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Re: Form of proportional representation

From: Martin J. Dürst <duerst@it.aoyama.ac.jp>
Date: Tue, 11 Dec 2012 17:44:26 +0900
Message-ID: <50C6F26A.5090304@it.aoyama.ac.jp>
To: Karl Dubost <karld@opera.com>
CC: Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>, Henry Thompson <ht@inf.ed.ac.uk>, "www-tag@w3.org List" <www-tag@w3.org>
On 2012/12/11 16:58, Karl Dubost wrote:
> Larry, Henry (Thompson),
> thanks,
> One question though.
> Le 11 déc. 2012 à 16:48, Larry Masinter a écrit :
>>    http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/2012/10/07-minutes#item02
> "ht: ask the AB to review the voting procedures to change them to a form of proportional representation"
> What does that mean?
> I don't know if the scribing captures what henry expressed.

I can't speak for Henry, but proportional representation is a system 
used for parliamentary elections in most of Europe (but not France and 
the UK) and South America, apparently. See e.g. 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proportional_representation. The goal is to 
try and get close to a result where different parties/factions/interests 
are represented proportionally to the strength of their constituencies.

To give an fictitious example with the TAG, let's assume there is an XML 
party, a Semantic Web party, and an HTML5 party, and each of these 
proposes four candidates for the four open slots. Then in a majority 
vote (as currently), the party with the most votes (assuming all voters 
just vote for the four candidates of their favorite party) will win all 
open seats, even if no party is in the majority. With a proportionality 
vote, the seats may be distributed more evenly; every party that manages 
to get a quarter or more of the overall votes would get an open seat, 
and so on.

As with all kinds of election systems, there are lots of variations, 
each with its advantages and disadvantages. At first sight, and in some 
situations, a proportional representation system for the TAG seems to 
make quite some sense.

But it's not really that easy. First, there are no parties to start 
with. Second, I personally hope that the voters (the AC reps) give a lot 
of consideration to the actual people up for election, not just to 
"party membership". Third, while I think it is very important to have 
people with all kinds of technology backgrounds on the TAG, ideally they 
should cross "party lines". Fourth, it may be difficult to introduce 
proportional representation if a large part of the W3C Membership (in 
particular those from the US) are not familiar with this system at all.

Anyway, for the current TAG elections, it's too late to change the 
rules. Given that a lot of details have to be worked out, this will take 
some time, if it ever happens.

Regards,   Martin.
Received on Tuesday, 11 December 2012 08:45:10 UTC

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