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ICANN At-Large Results 126

troyboy writes: "The ICANN election results are up. Go here for the complete results. The North American election went down to two candidates before there was a majority winner: Karl Auerbach." Only for the North American election was the instant run-off system needed; for all other regions there was an immediate majority. Viewing the election results in practice is fascinating and I can't help but wonder how much the U.S. elections would improve if we used a similar system.

A quote from Auerbach's candidate webpage:

"My candidacy is one that is founded on the belief that the Internet should not be controlled and dominated by those who aspire to nothing higher than mass marketing. It is my position that individual people ought to have a major voice in the governance of this revolution we call the Internet."

See also Auerbach's platform.

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ICANN At-Large Results

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  • This is the guy who will be the At-Large rep for North America!
    HIS PHOTO [cavebear.com]
    and yes.. Al Gore is 50% in love with Karl Auerbach! [algorelovesyou.com]
  • It is great to see that ICANN, despite all its attempts to stack the elections, has still opted for the instant runoff method. This is AFAIK the only method that doesn't force voters to vote 'strategically', basically, to express a preference they don't have just to avoid having their preference ignored altogether. It does not produce cyclical majorities and other oddities that make it easier for incumbents to steal elections legally.

    The slow ascent of this election system is good news for democracy, and I really hope that American voters will take notice and start pushing for this system in local, state, and one day even federal elections. Imagine, you will have 10 candidates running for president and all with a real chance to win.

  • No, this is not proportional representation. Proportional representation is where various groups (parties) receive a number of seats proportional to their share of the vote. In proportional representation, voters vote for parties rather than individuals. This "instant runoff" system is a way of letting people go with their second (...) choice when their first choice bites the dust.
  • You know, if it had been a plurality vote, people would have voted differently than they did, and the result could possibly have been an other. In that system, you pretty much have to vote for one of the 2-3 people perceived to have a chance of winning, and we don't know how that would have played out.
  • For those who think that the US elections should change to this method, it doesn't really matter very much because we operate under a two party system for the most part (with some notable exceptions) and different voting methods only take effect with more than two candidates (otherwise a simple majority is guaranteed, except for a tie).

    As a minor party candidate in a three way race, I have to say that this is not true. A majority of races for the U.S. Senate and U.S. House this year are contested by minor party candidates. And there are well over a thousand minor party candidates in state and local races. We're constantly faced with the "wasted vote" issue.

    There are four minor parties running at least a hundred candidates this year: Libertarian (1,420), Green (244), Natural Law (165), and Reform (151). Hardly a two party system.

    Jeff Wolfe

  • After a double-homicide in the quiet suburb of Oak Park, Illinois both residents of the Harry S. Adams House [oprf.com] designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, were found dead. Police are now suspecting both ICANN candidates Emerson Tiller and Barbara Simons as the murderers. Motive has not been established yet, but these ICANN candidates are still at large and presumably heading towards a trade-show in Indianapolis.

  • Masanobu Katoh - Stooge of Asian IP. Sony 0w3s her.
    Nii Quaynor - I'm desparate. (Sorry, Nii, but it shows)
    Andy Mueller-Maguhn - OK, that's really interesting. Maybe Europe isn't as sad as it seems.
    Ivan Moura Campos - Shit, she seems a bit cool. And good at what she does.

    See? some of it matters. A bit.
  • you're missing the point. all other ICANN-nominated candidates had "some grasp" of technical issues but they did not spend their careers/lives dealing with them.

    You *will* make sounder decisions about DNS-related issues when you have gone through the growing pains of setting up, running and securing entire networks like Karl has.

    What you and a lot of people do not seem to understand is that ICANN elected members are taking on the role of ARCHITECTS of the internet, not political leaders. They are responsible for building one of the highest levels of Internet Infrastructure. Without the support of leaders possessing strong technical knowledge and vision of DNS, foundations of the internet are bound to CRUMBLE. Then again technical knowledge is not everything, but Karl also has a very strong legal background which makes him an exceptionally well-rounded individual and the most fit for the task.

    I voted Karl #1 and am really happy he won.

    I also voted for Barbara in second place because I like her thoughts and visions about trademarks and domain names.

  • by Kruemelmo ( 21012 ) <moritz.daneben@de> on Tuesday October 10, 2000 @10:59PM (#715864) Homepage
    What is interesting about Europe is that we elected a radical democratic with many many more votes before the first commercial representative (from German Telekom, nearly 6000 vs. 990). Andy Müller-Maghun may indeed have a chance to influence ICANNs work in a positive, read: non-restrictive, for free flow of information, way. Let's see if "they" (read: commercial intrests) give him a chance and if he has the power to meet theese high expectations.
  • You haven't reat at all about ICANN elections, have you? It is pretty hard to write a bot that will register with a realistic name and adress, then fetch snailmail from there to get the PIN code needed for the voting.
  • Since I know Karl, I feel comfortable in saying that HE IS AN AMERICAN!!!
  • Hoorah for the ICANN election results however there's a patent announcement just posted on the web that looks like it might prevent ICANN from issueing any more TLD's - the organisation has announced that organisations can get eTLD's (as opposed to gTLD's and ccTLD's) from it instead. The crucial news is that it says that under the technology any new TLD that ICANN might try to issue will not work. It's all at www.e2p.com, and as patents have a 20 year monopoly it looks like we'll end up with a million or more new TLD's where we can create our own little piece of technical heaven.
  • Note that Simmons and Lessig are much further down the list than they were listed in the /. endorsements.
    Actually the results [election.com] show that Simmons came in 3rd with 771 votes and Lessig came in forth with 725. That is what Slashdot recommended. And I obeyed.
  • Well, I don't know about other slashdot readers, but this North American registered to be an ICANN voter after seeing the article here in the spring about registration.

    I did get a snail mail letter from them telling me about it, and saying I would hear more from them about registering to vote and how to do that, but that letter never came. I was mildly frustrated at this when they had the vote confirmation period a couple of months ago, and I couldn't confirm my registration. So I ended up not being able to vote in these elections though possibly I was counted in the overall numbers. I'll try and go through the process again for next time. I'd be curious to know how common this kind of situation might have been, and how much it might have contributed to voter turnout, and especially with regards to the folks who registered en masse after seeing the slashdot piece, and I think there might have been a few of us.

    My main concern with ICANN is a personal one kind of, which is what they can do about the problem of domain squatting by nonusing registrants, a practice which really limits the domains usable by the public, and annoys me no end in one particular obnoxious case impacting me. (If they were to just put up some nothing pages using Frontpage, or one with a metareferral to another site, I wouldn't mind it quite so much, but when they just hang on to them and you can't even ping it, it makes me a bit mad. And no, I won't say what domain it is, as I am biding my time either for swift action with new TLDs or for their failure to pay up to NSI.)

    Ed

  • I was really pulling for Lawrence Lessig. I didn't know much about the others, but I agree with much of what I've heard from Lessig. I definately feel he's on "our" side.


    Refrag
  • In this example, let's remove the labels. There are three candidates. One is supported by 40% of the people, and the other two by 30%. Who should be elected? If none of the three can reconcile their differences to create a majority voting block, the 40%!
    Let's analyze this a little further. Let's say there are three candidates running for office; we'll call them Notnilc, Hsub, and Torep. If every voter in the country *honestly* gave their absolute *favorite* candidate, Notnilc would be chosen by 45%, Hsub by 40%, Torep by 15%. So, based on the entire country's HONEST FAVORITE, we should elect Notnilc, right? But wait, let's say that all the people who picked Torep prefer hsub to Notnilc. In the previous election, that preference remained entirely unrepresented in the election result (indeed, it wasn't even recorded). So let's say the pollsters outside the election booths hold their own pseudo-election. In this election, voters are not allowed to vote Torep. Obviously, this results in a victory for Hsub -- yet voter's do not prefer Hsub to Notnilc in the latter case any more than they do in the former. Their positions have not changed at all.

    To repeat:
    * The majority of the public prefers Hsub to Notnilc (55% to 45%), in BOTH cases.
    * Whether or not Torep runs has no effect on the actual desires of the voters with regard to the question of whether Hsub is preferable to Notnilc. They ALWAYS prefer Hsub to Notnilc.
    * As stated, in BOTH cases Hsub is preferred to Notnilc; however, in only ONE case does Hsub win.

    Let's think of it another way. Let's pretend 1% of the US are Nazis, and 99% are Jeffersonians. Let's say someone gets ahold of Thomas Jefferson's DNA, and someone else gets ahold of Hitler's DNA. Jefferson is cloned 5000 times, Hitler is cloned only once. In the next election, all 5000 Jeffersons run against Hitler. Who wins? Let's say that right after Hitler wins, he is challenged to a 1-on-1 election by Jefferson #536. Who wins that?

    __

  • Your point about the dealing in the open vs dealing in the back room is valid. However there is a better way - preferential voting - here the 'deals' are done on your ballot paper as shown by your preferences. Think of preferential voting as voting in reverse. Give you number one to the person you dislike the least and your last number to the person you dislike the most.
  • I've met Karl at Las Vegas Interop Show. Really knowledgeable, smart, and very low-key type of guy. Nice and friendly too. He was at Multimedia/Multicast interoperability booth. Works for Cisco, but knows different platforms quite well.
  • Is removing the labels ok? It feels wrong, because we remember the ideologies in the first example, and want to somehow account for the two liberal candidates wearing the same political label. But from an outside viewpoint, it doesn't matter what the particulars of their policies are. The point of the election is to generate consensus whereever possible, minority rights wherever threatened, and majority rule whenever it is needed. If the two 30% candidates can't agree to a common viewpoints, then it doesn't matter what their label is-- they are different political groups. A minor difference is only minor in the eyes of the beholder.

