RationalWiki:Voting Procedure

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This is one of many discussions that has descended into petty snipping and trolling idiocy on RationalWiki.
Here are the others, in case you are curious, bored, or enjoy pain:
- Community Standards/Revamp, January 2009 -- Community Standards/Revamp draft -- Requests for comment/HeartOfGold -- Community Standards/disruption -- HeartOfGold Sysop vote -- Site politics -- User:Copyvio's campaign to stop copyvio -- Serious Business -- Epic debate -- Cat fight -- Constitutional Convention, April 2008 -- Barroom brawls -- Inactivity -- Property rights in WIGOs -- Nuclear Option -- Privacy clusterfuck -- The Rationalwiki Reform Society -- Community Standards/TK -- Drama dump -- The case of MarcusCicero -- Voting standards -- User rights and moderation revisited -- Make TK a sysop? -- Analysis of the relative income streams of the National Football League and international rugby union -- The mobocracy -- Statement candidacy for the RationalWiki Foundation Board of Trustees -- Is RationalWiki under the control of Feminist activists? -- Chicken coop/Archive37 -- Chicken coop -

Since the discussion on the voting procedure has turned out to be a bit more complex than the rest of the new Guidelines, I have conceded to necessity and moved it here, so we can discuss it separately and not keep everything else bogged down.

Previous discussions on the subject are at RationalWiki:Community_Standards/Revamp,_January_2009#Voting, at RationalWiki_talk:Community_Standards/Revamp,_January_2009#Too_much_change.3F, a little bit at User_talk:Weaseloid/Community_Standards_Revamp#Voting, and probably somewhere else I forgot.

If you happen to disagree strongly with any of the posted proposals, feel free to criticise, but please also take the time to post an alternative proposal so we can discuss specifics rather than generalities. That way we can hopefully have a discussion that actually gets us somewhere. Thank you. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 08:50, 1 February 2009 (EST)

AKjeldsen's Proposal[edit]

Voting is one of the methods used on RationalWiki to determine the will of the mob. It is best used to decide on issues that would significantly change the way the Wiki operates, relate to the fundamental principles of the Wiki, or otherwise impact on the experience of the users, but which do not merit a full-scale consensus-building process.

A vote should only be called after a thorough discussion of the question. All new votes and all votes about to close will be announced on the General Site News Intercom and the Community Chalkboard.

Voting is only open for users with sysop rights.

A vote shall close when any of these criteria are met:

  • A number of users equal to a majority of the eligible voters have voted for or against a proposal.
  • 72 hours have passed with no new votes being cast.
  • One week has passed since the vote began.

Discussion of AK proposal[edit]

Just to summarize, this being a mobocracy, we need some ways of finding out what the mob actually wants in certain important situations. A full consensus-building perhaps seems more ideal, but it takes a long time to do and is not always the best solution, either, especially when the issue can be boiled down to a yes/no question. That's where voting comes in as an alternative, and I think this proposal establishes a procedure that is clear, understandable and useful in practice.

To answer some specific questions that I can remember at the moment:

  • Human has questioned why we need a clear and understandable procedure for voting. I answer that when we don't have one, things like this have happened. It was pathetic and it is not a model for repetition. Having clear and understandable procedures means that there is no uncertainty about what's happening, and that you can get the business of voting over with relatively smoothly and get on with the business that matters. Conversely, uncertainty about voting procedures is anathema to any democratic system. People need to know what's going to happen before it happens.
  • At the same time, Human has also voiced a need for more detailed rules. [note: Human said nothing of the kind] I think that's unnecessary, because the more complex we make the rules, the less useful they become in practice. I think the present proposal does strikes a balance in that regard. However, if there is a desire for other elements, they can of course be added - quorums, supermajorities, two-round run-off, D'Hondt proportional voting, I have a whole toolbox if necessary.
  • Conversely, Weaseloid and Pi have raised concerns that the present proposal is too complex and not in line with the flexible nature of the rest of our guidelines. In addition to my first answer to Human above, I think it is important to distinguish between the essentially normative nature of the other guidelines and the descriptive nature of this part. It's a procedure - it's a user manual for an instrument, if you will, and I see no reason other than ideology for it to be deliberately vague. That only reduces its usefulness. Besides, as Z3ro has already pointed out, we can always change it if it doesn't work. But just trying to work something out as we go is not going to work and only makes everything more difficult rather than less. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 08:50, 1 February 2009 (EST)
I feel AK has accidentally mischaracterized my opinion on this topic (so ignore what he says I think). Why has the rest of the discussion on it not been copied here? ħumanUser talk:Human 17:05, 1 February 2009 (EST)
Because it was freaking huge and going nowhere, and people can easily find it if they want to. I hope we'll have a more directed and fruitful discussion here by focusing on the specific proposals themselves. Also, if I've misunderstood your concerns, then perhaps you'd take the opportunity to propose something that more accurately reflects what you want? --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 17:14, 1 February 2009 (EST)
Wow, way to sweep days of discussion under the rug. How can people find something that isn't even linked to from this page? I have stated many opinions and positions, and I see none of them here. Now you require me to retype them all, or perhaps offer a "proposal" of my own? ħumanUser talk:Human 17:19, 1 February 2009 (EST)
Actually, they're right up there at the top. And no, I don't require you to do it, I invite you to do it. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 17:23, 1 February 2009 (EST)
I have struck out the thoughts attributed to me above to make it crystal clear to people that I did not say anything like that. ħumanUser talk:Human 17:43, 1 February 2009 (EST)
I must have misinterpreted these two comments - [1] and [2] - as a call for greater detail in the proposal, then. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 17:59, 1 February 2009 (EST)
Probably, yes. I remember you clearly misinterpreting what I had meant at least twice, and one was regarding simplification. You don't remember me following up on that? ħumanUser talk:Human 18:08, 1 February 2009 (EST)
It all seems good to me, but I'd just like to quibble. Initially the guideline states that it's open to "all sysops" but later it speaks about "A number of users equal to a majority of the currently active user base". While these would be almost the same thing they could be slightly different and I feel it needs to be clarified.--Bobbing up 13:13, 1 February 2009 (EST)
Oh yes, I forgot to change the second reference. By the way, expanding suffrage to all sysops now means that 95 people need to either support or reject something for that criterium to be relevant. I doubt that'll ever happen, but you never know. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 14:05, 1 February 2009 (EST)

