Re: time to (re)consider preferential voting?

On Sat, 2008-02-16 at 10:53 -0500, Luis Villa wrote:
> [Speaking purely as a Foundation member and not as a member of the
> Board; I've not discussed this with the Board at all.]
> Some years ago the Foundation considered the use of preferential
> voting to select the board. At the time I opposed it, for reasons I
> don't fully recall but which in retrospect probably boiled down to
> 'I'm unfamiliar with it.' I believe that at the time we'd also have
> had to write the software, which would not have been fun. But I've
> come around to believing that this is a better way to run elections.
> It appears that by the time of our next election, we'll have a
> third-party, free software solution available for the problem, used
> recently and successfully by
> I'm still trying to puzzle through the bylaws (which are a bit of a
> mess wrt voting) as to what it would take to actually enact this
> change (bottom line is probably that the board can just say 'it should
> be this way'), but in the meantime I thought it might be good to have
> a bit of discussion here around whether or not this is a good idea.

Maybe I'm the only one, but I don't really see the point.
For the record, I strongly advocate preferential voting
in situations where you are electing exactly one person.
In these cases, non-preferential voting systems tend to
lock out candidates.

For the board elections, we are electing seven people,
and we each get to cast up to seven votes.  I don't
think we've ever seen the list of candidates unfairly
cut due to non-preferential voting.  And I'm sure I've
never made a strategic vote for one person instead of
another I like more, simply to block another person.

Any preferential voting systems is going to make the
voting process more difficult.  If I had had to order
my votes in previous elections, I'm sure it would have
been mostly arbitrary.  If it's not solving any real
problems, why bother?


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