    Except for one thing: the fact that two of the candidates share the same ideology means that they are likely to agree on common viewpoints, at least far more so than they would agree with the third candidate.
  • Despite the trolls, Instant Runoff Voting (IRV, aka Preferential Voting) is generally considered far superior to plurality winner-take-all. In the US, there is no constitutional problem with IRV (in fact, it has been endorsed in a consenting opinion by the Supreme Court [egroups.com], and by figures as diverse as Ralph Nader and Rush Limbaugh).

    Due to a recent supreme court decision which invalidated blanket primary systems, the state of WA is revamping its primary system. Instant runoffs, due to their ability to collapse multiple virtual runoffs into a single round, are a cheaper replacement for primaries. It is very possible that the many groups interested in better democracy in WA (the Grange, the League of Women Voters, and the minor parties) will use the citizen interest in this issue to run IRV as a state initiative. If you're interested in this issue, contact me via email (it's not even obscured; leave the cookie in, please, even though I can handle it with or without).

    ObOnTopic:
    Anyone interested in voting systems should know about Arrow's [colorado.edu] Theorem [ideas.uqam.ca], which states that there are no "perfect" [wustl.edu] ; voting systems. The only way to have a group of people preferentially rank a group of options so

    1) new options will fit neatly into the ranking without mixing things up;

    2) if everybody agrees on a ranking that ranking is chosen;

    and 3) new voters who prefer A to B never cause B to win over A

    is to have a dictatorship (ignore all voters except one). My personal choice of "ideal" system is to elect executives via borda selection among the condorcet-winning group. And then a house selected by proportional representation and a senate by approval voting. Hey, a boy can dream.
  • Thanks, I am going to re-educate myself on the subject.
  • I was pleasantly surprised that the results basically mirrored the candidate ordering from the 'Slashdot slate' that appeared on Thursday. I wonder what percentage of the at-large members are slashdot readers. A fairly good amount from the looks of it. The total number of votes cast was also surprisingly low - anyone know how many at-large members there are?
  • Quick response:

    1. please drop the ad-hominem; anonymity is legit but actually I have provided plenty of personal information and most geeks could probably find out where "homunculus" lives. Click on my name and you can send me email.

    2. I didn't mean to start a flame war between IRV, Condorcet, Approval, et al. To me, any of these systems are so immeasurably better than the US status quo that the differences are immaterial. My reading of the political situation in my state is that IRV is the only one of these with a good chance of being adopted in the next few years, so I support IRV. If everyone only supports their own pet version we'll get nowhere.

    3. How did I misquote Arrow? I stated the whole theorem in layman's terms, you just stated the "message". Arrow's theorem makes no moral statements about which of his conditions are more or less desirable or about whether there are other desirable qualities of voting systems; he just says you can't have it all.

    4. IRV isn't as different from approval as you suggest. Remember, you don't have to rank everyone; if you only "approve" of 2 candidates, only rank those two. But don't be so factional about this: The problems with approval, IRV, or condorcet arise only in pathological situations, whereas the problems with the current situation are a matter of course.

    I like IRV because, of the easily-explicable options, it gives the least emphasis on voting tactics. I rank nader, bush, gore, as 99, 2, 1 but would "approve" the first two for tactical reasons. Enough people like me and approval voting could easily elect a candidate that the majority dislikes. Approval voting also fails in the case of extreme factionalism. If we used approval voting to choose a voting system for the US, and everybody (as you apparently would) voted only for their favorite system because of nitpicking flaws in other systems, we'd effectively be using plurality voting (and we'd probably end up electing plurality voting).
  • Why does everybody think we need MORE people voting? In general, I don't like people. I'm glad they aren't voting. Not only is my vote stronger, but the people who are participating feel strongly about it and have probably invested some time making informed decisions.

  • Someone called "Drooling Dog" said that, with the voting system known as Instant Runoff (aka Preferential Voting, the Alternative Vote, MPV, Hare, etc.), the winner is at least someone acceptable to a majority. Not so. Consider this: 40: ABC 25: B 35: CBA B gets eliminated and A wins, even though a majority have indicated preference for B over A. There's only one sense in which IRV (Instant Runoff) complies with majority rule: After IRV has eliminated everyone except for the last two candidates, then whichever of those is preferred to the other by a majority wins. That, my friend, is a very poor excuse for majority rule. Someone replied: "But I feel it's the voters, not the method, that eliminated B". Yeah? Did that B>A majority want to eliminate B and elect someone whom they consider worse than B? Drooling Dog also said that with IRV you never have to insincerely uprank someone in order to defeat someone worse. Sure you do. Those CBA voters could save themselves from an A victory only by insincerely voting B in 1st place. I've told in other postings why that will be a common, ordinary need. In other words, IRV doesn't get rid of the lesser-of-2-evils problem. In another posting, I also told why Approval does much better in that regard. Approval is the method in which every voter can mark any 1 or more candidates on the ballot, giving each one marked one whole vote. With Approval no one ever has incentive to vote anyone else over their favorite. That can't be said for any other method. I also defined a weaker lesser-of-2-evils criterion called WDSC, and explained that Approval complies with it and IRV fails it. Condorcet, defined at the websites that I've referred to in other postings, meets WDSC and some similar & stronger criteria. The only single winner reform proposal that's widely promoted is IRV. But there are other ones. Some of them are incomparably better than IRV. Approval & Condorcet are the best. Mike Ossipoff
  • "[D]riving responsibly, parking sensibly, spitting carefully" are not civic duties; they are basic respect for the rights of others. Civic duties are things like compulsory jury duty, compulsory military service, and compulsory voting.

    Three theories of the legitimate grounds for the power of the State were propounded in 18th Century England. The first was Hobbes, who held that the State was inherently good and had a right to inflict whatever it wished on its people. The second was Blackstone, who argued that the State should act as an agent of God in forcing people to act as they should, while respecting certain rights granted to them by God. The third was Locke, who claimed that the state had merely the right to prevent people from violating the natural rights of others.

    There are two distinguishing features of American law and politics from those of Britain, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand is that the United States. First, while Blackstonian thought became a purely agnostic "society-based" variety in the Commonwealth, religious Blackstonians are still prominent in the United States (in the Republican Party). Second, while Lockean thought was never more than a passing fancy in the Commonwealth, it became rooted in the United States, undergirded our founding documents, and still has political currency.

    Frankly, I wish the Big Two Parties would try to impose compulsory voting in the U.S.; the Libertarians would have 30% of the vote and capture 100 Congressional seats in the next election.
  • Homunculus wrote: Quick response: 2. I didn't mean to start a flame war between IRV, Condorcet, Approval, et al. To me, any of these systems are so immeasurably better than the US status quo that the differences are immaterial. I reply:

