[python-committers] 2019 Steering Council Election Results

Tim Peters tim.peters at gmail.com
Mon Feb 4 11:57:38 EST 2019

> There are some interesting speculations possible about the spread of
> the numbers ,and they give extra data on how the voters seem to think
> and which (types of) candidates are likely to do well in future elections.

Ir was already speculated about before the election ;-)  As predicted
by a brief article I linked to on Discourse, limiting the number of
approvals to 5 favored a landslide victory of the best-known
candidates.  Except for Nick, the weakest "winner" got 50% more
approvals than the strongest "loser". So "landslide" for 4.

In pure Approval voting (which we've used for PSF Board elections),
there is no limit, and then you get a clear picture of approval
levels.  The "losers" here should realize their relatively low
approval levels _may_ be an artifact of the voting process.  Like in
"first past the post" plurality elections, with a limit there's
pressure for voters to betray their actual favorite(s) if they _think_
they can't win, to avoid "wasting their vote".  Without a limit,
there's never a reason (regardless of whether a voter is 100% honest
or 100% tactical) not to approve of your true favorites.

In the Discourse discussion, there _seemed_ to be consensus that
limiting to 5 was probably a mistake, but it would require a change to
some PEP to remove the limit, and the issue didn't come up before it
was too late.

Beyond that, pure Approval is just unsuitable _if_ there's some goal
to achieve some level of "diversity", in an extremely broad sense.
While we don't have political parties, we are developing factions,
like "old-timer vs new-comer", "conservative vs aggressive" wrt
language changes, and so on.  Some form of "proportional
representation" voting is needed _if_ we want to cater to that (and,
yes, there are _variations_ of Approval voting that address such
concerns - but they're all more complicated and I doubt Helios
supports them).

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