[EM] MJ for use on wikipedia?

Juho Laatu juho4880 at yahoo.co.uk
Fri Sep 28 12:21:54 PDT 2012

Since Wikipedia says in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:VOTE that "voting" is used maily to help in building consesus. The polls are thus not expected to be competitive. The final decisions are not made based on the poll results but in a discussion that the polls should help.

Because of this approach to voting and Wikipedia work in general, the main target of the polling seems to be to provide good information on the opinions and thereby help the process. It seems to me that one shold focus more on the results with sincere votes than on trying to make it impossible for the voters to use strategies to falsify the results. If someone will falsify the results and people will note that, it is not a problem since the outcome of the poll is not a binding one. The srategists would be told that the basic idea of Wikipedia is to co-operate, and they are supposed to give sincere answers in the polls. People who try to cheat and mislead others probably will not stay in the Wikipedia community for very long.

Since the method should be informative and not make strict decisions, there is no need to even declare the winner. One could just collect rankings from the voters and then collect and publish various informative results based on those polls. If there is a Condorcet winner opinion, that would of course be mentioned. But one could have multiple criteria on which candidate is best, and the result could well say that according to criterion 1 candidate 1 is best, but according to criteron 2 candidate 2 is best. The discussion would continue from these facts, and could eventually lead to deciding which one of the candidates is best and which criteria are most valid in this case.

One could collect also ratings in addition to rankings, if that adds some useful information. Often also ratings might add something interesting. One could also include additional pesudo-candidates in the candidate list, or other additional information in the ballot. For example if one wants to decide which elements should be included in some article, one could have a pseudo-candidate "acceptability limit". It would be useful to know not only which candidates are better than others but also which candidates are generally considered acceptable.

My point here is thus that for the purposes of Wikipedia consensus building, the polling system could simply collect as much useful information from the voters/workers as it can. People are not supposed to fight on which candidate wins but to discuss on the properties of all the candidates.

There may be also need for more competitive polls, e.g. when the community wants to decide what tool to use for some purpose. Then there is a need to choose one single solution on the spot. But when following the "discussion based consensus" approach, the main target could be to just collect information. Taking into account the non-competitive nature of the Wikipedia community, also the strict (competitive, not discussion and consensus based) elections probably need not be very strategy resistance oriented.

In summary, the non-competitive, discussion and consensus oriented nature of Wikipedia may have impact on how and what polling / voting methods are used.


On 28.9.2012, at 15.59, Jameson Quinn wrote:

> I've written a "wikipedia essay" on how Majority Judgment would be a good option for resolving certain disputes, in the extremely rare (but real) case when it does come down to a vote. This essay has garnered a positive mention in a pending Wikipedia RFC (Request For Comment).
> Jameson
> ps. This should go without saying, but please don't use my real name if you respond to this essay on Wikipedia itself or repost anything about this elsewhere.
> ----
> Election-Methods mailing list - see http://electorama.com/em for list info

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