[Discussion] Should we vote on issues?

Submitted by sudo in meta

/u/ziq and I have been discussing whether or not issues on Raddle should be decided by a vote. Ziq seems to think that there shouldn't be a distinction between a voting thread and a discussion thread, and we should count what people say in discussion as their votes (they can correct me if I have misrepresented their opinion). They don't like the idea of calling a formal vote, because formality is for parliaments, and parliaments are bad. You can read their entire argument against it here.

I believe we should call a vote on issues, once discussion is over. The first reason why is because discussions can get messy. Someone may initially voice their opposition to an idea, but after talking with other users, they may change their mind. The same goes for people who initially support something, but later oppose it. Since there are so many comments to read through, this can make it difficult to tally who supports what, especially if certain people write ambiguously. Furthermore, there may be several ideas proposed and discussed in these threads, which makes the whole business even messier, especially if the same person says they support more than one of these ideas. Also, some people may decide not to chime in in the discussion, if they feel someone else has already made their point for them, or if they're simply too exhausted to put their thoughts into words. If we counted only the "votes" from the discussion thread, the votes from these people would be left out

A separate thread for voting solves all of these problems. Firstly, it makes it simple to see who supports what, since the person tallying the votes doesn't have to read through several paragraphs, just comments consisting of "Yes" or "No". Secondly, it solves the problem of confusion when multiple ideas are discussed, by clearly stating which idea being voted on, or by giving users the option of specifying which idea they like best. Thirdly, it solves the problem of people's ideas being "erased" by non-participation, since it requires negligible effort to cast a vote, and everyone (hopefully) understands that they are being explicitly asked for their opinion, so nobody will be left out, unless they choose to abstain.

Now, regarding Ziq's post here:

Taking our cues from liberal institutions is a bad idea. Creating 'formal', 'legitimate' processes will only serve to bureaucratize us and render us indistinguishable from the institutions we seek refuge from, while alienating people who aren't properly schooled in 'raddle-law'.

They seem to think that voting would be some sort of convoluted, difficult to understand process, when that's not what I'm proposing. All I'm suggesting is that we create a separate "voting" thread for an issue, once discussion on that issue has subsided, and allow users to cast "Yes" or "No" votes on the issue (or say which idea they like best, if there are multiple ideas to choose from). If anyone finds that too complicated to follow, then they are the problem, not the procedure.

Furthermore, how exactly will following this procedure "bureaucratize" Raddle? Their argument seems to be this:

A) Parliamentary bodies call for formal votes on issues.

B) Parliamentary bodies are evil.

C) Therefore, calling formal votes is evil, and should be avoided.

But, this chain of logic makes no sense. Here's an example that illustrates why. Adolf Hitler was a vegetarian, because he hated the idea of animals suffering and dying to be used for food (yes, really). If we apply the same logic to this scenario, that means not eating meat is evil, since Hitler was evil. Therefore, everyone should eat meat, so they aren't like Hitler. But that's obviously absurd. The flaw in this reasoning is the assumption that everything an evil person does becomes evil as well. That just isn't so. Whether a certain thing is bad or not depends on the merits of that thing alone, not on who used the thing. Therefore, the statement "calling a formal vote is bad, because parliaments do it, and they're bad" makes no sense. In short, ziq has made the "guilt by association" fallacy.

Furthermore, tackling issues that arise using pre-determined responses instead of treating each issue as unique will be an emulation of the deciding and punishment mechanisms we rally against everyday as radicals.

Ziq also seems to be misunderstanding my proposal. I am not proposing that the discussion itself should be restricted to pre-determined responses. The discussion can be as organic and unique as people want it to be. Again, I am only proposing that we vote on issues after discussing them. Ziq is attacking a straw man argument.

I would also like to remind ziq that we already have laws about who is eligible to - gasp - vote, in the sidebar:

Anyone with a month-old account and 20 posts/comments has voting rights. Votes are open for 7 days, but action will usually be taken after 1 day and reversed if more votes are placed that change the result.

And, I would like to remind them that we have historically had voting threads. It was more of a convention than an actual rule, but I think it should be made into a rule, so we don't run into the problems I specified above.

What do you think? Should discussion be followed by a voting thread? (And, yes, this is a discussion thread.)


