[EM] electowidget

bql at bolson.org bql at bolson.org
Tue Nov 1 16:23:56 PST 2005

Being an implementation wonk as I am, I comment...

On Tue, 1 Nov 2005, Warren Smith wrote:

> Second, I do not like negative numbers as votes.  They are confusing.
> Make it 0 to 10 not -5 to +5, say.

I disagree. I think negative and positive numbers map quite naturally to 
dislike and like degrees.

> Third, your poll is totaled using Schulze.  Why?
> I would like it to be totalled using lots of methods and see what happens.
> Which methods have been implemented?

Tallying with lots of methods is nice, but kinda hard on the implementer. 
I've implemented half a dozen methods myself in my C/C++/Java/Perl code 
(which I ought to update the availability of, it should go up at
http://bolson.org/voting/dist/ ). I expect, as that's the way I'd run it, 
that if you were to code up an election method and volunteer the source as 
a contribution to the project it'd be gladly accepted and integrated. I 
won't be taking part in this one as I don't do PHP.

> Fourth, I prefer it if we are allowed to offer "X" (no opinion, intentional blank)
> as a vote for something we know nothing about.   Your "0" vote
> can have the effect of supporting or denigrating a candidate (it depends on
> what the other votes are for the other candidates).

No-vote can be a valid alternative to '0', but I think the disconnect 
you're seeing is between expression and interpretation. It may be that 
some election methods will interpret the expression on your ballot in ways 
you don't think it should. I guess that might be considered a drawback of 
the method. The possible support or anti-support 0 can result in can only 
be due to the relative ratings of other choices, and I'm satisfied that 
most systems for which this might be an issue will actually keep my vote 
relatively consistent and wouldn't be a problem.

Brian Olson

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