Friday, December 11, 2009

Disclaimer; Well it looks like I was wrong in my opinion that follows. It "seems" that there will indeed be a "Round 2" for the 'Best Political Blog'. After some bizarre gyrations the final count seems to have elected 10 finalists (though I might be wrong about that). Molly came in at # 6 out of ten. 'Informed Vote', the largest entrant, seems to have gathered an astounding 78.1% of its votes from lower ranked votes. As expected Molly was not the 'second, third fourth, etc.' choice of very many people. 'Informed Vote' perhaps lacks colour, but the blog's "reasonableness" made it quite popular as an alternative. All things to all people perhaps ? Happily 'Calgary Grit' the only other finalist from last year besides Molly in the running also made it into the top ten. If I'm right about this complex process there will be a Round 2 happening soon, hopefully with a single vote rather than the complex, byzantine system that the CBAs used in Round 1.
The results of the first round in the ' Best Political Blogs' category are now in at the Canadian Blog Awards. In an eerie replay of last year Molly's Blog once more came in 5th, with 82 votes (5.4% of the total). Voting seemed to be a lot more sparse this year, perhaps because of the more than slightly strange voting system (see later). It seems that 'Informed Vote' was declared 'The Winner' with 218 votes (14.3% of the total), and as far as I can determine there will be no "Round 2" as, if any candidate (and no other) gets above 9.1% that person is declared "elected". I might be wrong. I'll see in the next couple of days. 'Informed Vote' has no clear political perspective, but, if I were to hazard a guess, I'd put him as small l liberal. The right wingers, as I have mentioned before, waged a serious campaign this time around (they had the plurality of nominees), but only one candidate made it into the top 5. 'Strictly Right' with 117 votes (7.7% of the total) is of the mouth-frothing, water-fearing, Indian-hating variety of conservative that any serious political strategist in said party seeks to have banished to somewhere where they can do the least harm. Barring that send the head to Ottawa or Lethbridge for fluorescent antibody diagnosis. Number 3, 'Broadsides' (with 93 votes-6.1% of the total) is some sort of "house-feminists" for, I believe, the Toronto Star. Seems like a harmless enough vague lefty, but what I see from her blog says that she is very much a one note orchestra. Number 4, 'Daveberta' is also a vague lefty from, of all places, Alberta. Looking at his blog I get the eerie feeling that he got a lot of "second votes" because of his professed inability to choose between the Liberals and the NDP. I wonder how many "second votes" I got. probably close to zero.
Anyways, I think that the voting for the 'Best Political Blog' is over and that 'Informed Vote' is the winner. The author of that blog seems like a reasonable enough fellow, and I guess he deserves to win. If I'm wrong, and there is a second round you can be sure that I'll be campaigning again. In the meantime, for your amusement, here is the "explanation" of the system of voting that the Canadian Blog Awards used this year.
How are the results tallied?
It's easiest to understand this by just watching how the votes move on the results pages, but here are the detailed rules for the count.

1) In each round, each ballot not assigned to an elected candidate is assigned to its highest-ranked continuing candidate. (A "continuing" candidate is one who has not yet been elected or eliminated.)

2) If no continuing candidates are ranked on a ballot, it is assigned to its highest-ranked elected candidate, if any, or otherwise counted as a vote for "none of these" continuing candidates.

3) If any continuing candidates have a number of votes exceeding the threshold (defined below), they are declared elected.

4) If the number of continuing candidates does not exceed the number to be elected, all of them are declared elected. To finish the process and arrange so that each winner represents the same number of voters, a final series of transfers is made (by the usual procedure below) from the candidate with the most votes to candidates with less than a seat's worth of votes. This transfer is performed for each candidate with more that that number.

5) If any candidates have a number of votes exceeding the threshold, the candidate(s) elected in the earliest round, and then the candidate with the most votes among those, is identified. Some ballots assigned to this candidate are split into a fraction (defined below) that stays assigned to that candidate and a fraction that will count toward continuing candidates in subsequent rounds. Only the ballots most recently assigned to the candidate in the round in which s/he won, and only those that have a valid next choice, are subject to splitting.

6) If no candidates exceeded the threshold in this round, the last-place candidate is eliminated.

7) This process repeats until it is finished.
If the election is an "instant runoff" for a single winner, rule 5 has no effect, and the process stops immediately if any candidate reaches the threshold.
If the above seems "clear" to you you are either 1)very much smarter than I am or 2) a lawyer or 3)on some sort of drug that I would never even consider trying at any time. This sort of thing makes the proportional representation system that was last proposed for BC seem like the very essence of clarity. None the less I wish those who got more votes that I did well, except for the "Rabidly Right' candidate to whom I suggest a new business plan of opening up a B & D bordello complete with WW2 uniforms. There's a lot of money in them there hills.


Andrew Lawton said...

Taking a moment from my "mouth-frothing, water-fearing, Indian-hating" agenda, I have to say that I agree with you...about the polling, not the mouth-frothing, water-fearing, Indian-hating bit. This website ( seems to be trying to make a point rather than a simple and effective way of voting in polls. If you scroll down to the bottom of the page it makes a little more sense when it shows the 10 candidates that were elected in "Round 47" not Round 2... (I'm still not sure who -- if anyone, won though!)

mollymew said...

OK, we'll call a temporary truce to complain jointly about the bizarre method of voting over at the CBA. By the way, if you think I use impolite language to you you should see what I have to say about some of the squirrels that infest my own small corner of the political world.
I'm just as uncertain as you are about the meaning of the first round of voting (I actually counted 48 rounds by scrolling down the page). Will there be a runoff, what I call 'Round 2', amongst the 10 "elected" candidate, or does the fact that 'Informed Vote' got over the set "threshold" mean that s/he is the winner. Damned if I know. Time will tell I guess.

Ian said...

The system is nearly identical to the STV system BC voted on, it's easy to vote (just rank) and the counting is a little complex, but you don't really have to worry about that (and almost shouldn't). Just put a 1 beside who you want to win, and then rank any others as you care to (you can get away with not voting for anyone but yourself).

Good luck in round 2, I'm fourth of five in the Religion & Philosophy section (Terahertz Atheist) so I'll be in round 2 too.

mollymew said...

Good luck to you too Ian. Weren't you also in the 'Political' category, or is my memory failing me ? I seem to recall the name of your blog. If "this" is indeed the system that was presented as an alternative to the citizens of BC then they were really wise in rejecting it. Having second or third choices may be justified, but extending lists to 10 items makes things just a little too opaque.