Does the fact that only sysops have the vote mean Tim won't be able to vote? Evil cubic Hoover! 14:08, 1 February 2009 (EST)

I'm sorry, but you'll have to remind me - who's Tim? --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 14:20, 1 February 2009 (EST)
CPAdmin1 Evil cubic Hoover! 14:37, 1 February 2009 (EST)
Oh, right. Yes, it does. I don't assume anyone would have any objections to makiing him a sysop if he wanted to, but I understand that he doesn't. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 14:54, 1 February 2009 (EST)
  • Voting for sysops only - disenfranchises a lot of casual users just because of hypothetical voterigging which might very well never happen. It turns RW into a members-only club & isn't in the spirit of mobocracy. Much better to trust the community.
  • Majority of the "elligible voters" - never gonna happen. There are now very nearly 200 sysops. We're never gonna get anywhere near half of them voting on an issue, so this rule is pointless.
  • 72 hours rule - makes sense, but doesn't necessarily to be a rule. In practice, somebody will say "nobody's voted for a couple of days, shall we close the vote & count up?" & a couple of others will agree. Or somebody might suggest an intercom message to remind people & get in a few last votes before closing, which wouldn't happen if a 72 hour rule was strictly adhered to.
  • One week rule - might cut the vote off prematurely in some cases. Sometimes a vote with a strict timescale might be needed, other times it might not. So it's better for the people organising a particular vote to suggest a timescale if necessary, than for us to have a fixed timescale for every vote. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 16:15, 1 February 2009 (EST)

Moar buttun[edit]

"It is best used to decide on issues that would significantly change the way the Wiki operates, relate to the fundamental principles of the Wiki, or otherwise impact on the experience of the users, but which do not merit a full-scale consensus-building process."

That sounds like a contradiction in terms. Skipping consensus-building on significant issues sounds like the opposite of finding out what the mob wants. How on earth do issues as described "not merit" consensus-building? ħumanUser talk:Human 18:11, 1 February 2009 (EST)

What I mean is things that are important enough to ask the whole mob, but not important enough to go through the kind of laborious process that we're doing right now. Perhaps you'd care to suggest a more appropriate wording? --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 18:17, 1 February 2009 (EST)
If they important enough to "ask the whole mob" - this is how we do it. We hash it out over time. None of that silly "vote closes in a week" shit. ħumanUser talk:Human 22:52, 1 February 2009 (EST)
Just to point something out-- Wikipedia's voting policy is less stringent than this one is, I think (I haven't been a consistent ed there for a while). Except for arbitration, most votes, such as Articles for Deletion, are advisory, and the sysops make the decision taking the voting results into account. See here
By that model, I don't think it would be in our best interest to have too complicated or too stringent a voting procedure. Sterilerationalize 12:58, 2 February 2009 (EST)

Weaseloid's Proposal[edit]

No rules or policy on voting. If somebody wants to call a vote about something, they can. Community Standards shouldn't dictate how they do so. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 14:12, 1 February 2009 (EST)

Discussion of Ermine proposal[edit]

I don't think anyone's saying someone can or can't call a vote. I assumed just about anyone could call a vote. The procedures are for how the vote takes place. Otherwise, voting is pointless, as whoever calls the vote can arbitrarily decide what "counts" as a successful vote. Z3rotalk 14:19, 1 February 2009 (EST)

