Re: time to (re)consider preferential voting?

At the risk of sounding like a bad person...

On Sat, Feb 23, 2008 at 6:33 PM, James Henstridge <james jamesh id au> wrote:
>  I think the same arguments about not locking out candidates stand when
>  you generalise single seat instant run-off to multiple seat single
>  transferable vote: if the candidate you prefer is unpopular and gets
>  eliminated at the start, this does not penalise you for choosing them.
>  This gives you another benefit over our current system: you aren't
>  penalised for picking a popular candidate.

I was thinking of speaking up earlier, but was a bit worried about it.
 Since James seemed to nail it on the head so well, though, I thought
my experience might be enlightening.  (By the way, both of these
features James points out would be really nice...)

>  You may never have made a strategic vote with our current system, but
>  it is definitely possible.

I doubt many who have done so will speak up.  I just doesn't
look right.  At the risk of hitting that problem though, let me state
that I have been one person to do so and I suspect there are many

In particular, I've seen time after time where someone decides to run
but doesn't do very well their first year, despite the fact that I
think they'd be great.  (And in several cases, does do increasingly
better in later years if they try again.)  For some, it discourages
them from trying again.  The problem seems to mostly be with the fact
that while these people are very positive contributors and are well
regarded among those that know them, they're only known within a small
subset of the wider GNOME community.  It seems that those who work on
the bugsquad, the release team, or other "visibile-in-the-community"
positions have better odds of making it.  I'll take clarkbw's and J5's
first run as an example; I thought both would be great candidates, but
neither got elected.  clarkbw didn't try again; J5 did (after being on
the release team for a bit over a year...did that help?) and got on
the board.

Trying to counteract this factor, I've often voted for such people
that I thought would be great and would be unknown in the wider
community, and omitted voting for people I liked that I knew would
make it on the board anyway (often making sure to select fewer people
than the maximum I was allowed).  I was hoping it would even out the
number of votes a little bit, and make those who didn't get elected
feel more encouraged to try again.

My hat is off to those who have run for the foundation board and to
those who have served and are serving on it.  I considered running a
couple times, but I really think it'd be too rough for me.  I'm glad
others have stepped up where I stepped away.

Anyway, a long winded way of saying I'd like to try out preferential voting.


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