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supernice wrote

Having a "Let's have a vote on ______" thread is fine, but it's unnecessary when we've already been discussing whatever the subject matter is in another thread and people have made their positions clear. Why start another thread to say the same thing? It doesn't make sense.

Imagine if you are sitting in a room with some friends and talking about going to the movies or going to get coffee instead. You all come to a decision, then some in the group says "OK, let's vote on it now". Doesn't make any sense. It was already determined in the course of conversation.


sudo wrote

Because this is the internet, and we can't see everyone in the group nodding along. If someone reads the discussion, silently agrees with what has been said, but doesn't make any comments of their own, nobody will know that they were even there to begin with. By explicitly asking people to weigh in, you can avoid this problem.


selver wrote

I think we should call for votes only when necessary. Lately all of the meta threads have been pretty informal & mostly unanimous. I like doing it that way better, and then if there's a topic that people are split on, people can call for a vote.


yaaqov wrote (edited )

As far as I can tell, the entirety of your second paragraph, while raising really important points, needn't actually be a problem within discussion threads; people who, for example, don't have anything to add, or don't have the energy to contribute further, still can and do say things like "support", right in the types of threads that you seem to think preclude this possibility.

Indeed, five of the twelve comments in the original discussion thread that spawned this question were only a voice of support or objection, with no further amendments, eg "Support this", "yep yep", or "no". That looks a whole lot like voting from people who did not want to, need to, or were not able to otherwise contribute to the discussion.


sudo wrote

people who, for example, don't have anything to add, or don't have the energy to contribute further, still can and do say things like "support", right in the types of threads that you seem to think preclude this possibility.

But my point is, there are some who might not say anything, if they aren't aware that the comments in that thread will be tallied as votes. We will never get to see those people not participating.


Cheeks wrote

Entirely unnecessary, convoluted, and will probably create exclusivity.


surreal wrote

you've lost me on the hitler example, what i hate more that parallelisms is hyperbolic parallelisms.

also this seems unnecessary with the small active userbase raddle has atm and voting on the same thread works fine. i'm lazy, i don't want to search between threads and whatnot or spend time on the procedure than the actual discussion.


rot wrote

Whatever happened to konsent?


ziq wrote

Democracy is a sick farce anyway.


rot wrote

...with representative "democracy" yes, (which would be voting for mods to decide issues)

but Konsent had the goal of full consensus or as close as possible with anyone being able to veto and explain why, starting a revote.


ziq wrote

You assume everyone passing through raddle is righteous when a good chunk of them are just here to troll and mock us or start drama to entertain themselves or fulfill their hate addiction.


rot wrote (edited )

I don't assume that,I know most of the users are trolls.

I just think that sorting based just on clicks could actually move troll posts up since lots of people view and comment on them.


rot wrote (edited )

If I click on a post and it turns out to be a shitpost or something that just isn't that important, it will still move up. If a troll has 50 comments on their post it still moves up.

sorry wrong thread


ziq wrote (edited )

ziq and I discussing whether or not issues on Raddle should be decided by a vote

Not what we were talking about... We already decide with votes so that makes not a lick of sense.

You're claiming we can't vote and discuss in the same thread and that everyone's votes in a proposal should be ignored unless the OP uses the word 'motion' or 'vote' in the title.

First thread was:

Can we rename /f/ShitLiberalsSayOrDo back to /f/ShitLiberalsSay?

Second thread was:

I make a motion to rename /f/ShitLiberalsSayOrDo back to /f/ShitLiberalsSay.

No freakin difference. And way more ppl voted in the first one than the 'formal' second one...

If people change their mind during the discussion, they can click edit and change their vote.

Responding to counter proposals in the thread with votes isn't messy, it's always worked just fine. The parent comment is the proposal, the replies are votes.

Votes cast on the OP's proposal are always made as parent comments - so they're easy to count. The votes aren't hidden in deep chains or something. When I was an admin I counted the votes and never had any trouble.

The discussion we have to reach a consensus is infinitely more valuable than the votes anyway. Seperating the two things will only allow brosh to cast votes to protect bigots without having to explain themselves.

OPPOSE this attempt to build a raddle vanguard where only people that know and care about the official lingo / overly complicated procedures can participate.