[Mpi-forum] Voting in July (and beyond)

Dave Goodell goodell at mcs.anl.gov
Thu Jun 14 10:25:56 CDT 2012

On Jun 14, 2012, at 9:15 AM CDT, Jeff Squyres wrote:

> On Jun 14, 2012, at 9:25 AM, Richard Graham wrote:
>> First, I would not note that as a mishap - a specific question came up, and the forum did it's best to address the question, and interpret what majority vote means.  
> I'm not debating what happened.  But the mishap = mistake, and this was clearly a mistake, regardless of good intentions.
> So however you want to define it, I don't think that anyone disagrees that the voting rules were different in Japan than they had been in all prior meetings. 

They may not, however, have been *observably* different.  If we never had a close vote in the past then nobody but you would have known that the voting rules were changed.

>> We need to keep with what was the consensus at the meeting,
> I'm not disagreeing with the fact that we need to abide by the voting results as they were decided in the room in Japan (because everyone knew/understood the "Japan" rules when they were voting).

Absolutely, almost anything else would be crazy and/or a waste of everyone's time.

>> and change that ONLY after further discussion.  So, it at this stage pass mean yes > 0.5 * total vote.  
> No.
> The Japan rules were a mistake.
> It is not proper to change the voting rules:
> a) with discussion from only one meeting, and 
> b) when the secretary -- i.e., the guy who knows the rules -- was not even present
> In July, voting should be the same as it has been for all prior 2.x and 3.x Forum meetings: pass = yes > no (abstains don't count).
> *** We =CANNOT= abolish "abstain" at the whim of one mis-guided decision from one meeting ***

You are effectively asserting that your voting rules are more correct because you said that they came first, even though they were not clearly documented to anyone else.

>> We can have this as the first item for discussion on Monday, but have to have a discussion before we change.
> I do not think it is proper to change the voting rules based on any one meeting.  To me, changing the voting rules should require 2 formal votes (just like text) using the currently established rules.

We have no procedure for this.  AFAIK we never voted the original rules into place.  At the Japan meeting we took consensus from the room because there was no clear ruling on this known to *anyone* in the room.  Both members of the steering committee that were present (Bill & Rich) felt the "abstains can't change the denominator" view was correct.

I think that an in-person discussion about this on the first day of the upcoming meeting is the most appropriate way to deal with this debate.  Perhaps a two-votes-over-two-meetings-scheme is appropriate, perhaps not.  When we have made other procedural changes, such as the "ticket 0" concept, I don't think that we used a two vote process.  I don't see this as substantially different.

The most important thing for us to do is not bicker over which rules were correct at various points in the past, but instead we should attempt to agree on rules that work for the Forum going forward.  That could be either interpretation of simple majority, or possibly some more complicated scheme (can we somehow shoehorn instant-runoff voting into the process? ;) ).


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