Quorum - Online Communities

Online Communities

When votes are held in large online communities, where it may never be the case that a majority of the members are present, the effect of quorum is different. Being absent from the vote no longer requires particular effort, but is the default case: voters are usually assumed to be absent unless they cast a vote. Online communities therefore tend to have quorums that are much less than a majority of the members.

In such votes, a non-monotonic aspect can be introduced: a voter can inadvertently swing a vote from failing to passing by voting no, if a majority has voted yes and that no vote is the one that causes quorum to be met. With no penalty for being absent, voters are faced with a strategic choice between voting no and not voting.

The Debian project has addressed this issue in its voting mechanisms with the idea of per-option quorum. A quorum is not set on the total number of votes, but on the number of votes a particular option (besides the status quo) must receive before it is considered. For example, in a yes/no vote, the quorum may say that at least 40 yes votes are required, along with yes having a majority of votes, for the vote to pass.

The political simulator NationStates and its fictional legislature, the World Assembly utilizes a 6% quorum of Regional Delegates to approve proposals.

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Famous quotes containing the word communities:

    I am convinced, that if all men were to live as simply as I then did, thieving and robbery would be unknown. These take place only in communities where some have got more than is sufficient while others have not enough.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)