    The merit difference between single-winner methods are drastic & dramatic. CVD would have us believe that there aren't important differences. CVD is mistaken. I've posted several criteria met by Approval but not by IRV, for instance. Homunculus continues: My reading of the political situation in my state is that IRV is the only one of these with a good chance of being adopted in the next few years, I reply: CVD always claims that IRV is the only alternative single-winner method that would have a chance. They've never supported that claim. Approval is so much simpler than IRV, and so much less drastic a change, that it's incomparably easier to define, propose, enact, & implement. Approval would have a much better chance than IRV. But if IRV is the only alternative single-winner method being promoted in Washington, then _that_ could cause IRV to be the only method likely to win. Maybe CVD has no opposition in Washington. Homunculus continues: so I support IRV. If everyone only supports their own pet version we'll get nowhere. I reply: So then let's all get in line behind me :-) Wrong. Let's all support what we believe is adequate, and may the best method win. I and some other believe, and can show, that IRV is entirely inadequate. Why should we support that? 3. How did I misquote Arrow? I shouldn't have saids that you misquoted Arrow. Every source gives a different version of "Arrow's" criteria. I've never seen Arrow's original book or article,and so I of course have no idea which source is giving Arrow's own criteria. In fact, I like your version of Arrow's criteria better. That's because you list two outcome-criteria that are failed by IRV, but passed by Approval. All the other Arrow versions list outcome-criteria which are all met by Approval, and one of which is failed by IRV (Independence from dropped losers, aks Independence for Irrelevant Alternatives, abbreviated "IIAC"). With your version, Approval still passes all the outcome-criteria, but now IRV fails _two_ of them, not just one. In additon to IIAC, among your criteria, IRV fails Participation: Adding to the count some identical ballots that vote X over Y should never change the winner from X to Y. Homunculus continues: 4. IRV isn't as different from approval as you suggest. Remember, you don't have to rank everyone; if you only "approve" of 2 candidates, only rank those two. I reply: But when you need to protect a lesser-evil from elimination, IRV makes you rank that lesser-evil in 1st place, over your favorite. In Approval you never have incentive to vote anyone over your favorite. Homunculus continues: But don't be so factional about this: The problems with approval, IRV, or condorcet arise only in pathological situations, whereas the problems with the current situation are a matter of course. I reply: How could you make that claim after I've posted common, ordinary situations where IRV will make people vote a less-liked candidate over their favorite? In fact, with IRV, sincere voting will be an unstable state of affairs. Sincere voters will be had by insincere voters, and sincerity will disappear. The Australian voters are the people who are actually using IRV. Do they agree with you that IRV will never in actual conditions give incentive to rank a lesser-evil over one's favorite? No. Australian voters routinely vote a lesser-evil in 1st place, over their favorite. So, 1) I've shown that incentive to dump one's favorite will be common & ordinary in IRV; and 2) Australian experience confirms that prediction. Homunculus continues: I like IRV because, of the easily-explicable options, it gives the least emphasis on voting tactics. I reply: As I said, IRV will often require insincere tactics, as borne out in Australia. Homunculus continues: I rank nader, bush, gore, as 99, 2, 1 but would "approve" the first two for tactical reasons. Enough people like me and approval voting could easily elect a candidate that the majority dislikes. I reply: Approval requires twice as many mistaken compromisers, as compared to IRV & Plurality, in order to give away an election. That's because , unlike Plurality & IRV, the compromise doesn't take the form of voting a lesser-evil over one's favorite. And if Nader people vote for Nader & Gore the 1st time, then Approval will reveal Nader's true support, and in the next election, people will know to vote only for Nader, not for the Democrat. Approval quickly homes in on the voter median candidate, and stays there. Approval is the most stable single-winner method. IRV is one of the least stable, with its frequent leaps to extremes. Homunculus continues: Approval voting also fails in the case of extreme factionalism. If we used approval voting to choose a voting system for the US, and everybody (as you apparently would) voted only for their favorite system because of nitpicking flaws in other systems, we'd effectively be using plurality voting (and we'd probably end up electing plurality voting). I reply: If we voted nationally on voting systems, using Approval for the vote, I'd vote for Approval and Condorcet, the two adequate methods. From what you say, you'd vote for IRV, Approval and Condorcet, and Black's method. What's your problem with that? Everyone votes for what they consider adequate, or for what they consider above-average. The optimal strategy in Approval, when we don't have winnability information or frontrunner probabilities, is to vote for all the above-average candidates or alternatives. Hopefully ICANN can take such a vote, after some discussion. Mike Ossipoff

  • Email me. Nobody else is listening. I'd happily respond.

    In fact I am very curious what your evidence is that Australian voters commonly vote tactically under IRV. I've never heard my Australian friends and family talk about that, and it seems counterintuitive. For a tactical vote to be useful, the three criteria are: I like A over B; I know that without my tactical vote, B is likely to be eliminated before A; and yet I know B has a better chance of winning than A. The only case that satisfies these criteria is when B is an acceptable compromise candidate and EXACTLY THE CANDIDATE THAT WOULD BE ELECTED BY APPROVAL. Also, my motivation to vote tactically is at worst proportional to how informed I am about the strength of the candidates - ie, I know what I'm doing. In approval, I'm more likely to mis-vote (in this case, not tactically, but by setting my approval standard too high or too low) the less informed and engaged I am in the system, the less I believe that compromise works. Thus, the current positive-feedback apathy cycle.

    Also, IRV (as any ranking system) gives more information about people's preferences. Remember, voting is not only a way to pick a winner; it is a way to register opinions (thus all the talk of "mandates").

    Has approval ever stood up to constitutional challenges? It seems to me more constitutionally questionable...

    How would you feel about an "instant approval system":
    1. voters rank candidates
    2. first choices are counted
    3. Majority(s)? Halt: highest wins.
    4. all ballots choosing last place candidate are recounted as approval ballots with one more approval vote than they had before. (Continue to increment the numbers of approval votes if new votes are for already eliminated candidates)
    5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until there's a majority.

    As to arrow's criteria: Approval fails (theoretically) the very first criterion: getting the correct ranking when everybody agrees (but are ignorant of the degree to which they agree). This criterion is arguably the very most important. In practice, this means that it is more vulnerable to fundraising disparities: if candidate A has strong support but low exposure and views similar to candidate B, IRV has a better chance of putting A over B than approval because in approval there's still a plurality-like "go with the flow, don't throw away your vote by voting only A" argument.

    I'm picking nits. Honestly, I think you are too.

    I WON'T READ THIS THREAD AGAIN. In all probability, NEITHER WILL ANYONE ELSE. Respond only via email.
  • Actually Barbara Simons quoted Karl when she was discussing the issue of TLDs and agreed with him. She was my second choice. Lessig was third.

  • I felt that it's important to reply to the newsgroup, because they heard your comments, and so I'd like them to also hear my repies. I'll also reply by individual e-mail. Two different Australians, who probably don't know eachother, both told me that it's difficult for small parties to get their members to vote sincerely, because those voters feel a need to vote a big-2 lesser-evil in 1st place, to avoid wasting their vote. Your criteria for tactical voting will be commonly met. Say there are 3 candidates, Favorite, Middle, & Worst. You like them in accordance with their names. The voting system is IRV. Say, as will often be the case, they all seem about equal, roughly. That's all we know about the expected numbers. And Middle is closer to Worst than to Favorite, and likewise his voters. That means that Favorite isn't going to win. He can't win by immediate majority, or by transfers. Any point in voting Favorite 1st? No. If you vote Middle 1st, then you just might save him from elimination, preventing Worst from winning. Voting Middle 1st can give a better result than voting sincerely. Voting sincerely can't give a better result than voting Middle 1st. With respect to vote configurations that are consistent with the above assumptions, insincere voting dominates sincere voting in that common, ordinary situation. Different situation: Say there are lots of candidates, and say, as should be typical, candidates' 1st choice support tapers gradually from the voter median point. Eliminations will start from the extremes, and votes will transfer inward. Soon some nonmedian candidates will have enough votes to eliminate the median candidate, even if the median candidate is the favorite of more people than any other candidate. When that happens, a majority are losing their lesser-evil compromise, because they voted sincerely instead of guessing what compromise they need and voting him in 1st place. Both of those common, ordinary situations have IRV making people vote insincerely in order to prevent the election of someone whom they especially dislike. Anyway, in general, when there are a number of candidates, how likely is it that your traveling vote will be on the candidate you need to protect when you need it to be there? If it is, that's a nice coincidence. Look, the whole purpose of rank balloting is so that we can express all our preferences. But how much good does it do to express them and not have them counted? Condorcet reliably counts all the preferences we vote. Approval admittedly doesn't let us express all of our preferences, but it reliably counts every pairwise preference that we express--every pairwise preference that we consider important enough to express at the expense of less important preferences. In Approval, the voter is the one to choose which preferences of his will be counted. In IRV, the IRV count capriciously decides that. I'd rather decide it for myself, thank you. You said that your motivation to strategize is proportional to how well-informed you are. Not at all! How well informed are all the progressives who think they need to vote for Gore instead of Nader in November? One can be terribly uninformed, and vote some terribly uninformed strategy as a result. In Approval, if there's no winnability information available, no frontrunner probability information, then your best strategy is to vote for everyone who is above average in merit. But in our typical situations, you simply vote for the same lesser-evil that you think you need with Plurality--the difference being that you also can vote for everyone whom you like more, including your favorite. You point out that voting is a way to express support. Exactly! That's why it's better to use a method that will never force us to dump our favorite by voting someone else over him. That's another reason why Approval is better than IRV. In Approval there's never any incentive for anyone to vote someone else over their favorite. That can't be said for IRV. In what way is Approval Constitutionally questionable? 1-person-1-vote doesn't mean the voter only gets one vote. It means that all voters have the same ways of voting available to them. Approval, but not IRV, counts the preferences that everyone expresses. Your "Instant Approval" is an excellent mitigation compromise for IRV. The IRVies have rejected it. We offered it to them years ago. Someone devised it and called it Runoffs Without Eliminations (RWE). I strongly urge you to offer RWE to the IRVies of CVD, and to advocate for it. I'd never criticize an RWE proposal. RWE is more than adequaet. You said Approval fails Arrow's criterion about getting the right answer when everyone agrees. Would you please tell me the name of that criterion, and give me a precise definition of it? I'm not aware of it. The 1st "criterion" that I usually find in Arrow articles is one that says the method must be a rank-balloting method. Some of us don't consider that a criterion because it make no requirements about the outcome. That's why I spoke of outcome-criteria. Approval meets all the outcome-criteria. IRV doesn't. Which "criterion" does Approval fail? The one that says the method must be a rank method. I'm more interested in outcome-criteria. What it really amounts to is that the theorem says: If you want any semblence of majority rule, and if you don't want the deletion of a loser from the ballots to change the count's winner, then don't use rank balloting. Picking nits? I don't like it when it's common for people to have reason to regret that they voted sincerely, or to be afraid to. If that's a nit, it's a big one. Mike Ossipoff
  • For those who think that the US elections should change to this method, it doesn't really matter very much because we operate under a two party system for the most part (with some notable exceptions) and different voting methods only take effect with more than two candidates

    It would matter quite a bit because people wouldn't fear throwing their vote away on a third party candidate. That would actually give us a shot at electing a non-republicrat for a change rather than voting for a third-party candidate, thus helping to ensure that the candidate that you want the least gets into office. Democrats fear this effect and many third-party supporters vote democrat rather than green or reform or libertarian, etc, just to try to make sure a republican doesn't get in because the democratic votes got siphoned off by the third party.

