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awiiya
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I've noticed that a lot of MD's decisions are made based on polls, which is in my opinion a very good thing, however, sometimes majority polling does a poor job of ensuring that the maximum number of people are pleased:

Let's give a hypothetical system. Say we have a common system of voting, were majority rules, and each person gets one vote towards a choice. We have four choices: A, B, C, D. We have three 8 people: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Here are the preferences for the choices, if each person ranked the choices:

1 - A, C, D, B
2 - D, C, B, A
3 - B, C, A, D
4 - A, C, D, B
5 - D, C, A, B
6 - D, C, A, B
7 - C, B, A, D
8 - C, A, B, D

In this case, if each person cast their vote, choice D would win. But wait, that doesn't make much sense: if you pay attention, the majority people placed D low on their list, and while the three that won would be happy, the five that did not would be displeased. A better result would have been choice C, because everyone put that choice at 1 or 2, and so at least everybody would be moderately pleased.

The problem with majority polls, especially when there are a larger number of choices, is that it is often the radicals that win, and not the choice that truly represents the best interests of all.

Mur does try to even out his votes by using reasons and weighting it based on active days, but it is still a majority rules with a singular winner: we do not get any information about preferences besides the one.

The best voting system, it seems to me, is one that takes into account that it might not be the number 1 choice, but rather the choice that is rated highest across the board. There are a few other voting systems that people could look into (I'm not saying any are perfect):

1. Approval - this is a very simple system, in which you approve or disprove of a candidate. For example, you are given a list of people and told to check all the people you would not mind leading. Then, the person with the most approves wins.

2. Cumulative - Each person is given a set number of points to allocate to the choices as they see fit. Example: you are given 10 votes to distribute to a number of choices however you please. The choice with the most points wins. This voting system offers for more strategy: you could place all your votes into one choice, but if that choice might loose, perhaps splitting up your votes would result in a positive result for your second choice.

3. Rank - Given a number of choices, rank them. Often there is a point system like a track meet: first place gets 3, second 2, third 1. The choice with most total points wins.

There are other systems too. Keep in mind that majority voting is often deceptive in that it is truly unfair in many cases, despite our best efforts to represent the interests of everybody.

You are welcome to discuss.

Awi

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system is best really, Mur overall judges the arguments and Mur overall has the final descion. He could easily "cheat" someone into being the winner, But i trust Mur's judgement enough to believe that any other systems would add more work, and may actually be less reliable.

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Yeah, I have to agree with Chewett.

While the current system relies on Mur actually doing the work himself, I trust him to do so fairly.
Especially when the last Land Leader votes had a section to name a second preference anyway.

I do think that this data is usefull to anyone other than Mur trying to use public opinion to reach a decision, but it only really has an impact when there are more than 2 choices (the more choices, the higher the impact).

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[quote]
Yeah, I have to agree with Chewett.

While the current system relies on Mur actually doing the work himself, I trust him to do so fairly.
Especially when the last Land Leader votes had a section to name a second preference anyway.

I do think that this data is usefull to anyone other than Mur trying to use public opinion to reach a decision, but it only really has an impact when there are more than 2 choices (the more choices, the higher the impact).
[/quote]

I agree that the current system works fine, but remember: Mur is always looking for ways in which things can be automated so that his load is lightened, and so that eventually he can play the game alongside us without worrying about small details. All the methods to poll I listed can be automated, and require no addition work besides having a machine tally the scores.

Awi

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Approval: when there's only two options there's no problem. If you're suggesting people should only list two possible choices, I doubt many will listen.

Cumulative: suppose several choices are close to eachother, more like nuances than actual differences, and one choice is an extreme which has nothing in common with the other choices. The ones voting for the extreme will put all points on it, while the ones voting moderately will spread points because they don't want to put all eggs in one basket. Note that if everyone who reads this argument decides to never spread their points, the system is defeated as well.

Ranking: the same as cumulative but forcing people to stick to one type of spread. An obvious problem is if there's no second choice you consider worthy.


There's one method you haven't mentioned: elimination. People list all choices in order of preference. First you count all the choices which are ranked 1. If there's no majority, you look for the choice which has the least votes and then remove it from everybody's list. You shift all votes ranked below that choice to the left and recount the votes which are now ranked n°1. This quickly gets rid of extreme opinions. To illustrate it with your example ballots:
[quote name='awiiya' date='26 May 2010 - 07:38 PM' timestamp='1274895506' post='60413']
Let's give a hypothetical system. Say we have a common system of voting, were majority rules, and each person gets one vote towards a choice. We have four choices: A, B, C, D. We have three 8 people: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Here are the preferences for the choices, if each person ranked the choices:

1 - A, C, D, B
2 - D, C, B, A
3 - B, C, A, D
4 - A, C, D, B
5 - D, C, A, B
6 - D, C, A, B
7 - C, B, A, D
8 - C, A, B, D
[/quote]
Step 1. The first choices are a d b a d d c c => no majority, b is least popular => remove b, shift left
New ballots:
1 a, c, d
2 d, c, a
3 c, a, d
4 a, c, d
5 d, c, a
6 d, c, a
7 c, a, d
8 c, a, d

Step 2. New first choices are a d c a d d c c => no majority, a is least popular => remove a, shift left
1 c, d
2 d, c
3 c, d
4 c, d
5 d, c
6 d, c
7 c, d
8 c, d

Step 3. 5 c vs 3 d => c wins

Alternatively you could look at the last rank and remove what is most voted for in that rank. In this case the result would be the same, which is good. It would also not kick out the choice that is everybody's number 2 but nobody's number 1 (ie the best compromise). Although you'd assume with large numbers that wouldn't occur. Or you could do both, and check for agreement, but then the process is semi-automated; if there's no agreement you'll need to decide manually (and be biased of course).

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