Voting systems (was Re: GNOME Foundation Elections - Official list of candidates)

Today at 4:38, James Henstridge wrote:

> Most vote counting schemes that use ranked ballots can handle this
> sort of candidate elimination easier.  Since the ballot ranks all
> candidates, they still reflect the voter's intentions if you remove a
> candidate during counting.

Yes, I see the point, but I'm not convinced that many have actually
done the "tactical voting" as you describe it, i.e. dropped two of
the less popular candidates from their ballots in order to not lose
their votes which could be better used for other candidates (FWIW,
some don't even use all 11 votes they get, and I guess the number of
those is not less than the number of those employing such tactics, so
they compensate for each other :).

OTOH, I'm not sure anyone is able to deduce the popularity of Novell
candidates in front. If I remember correctly, it was pretty close
last year, so if you went "tactical", you may have screwed up :)
What's else, you can't even use the last year elections to estimate
popularity, because those elections had only 13 candidates.

Now, I want to be clear as well: I'm not against using another
system, but I'm also not for it.  I simply don't mind, since I
believe all of them give reasonable results ("fairness" is very hard 
to judge), and any differences they would produce would be
insignificant (yes, they might give edge to a different close
candidate, but if they were close in any other system, I don't
actually feel it would be wrong to have them on the Board; choosing a
particular system is just a practical issue of being able to say:
"you're in, you're out, we're done", so no personal disputes arise, at
least where no money is involved :).


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