[EM] divided house problem of close vote (50%+1)

Howard Swerdfeger electorama.com at howard.swerdfeger.com
Wed Mar 14 06:32:27 PDT 2007

>>For every vote there are 3 possible outcomes:
>>1. It passes with a super majority.
>>2. It fails with a super majority.
>>3. It is 'close', and a new vote is auto-magically triggered
>>      * scheduled to allow for debate and discussion in between votes.
> In general, I dislike indefinitely repeated elections because they
> increase voting costs for both the society and the voters in propotion
> to the number of rounds they require.

agreed. This would only be appropriate for situation where, the cost of 
the decision of little importance, when compared to the importance of 
the decision it self.

> As a real-world alternative, for votes within the Debian project,
> there is usually a "further discussion" option in addition to any
> specific candidates.  This option also replaces "no" options when the
> other proposals are changes to the status quo.  In an election to
> office, this could provide a sort of approval threshold in an
> otherwise Condorcet method, although I do not think the Debian
> elections use the option in this way.

I was trying to look at a situation that would always produce a majority 
of some kind. Every democracy I am aware of passes laws with a yes no 
ballot by the legislative body. Generally these votes take the form "Yes 
we will do X" or "No we will maintain the status quo."

Adding a 3rd option convolute the matter in my opinion.

> I say "ordinary" topics because changes to areas such as rules of
> procedure will generally require a supermajority to change, and a
> clear majority that falls short of the supermajority should not be
> able to effect the change even if the elections are repeated.  

Generally, in reality this is only sometimes true.
Israel has "Basic laws" but no constitution, They can be changed by a 
simple majority of parliament.

Parts of the Canadian constitution that only effect a specific province 
can be changed in some provinces with a simple majority of the 
provincial parliament.

Parts of the German Constitution can not legally be changed ever.

> could be addressed in your proposal by adjusting the -50% factor to be
> the necessary approval level for the proposal.)

adjusting the "Leak" rate simply adjust the longterm threshold. This may 
be appropriate for some situations.

> Michael Poole

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