Tuesday, November 6, 2007

HW#30 Speech One on Voting and Fairness!

Today in Keene State College's Citizenship Symposium, I attended a speech in the Main theatre. This speech was called: Voting Theory and the Question of Fairness it was presented by Vincent Ferlini. Ferlini is the assocate professor of Mathematics here at Keene. It was a very formal, and educational speech. It focused on the different methods of voting and how it is and is not fair. There are many political and fun ways of voting such as presidential campaign and American Idol or Surivior. Voting is a way of allowing the majority to help make decisions for a certain campaign. There was a brief history that Ferlini mentioned, such as that during the 509 BCE in Greece they developed the voting tactics that are stilled used today. There were many methods mentioned in Vincent's speech. One was the plurality method where the canidate with the most number of first place votes is the winner of the campaign. Another method is the Majority method which the most used and most known method. The Borda method was developed by Jean-Charles de Borda during the 18th century. This method relies on a number scale, the candiadate with the most votes receives four points, second three, third two and etc. "The Method of Pairwise comparision determines to what extent each candidate is or isn't preferred over each of the other candidates." An interesting fact that I learned during the speech was that in order to win the election 270 votes are needed from the Electoral College. The conclusions that were made from this speech are that different methods develop different results. Also that each method exhibits characteristics associated with fairness and unfairness of a voting method.