In practice that won't happen. In a community this size, a rigged vote will be very obvious & others will take issue with it. Also voting usually is pointless at RationalWiki. It really sucks as a decision-making process. The only vote on a community issue I've seen in the five months I've been here was the science namespace one, & as far as I'm concerned it didn't help to resolve the issue. That's why I'm against a policy which encourages us to use voting more often. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 14:29, 1 February 2009 (EST)
The problem is that in a mobocracy, it's important to find out what the mob wants - and presumably the whole mob, not just the ones who have time and inclination to participate in a debate. If you don't want voting, how else do you propose we do that in practice? --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 14:35, 1 February 2009 (EST)
Participating in a debate only takes time for the people who are engaged in the back & forth debating aspect of it. It's pretty common to see users entering a debate just to say "I agree with what that guy just said", & it doesn't take them any longer to do that than participating in a vote would. It basically has the same effect. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 16:38, 1 February 2009 (EST)
Weaseloid, now I see your point. And you are right; voting hasn't really accomplished much in the past. As to deciding what the mob wants, the mob is a small number of people; probably less than 50 people regularly contribute to this website. With such a small number, who are all basically the same level of power, you can't make a vote binding, meaning it will be pointless. Trying to enforce a vote might be worse than not really having a voting procedure at all. I'm changing my mind; put me down for ad hoc voting. Z3rotalk 14:39, 1 February 2009 (EST)
Perhaps one reason why it hasn't accomplished much is that it has never been defined well enough to be useful? As for enforcement, you could make the precise same argument for everything we do here - nothing is binding unless we agree it should be, so the enforcement is more or less through peer-pressure. I don't quite see why that's an argument for not having a process at all, though. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 14:54, 1 February 2009 (EST)
The main reason it hasn't accomplished much is that, contrary to what you say above, community issues don't easily boil down to a yes/no question. Even when the issue is fairly clear-cut, voting just reduces people to numbers, for & against, & doesn't reflect how strongly those people feel about the issue or whether they might be persuadable. As for reasons for not having a process, mine are - 1. voting of this kind is likely to be used so rarely that a fixed method is unnecessary, 2. the suggested rules are impractical, as I've outlined above, & (with the possible exception of the 72 hour rule) are likely to be ignored, & 3. they take the Community Standards in a different direction, away from mobocracy & common sense & relaxed approach, & towards rigid decision-making structures. They don't look like they belong with the rest of the standards. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel
Argh, caught in the middle of well-reasoned arguments. This is why I don't think voting will work very well; on most issues, there isn't a right or wrong, there are just different opinions. And as long as someone can invalidate the vote with one click, voting is kinda pointless. And yes, peer-pressure should keep most people in line when the vote is overwhelmingly in one favor, but when it's 51%-49%, it could have the effect of splitting up the site worse than before. Oh, when reasonable people can't agree...Z3rotalk 15:15, 1 February 2009 (EST)
That's a good point, but in my experience, questions over legitimacy tend to be a much greater problem when the procedure is not clearly defined. On the other hand, it's rarely a problem when it is - people may disagree with the result, but they'll agree that it was arrived at openly and fairly. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 15:21, 1 February 2009 (EST)
In fine ironic fashion, should we call a vote about voting? Z3rotalk 15:23, 1 February 2009 (EST)

I favor the ferret's "non policy" of ad hoc voting. Discussion is more important anyway. People know what "voting" is and how it works from the real world, and a "one size fits all" set of standards would be clumsy, not smooth - look at how many different kinds of voting are set up in the US Constitution alone. ħumanUser talk:Human 17:11, 1 February 2009 (EST)

I favor Weaseloid's proposal as policy, although people who choose to call votes should keep AKjeldsen's points in mind and not jump the gun before many people have had a chance to weigh in. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 17:47, 1 February 2009 (EST)

DogP's Proposal[edit]

My proposal is that you all get a life and quit trying to find ways to make rules for a fun yet completely irrelevant website which thrives on having no rules. And, I eatz brainz. DogP 18:47, 1 February 2009 (EST)

