RationalWiki talk:Moderator elections/Nominations/Archive4

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That time of year again[edit]

Are you Nominating these people Blue? AceModerator 04:24, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

I am! Blue (is useful) 04:24, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
Always good to see Ace's collection of propoganda posters. I trust we'll get some awesome ones this year? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 09:02, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
There's a good one already on the campaigns page. Sophiebecause liberals 09:23, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
If I had the skillz I'd be on it. Actually, I'd convince someone to nominate me and then use my posters to rule the wiki with an iron fist. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 12:31, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

Explanation of voting method[edit]

I have a "block" in being able to comprehend how the "single vote" method system works. But this time instead of my usual whining about not understanding it, I've consolidated it to a couple of pertinent questions that may help me understand better. If anyone could answer one or both of these questions, I'd be most appreciative. Thanks! Refugeetalk page 22:14, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

  1. Does the person to whom I give my first (highest) vote get a larger "share" of vote, or "weight" if I vote for that person alone, than they would if I vote for several people?
  2. Does each person I vote for get a "portion" of my vote, or is the vote strength not diluted by the sheer number of votes I cast? In that case, how is it apportioned?

(Apologies for my lack of comprehension. :-( and please don't split the questions, but rather answer below) Thanks! :-)
...

No; each vote you cast, no matter how many, carries equal weight. However, on your ranked choice ballot, the first person you help elect will be the only person who receives your vote. In other words, you cast multiple ballots, but only one ends up going toward the vote count. Blue (pester) 22:23, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
Only one vote counts? Refugeetalk page 22:26, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
Yes, you can only contribute a vote to one winning candidate. However, there are two conditions in which your vote won't be applied, 1) if the person has all ready won, or 2) if it is impossible for the person you voted for to win. We then take everyone's vote who did not count, pick their next choice and recalculate until all seats are filled. 50.130.133.249 (talk) 22:55, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
Hmmm... so, that brings up a new question. If I think that my top choice is a sure thing to win, without my vote, then it might be wiser to cast my vote for my second choice, thereby ensuring both my favorites win. ? Refugeetalk page 23:05, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
Yes, like all election systems known to man, tactical voting is possible. 50.130.133.249 (talk) 23:16, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
Hah. And here I thought it was an original thought on my part. :p Thanks for the link - but it's lead to yet another question (sorry). Here is the quote: "The Single Transferable Vote - If one's top-choice candidate is elected, only a fraction of one's vote will be transferred to one's next-favoured candidate. If one feels the favoured candidate is certain to be elected in any case, insincerely ranking the second candidate first guarantees them a full vote if needed. However, the greater the certainty of the first candidate being elected, the bigger their likely surplus, the higher the fraction of the vote that would be transferred to the next candidate, and hence the lower the proportionate benefit of tactical voting." - Ok, this talks about a "fraction of a vote" being transferred to another candidate - so now I am confused - I thought it was stated above that only one vote counts. ? What fraction of a vote gets transferred? What percentage? Thx Refugeetalk page 23:25, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
This is where thinks can get complicated but I will try. The idea behind STV is surplus votes from a winning candidate are transferred based on the next preference choice. The question becomes how do you transfer the votes. Two main approaches exist, one is a random transfer the other is a fractional. Lets say there are 40 votes for a candidate and the threshold to win is 20. So there are 20 surplus votes. Random transfer just picks 20 random ballots who voted for the winner and transfers them to the second preference. This is simple, but has the effect of altering the election outcome based on the order the ballots our counted. Fractional attempts to rectify this by transferring all of the votes for a winning candidate but only at a fraction such that the total votes transferred equals the surplus. So in this example all 40 people's second choice gets counted but only at 1/2 weight so only 20 votes are transferred. Probabilisticaly these are identical methods, in the sense that with random transfer you have a 50 percent chance that your vote is counted. Fractional just attempts to eliminate counting order as a factor. 50.130.133.249 (talk) 23:40, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
I see... it is becoming much more clear. I think that I would prefer the method where all votes are transferred at a percentage, rather than just some, as I'm thinking that if it happens again, that only those people's votes would then count for the next person (arghh - not a good way to phrase it, as you can see, I'm not all that articulate) but what I'm trying to say is that I think it's better to consider everyone's votes, even at a reduced percentage, than choose some at random. I don't know if that's the way it will be done, but it seems like that would be a good way anyway. Thank you for your patience in making it easier for me to understand. Much appreciated. :-) (my mysterious benefactor of knowledge?) Refugeetalk page 23:56, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
[EC] It is a bit confusing, but I think I basically understand it, so I'll give you my take and someone will probably coming along in a bit and let me know I'm full of shit and explain how it really works. But here goes: based on how many candidates there are, there is a certain number of votes each candidates needs in order to be elected. Let's just say in this case it's 10. Once a candidate gets 10 votes all the other votes get transferred to other candidates. However, since chronology is not a factor, it's not like the 11th person to vote for the guy has his vote go to his second choice. Instead the 11th and all previous and subsequent votes are broken up into fractions, with a fraction of the vote going to all their second choices. This holds true for further trickle down votes as well. The Wikipedia article makes it seem pretty straightforward, but their sample scenario is pretty simple, and only has 3 seats to fill, rather than 9, as we have. It gets complicated fast. DickTurpis (talk) 23:51, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
Ok, more information is good. Thanks. Sadly, I have read the Wikipedia article more than once, but just wasn't understanding it. (I think I single-handedly caused my Accounting Professor to resign from my college - sometimes I just don't get the things that others do) I appreciate the help. :-) Refugeetalk page 23:59, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
An afternote - wow, I don't even want to think about all the math that must go into planning a voting system like that. Refugeetalk page 00:02, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
After the votes are counted, we're supposed to have a rundown on how the voting worked so everyone can basically understand it, or at least try to. I believe it never happened last time, so I tried going over it longhand on a spreadsheet. It was a huge headache, but after a while I think I basically confirmed that the 7 mods were indeed the winners, though I think I gave up before confirming the alternates. I'm sure the program that does all it for you is more reliable than me anyway, but it's nice to see how it all worked out, and which people got the most votes. I think I was the 7th out of 7. I'm guessing that makes me pretty vulnerable this time. If this were a House race I'd see a hell of a lot of opposition party money flooding into my opponent's coffers. Fortunately it doesn't work that way here. DickTurpis (talk) 00:39, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Note: I split the conversation into two parts: Explanation of voting method and Discussion on the merits of voting system - hope everyone is ok with this. Refugeetalk page 01:32, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
NO! You die now!!!!!!!!!! DickTurpis (talk) 01:42, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
LOL. :p Are you any relation to Aziraphale? Refugeetalk page 18:29, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Discussion on merits of voting method[edit]

