Voss has made a lot of posts contrasting different voting systems over the years and linked to various other sites too. I've read them all when I remembered to, and found them very fascinating. Hopefully I'm not mischaracterizing his views, but Voss seems very interested in how to make a voting system which is as representative as possible of the reads / voting intentions of all the players at the end of the day phase, hence why he has pushed for Condorcet. Condorcet probably comes closest to making a "fair" mafia, where alignments aren't shafted by the times their players can sign on, and the game can become a less stressful experience. This is certainly a respectable thing to pursue in the creation of a voting system, but I don't intend for that to be the focus of this thread. I want to talk about interesting voting systems
Let me take majority with plurality as an example of this. There is nothing representative about the "majority" part of "majority with plurality". But adding that has the potential to make the game far more interesting, because it means one can theoretically be a lynch at any instant and votes placed at any time become relevant. Granted, there will be repurcussions for players who try to push early lynches, but early lynches can and do happen when the participants of the train are willing to accept those repurcussions. Taking this further, when the game is only "majority", early votes gain even more pressure - even if the lynch is generally stalled to EOD, trains become far more difficult to assemble in majority due to the inevitable lurking and inactivity, meaning 2 lurker-votes left on you early on may become the excuse to "compromise" and lynch you later. Even in plurality, early votes have some degree of threat, but I would argue this threat is much more meaningful in these alternate modes.
You may think this example is overstating how pronounced these features of majority are, but don't get lost in the weeds - it's just an illustration. I think several things can be guaged from this example about what makes a voting system potentially interesting -
-An interesting voting system may facilitate scenarios where the person lynched is not always the ultimate preference. It pushes people to make uncomfortable compromises and alter their agenda for the situation. (But a highly organised town should retain the ability to select the person they genuinely want to be lynched)
-An interesting voting system increases the relevance of all vote-related decisions, including in the beginning - there should be tangible consequences to early vote-related decisions. I remember reading once (I don't remember where) that strategy is created in games when actions lead to irreversible outcomes. Consequences that can't be shoved back in pandora's box. This would also make pressure more meaningful.
For a long time, I've been intrigued by the notion of creating new voting systems. Alternate voting systems that may accomplish the above in new and unique ways, but I sadly lack the imagination or the technical understanding of the game to do such things. After daydreaming about this every now and then, the closest I came was s-fm tokens. A game where votes are tallied over multiple rounds in an attempt to create this effect. I am by no means presenting that setup as an entirely successful attempt, but that may also illustrate the kind of thing I have in mind, cuz this ramble about what a voting system could be has been a bit abstract.
There is one other thing that I find potentially interesting which I'm not sure how to fit into the above discourse. I'm fascinated by the notion of a voting system that is highly exploitable. Perhaps some convoluted voting system filled with byzantine caveats that allows for a range of unnecessary bullshit. Or players with executive powers that potentially undermine the majority's interests.
I have no easy "What do you think of [X]?" question to facilitate a dialogue here, but I've wanted to share this for a while. Does anyone else resonate with any of this? Does anyone have ideas for or interest in such things? At the very least, if you bothered to read all of this, hopefully you'll spare a daydream or too for this if you ever find a stress-free moment to reflect.