Re: Anonymous Voting Referendum (via digest)


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

>From this I'll assume you're talking about the single transferrable vote system
that is used in Ireland? It doesn't really make sense to talk about a pure
proportional representation system in a GNOME election since we don't really
have a party system (except for the Novell party, the RedHat party, the Sun
party, and the independents).

As you point out, STV is very hard to count. I agree that giving everyone 12
votes or whatever it is isn't exactly an ideal system, but I don't think that
STV is the solution.

For those non-Irish amongst us, the STV system works like this:

People assign a preference to the candidates, from 1 to C where C is the number
of candidates (they may also just do 1, 2 and 3, for example). If you have a
constituency with n seats, with a valid poll of size P, the quota (the number
of votes you need to be elected) is  (P/(n+1) + 1). If all the seats aren't
filled after the first count (the #1 preferences), the candidate with the
lowest number of votes is eliminated and his #2s are distributed among the
remaining candidates.

If a candidate exceeds the quota on the first count, his surplus (the number of
votes that he got over and above the quota) are distributed among the remaining
candidates also. This is done by arranging the ballots according to the #2
preference, calculating the percentages of #2s for each candidate, and then
taking the appropriate number of ballots from the elected candidate and
distributing them.

I'm not going to go into any more detail. This system is more or less
proportional on a nationwide basis, if you have multi-seat constituencies, and
it leads to very exciting counts, where typically in Ireland (166 seats), there
are 3 or 4 counts which go on for 2 or 3 days, with multiple recounts and
margins of 2 or 3 votes. It is also a very difficult system to verify, and I
wouldn't reccommend it to anyone.

> 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
> system.

This is indeed a bold claim... how do you see PR working for the foundation
elections? What makes you think it's the fairest possible democratic solution?


Dave Neary
Lyon, France
bolsh gimp org

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