Alternative decorator syntax - POLL RESULTS SO FAR - ARE WE DONE?

Paul McGuire ptmcg at
Sun Aug 22 16:36:37 CEST 2004

"Doug Holton" <insert at> wrote in message
news:t5idnRg0lMA7B7XcRVn-qA at
> Paul McGuire wrote:
> > Total voters: 55
> > Of all of the votes cast, J2
> > received 48%, C1 received 18%.  No other option received more than 10%
> > any votes.
> I vote 3 times for C1.  So just my one vote raises C1 to 20%.  I think
> you need to do an online poll so you get more people than just those who
> have been discussing the decorator keyword here this past week.  I got
> over 250 votes for C1 just last week vs. the 22 who voted for J2 here.
> During this 2nd poll people were confused about whether they could vote
> for A1 or not, and some people said many of the options on the wiki page
> were not allowed anymore.
> Just make a poll with J2 vs. C1 and see what you find.
Doug -

Robert Brewer advised against ending this poll prematurely (which I
thought *was* a form of "online poll"), and your posting reaffirms that

I've put you down for 3 votes for C1.  But by my spreadsheet, adding 3 votes
to C1 shifts the percentages to 46.7% for J2 and 19.2% for C1.  And if you
look at the consensus statistic, this doesn't significantly change the
number of people expressing some support for either (73.2% of voters cast at
least one vote for J2, 35.7% cast at least one for C1).

Fewer than 3% of the votes were cast for A1, so I don't think this had a
major effect on the overall distribution of the results.

One of the main purposes of multivoting is to do just what you propose - to
narrow a field of many choices down to just 2.  It looks like this poll is
very close to achieving that, and I really don't think this will change
significantly over the next few days.

One of the issues with a "one-person-one-vote" poll is that you don't get a
sense of a voter's willingness to be open to multiple alternatives.  When
you are all done, all you have is "X% for A and Y% for B" - short of
unanimity, I don't think this is much of a basis for consensus among an
anonymous group.  Even an 80/20 or 90/10 split just tells you that 10-20% of
the voters will be overridden by the majority.  (I get the feeling that
there are some out there who are distrustful of this whole process, and
short of a 100% return for one choice, will not concede that we have arrived
at consensus. ) What I like about multivoting is that it allows people to
express preferences, but also openness to alternatives.  And consequently, I
think the process is less divisive.  But just to show how compelling these
results are so far, imagine that *every* vote had been J2, J2, C1 or C1, C1,
J2  The absolute results would have been a 66%/33% split, and the consensus
vote would have been 50%/50%.  What we got so far is 47/19 (which is even
more lopsided than 66/33) and 73/35.

Mark Twain said there are 3 types of lies: lies, damned lies, and
statistics.  I'm not trying to confuse the issue, I *am* trying to convey
that I think there is more consensus here than a simple percentage would

-- Paul

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