  • by talks_to_birds ( 2488 ) on Tuesday October 10, 2000 @06:57PM (#715887) Homepage Journal
    ...to look at is, world-wide, how many of the potential legitimate voters bothered (if that's the right word..) to vote, or at least managed to cast *valid* votes, whatever *that* might be...

    In order of greatest eligible, to least:

    Asia/Australia/Pacifica: 38,246 eligible, 17,745 voted, or 46%

    Europe: 23,442 eligible, 11,309 voted, 48.2%

    North America: 10,632 eligible, 3,449 voted, 32.4%

    Latin America/Carribean: 3,548 eligible, 1,402 voted, 39.5%

    Africa: 315 eligible, 130 voted, 41%

    So, in no case could any of this be said to be representative of a majority.

    And, once again, the Seat of Democracy® can't even get a third of eligible voters to vote. Are we bored with democracy, or what?

    t_t_b
    --
    I think not; therefore I ain't®

  • "The total number of votes cast was also surprisingly low - anyone know how many at-large members there are?"

    See: http://members.icann.org/pubstats.html [icann.org]

    t_t_b
    --
    I think not; therefore I ain't®

  • And, once again, the Seat of Democracy® can't even get a third of eligible voters to vote.

    Acording to those figures Europe had over 48% and, since the UK is currently part of Europe, we were well over a third, and I can't remember a general election ever being below 40% so I don't see where the "once again" comes from either.

    TWW

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Although instant runoff may be better than the plurality scheme we have today, it has a number of flaws which can encourage people to "strategize," i.e. vote differently from their actual preferences. (In the U.S. election scheme, voting for a candidate you think has a chance of winning instead of the candidate you like best is a well-known form of strategizing.) Also, instant runoff can eliminate "compromise candidates" who would beat every other candidate in a two-way election despite not having received very many first place votes.

    See this page [eskimo.com] for more information on voting schemes (particularly Condorcet's method) than you probably ever wanted to know.

    (If there are a thousand or so election theorists living in exile on an island, and they need to elect a leader, and there are several strong candidates, and each theorist has a preference ranking of the candidates, and each theorist also has a preference ranking of the various possible voting schemes, what's the best way to choose the leader?)

  • by at-b ( 31918 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2000 @01:21AM (#715891) Homepage
    Well now.

    The US has a reasonably well-deregulated telecommunications and internet business. However, the second-biggest Internet market, in Europe, is still dominated by former state monopolies, lack of local flat rate phone fees, badly-developed net infrastructures, and general exploitation of customers.

    And into this environment, Andy Mueller-Maguhn was elected 'Region 2 Director for Europe'. Yes, Andy Mueller-Maguhn. The former head of the German Chaos Computer Club, a team regularly posting information about cracking phone cards, cable TV decoders, and computer security information. They're the German '2600' equivalent, reviled and detested by state institutions, telecomms companies, etc. They're the rebels of the underground.

    And now their former head is the Director of the European division of ICANN. Imagine Eric Corley (Emmanuel Goldstein) being the head of the US ICANN. Now imagine what important aspect this brings to ICANN in Europe.

    Or, to quote Homer Simpson: Woohooo!

    Alex T-B
    St Andrews
  • I don't agree that Mr. Auerbach was the best choice, but I hope he does well and sincerely hope he comes to his senses about TLD expansion and will help the ICANN board do what's *responsible*. Otherwise, we all will have to learn the hard way [again] that technical expediency does indeed cause problems in other realms of public life.

    Steve Magruder

  • It's good to see this...hopefully the new members will be able to have some influence, and not end up being the 'token' fringe element.
    As for the voting process, I'm happy to say it went very smoothly here. My fiance and I had both registered, with no delays or problems, and we voted without any glitches too. I had placed Auerbach second, she put him third...we both had Lessig as first choice.
    Now...where's that .cat that my fiance wants so bad?? <G>
  • I'm not sure what that's an example of. At the page linked, they have a situation where a slight plurality prefers milk, and a majority prefers one of two alcoholic beverages, with their vote split between the two. Under the instant run-off, one of the alcoholic beverages wins rather than the milk. So? That's a not a paradox, that's the system working properly!

    A clearer example: let's say that there are two liberal candidates and one conservative candidate in an election. And let's say that the population is 60% liberal and 40% conservative. The "correct" result with a 60/40 population is that they should elect a liberal candidate to represent them, right? Well, with the U.S.'s current system, they might get a conservative: vote ends up 30%/30%/40%, and the conservative wins. Under the instant run-off, they'll get one of the liberal candidates, the "correct" choice - in other words they aren't penalized for having more than one candidate, and they can express a preference between the two without fear.

    --
    Michael Sims-michael at slashdot.org
  • First you need someone worth voting for. Here's to the end of choosing the lesser of two evils.

    Nate Baxley
  • Quoth Michael:

    Viewing the election results in practice is fascinating and I can't help but wonder how much the U.S. elections would improve if we used a similar system.

    Yeah, good thinking there, Michael! The U.S. elections would be much better if they were conducted like ICANN elections. I'd love it if the majority of members of Congress were chosen by an unrepresentative group rather than by public election, and the only voice we got was one token member from each region of the country. It'd be even better if there were completely unreasonable barriers to participation in the process, and election "rules" that change at a moment's notice based on whether or not said unrepresentative group feels that an election might go its way or not. That sounds GREAT!

    In all seriousness, it's good to see that at least some people at ICANN will have a clue now. I just hope that they move towards greater transparency and participation so that we don't see a repeat of this year's election fiasco ever again.

  • I wonder if Michael actually participated in this election. I have a hard time thinking that anyone would want to make more elections work like the ICANN ones. Do you really want to present a pin number from a snail letter, two pieces of email, and the entrails of a chicken just to vote? (OK, I made up the part about the chicken).

    I actually went through all the hoops to become an at large member of ICANN and it seems to me like they consciously made it as difficult to vote as possible. I think Auerbach even alluded to this in his platform. It would have been easier to win a government contract than vote in this thing!

    The worst part of all is that, after having jumped through all the hoops, I had a project due and didn't make the time to vote.

    So far, all ICANN has deomonstrated that it can quickly attract a bureaucracy and grind on interminably. Jon Postel, one man IANA, we miss you more than ever.
  • I think that by grouping the two alcoholic beverages together you are missing the point of the example. There doesn't have to be any connection between the two lowest ranked candidates.

    The basic problem is that in an election with 3 candidates (A, B, and C), A can be the winner under strict plurality, B can be the winner under plurality with elimination, but C will beat either A or B in a head-to-head election.

    In other words, the voting procedure can have as big an influence on the winner as the voters' preferences! There is a large body of work in voting theory that studies why different procedures give different results.

    On a slightly related note, the reason why we only have two "real" choices for president in the US is that our method of voting reinforces the two party system. If we could specify our second (and third and fourth) preferences and these preferences had some impact on the election, then people wouldn't feel like they were throwing their vote away and we could avoid the "a vote for Nader is a vote for Bush" syndrome.

  • Perhaps more significant than the fact that Karl won is that Harris Miller got the lowest votes in the North American at-large contest--Miller was the only one of those candidates who supported strong intellectual property, commercial, interests in ICANN. The other candidates, including Karl, all expressed more or less the same ideas--that ICANN should restrict itself to technical rules, not policy that is intended to enforce legal matters such as trademarks in domain names.

    But all of the candidates did remark that commercial interests still dominate the entire ICANN board. So we are now counting on Karl to to mobilize us users against those commercial interests when they seek to use ICANN wrongly. (Karl does note he works for Cisco, so we ought to hold him to his effort to be independent of even his boss.)

    For that reason Slashdot ought to allow Karl some space here to solicit feedback from users and let us know what is happening in ICANN. Good idea, Wellspring!

  • In the USA, we are watching the religious right (30%) lose their hold on the Republican party (roughly 50%), an interesting case in point of Wellspring's scenario:

    In a two party system, here's what happens in your example: 40% guy wins. But in the next election, the two 30% candidates decide they have more in common with each other, and ONE runs, fielding a selection of issues which represents the best of both (and, often, compromises between the two). Then the 40% candidate loses, until HE can find a enough voters to compromise with that he can build a faction of more than 50%. In this case, leaders compromise BEFORE the election, and their supporters can each judge the quality of their compromise before voting. That's why the two major parties have primaries! Each major party is made up of a thousand minor factions, and the faction which can forge the best representation of the party as a whole gets to be the party's candidate. Each party races for 50% in the general election. And if one faction decides to try to railroad all the others, it will get outrun by its competitors.
  • Perhaps the most interesting thing about the run-off is that it didn't matter. Contestants were eliminated in the same order as the votes in the first round. It could have been a plurality vote and it wouldn't have mattered.
  • I'd like to see a breakdown of membership numbers by region, since the voting results lead me to believe that people in North America are under-voting. Either that or they under-registered. Either way, it's pretty typical of Americans, but kinda surprising that the rest of North America didn't do more to make up for it.
    The rest of North America make up for the US? Not only does the US have nearly 10 times the population of Canada (one of the other 2 North American countries), but per-capita representation was far better in the US than at least Canada (and I'd suspect Mexico as well).
  • If Anonymous Coward was removed from the options for posting a reply?

