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Zer Netmouse
April 14th, 2015
10:57 pm

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A Sphincter Says What?

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From:ckd
Date:April 15th, 2015 05:39 am (UTC)
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Since site selection is a ranked preference ballot (like the Hugo final ballot), one can influence the vote even if your first choice doesn't win.

The second/third/etc choices can definitely make a difference; the 2015 site selection vote was a choice between Helsinki, Spokane, and Orlando. After Orlando was eliminated (having the fewest #1 votes), its ballots were redistributed to their #2 votes which put Spokane ahead of Helsinki despite the latter having more #1 votes.

So if you like Helsinki better than DC but DC better than the other two, vote Helsinki #1 and DC #2....
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From:glenn_glazer
Date:April 15th, 2015 02:07 pm (UTC)

Voting at Lonestarcon

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I'm sorry, ckd, but the statement about having more first round votes being somehow important is a common fallacy about Instant Runoff Voting (IRV). In some ways, it is like saying that the person who was ahead after the first lap should be the one wins the marathon. The whole point of redistributing the votes is remedy strategic voting required by and the inequities caused by the first past the post system. It may not have produced a result you like, but it produced a result that was reflective of the broad base of the electorate. I refer you to a wonderful video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Y3jE3B8HsE , it will take less than five minutes of your time.
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From:netmouse
Date:April 15th, 2015 02:16 pm (UTC)

Re: Voting at Lonestarcon

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I didn't take Chris to be asserting that having the most first-round votes was somehow important, Glenn. I think you are misreading his comment. He is just explaining to prospective voters how the ranked voting works, and using the 2015 site selection as an illustration of the influence of people's ranks below first place.

I already understood all that, but I thought CKD's comment might be of value to other people who have never voted in site selection before, as I am encouraging them to do now.

I am concerned that your comment might confuse people, however, as it seems to be addressing a point he did not make.
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From:glenn_glazer
Date:April 15th, 2015 02:23 pm (UTC)

Re: Voting at Lonestarcon

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I disagree, Anne. Perhaps you are missing some context.

This quote "put Spokane ahead of Helsinki despite the latter having more #1 votes." or statements very similiar to it were very commonly used by members of the Helsinki committee and especially one of their bid chairs right after the vote as a way of trying to discredit the winner of the election, as if there was something wrong with the way the system worked and that Helsinki "should" have won because they were ahead at the end of the first round of balloting.

There is no other reason to make such a remark because if one understands IRV, then it is at best pointless commentary - there's nothing meaningful to be derived from being ahead at the end of the first round of voting any more than there is anything meaningful about being ahead after the first lap of the marathon.
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From:netmouse
Date:April 15th, 2015 05:36 pm (UTC)

Re: Voting at Lonestarcon

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I think you are seeing an agenda where there isn't one because other people who perhaps did have such an agenda said something similar to what was said here. I am not convinced.

There is certainly a very good reason to make such a remark -- if your assumption is that the reader may not be so familiar with IRV. You understand IRV, but if one does not, it is most certainly not "at best pointless commentary". It is instead a cogent example.

I personally would rather have seen a Helsinki win for 2015, and I voted accordingly, but I don't think it failed to win due to a flaw in the process. It didn't win because of how people voted.

Chris is using this example to explain how votes matter - including all ranks, not just the first place one.
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From:netmouse
Date:April 15th, 2015 05:42 pm (UTC)

Re: Voting at Lonestarcon

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(In Truth I would have preferred that Helsinki not have bid for 2015 at all, since it was really too close in time to Loncon 3. I hope their 2017 bid has more of a chance.)
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From:ckd
Date:April 15th, 2015 07:01 pm (UTC)

Re: Voting at Lonestarcon

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netmouse has already said most of what I would have; you are inferring context by conflating my choice of phrasing with previous discussions you may have had with other people. Would it have helped if my example had been preferring DC to Helsinki and then Helsinki to the remaining two?

I used 2015 as an example because it was the most recent multiply-contested site selection vote (2016, with only two serious bids, was effectively reduced to first-past-the-post once the hoax/write-in votes were distributed) and as a demonstration of how IRV is not FPTP because it allows second and later choices to affect the outcome (as, in the 2015 vote, it quite clearly did; FPTP would have elected Helsinki by a plurality).

This is not a thread on alt.fan.ranked-choice-voting, and so I wrote for a reading audience that may or may not have had experience with IRV and related systems in order to help them understand why ranking multiple options is important.

(As for that CGP Grey video you referred me to, I've already seen it. I've been a fan of his videos for a while now, and for that matter I've been using IRV and its cousin STV for years as both a fan voting for Hugos and Worldcon sites and as a resident of Cambridge, MA which has used STV for municipal elections since 1939.)
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