Author Topic: Alternative voting systems to FPTP?  (Read 5215 times)

Offline nateo

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Alternative voting systems to FPTP?
« on: June 21, 2012, 09:13:09 AM »
My homebrew club is starting to get more organized regarding dues and officers and such. We're using the Maltose Falcon's bylaws and constitution as a guide in establishing our own. According the constitution we found for them, their offices are filled by the candidate with a plurality of the votes. My concern with using that is if there are 3+ candidate running for the same position, it's likely the winning candidate will have less than a majority.

I think the officers should have the broadest support possible, so I'm proposing two preferential voting alternatives. The first is an instant run-off voting system, where all candidates are ranked in order of preference, and the ballots cast for the lowest-ranked candidate are thrown out and those votes are transferred to the second choice on that ballot. The other thing I thought of was a NASCAR-type points system, where wither 4 candidates, the person ranked 1st would get 4 points, 2nd place gets 3pts, 3rd gets 2pts, and so on. The winner would then be the person with the most points.

Any concerns with either of those systems? Any other suggestions?
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Offline nathanw

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Re: Alternative voting systems to FPTP?
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2012, 01:48:53 PM »
How competitive do your elections tend to be, or do you expect them to be? Experience in my club and a couple of other organizations is that the most common situation is essentially drafting people into running for the position and then running them unopposed. Even a two-candidate race, when it comes up occasionally, doesn't have to worry about plurality vs. majority issues. So my take is that this kind of rule is fine, as it is simple and ensures a winner

Don't get into complicated voting systems until you have a problem that you actually need them to solve.


Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Alternative voting systems to FPTP?
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2012, 02:45:30 PM »
Don't get into complicated voting systems until you have a problem that you actually need them to solve.

This was my thought.  If 15-20 people can't agree on club officers you might be in trouble. ;)  If your club has dozens or more members you may want come up with something else but like was said earlier most clubs I've been in (any kind of club not just homebrew clubs), the bigger problem is finding fresh me.. I mean, members willing to run.

Heck, the school board at my kid's school is elected by showing up on the night they need officers and finding yourself appointed.  We don't even vote anymore.  A warm body is enough.

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Offline dbeechum

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Re: Alternative voting systems to FPTP?
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2012, 04:27:42 PM »
In the Falcons, very few positions are contested. Mostly there's a lot of behind the scenes cajoling to get people into positions. :)

I've seen some hard feelings from votes that are contested, but I don't know what you do about that.
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Offline deepsouth

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Re: Alternative voting systems to FPTP?
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2012, 05:25:20 PM »
we have only been a club for a short number of years, but we have never had more than one person want to be president.
How competitive do your elections tend to be, or do you expect them to be? Experience in my club and a couple of other organizations is that the most common situation is essentially drafting people into running for the position and then running them unopposed. Even a two-candidate race, when it comes up occasionally, doesn't have to worry about plurality vs. majority issues. So my take is that this kind of rule is fine, as it is simple and ensures a winner

Don't get into complicated voting systems until you have a problem that you actually need them to solve.



we have the same experience in out club.
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Alternative voting systems to FPTP?
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2012, 06:54:30 PM »
In the Falcons, very few positions are contested. Mostly there's a lot of behind the scenes cajoling to get people into positions. :)

I've seen some hard feelings from votes that are contested, but I don't know what you do about that.
not exactly the same thing, but on our medical staff department heads, we joke that people only show up on voting day to make sure they are not elected 8)  that said we have a nominating committee that nominates one or two candidates for treasurer, then they move up to vp and president in succeeding terms.
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Offline Bruce B

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Re: Alternative voting systems to FPTP?
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2012, 09:33:21 PM »
We have seven total board positions for our club, two of them are titled Member at Large.  Their primary responsibilities include helping out with meeting duties the day of and miscellaneous things that come up from time to time.  The position is viewed as an entry step for newer members on the board.  Because there are two positions available every year we end up with five or so people running for them.  We do two things for those that don't get elected:
1.  Don't announce the vote count.  All anyone needs to know is who will occupy the seat, by how much someone won doesn't matter.
2.  After the results are announced offer other opportunities to those that didn't get elected.  They showed the willingness to help and there are probably plenty of other non-elected opportunities available that can make someone feel like a contributor. 
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