[EM] Election Methods Polls

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax abd at lomaxdesign.com
Tue Jun 21 22:21:16 PDT 2005

It's a known thing that answers can depend on questions. :-)

This is why in deliberative bodies, the form of what is going to be voted 
upon is subject to discussion and amendment prior to actually being put to 
the question.

So, first of all, to come up with a truly useful poll, the form of the poll 
should be developed, preferably as a consensus document, *before* actually 
opening the poll for voting.

The poll that was started uses a wiki page, and wiki pages are designed for 
the creation of consensus documents, not for polls; polls, ideally, should 
separate the questions from the answers, and should allow easy tabulation 
of answers.

Which is why content management systems like Tiki-Wiki, in addition to 
offering the wiki, offer polls, surveys, and quizzes.

If it were the case that those interested in election methods had time to 
burn, then little harm would be done by simply putting up a poll and seeing 
what answers come back. But it is not that way, and many of the people of 
whom, I'd assume, we would most want to participate don't have time to 
answer multiple polls, it is going to be difficult enough to get them to 
fill out one poll, not to mention many.

So I'd suggest this: the form of a poll should be developed as a wiki page, 
such as Suggested EM Poll Form.

Then an actual poll or survey should be taken. I don't know what software 
exactly is being used by the electorama wiki. BeyondPolitics.org has 
Tiki-Wiki installed, which does offer polls and surveys. (The difference is 
that a poll is a list of items or questions and a voter can check as many 
items as desired, whereas a survey is a list of items or questions that can 
have multiple choices for each question as well as ratings. I.e., Polls can 
be used for Approval Voting, and Surveys for more complex systems. Surveys 
can also have text box answers.)

One problem is that, so far, as far as I can see, the identity of voters 
for Tiki-Wiki surveys is not openly revealed. In this case, I think that 
identity is important. But that's just my opinion.

If the electorama wiki does not have a poll or survey facility,, I'd be 
happy to offer it to this community. But I suspect that the software allows 
it but the option is not enabled.

yahoogroups lists also have polling facilities which have the concealment 
of identity as an option, as I recall.

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