    Anyway. A similar system of elections is used in the States. They're called Primaries. One of the few ideas from our neighbours to the South (Yes, I'm Canadian, and No, I don't live in an Igloo) that I respect.

    What I would like to see is an Australian-type system of politics: Have a primary election in which all but two candidates are eliminated, and then a secondary election. Would eliminate most of the BS that passes for government around here.
  • by tlr ( 85716 )

    at-b on the CCC:

    They're the German '2600' equivalent, reviled and detested by state institutions, telecomms companies, etc. They're the rebels of the underground.

    I'd suggest you have a look at Andy's schedule which is online [www.ccc.de]. There, you'll find information about events at banks, political parties (and their associated foundations), federal ministries, and the like.

    In short: This isn't the 80s any more. The myth may still be alive, but ...

  • Actually internet elections has allready found place. One american state (was is Florida?) has allready made it possible to vote in their state elections by using the net.
    Improvement? Well it remains to see doesnt it :)
  • For real elections you need much better security than the internet can provide, its easy enough to stuff ballot boxes as it is. Just imagine if it could be done with bots.
  • I like how North America Got A Cryptic Chart
    chart [election.com]
    while everyone else got gimpy ones.
    I feel sorry for the Popov guy, sorry he didn't get that many votes cause i sure love his cheap vodka.
  • There is some excellent background info about Instant Runoff Voting and Proportional Representation systems of voting at http://www.fairvote.org/.
  • Finally, this time I remembered to put in the paragraph markers. Will they work? Let's find out.

    I still don't know what was the "Arrow" criterion that Homunculus said that Approval fails.

    In my previous posting, I asked Homunc for the name of the criterion to which he refers, and a precise definition of it.

    That isn't really a lot to ask. Without an answer on that, Homunc's claim about a criterion failure for Approval means nothing.

    How convenient, to make a claim that you can't support, and say that you won't read the thread again. That way you try to avoid responsibility to explain or justify your claim. No, I'm sorry, but an unjustified claim remains unjustified when the person who made the claim runs to evade questions about his claim.

    Humunc, when referring to that "criterion" said something about a voting system getting the right answer when everyone agrees. There's one Arrow criterion about everyone agreeing: The Pareto Criterion.

    Pareto says that a voting system should never choose an alternative if another altenative is voted over it by everyone.

    That's the neares that any actual Arrow criterion comes to what Homunc said.

    Approval complies with the Pareto Criterion.

    Homunc was being incomprehensibly vague when he alluded to some unspecified criterion that Approval fails. He didn't say anything.

    Homunc said that Approval will cause people to go with the flow, and vote for the more publicized candidate (like Gore instead of Nader), where IRV wouldn't.

    First, in Approval, you never have to vote for anyone instead of anyone. If you vote for Gore, you can vote for Nader too.

    Homunc thinks that, with IRV, you can safely rank sincerely. I thought I'd clarified that a long time ago. If in IRV you vote Nader in 1st place, and Gore in 2nd place, Nader might get enough votes to eliminate Gore. Nader might then lose to Bush. No that isn't contrived or far-fetched. In my previous posting I described two common, ordinary situations where that can happen and where the voter has incentive to vote a lesser-evil over his favorite.

    Homunc: I tried to write to you by individual e-mail, but your e-mail address didn' work. I feel it was reasonable to reply to your posted claims via a posting.

    Mike Ossipoff

  • WTF? There are great candidates on Argentina and Chile too. Go spam somewhere else.
  • Sorry about the email (most email programs accept it, but web-based email sites usually complain. To make it work drop the +slashdot.) I'm glad I broke my word and came back (I was bored, my work computer is crashed).

    Approval fails several criteria. Strict approval violates pareto, because if everybody votes the same three candidates there is no way to tell which is actually preferred. It violates independence of irrelevant options. Say you have a vote between A,B, and C. C's supporters, a radical minority, approve only C, who comes in last, and A wins. If C were eliminated, they would have approved B, handing B the election. Approval must violate at least one criterion - just because it willfully ignores certain aspects of voter's true internal rankings does not make it immune from Arrow's theorem. At least now I understand why you state the theorem as you do; but I think your statement is very wrong.

    Again, picking nits. As are you. Your ideal ideological continua are not always how things work. If Gore is the "center" candidate between Bush and Nader, then nobody should vote him last. But believe me, I know plenty of people who would do just that. Ability to gain first-place support and avoid elimination is actually a positive attribute in a politician. And as I said last time, your worst fear is that voters will vote tactically to elect exactly the person that approval would have elected anyway - hardly the end of the world. If you'll just acknowledge that IRV is superior to what we have today (unlike, admittedly, Borda), I'll shake on it and leave.

    In this latest round you said "we" and "they" a few times, referring to some unspecified group of electoral reformers vs CVD. If your "we" has any presence in Washington state, I'd love to hear about it.

    Yes, any condorcet-compliant method is in the abstract superior to IRV and approval. Black, Hansen, standard Condorcet. Unfortunately, these all more or less take computers to count and paragraphs to explain. They're open to fears of vote fraud, justified or not. That leaves us with IRV and approval. I see situations for both - as I've said, any "senatorial" body should be approval. I similarly think that given a number of aspects of human nature (many of which I've mentioned) IRV is better for executives.

    But I would vote for the horrible tactical nightmare of Borda just to break the two-party stranglehold on American politics. Once we'd broken free, I'd have confidence that our representatives could enact true campaign finance reform as well as amending Borda to Hansen.

    Hmm... I've just proven that RWE chooses from the smith set of condorcet winners. RWE is harder than IRV to explain, but just as easy to count (and because of greater stability, harder to defraud). Do you have any good explanations of RWE? (Should be called Instant Runoffs Without Elimination or if you hate "instant", Virtual Runoffs Without Elimination).
  • Thank you for the interesting links.

    Be happy. The country that invented the internet could also ruin it. Be glad you did not get some kind of MicroSoft stooge that would fragment the largest part of the net.

  • The easy way to do that is to do what we do in Australia: compulsory voting for all elegible voters. At least that way the results are somewhat valid... though you still get the problem that we currrently have insasmuch as the party with the most votes at the last election did not win a lower house majority so we're still stuck wit that little monkey John Howard for a prime minister...

    Where's my shotgun?

  • US voting system could certainly need an inprovement but saying it would improve so considerably by changing it is another issue. First you need to get people to vote, more than 50% of the eligable voters at least. -r
  • The Pareto Criterion is based on votes, not on sincere preferences. Approval passes Pareto.

    Pareto says: "Never elect someone over whom someone else is voted by everyone."

    You claim that Approval violates Independence from Irrelevant Alternatives, because you believe that IIAC is about sincere preferences.

    I've never seen a precise definition of IIAC that is about sincere preferences. Can you name a method that would pass such a criterion? Of course we can't test such a claim untill we have a precise definition. Right now all we have is your claim that Approval fails something that you haven't defined, and which, if someone defined it, would surely be failed by all methods.

    The only precise definition that I've heard of for IIAC says: Deleting a loser from the ballots and then re-counting those ballots should never change who wins the count.

    If you think there's a version of IIAC that Approval fails, then you should give a precise definition of it. And then show me a method that passes it.

    You said my worst fear is that in IRV voters will vote tactically and gain the same outcome that would happen in Approval. You got that right.

    Do you know what the difference is? It's that with IRV, those voters are forced to dump their favorite, by voting someone else over their favorite. In Approval, no one ever has any incentive to vote someone else over his/her favorite.

    Riker showed that, if the voters have complete information about eachother's prefences, then the sincere Condorcet winner will win--no matter what the voting system is. Voters will use some sort of strategy to gain that outcome. It's merely a question of what they have to do. IRV makes them dump their favorite by voting someone else over him/her. Approval will never give anyone reason to do that.

    You say Approval doesn't let voters express all their prefernces. No, but it counts those preferences that they consider the important ones to express. Unlike IRV. When Middle gets eliminated before your traveling vote reaches him, then your voted preference for Middle over Worst never gets counted. IRV capriciously decides for you what preferences will be counted. I'd rather decide that for myself, thank you. As we can do in Approval.

    Is IRV better than Plurality? I say IRV is worse than Plurality. If candidates' support tapers gradually away from the voter median position, then transfers coming in from the extremes will build up nonmedian candidates enough to eliminate the median candidate. That's a typically expected situation. What could be more normal or typical than that scenario? But in that scenario, IRV does worse than Plurality. IRV will defeat the Condorcet winner, the voter median candidate even if he/she is the Plurality winner--as will often be the case.

    IRV, unlike Plurality or Approval, can act contrary to how you vote. You can make someone win by voting him lower, where he'd have otherwise lost. In fact, Professor Steven Brams has shown an example in which some voters cause someone to win by moving him from 1st place to last place, where he'd have lost had they left him in 1st place.

    Sorry, but that's nonsense. Voters have a right to expect that the voting system won't act oppositely when they vote one way instead of another.

    In fact, IRV also violates this criterion:

    Adding to the count some identical ballots that vote X over Y shouldn't change the winner from X to Y.

