Michel Pelletier wrote:
> We will be conducting a community poll to decide what to call Python
> (Perl, insert your language here) Methods.
> [snip]
> So, before the poll, we are calling for nominiations from the
> community.  Please send me an email containing one or more candidate
> names.  These names will be added to the list.  No pre-screening will be
> done, so please exercise some discretion if your favorite name is more
> tounge-in-cheek than practical (you never know what the masses will
> decide though!).
> Later this week, I will create a web poll where you can vote for your
> favorite.

I would like to suggest that instead of a plurality vote, we
use a 'Borda count', also known as an 'preferential' or
'single-transferable' ballot. Those of you who followed the
recent ICANN election should be familiar with it.

It works like this:

All votes consist of ranking the availble choices according
to desireability (if there are six choices, you would number
them 1-6, each choice must be uniquely ranked, not all
choices must be ranked).

All voters first choices are tallied. If, at this point, one
choice has achieved over 50% of the vote, the vote is over.

If no choice has achieved 50%, the choice with the fewest
votes is removed, and the voters who voted for that choice
have their second choice counted and distributed. If at this
point one of the choices acheives 50%...etc. Lather, Rinse,

This method has the advantage of better representing peoples
true choice, since no one is tempted to vote for a choice
that they simply disapprove of less, because 'otherwise
they're throwing away their vote'.

In a five-way race for example, a plurality may consist of
25% of the vote, thereby ensuring that 75% of the voters
will be pissed off. With a Borda count though, the winner
could be everyone's second-favorite choice, thus better
representing what people want.

There's a few other wrinkles to this, such as situatuions
where not all choices have been ranked. If a voter has only
ranked four choices and a fifth runoff phase is neccessary,
their ballot is discarded, and the 50% mark is recalculated
for that phase to account for the reduced number of ballots.


Michael Bernstein.

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