Re: time to (re)consider preferential voting?

[snip plenty of good discussion]

On Sun, 2008-02-24 at 10:33 +0900, James Henstridge wrote:
> On 17/02/2008, Shaun McCance <shaunm gnome org> wrote:
> >  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?
> Is it really that much more difficult to order a list of ten
> candidates as opposed to selecting 7 out of the 10?

I don't want to drag this argument out, and I'm not going to
fight against preferential voting if that's what people want.

But yes, I really do think it's hard to order a list of ten
candidates.  I don't usually even select seven out of ten.
In the last election, I selected maybe four or five.  Why?
Because I just don't have a strong enough opinion on the
others, and I think a random vote is worse than no vote.

> Even if you aren't sure of a total ordering, you can probably pick a
> few candidates that you definitely want elected (put them at the top)
> and some candidates you definitely don't want elected (put them at the
> bottom).  You might decide to order the remainder randomly if you
> don't care about them.

If, as your argument above indicates, this ordering can
have drastic impacts on the outcome of the vote, I would
not want to order them randomly.  Would the system still
allow me to order my top five, and abstain of everybody
else?  A voting system that doesn't allow abstaining has


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