[EM] MJ for use on wikipedia?

Juho Laatu juho4880 at yahoo.co.uk
Fri Sep 28 14:10:17 PDT 2012

On 28.9.2012, at 22.33, Jameson Quinn wrote:

> 2012/9/28 Juho Laatu <juho4880 at yahoo.co.uk>
> 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.
> Please actually read the essay I linked earlier. It begins by acknowledging that consensus discussion is the norm on wikipedia, as you say. MJ is proposed specifically for those rare cases when that does not work and some decision is necessary (such as the "choice of software tool" example you give).

I read it and I tried to cover both competitive and non-competitive approaches, but I admit that I got too much lost on the non-competitive side while your text focused on the competitive part.

I understood that as long as we are talking about the "!voting" system we are talking about the discussion and consensus driven approach.

I didn't study the history of the Ireland and abortion activism cases. I wonder if they were cases where people decided to vote on the Wikipedia content, or maybe on something else like used tools.

> ...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.
> I disagree. The cases when consensus discussion fails to resolve the issue are precisely those cases when strategy is salient.

I can see at least three levels. The first one is the discussion and consensus based track where we probably need not make any voting decisions, but polling style information is enough (to be used for making decisions).

Then there is voting in a friendly environment. There I assume that the Wikipedia community is a characteristically non-competitive society where one can expect all (or almost all) voters to be sincere (that could mean e.g. use of Range to decide which tool is best, without strategy concerns).

The third level could be used when there obviously is a fight going on, and people think that the correct way to solve the problem is by voting, and voters indeed want to beat each others and do not trust the sincerity of each others when they vote. I guess there are also fights that are this strong in the Wikipedia community. Sometimes they could be solved by voting, but hopefully more often by letting the fighters cool down and find a solution that can be accepted by all. Maybe one typical (Wikipedia content related) situation could be to decide if some part of a controversial Wikipedia article is acceptable or not. But also in that case, maybe the controversial nature and fights on some parts of the text would be a sufficient reason to not include those parts in the Wikipedia article. (I'm not fully familiar with the current Wikipedia working practices, but I'd expect something like that.)

My point is that since Wikipedia aims at discussion and consensus on its work (probably also on other matters than Wikipedia content), the used methods could reflect this principle (first level: polling, second level non-competitive methods, third level: competitive strategy resistant methods). Probably competitive voting should never be the recommended way of working, but only the last resort. A voting procedure that can be used in competitive conflicts could be agreed, but if possible, never or seldom used. When used, that means giving temporarily up the principle of "polling is not a substitute for discussion".

Maybe a decision on whether some part of text is acceptable or not could be made by "elders" using the second level voting, or better yet, using the first level process. Often also a timeout (and temporary removal of possible controversial content) may be a better approach (and the default approcah) than deciding something in a competitive election. Same with technical decisions on tools. I don't believe there would ve very often cases where the decision has to be made right away, bypassing the consensus approach.

I wonder if this makes sense to you. My text above may still not be a very good match with your article, but maybe you can tell how you see the need of those three levels of polling/voting based decision making in the Wikipedia community.


> Jameson

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.electorama.com/pipermail/election-methods-electorama.com/attachments/20120929/25d039fe/attachment-0004.htm>

More information about the Election-Methods mailing list