Re: Anonymous Voting Referendum

On Thu, 9 Sep 2004, Glynn Foster wrote:

> Date: Thu, 09 Sep 2004 17:54:36 +1200
> From: Glynn Foster <Glynn Foster Sun COM>
> Reply-To: foundation-list gnome org
> To: foundation-list gnome org, foundation-announce gnome org
> Cc: membership-commitee gnome org
> Subject: Anonymous Voting Referendum
> Hi,
> Back in September 2003, the board discussed a possible move toward an anonymous
> voting scheme for the annual GNOME Foundation board of directors elections and
> brought it to the members on foundation-list gnome org  You can read this thread
> here -
> After much discussion, it was agreed that there was significant objection to this
> so that we should hold a referendum to decide whether future elections should use
> an anonymous voting mechanism.

I cannot help thinking that it would be more useful to switch to a system
of proportional representation.  Anonymous voting may be a factor but I
think the first past the post system has a more significant impact on how
people vote.  Of course this could be done as well as anonymous voting,
but now is as good a time as any to mention it if we are talking about
improving the voting mechanism.

Due to the quotas in place preventing more than a certain amount of people
from any one organisation the last election was effectively nothing more
than deciding which candidates from Ximian to eliminate.

In a proportional representation system it makes sense to clearly
indicate your preference for all (or almost all candidates).

In a first past the post system it doesn't make sense to vote for anyone
but the one or two people you most want to see elected because voting for
anyone else diminishes their chances of getting elected.  This has the
disadvantage of encouraging you to vote for your friends rather than
rating the merits of all candidates.

Proportional representation is a little bit harder to count but I am the
system needs to automated anyway and it is the fairest possible democratic

I hope you will all consider it carefully and seriously.


Alan Horkan

> When the referendum goes ahead in October, the current board recommends the
> GNOME Foundation members to vote to introduce anonymous voting. The current
> membership committee are in the process of defining the anonymous voting
> mechanism, and require the help of a few python developers. If you are interested
> in reading about the current proposed mechanism, have a look here -
> If you would like to help out, please get in touch with the Membership
> Committee by emailing membership-committee gnome org 
> Glynn

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