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Is strategic voting a problem? - was RE: Don't disclose election results

From: Michael Champion (MS OPEN TECH) <Michael.Champion@microsoft.com>
Date: Fri, 6 Jun 2014 15:30:35 +0000
To: Robin Berjon <robin@w3.org>, David Singer <singer@apple.com>, "public-w3process@w3.org" <public-w3process@w3.org>
CC: Robin Berjon <robin@berjon.com>
Message-ID: <1402068635045.28073@microsoft.com>
> I think that strategic voting by at least 10-20% of the electorate is a
> fact; what I *don't* know is whether it really makes a difference:

I don't have strong feelings either way, but i'm thinking that if someone feels strongly enough about a candidate to throw all the other votes away in order to vote for that candidate, that's fine.  It could help increase diversity and representativeness by allowing people strongly enough aligned for geographic or philosophical reasons that they will throw their other votes away get a representative elected.

 If someone wants to have it both ways to vote strategically AND use all their votes (Chaals has been frank that he's often in this position), I see that as a tradeoff people just have to make : Do I maximize the impact of my one vote, or do I maximize the impact of my collective votes? Life is full of these dilemmas...

Again, I'd like to see us explore with real experiments whether an alternative scheme would actually change the outcome of elections,  and  be understandable enough to AC reps so that we don't decrease turnout. 

BUT  I still think the much worse problem is that we have qualified and committed people who wish to contribute to the AB/TAG but aren't elected because we are forced to select only 5 of them each year.   Nothing I've seen in these threads indicates that there are more than 20-30 people in the consortium who know/care enough about what either group does and have the employer support to spend time on it.  I'm just not convinced that there would have been a downside to having all 12 of the people who ran for the AB this year be seated, and letting them self-select who stays depending on their actual contributions.  Take away the fun of the competition and the supposed prestige of winning, we'll be left with the people who really want to spend their time working to improve how W3C runs and what it says about the architecture of the Web.  

________________________________________
From: Robin Berjon <robin@w3.org>
Sent: Friday, June 6, 2014 12:38 AM
To: David Singer; public-w3process@w3.org
Cc: Robin Berjon
Subject: Re: Don't disclose election results

On 05/06/2014 22:24 , David Singer wrote:
> On Jun 4, 2014, at 12:48 , Robin Berjon <robin@w3.org> wrote:
>> As for strategic voting, only about half of AC reps vote for all
>> slots. 20-25% vote for just one. (The rest distributes in between.)
>> So there is no doubt that it is going on.
>
> Really?  I can quite easily imagine there are AC Reps who only knew
> some of the candidates, and by the time they excluded ones they knew
> and didnít like, found they had to accept a few so as to vote.  At
> least, thatís how I imagine I got elected.  It might not be
> strategic, merely caution.

What makes me think it's strategic is the shape of the curve. Strategic
voting is characterised by voting for just one candidate. Voting only
for people you know, out of caution, should spread relatively evenly
across knowing 1, 2, 3, etc. people. But things look more like:

1: 25
2: 4
3: 4
4: 15
5: 50

We have two AC reps on the record stating they vote strategically (at
least in elections in which they run): Chaals and Henry Thompson. It's
something that was already discussed when I was an AC rep (and that's
starting to be a while agoÖ). In a previous election we also know for a
fact (because his email blast went to a few people it shouldn't have
gone to) that at least one candidate asked his voters to vote
strategically (and many did, though that wasn't enough).

I think that strategic voting by at least 10-20% of the electorate is a
fact; what I *don't* know is whether it really makes a difference: if
voters spread it out evenly and the numbers are low, it can quite
possibly cancel itself out.

--
Robin Berjon - http://berjon.com/ - @robinberjon
Received on Friday, 6 June 2014 15:31:16 UTC

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