Photo: Flickr user lifeontheedge

Thursday, July 12, 2007

And the election results are ... Oscar is out; Frieda is in. Sounds fine to me.


1. Eloquence (Erik Möller) 1671 votes
2. Mindspillage (Kathleen Walsh) 1427 votes
3. Frieda (Frieda Brioschi) 1254 votes


4. Oscar (Oscar van Dillen) 1234 votes
5. Michael Snow 1229 votes
6. Danny (Danny Wool) 1217 votes
7. Yann (Yann Forget) 1153 votes
8. Kim Bruning 1124 votes
9. UninvitedCompany (Steve Dunlop) 1047 votes
10. Kate (River Tarnell) 889 votes
11. Kingboyk (Stephen Kennedy) 864 votes
12. Ausir (Pawel Dembowski) 693 votes
13. ^demon (Michael "Chad" Horohoe) 672 votes
14. WarX (Artur Jan Fijalkowski) 571 votes
15. DragonFire1024 (Jason Safoutin) 495 votes

I think this calls for a chart. Unfortunately, my mac's in the shop; here's the best I can do in Excel (it still kind of sucks).

For those who don't know, this was approval voting -- people can vote for as many candidates as they want.

Eloquence and Mindspillage -- both incumbents -- were the unsurprising standouts; among the other qualified candidates, the race was very close. Which is a good thing. It'll keep the board on its toes.


Anonymous said...

From a voting system wonk perspective, will there be any information on the range of candidate choices on each ballots? Presumably some people "bullet voted" -- only voted for one -- as they didn't want a second or third choice to help defeat their first choice. Meanwhile, a number of others probably just choice to vote for three, equaling the number of seats. Still others might have voted for more than three, which is allowed under approval voting.

What could be interesting is to see how many people voted for both Frieda Brioschi and one of the candidates like Oscar van Dillen, Michael Snow and Danny Wool who were so close behind. If some of those people liked one of the trailing candidates more than Frieda, they probably are kicking themselves for also voting for Frieda.

With approval voting, all votes are equally weighted, so you can't show which candidate you in fact liked most, which next and so on. That's why the single transferable vote is often used -- a lower choice never can help defeat a higher choice. It also means you have a fairer balance of representation -- the same set of voters can't elect all three seats unless those voters represent nearly everyone.

I assume there was a conscious decision to choose a highly majoritarian system here rather than a proportional voting system?

Ben Yates said...

Well, I disagree with that characterization of approval voting -- of course, it looks like it's full of flaws when viewed from a long distance, and we view it from a long distance because our political system is 1-person-1-vote (or some approximation thereof).

To someone raised with approval voting, any other system might seem crazy. "In a multicandidate election, how would you prevent a polarizing candidate from winning despite the majority disliking that candidate? How would you prevent two similar candidates from splitting their support base and both losing, even if their platform is popular? How would you prevent a popular third-party candidate (e.g. Nader, Perot) from sinking the candidate that would otherwise have won?"

Ben Yates said...

I agree that the mechanics of the voting system need to be made much, much clearer on the voting page itself.

Anonymous said...

Approval voting doesn't represent minority opinion (which other systems for three seats at a time can do) and indeed creates some perverse incentives (e.g., if backers of one candidate know to only vote for that candidate while backers of other candidates more sincerely vote for more than one, that first candidate gets a big edge). That's just the way it is -- nothing personal!

Ben Yates said...

Well, what system would you suggest?

Anonymous said...

Sorry to leave this conversation dangling... I'm a fan of single transferable vote, as used in all kinds of non-governmental elections and in public elections for things like the Irish parliament and city elections in places like Dublin, Edinburgh and Glasgow. See the British Electoral Reform Society pages here: