[Linux-aus] Only two more days of voting!

Jonathan Oxer jon at oxer.com.au
Wed Jan 25 19:27:02 UTC 2006

On 1/25/06, Dave Davey <daved at windclimber.id.au> wrote:
> On Wed, Jan 25, 2006 at 10:33:26AM +1100, scott-linuxau at sbs.id.au wrote:
> > I do have to ask, looking at the preliminary results for the Ordinary
> > Committee Members, in the first Round of vote tallying, we can see we
> > have two members on equal number of votes.
> >
> > When we get to the second round of tallying for the same position, one
> > of them is removed Alphabetically, and the other is left.
> There are accepted ways of tallying preferential votes.  While there
> are some aspects of the system that have a chance element, there is nothing
> as arbitrary as removal on an alphabetical basis. See
>         http://www.cs.mu.oz.au/~lee/prsa/rule1977.htm

Thanks for that link, Dave. Funny thing is that Stewart and I were
sitting in the rego area at LCA talking about this exact problem just
this morning, and we were wondering if anyone else had noticed it!
While the vote redistribution in a tie situation isn't actually
alphabetical it's no less arbitrary: the SQL orders by number of votes
at that level of redistribution, and it was purely a fluke that Andrew
Cowie was listed above Greg Lehey and Andrew's votes were
redistributed first. Basically it's just the internal order of the
data in the DB, and I'm pretty sure Andrew was nominated before Greg
so he ended up first in the resultset. It could just as easily have
been the other way around.

Luckily the order of redistribution made no difference to the final
result but an equal vote count on the final 2+ candidates when the
number of remaining candidates is one greater than the number of
positions is a corner case that should probably be taken into account
if someone can figure out a nice algorithm for it.

Cheers   :-)

Jonathan Oxer

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