he had not been standing.  The favourite 
from that process got 2.  Etc.  I would stop when there was no one left for 
whom I would bother to cast a vote.  This is probably pretty much the same as 
your process except that it does not require the impossible mental feat of 
imagining my preferred candidate not being elected!  I suppose for some 
candidates it might be a harder mental effort to imagine them not standing!!


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