Call for votes for SPI board of directors membership election

Jimmy Kaplowitz jimmy at
Fri Nov 7 13:29:18 UTC 2003

On Fri, Nov 07, 2003 at 01:05:01PM +0000, Ian Jackson wrote:
> Wichert Akkerman writes ("Call for votes for SPI board of directors membership election"):
> > As such, vote preferences should be made by ranking the candidates. A
> > vote that simply specifies "X" is does not imply preference. [...]
> I am very disappointed, Wichert, that despite detailed explanations,
> and clear consensus to use a more sensible system, you haven't heeded
> everyone's wishes.
> I'm now wondering whether the Board should pass an emergency
> resolution suspending the election and asking you to restart it with a
> more sensible interpretation of ballots.

I disagree. You yourself wrote the resolution that specified the
"Condorcet election method". Sorry to tell you this, but Debian's method
is not Condorcet, but modified Condorcet. Real Condorcet doesn't have a
way of specifying equal preferences, and before we decided to use the
modified method I'd want to see some mathematically rigorous comparison
of our modified version and the standard version to see how the
modifications can affect the outcome and what effect that has on Kenneth
Arrow's famous criteria for election fairness.

It also is a very bad precedent for the board to discard all votes that
have been cast so far and restart the election, forcing people who have
voted early to revote.  Restarting the election is not much better of a
precedent, since it causes people to wonder if the board will change its
mind yet again and make their second vote useless. It will cause
significant confusion among SPI members.

Furthermore, it contributes to a general impression of the board as
indecisive, which is fatal to an organization like SPI that is at
present run entirely by the board. You yourself say in your platform
that "SPI needs to regularise its own internal structure." Why, then, do
you want to change the structure of a currently ongoing election whose
rules you yourself wrote as recently as last month?

I strongly urge the board to let the election conclude as currently

- Jimmy Kaplowitz
jimmy at

P. S. - Ian, your MTA is rejecting mails that I send to your chiark
address from my machine, due in part to an absence of reverse DNS that
is beyond my immediate control. Your anti-spam measure on your Debian
address rejected my mail sent to that address, advising me either to use
your chiark address or change my From: line to my Debian address,
despite the fact that my From: line WAS my Debian address. (Maybe it
meant the envelope sender?  This is never my Debian address, due to the
way I send mail. Or possibly it was confused because I was using mutt's
bounce feature?) Finally, your SPI address is unroutable. This is really
unacceptable; my only options to contact you are either to send to a
mailing list or to bounce my mail to my mailbox on master.d.o, then log
into master and bounce my mail to your chiark address. I understand your
measures are trying to fix a problem of too much spam, but your
solutions are broken. Fix them, please.
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