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Re: [Demexp-dev] Thoughts on voting machines

From: Brian Hurt
Subject: Re: [Demexp-dev] Thoughts on voting machines
Date: Mon, 20 Sep 2004 09:25:48 -0500 (CDT)

On 20 Sep 2004, skaller wrote:

> There is no such thing as a 'non-political' vote. Community
> decision making IS politics. 

There is a difference between, for example, electing the Debian board of 
directors, and electing the President of the US.

First of all, how valuable is the "prize"?  Throwing the election of the 
Debian BoDs simply isn't worth that much.  Throwing a POTUS election is 
worth billions of dollars to some people.  Also, official elections are 
governed by laws, and (at least around here) provisions in the 
Constitution.  The Debian project has a lot more flexibility in changing 
how they choose their leaders than the state of Minnesota does.  And then 
there is the question of population density of voters.  Minnsota actually 
has a pretty decent technology economy going (the legacy of CDC and 
Cray)- so we probably have a pretty decent number of people in town who 
vote for the Debian BoD.  Compared to the number of people in North Dakota 
who vote for President, however, there is still almost no voter population 
for the Debian BoD in Minnesota.  Plus, while it's plausible the state of 
Minnesota would spend a few thousand dollars per voting booth, I doubt 
very much that Debian would.

"All elections are the same" is true in the same way that "all computers 
are Turing machines" is true- true in some theoretical sense, false in 
most practical senses.

"Usenet is like a herd of performing elephants with diarrhea -- massive,
difficult to redirect, awe-inspiring, entertaining, and a source of
mind-boggling amounts of excrement when you least expect it."
                                - Gene Spafford 

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