/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.)