    No, IRV messes up in every way. IRV is worse than Plurality.

    Aside from all that, by every criterion that measures for getting rid of the lesser-of-2-evils problem, IRV is no improvement over Plurality, whereas Approval and Condorcet bring big improvement by those criteria.

    There are innumerable ways of counting rank ballots. If you don't really do it right, it's a mess, and we're better off without it. Condorcet does it right.

    RWE is the same as IRV, but without the eliminations. I'm flexible about its name. As with IRV, the lowest candidate's ballots give a vote to their next candidate, but he keeps his and stays in the election. Of course, even if he's lowest candidate again, that same ballot can't again give to the same next candidate.

    Count ends when someone has vote total over 1/2 the number of voters. At that time the canddidate with the most votes wins. Or if no one gets a majority, the count ends when everyone has given a vote to every candidate on their ballot. Again, the one with most votes wins.

    Regrettably, RWE is a little wordier to explain than IRV. But it avoids IRV's worst problem-causer: Eliminations.

    RWE would be an excellent compromise with the IRVists. Seriously, will you please e-mail Rob Richie and tell him that? You can tell him that I won't criticize RWE proposals.

    Mike Ossipoff

  • Just fine 'em if they don't vote like we do in Australia!

    Voting is a civic duty, just like driving responsibly, parking sensibly, spitting carefully - and if you don't do these, you get fined.

    Have a system (again like Australia) where legitimate excuses are clearly stated and easily verified, it costs you very little to administer, and the effect is that basically it's not worth your time not to vote, so you do...
  • ok so you get people to vote... so what?
    You still need decent politicians to choose from. I just can't see it happen in the US in my time.
    -r
  • That's not how we do it in Oz.

    In preferential voting, you list all (or as many as you want) of the candidates in your order of preference. If someone gets more than half the vote, they win. If not, the voter with the least votes is eliminated, and their votes redistributed to the second preference on the ballot papers. Repeat until a winner emerges.

    Are you saying the US doesn't use preferential voting? No wonder your politics are so screwy!

    In Oz, I can vote first for a minority candidate, then give preference to whichever of the major parties I despise least. I'm not forced to vote for a major party because of fear of "wasting" my vote.

  • You can file tax returns online. If it's good enough for the ever-paranoid IRS, it is most likely good enough for the balloting system.

    Arguably, it is harder to manipulate an online voting system, since real voting can be manipulated at any voting place.

  • I try, I really try.....
  • by Anonymous Coward
    How interesting that you should look at it from that perspective, since any student of American politics can easily recognize that the primary benefit of third party candidates drawing off votes is.... Bill Clinton!

    You really think enough of the Perot voters would have come over to Clinton in 1992 to make a difference? If we'd had such voting back then, we would have been spared Waco, Oklahoma City, Filegate, Travelgate, Monica, Impeachment, the demolishing of our military, and the quid quo pro sale of U.S. nuclear secrets to the PRC. Now THAT is an argument for this voting scheme that's impossible to refute.

  • I think this ought to be interesting. Auerbach has been very critical of the ICANN since it's inception....

    I'm pleased with Auerbach's ideology too, and I think it's good that he won, but it's been pointed out to me that he is so radical, calling for such drastic changes in the makeup et c. of ICANN ("so-and-so MUST GO!" [see his platform]), that he may not be able to get any of it done.

    As a lower post with some election statistics showed, in Asia/Pacific, Africa, and South America, ICANN-nominated members got most of the votes. Will Karl be able to work effectively with the rest of ICANN, or will he be too idealistic?

  • Should that be Tweele-Dum and Tweedle-Dumber ;)
  • But for the rest of us, here's the other winners and their profile pages:
    Masanobu Katoh [icann.org] - Asia/Australia/Pacific
    Nii Quaynor [icann.org] - Africa
    Andy Mueller-Maguhn [icann.org] - Europe
    Ivan Moura Campos [icann.org] - Latin America and Caribbean
  • What the hell, I did look it in a book called, "Archi med es' Revenge" [barnesandnoble.com] written by Paul Hoffman in 1988

    In that book he devotes a chapter to the mathematics of voting. He constructed an example to show that if one candidate actually increases his popularity in the polls, it would cause him to lose an election using the "Plurality with Elimination" scheme.

    This [virginia.edu] shows an example of the paradox in action.

    --R
  • Shit, she seems a bit cool. And good at what she does

    Ivan was/is one of the most influent government officials in Brazil, specially in Computer/Internet/Telecom related issues. He was also a important player in defining the structure of the Internet in Brazil. He is indeed good at what he does, and was by a large margin the best canditate for the Latin America zone.
  • Be sure to read Curtis Ganz' testimony [house.gov] before you make up your mind that direct elections are more desirable. If you feel that minority opinions are too easily ignored now, or that the "tyranny of the majority" is something genuinely worth worrying about (as did the Founders when they wrote the Bill of Rights), direct winner-take-all elections aren't the way to go. They sound good, because simple, but in this case they are (to quote Mencken), the solution that's "simple, neat, and wrong."
  • I'm glad Andy Mueller-Maguhn won the European election - nothing quite like a CCC member to kick some greedy corporate asses :)
  • Damn, Steve Case is still a major ICANN member. However, Auerbach won the top seat; isn't that who we were all rooting for?

    I say, boycott AOL in all its forms, hack AIM and ICQ, and cut up your aol50 discs/coasters!

  • Yes, and then we could get back to good old republican scandals. Spare me the diatribe. An election could go either way, it depends on the candidates and other factors too numerous to mention. I was just using democrats as an example because I've read recently about several elections in which there was a three-way race with the third party being closer to the democrats on the issues.

  • by yack0 ( 2832 )
    ok.. so let's put blue text on a blue background. It's even better than the infamous black text on dark blue background.

    fscking morons.
  • What surprised and amused me is the strength of Europe (and in there Germany) during the elections. The two candidates of Europe with the most votes both come from Germany. And the Germans made up most of the eligible European voters.

    Europe proved to be much more involved in the process than North America. This is although the US defines itself as the place where the internet happens (and loves to think of itself as the worlds best democracy).

    I'd like to see the per capita figure of voters for each country in order to find out which country has the most active online community. My guess would be that Europe has been underestimated in the past.
  • Correct call - under proportional representation parties or groups recieve seats according to share of vote. It is not necessarily true, though, that you cast a vote for a party rather than an individual. The party method is common in Europe (for example in UK Euro elections) while for the Senate here you can either vote for a party or number all of the candidates and under the Hare-Clark system (used, for example, in Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory) you have to number individual boxes.

    The reason ICANN elections are not PR is not that they use preferential voting but that they only have one seat per electorate.

  • That's one way to look at it. The other is that the two parties continue to present virtually identical candidates, and there's only a small fraction of people who get a kick out of voting for a no-chance third party candidate just to make some sort of statement.

    --

  • See article bottom of page, America Ready for Third Ketchup Brand [theonion.com]. How about that?
  • Of course, it was all a sham, because ICANN cut off registration after the first few people got in, saying that "this isn't really something people should care about, so we're not going to let them vote" (plus some obvious crap about not being technically prepared).

    Luckily, looks like despite that, we *did* get a good selection.

    --

  • and presumably abulafia is a troll.
  • Patricipation in ICANN elections is mainly a result of media attention in my opinion. In Germany "Spiegel Online" [spiegel.de], a popular internet news site has been carrying the story for a while, providing links to candidate sites and the ICANN site.

    Goes to show that the media even "controls" internet election. At least their reporting was not driven by big money ...

  • Why? I'm being serious.
  • Part of the problem with US voting system is the lack of real choice. The crook or the murderer?
  • Mickey Mouse got 320 million votes in the last Florida Internet election for Governor. Unfortunately someone accused them of ballot stuffing so it went to the second runner-up.. Jeb Bush. The case was being appealed last time I checked.
  • Let's think of it another way. Let's pretend 1% of the US are Nazis, and 99% are Jeffersonians. Let's say someone gets ahold of Thomas Jefferson's DNA, and someone else gets ahold of Hitler's DNA. Jefferson is cloned 5000 times, Hitler is cloned only once. In the next election, all 5000 Jeffersons run against Hitler. Who wins? Let's say that right after Hitler wins, he is challenged to a 1-on-1 election by Jefferson #536. Who wins that?

    You do realize that by using Hitler in an argument, you automatically kill the thread and lose, right? That's USENET law!

    Anyway, that aside, it doesn't seem like you actually read my post, or maybe just the top part of it. In your first example, the primary election is missing. That primary would enable us to bring it down to two candidates. Occasionally, you do get a case where a third candidate appears. Then the party closer to their view creates a compromise/consensus position which lures away their supporters while minimizing the loss of moderates. Or if the new faction represents a middle ground between the two parties, they compete for the centrist vote while trying to hold their radical wings.

    So let's reverse the names again on your candidates. Perot, Bush, Clinton. What happened to the reform party? Well Perot stood really for three things:

    1) generic moderation (the parties are too different, and can't work together enough to get things done.)

    2) balanced budget

    3) protectionism (ie no free trade)

    Each party moderated; just look at the debate last night to see how much closer the two parties are. To the point that we have Ralph Nader and Jon Katz claiming that the parties are too similar now. The budget got balanced (kudos to programers and the Web for giving us the economy to make it possible.) And protectionism? Well, it just doesn't have much public support anymore. People realize that trade helps the poor in other countries while helping us here in the US. The few protectionists who are left either support Pat Buchanan or Ralph Nader.

