Voting system R&D (Re: 2017 update to the SPI voting algorithm for Board elections)

Josh berkus josh at
Tue Mar 7 04:50:09 UTC 2017

Ian, All:

So in all of this discussion, I've not heard anything which seems
terribly persuasive compared with just taking our existing system and
fixing the problem with unranked candidates (and maybe providing a
slightly better UI).

Yes, we could use a different system, but why?

The system we currently use has been good at choosing candidates who are
acceptable to most voting members over candidates who take highly
partisan positions.  This is a *virtue*, not a drawback.  If we'd had a
voting system which supported more partisanship, SPI probably would have
been destroyed ten years ago when we had folks actively trying to split
the membership.

If we have a problem with too many candidates needing to be Debian-ish,
then the answer is to add specific board seats elected in a way which
ensures a pool of candidates who don't care about Debian.  Personally,
though, I think that would be more trouble than it's worth, and I work
on Fedora.

Overally, I disagree that there's any major issue with our voting
system, and this whole thing really looks to me like voting system geeks
looking for an excuse to tinker with "cool voting tech".

Let's just fix the unranked candidate problem, work on the UI a little,
and call it good enough.

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