So straight up question, why is this more effective than simply each person voting for the number of mods available?Green mowse.pngGodotVAGINA, Vagina, vagina vaginaVAGINA 00:41, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Personally, I have no fucking clue how this works, and the more I hear on this page, the more confused I get. --Kels (talk) 00:55, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
IIRC there was squabbling over microvotes once. Тytalk 00:57, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
(EC)It took me a while to understand STV, but it honestly is the fairest electoral system we've got. @WaitingforGodot, are you referring to the method we used for the Loya Jirga elections? The drawback to that was that it was public; several people have expressed concerns that public voting is inherently unfair. (Edit: It also utterly destroyed Recent Changes.) Blue (pester) 00:58, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
As far as why this vote system that gets into voter theory. Suffice it to say, and I can link you the journals/papers that I have explored, that STV is one of the best methods for making the winners actually reflect voter preference. There are some that might be a little bit better but 1) they are actually way more complicated (believe it or not STV is one of the simpler methods), and 2) we have an automated way to count the votes and I as de facto election judge for the foreseeable future like automation. Many alternatives that people think would be "better" are actually fundamentally flawed in that winners are often not a true reflection or preference. Tmtoulouse (talk) 01:03, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Plus, a computer does it. Makes it way easier to understand if we don't have to do it ourselves. Other ways my meager brain can conceive of seem like they'd take longer.
  1. We could order candidates by whoever has the most votes and take the top seven, but that would result in a very polarized quorum (that's what I'm calling the seven moderators from now on
  2. Candidates could run for specific numbered moderator positions, but nominations for that would be a nightmare, and a lot of votes would be cast away as the minority.
  3. Candidates could form coalitions of seven (or more) to be elected as a whole, but this would limit voter choice
  4. Voting in public means there'll be more HCM, as people object to and question each others' votes.
  5. Holding a new election for each moderator, subtracting the previous victors votes from the total would take fucking forever
  6. I actually had fun thinking of these. I need to go play with my cat or something
--User:Brxbrx/sig 01:17, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Well, the only other realistic option is to give each voter maximum seven votes with the stipulation that they have to vote for different people with each vote, as we did for the Loya Jirga. Blue (pester) 01:19, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
An administrative pain in the ass, if you ask me (you didn't, but I enjoy giving the "benefit" of my opinion regardless)--User:Brxbrx/sig 01:20, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
I personally prefer that method, but probably because when I looked into it it seemed to be the method which I'd do best in. Actually, I sort of like the idea of beng able to cast negative votes; that might disfavor some polarizing figures, who, in my humble opinion, might not always be best for moderating certain disputes. DickTurpis (talk) 01:30, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Negative votes?! *eyes pop out* Throw that in the mix and see what happens, lol. Like when pirates used to give out a black spot to the group member they wanted to kill? lol. Refugeetalk page 01:36, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Actually, I'm thinking more along the lines of Wikipedia Admin voting, where you can support or oppose. It's a very different creature. No secret ballots, people can express their rationale - it probably wouldn't work so well here, but the openness has its advantages, I'll admit. DickTurpis (talk) 01:42, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
You could make special WIGO votes that only approved users can use. But the idea of voting people down seems kinda mean.--User:Brxbrx/sig 01:47, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
(ec) The difference being that WP has an unlimited number of admins, while RW has a fixed number of mods. If RW had an unlimited number of mods, then all the in-crowd would be made mods, and it would be back to the old Bureaucrat system. (((Zack Martin))) 01:48, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

I encourage people to head over to scholar google or other indexes and poke around a bit, there are a lot of fairly accessible journals dedicated to analysis of voting systems. Here is one that I think has one of the better overviews. I am open to alternative suggestions but keep in mind this decision wasn't arbitrary either. There are reasons both theoretical and practical that make STV a good choice. Tmtoulouse (talk) 01:54, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

I'd be happy to look over the scholarly journals, but I'm pretty sure none of them look at the issue from that "what favors Dick Turpis" angle, the most important angle of them all. DickTurpis (talk) 02:03, 16 June 2012 (UTC)