    Ralph Nader probably won't do that well in this election. But if he does, the democrats will swing back to the radical left- endorsing radical environmental policies, more government, higher taxes and isolationist trade policies. So your example is actually a great one which, when its real world equivalent is looked at, has worked perfectly.

  • And we should get election day off of work.. no excuses! Course, I'd be too lazy to get out of bed then to go and vote if I didn't have to get up for work. Scratch that. ;-)
  • Your point about the dealing in the open vs dealing in the back room is valid. However there is a better way - preferential voting - here the 'deals' are done on your ballot paper as shown by your preferences. Think of preferential voting as voting in reverse. Give you number one to the person you dislike the least and your last number to the person you dislike the most.

    I had to think for a minute before I responded, because you do have a point. However, the idea isn't just a matter of electing compromise viewpoints. Picking something which eventually will be the consensus is different from picking a candidate who has been pushing for that consensus in an election. This is a subtle difference, and I wonder if I am phrasing it correctly now.

    Differences in opinion can exist on (at least) three levels:

    Priority: This issue is important, while that issue can wait. Example: the Farm Bill will be coming up for another vote in 2002. Losing sleep over that? Probably about as much as a farmer did over the Clipper Chip.

    Extremity: In other words, we may both agree that taxes are needed, but I may want rate X%, while you want rate Y%. The correct compromise might not be in the middle! Some approaches are each at a local minimum, and the compromise is worse than either one.

    Approach: Republicans tend to want to solve problems by allowing free markets to produce the solutions. Democrats want to solve things by the passage of laws or use of public funds. So, when faced with a broken education system, Democrats want to strengthen the US Dept. of Education (a federal office which regulates school systems) and spend more money on public school. They feel that the government system isn't properly designed, or isn't sufficiently supported. Republicans think that the system itself is the problem-- it has no market forces to back it up and therefore doesn't self-optimize. Republicans prefer giving parents choice (depending on the person, either between public schools, or with vouchers, among all public and private schools). There isn't a compromise between these outlooks-- the solutions are mutually exclusive, and result from their differing model for just what the problem is. Each believes the that other will only make the problem even worse.

    Priority, Intensity, Approach: Synthesizing these views is not so much a statistical process-- it is a social and intellectual process. If we had a fascist with 40% of the vote, and a Republican and a Democrat with 30% each (remaining are undecided), then the Republican and Democrat must compromise (possibly with the fascist, more likely with one another). But the differing outlooks mean that there is a problem with regard to Approach. Priorities and Extremeties are easier to average out-- I get some priorities, and you get some, too; we split the difference on extremeties.

    But what about Approach? The trick there is to frame the issues to one's supporters in a way which makes the similarities stronger than the difference. To keep your fans' eyes on the ball, so to speak (after all, the more important difference is between either party and the fascist). This is a social trick which a mere mathematical ranking doesn't cover. More importantly, rating the Republican a '#1', the Democrat a '#2', and the Fascist '#3' forces the voter to express something they don't feel: that either candidate is infinitely preferable to the fascist!

    Anyway, the point is that political leadership is needed to bring large groups to endorse compromise positions. Preferential voting systems attempt to automate the process of consensus and compromise, rather than making it something which everyone is a part of.

    I'm not sure if I phrased all of this correctly, because as I said, you did make me think about it. But I hope you understand where I'm getting at with this.

  • by Apotsy ( 84148 ) on Tuesday October 10, 2000 @06:11PM (#715947)
    Yes! The man I rated number 1 is the winner. Karl was the only candidate who seemed to actually understand how DNS works. At one point he actually said, "there's no technical reason why we couldn't have millions of TLDs". Note that he didn't say we should have millions of TLDs, he was just pointing out that it was possible. No other candidate seemed to understand that.

    I think this ought to be interesting. Auerbach has been very critical of the ICANN since it's inception. He has some good ideas about how to make the domain system more democratic (like having one or more TLD where trademark holders do not get first pick). It will be good to have someone on the board who represents something besides the corporate interest.

    Not only that, but Karl was one of only three member-nominated candidates on the North American ballot. The other four candidates were nominated by the existing memebers of the ICANN board. I'm glad that people decided to thumb their noses at the board's attempt to stack the election with people friendly to their agendas. It ought to send them at least a small message (not that they will care).

    Speaking of the U.S. elections (which the article mentioned, please don't mod me down for being off-topic), here is a recent article [policy.com] at policy.com that discusses getting rid of the Electoral College and replacing it with a direct popular vote. It discusses historical reasons for the creation of the current system, and provides some interesting links at the bottom.

  • In this case, yes, plurality gave the same winner as the run-off did (usually it's called plurality with elimination). However, there are elections where straight Plurality and Plurality with Elimination give different winners. This of course takes the assumption that they used Plurality with Elimination to decide the winner.

    To use plurality with elimination, a preference schedule of voting must be used. In a preference schedule, you rank the candidates. When Plurality with Elimination is used as a voting mechanism, if their is a candidate with a majority of votes, they automatically win. However, if there is no majority, the candidate with the lowest amount of first place votes is eliminated. Then, the first place votes of all other candidates are recalculated with the votes of the people who selected the eliminated candidate going to their second choice. This continues until one candidate has a majority (which is guaranteed in this type of election).

    For those who think that the US elections should change to this method, it doesn't really matter very much because we operate under a two party system for the most part (with some notable exceptions) and different voting methods only take effect with more than two candidates (otherwise a simple majority is guaranteed, except for a tie). The other reason this isn't particularly better is that there is no such thing as a perfect method of voting (and yes, that is a mathematical statement). However, certain methods of voting are better than some things than others. If you're more interested in this topic, find a math text book on voting theory.

    Matt Leese

  • by Froomkin ( 18607 ) <{ude.imaim.wal} {ta} {nikmoorf}> on Tuesday October 10, 2000 @07:38PM (#715955) Homepage
    Africa
    Region's Total votes 130
    % of World Total 00.4%
    Votes for ICANN Nominated Candidates 100 ( 88%)

    Latin America
    Region's Total votes: 1,402
    % of World Total: 04.1%
    Votes for ICANN Nominated Candidates 1,166 (83%)

    North America*
    Region's Total votes: 3,449
    % of World Total: 10.1%
    Votes for ICANN Nominated Candidates 1,114 (32%)
    * - N.A. counts 1st choice votes only. Note also that if one counts the three candidates who expressed the most doubts about ICANN (Lessig, Simons, Auerbach), they got about 75% of first round choices.

    Europe
    Region's Total votes: 11,309
    % of World Total 33.2%
    Votes for ICANN Nominated Candidates 3,066 (27%)

    Asia
    Region's Total votes: 17,745
    % of World Total 52.1%
    Votes for ICANN Nominated Candidates 16,996 (95%)

    Comments:

    Participation rates did not correlate well with what I'd guess numbers of hosts or estimated numbers of users are, except arguably at the low end.

    Five regions fell into three groups:

    1. Africa and Latin America: Very low participation, high rates for ICANN-nominated candidates
    2. N.America & Europe. Medium to low participation, substantial opposition to ICANN and to ICANN nominated candidates (Lessig is a special case).
    3. Asia/Pacific. More than half of the global votes cast. Elected a person resident in the Washington, D.C. area. Most votes went to ICANN-nominated candidates.
  • by Apotsy ( 84148 ) on Tuesday October 10, 2000 @07:38PM (#715956)
    Well, let's see. Accoring to the ICANN at large membership website:
    With over 76,000 activated members, ICANN achieved its goal of a large, globally diverse membership.
    I don't know about "globally diverse", since there weren't too many people from Africa who signed up, but in any case, there are "over" 76,000 members, but let's round it down to an even 76,000 for the sake of argument (also for the sake of not knowing how many "over" means!) Here's how many people voted in each jurisdiction:
    • 17745 - Asia / Australia / Pacific
    • 11309 - Europe
    • 3449 - North America
    • 1402 - Latin America and Caribbean
    • 130 - Africa

    34035 - Total

    Therefore, voter turnout was about 45%, or just shy of half. Not too bad.

    I'd like to see a breakdown of membership numbers by region, since the voting results lead me to believe that people in North America are under-voting. Either that or they under-registered. Either way, it's pretty typical of Americans, but kinda surprising that the rest of North America didn't do more to make up for it.

    As you mentioned, the Slashdot endorsements reflected the results fairly closely, but for what it's worth, I'll mention that I voted the way I did because I did my research and concluded that member-nominated candidates Simmons and Auerbach were much better choices than any of the board-nominated candidates (basically a bunch of corporate lackeys, except for Lessig).

    The results didn't match Slashdot's recommendations that closely, though. Note that Simmons and Lessig are much further down the list than they were listed in the /. endorsements. I also think Auerbach won simply because he was clearly the best choice by far. Just have a look at his website [cavebear.com]. The guy has some good ideas (even if those annoying and stupid-looking javascript popup windows are one of them!)

  • As one might say, that happened, but you can't prove it happens every time nor whether it will happen again. There is therefore no justification for the equivalence.

