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LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 16, 2013
A look at the PyPy 2.0 release
PostgreSQL 9.3 beta: Federated databases and more
LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 9, 2013
(Nearly) full tickless operation in 3.10
Election Results for Fedora Board, FAmSCo, and FESCo seats
Posted Jun 9, 2012 17:48 UTC (Sat) by scientes (guest, #83068)
Posted Jun 12, 2012 6:09 UTC (Tue) by michich (subscriber, #17902)
Posted Jun 9, 2012 17:50 UTC (Sat) by theophrastus (guest, #80847)
Yet there is no perfect voting system. i believe there's mathematical proof of that.
Posted Jun 9, 2012 19:08 UTC (Sat) by Cyberax (✭ supporter ✭, #52523)
Posted Jun 10, 2012 4:11 UTC (Sun) by tialaramex (subscriber, #21167)
This is called Arrow's impossibility theorem.
You can beat this if you're willing to change the possible criteria. For example, the "one person one vote" criterion might actually be unfair. We can recognise a decision by two wolves and one sheep on what to have for dinner is not made fair by giving each "person" a vote.
Posted Jun 10, 2012 3:17 UTC (Sun) by tialaramex (subscriber, #21167)
Notice also that Condorcet's criterion itself does _nothing_ when there's a draw, and draws are common for highly contested elections under Condorcet. You have to add a fix-up on top of Condorcet if you would like to elect somebody rather than tell the electorate "too bad, you did not make a clear choice between these candidates". When using these fix-ups the complete electoral system is no longer "fair" in the specific sense that Condorcet is fair.
Finally, though least problematic considering the electorate in this case, Condorcet is relatively difficult to explain and the fix-up is even harder. For democracy to be effective in its primary role (affording bloodless transitions of power) it must be transparent and a complex voting system is opaque to the average person. This is the unique advantage of FPTP, even young children with no arithmetic ability can understand who wins a FPTP election.
Posted Jun 10, 2012 17:00 UTC (Sun) by ballombe (subscriber, #9523)
True, but it has the drawback that they do not understand how they should vote in a FPTP election to maximize their vote influence, due to strategic voting.
Posted Jun 11, 2012 13:20 UTC (Mon) by nye (guest, #51576)
Right. The rules are simple, but the game is not. Since simply learning the rules is insufficient in order to be able to play, trading off a marginally more complex voting system in exchange for a simpler game is a win for everyone with no vested interest in voter ignorance.
Posted Jun 11, 2012 17:30 UTC (Mon) by theophrastus (guest, #80847)
a win for everyone with a vested interest in voters with special/superior knowledge (of the underlying voting methodology)
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