Re: GNOME Board of Directors Foundation Elections Spring 2009 - Preliminary results

Hey Lionel!

Lionel Dricot wrote:
Honnestly, I'm not interested about the algorithm.  The easier it is, the
best it is for me.
I believe that we announced that we will use Maemo software for elections.
If we want to stay transparent, I believe we have to stay with the Maemo
method. If it had drawbacks, we should have been concerned before the

I have the feeling that you think this is about a very different counting method. It's not. And using the Maemo software doesn't imply how to count the ballots, because the Maemo voting script doesn't implement any STV mechanisms. So you can use the Maemo software and still count the ballots in many ways using "OpenSTV". But see below :)

I propose the following :

1) What are the results with the Maemo method ?

Well. It's not that easy. The "Maemo method" was "Random Transfer STV with Droop-Static-Whole threshold", see But they have switched to "Fractional Transfer Vote" now for the reasons below.

2) What is the problem with those results ? (aka : why should we use
another method ?)

Because "Random Transfer STV with Droop-Static-Whole threshold" might change the result if the order of the ballots is changed, due to votes being transferred more or less randomly.

And to not have an election based on randomness, Maemo switched to a more deterministic method.

3) What are the results with alternatives methods ? (by Alternative, I
suggest to try other algo like Condorcet or simple preferential vote.
Maybe we will discover that results are nearly always the same)

It's not a very different counting method. Just implementation details. But they matter in our case: Srinivasa would be elected instead of Jorge.

4) Maybe ask people for who the method change their elected status if they
accept the Maemo result ?

Good point.

Anyway, I want to insist that, in my opinion, we were using Maemo method,
including the counting algorithm. I believe that this « using Maemo » was
reasonnably clear. People interested in the algo should have challenged us
before the election. [...]

Given that I think you've slightly misunderstood the current situation, does that statement still hold? :)

We probably could stick to it, arguing, that we use the Maemo voting script which doesn't change the order of the ballots and thus the result is perfectly reproducible.

But my impression is, that the Fractional Transfer is more deterministic and thus better suited to hold an election.


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