    What you should observe, however, is that in every stage but the 3rd, Barbara Simons attracted more 2nd, 3rd, etc place votes than Karl Auerbach. He still won on the strength of his no.1 ballot. One could draw the conjecture that Simons had broader but weaker support than Auerbach.

    This is obviously not a true run-off system in that a recast with the additional information (who won, and by what margin). Consider political conventions in most nations (no, not the US). It's truly rare for a candidate to win on the first ballot, and significant horse-trading does take place between ballots. This horse-trading and positioning is a valuable feature of the run-off election in politics. I'm not sure what difference it would make for the ICANN Member-at-large, though. :)

    --
  • by Wellspring ( 111524 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2000 @04:32AM (#715961)

    This is a little roundabout, but it gets where its going. So please bear with me.

    Labels like 'liberal' and 'conservative' are deceptive. I have seen many who share the same brand name argue viciously over their beliefs, while (and the VP debate last week is a good example of this) people of different political traditions can have similar beliefs. So what is the practical result? Your example was this:

    A clearer example: let's say that there are two liberal candidates and one conservative candidate in an election. And let's say that the population is 60% liberal and 40% conservative. The "correct" result with a 60/40 population is that they should elect a liberal candidate to represent them, right? Well, with the U.S.'s current system, they might get a conservative: vote ends up 30%/30%/40%, and the conservative wins. Under the instant run-off, they'll get one of the liberal candidates, the "correct" choice - in other words they aren't penalized for having more than one candidate, and they can express a preference between the two without fear.

    In this example, let's remove the labels. There are three candidates. One is supported by 40% of the people, and the other two by 30%. Who should be elected? If none of the three can reconcile their differences to create a majority voting block, the 40%!

    Is removing the labels ok? It feels wrong, because we remember the ideologies in the first example, and want to somehow account for the two liberal candidates wearing the same political label. But from an outside viewpoint, it doesn't matter what the particulars of their policies are. The point of the election is to generate consensus whereever possible, minority rights wherever threatened, and majority rule whenever it is needed. If the two 30% candidates can't agree to a common viewpoints, then it doesn't matter what their label is-- they are different political groups. A minor difference is only minor in the eyes of the beholder.

    Ultimately, after the election, whoever didn't vote for the winner will have to live with the results of the election. A working majority will have to be formed in the Congress/Knesset/Diet/Parliament. Otherwise, the government would collapse. Once he wins office, the leader must forge a working majority. That means compromising and working with his opponents-- and where that fails, building a majority.

    In multiparty systems, the voter sees plenty of labels and badges, but ultimately, once they win, these parties are able to go into a back room and decide what is critical and where they can compromise. In other words, you are rewarded for the fanaticism of your supporters (luring them away from other parties) and then quietly leave the consensus-building to be done in secrecy.

    In a two party system, here's what happens in your example: 40% guy wins. But in the next election, the two 30% candidates decide they have more in common with each other, and ONE runs, fielding a selection of issues which represents the best of both (and, often, compromises between the two). Then the 40% candidate loses, until HE can find a enough voters to compromise with that he can build a faction of more than 50%. In this case, leaders compromise BEFORE the election, and their supporters can each judge the quality of their compromise before voting. That's why the two major parties have primaries! Each major party is made up of a thousand minor factions, and the faction which can forge the best representation of the party as a whole gets to be the party's candidate. Each party races for 50% in the general election. And if one faction decides to try to railroad all the others, it will get outrun by its competitors.

    Both two party and three+ party systems have this feature of compromise and consensus-building. The difference is that a two party system has this process before the election, and it is conducted in public. In a parliamentary system, it is conducted after the election, and out of the prying eyes of the public.

    For something small like ICANN, there is too much overhead for a two party system to be worth it (though the trademark issue would seem to be creating two factions anyway). The ranking system is appropriate for the size and influence of the organization. But when it comes to a whole nation, with a military and police, you need a fairly extensive process.

    Two party systems are simple-- if you aren't too involved and only vote at the general election. But if you aren't happy with the nominees from your party (or the party that you are closest to), then just vote in the primaries for the guy who better represents your views. It takes some research, but you are rewarded by a party which is more like you. If you still aren't happy (tough customer!), then volunteer for the candidate who best represents your views. Rough estimates: A campaign for the House takes about 25 people. A campaign to be Senator or Governor (depending on your state's size and population, of course) takes about 25-100 people. One volunteer, even at these heights, makes a huge difference-- especially if you have organizational, technical or writing skills.

    Or better yet, help a county commissioner/freeholder or state senator/representative. You are bound to be one of maybe three or four people on the campaign! If you work hard, you are almost certain to win-- and if there isn't any candidates you like, run yourself! It isn't that hard, and it is tons of fun.

  • by Wellspring ( 111524 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2000 @04:38AM (#715962)
    I think this ought to be interesting. Auerbach has been very critical of the ICANN since it's inception. He has some good ideas about how to make the domain system more democratic (like having one or more TLD where trademark holders do not get first pick). It will be good to have someone on the board who represents something besides the corporate interest.

    I am very happy that Karl won. One thing we need to remember, though, is that he is only one voice in the board. We all need to be ready to help him if he is going to get stuff done on the board.

    Rob, Jeff: what are the odds of getting an interview with him? He was basically /.'s pick!

  • by Private Essayist ( 230922 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2000 @05:41AM (#715967)
    You know what's scary? I honestly couldn't tell if you were being sarcastic or serious. Here's why:

    "The U.S. elections would be much better if they were conducted like ICANN elections. I'd love it if the majority of members of Congress were chosen by an unrepresentative group rather than by public election,"

    The majority of members of Congress are elected that way. Political parties select who they want to run, and special interest groups fund them accordingly, and at election time a minority actually vote for these hand-picked candidates. An outsider who wants in has a terrible time even getting noticed.

    "...and the only voice we got was one token member from each region of the country."

    As opposed to the American public, who sometimes don't even get a token member who represents them, representing special interest groups instead.

    "It'd be even better if there were completely unreasonable barriers to participation in the process, and election "rules" that change at a moment's notice based on whether or not said unrepresentative group feels that an election might go its way or not. "

    You mean the way the New York State political parties will change the rules to exclude any primary candidate they feel doesn't belong on the ballot, until court orders force them to do so?
    ________________

  • I read through Karl's policy statement on his website and a couple things made me wonder if he understands the full set of tradeoffs involved.

    He did a fine job of explaining why the technical stability of the name system is not a significant problem that should inhibit change, but I kept wondering if by "stability", the ICANN traditionalists were concerned with non-technical stability issues that were at stake, such as stability of brand name and trademark recognition online. Isn't that the heart of the issue? Is anyone really arguing about name system uptime?

    I think the ability of big companies to squash any use of any particular brandname or trademark they come up with should be limited, but I don't think that companies and their trademarks, whether "McDonalds" or "Slashdot," should be without protection from looter/moocher types who attempt to register recognized names under other global TLDs, whether ICANN adds 20 more or 20,000 more. I know that aspects of this problem are dealt with in current ICANN policies, albeit not fully satisfactorily, but in my limited examination of Karl's writings, I haven't seen Karl articulate that he either recognizes this issue or has a balanced solution in mind. Corrections or pointers welcome.

    --LP

    (This is not an attack on Karl. This is an attempt to point out an issue of concern and ask for informational pointers or responses.)
  • Not to mention the fact that the VAST majority of Americans do not have access to an Internet capable computer. These may be commonplace in our (geek) houses; however, we must remember that computers are still a luxury, not a right.
  • What?? You think Clinton should have won in 1992? That's absurd! Most of the people in the country in 1992 preferred Bush to Clinton. So what if Perot's policies were put into place? That's just because there's a tendency for a government that's representative in any way to do what the public wants; it doesn't mean that the right person won the election. Let's say that Bush actually got more votes than Clinton, but due to a rounding error Clinton won. If everything turned out fine in the end, would that mean the rounding error was actually good, and that we should continue to allow giant rounding errors in future elections!?

    Do you realize that wars have been started against the will of majorities because anti-war candidates have "split the vote"? In such an instance, would you consider this as having "worked perfectly" if in the next election the vote-splitting was remedied by convergence of the vote-splitters??

    Ralph Nader probably won't do that well in this election. But if he does, the democrats will swing back to the radical left-endorsing radical environmental policies, more government, higher taxes and isolationist trade policies.
    So what? It is apparent (at least not unreasonable) that the majority of Americans prefer McCain to both Bush and to Gore; the fact that, in spite of this, McCain could not become a contender for the presidency, is an outrage and an affront to democracy.

    Honestly, I can't even see why you would consider the above listed effect good. Sure, it means that third parties can influence the major parties by drawing away votes. Who cares? That influence is almost always contrary to the will of the public -- it certainly would be in the Nader example you list. It means better representing the views of Democrats at the expense of representing the views of Republicans; what we want is a comprimise between the two groups. If Naders started replacing Gores in the Democratic Party, that would have the potential of even more seriously dissatisfying all Republicans, while appealing more only to a group of Democrats much smaller in comparison. Plurality in general polarizes elections, guaranteeing that half of the populus will be seriously dissatisfied, rather than Condorcet which tends to produce a populus that is all somewhat dissatisfied, but only in those areas where the individual's views are unpopular.

    __

Egotist: A person of low taste, more interested in himself than in me. -- Ambrose Bierce

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