Let the goats decide. Sterilerationalize 20:59, 1 February 2009 (EST)
DogP for Queen! Too true fafuxake,
It's not as if the fate of nations hung on anything.
I'm reminded of the Peanuts cartooon where Charlie gets a clipboard & pencil and imagines that this will make all right with the world.
If we can't trust each other to behave without all these RULES & REGULATIONS, then do we really want to hang out together?
Bureocracy for bureocracy's sake!
(is that how you spell bureocracy?) Toast s.png (Toast) and marmalade 21:11, 1 February 2009 (EST)
I'm afraid it's not actually a question about rules vs. no rules. Any kind of group or community, whether it's a marriage between two people or a nation of hundreds of millions, will have rules and regulations, and so does RationalWiki whether we want it to or not. The difference is just that sometimes some of these rules are written down, and sometimes they're not. Generally, the larger or more diverse a group is, the more reason is there to make written rules. RationalWiki is growing somewhat, and it's always been very diverse, so it makes sense to write some of these things down. Besides, history shows that we have in fact not always been able to behave all that well. That's not a reflection on any one of us, or even all that much on the group as such, it's just a result of our group dynamics. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 21:49, 1 February 2009 (EST)
It's all well and good saying that but, to get to the nub of the question: is that how you spell bureocracy? Toast s.png (Toast) and marmalade 21:52, 1 February 2009 (EST)
Bureaucracy... I think. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 22:02, 1 February 2009 (EST)
AK, I think you're missing the point. We aren't founding a country, or even starting, say, a social club with dues and a meeting place. What we are writing down is how we do things. I might offer up a "proposal" on your vapish "VotingProcedure" page that describes "how we do things", not "How You Must Do Things". Or I might not, because I might get bored and think it's silly. ħumanUser talk:Human 22:40, 1 February 2009 (EST)
As usual, Human, your lack of respect or appreciation for opposing viewpoints is remarkable. So far, regardless of the fact that some of us actually feel this to be just the tiniest bit relevant, you have characterised it as "silly", "rubbish", and now "vapish". Is this really your idea of how to carry out this sort of discussion? Is this your idea of consensus building? --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 22:51, 1 February 2009 (EST)
This from the person who selectively copied only his own perspective to this discussion? "Vapish" is my word for your not copying my previous comments and contributions to this page, simply calling them, what was it, something about not going in a useful direction? PS, where did I call them rubbish? I think that was the Weasel. I have complete respect for opposing viewpoints, what I lack respect for is gaming the discussion by, as you will note above, your mischaracterizing my previous comments on other discussion pages. ħumanUser talk:Human 23:00, 1 February 2009 (EST)
Correct, "rubbish" was Weaseloid. As for my "gaming the discussion", I moved it in the best faith in order to avoid bogging down the rest of the standards revision. Obviously, I inserted my own proposal at the same time, while also directly encouraging others to present their own proposals if they disagreed with it. How the hell is that "gaming" anything? --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 23:12, 1 February 2009 (EST)

<undent It's "gaming" the discussion by not copying it all here, and starting it off "fresh" with your proposal and not copying in all criticism thus far of such. ħumanUser talk:Human 23:19, 1 February 2009 (EST)

Except that my proposal was the only one being discussed at the time. Making the new page was an attempt to get some different ones on the table so that we could see what other people thought and so that we'd have something specific to discuss. Actual different options to choose between, you know? It may just be me, but actively encouraging different suggestions from your own is about as "not-gaming the system" as I can imagine. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 23:25, 1 February 2009 (EST)
Well "none" was what we had, and many were happy with that. Now you have three more proposals, so I guess this worked. ħumanUser talk:Human 23:41, 1 February 2009 (EST)

Discussion of DogP's proposal[edit]

I agree with the Canine Bullheadedness' proposal. Quit trying to impose unnecessary structures on this fun place. ħumanUser talk:Human 22:50, 1 February 2009 (EST)

sactlty it's a nice little wiki, with nice people. at the moment there's about 5 really bothered' about rules everyone else is getting bored with it. You're more likely to drive people away by listing all these regulations than you are to save anything. (IMnHO) Toast s.png (Toast) and marmalade 22:52, 1 February 2009 (EST)
Thirded on the ad hoc policy. Z3rotalk 23:10, 1 February 2009 (EST)
I ed this proposal. - User 23:24, 1 February 2009 (EST)
I agree with this proposal as well. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 23:26, 1 February 2009 (EST)
I agree with my own policy. If that means Hillary Rodham CLinton sends the Secret Service around to batter my door down, well so be it. I stand for fair, but insane, democracy. And, as I had mentioned earlier, I eatz brainz. DogP 13:36, 2 February 2009 (EST)


How do we vote on agreeing to have a vote on changing the voting procedure? And then, assuming we've agreed on having a vote, how do we vote on the options that should be in the vote? And how do we vote once we've agreed to have a vote and have voted on what should be in the vote? Bondurant 15:26, 1 February 2009 (EST)

Yes, this had occurred to me to. Perhaps knock it back to the founders who should have sorted it out when the site was founded? :-) --Bobbing up 16:50, 1 February 2009 (EST)
Perhaps we can infer from the complete lack of mention of them, that the Founders intended for us not to have elections? Unless someone can find a "guideline" that could be used as a bootstrap to setting up election procedures of various kinds? Or perhaps they just expected us to use common sense... ħumanUser talk:Human 17:21, 1 February 2009 (EST)
The founders were just an unruly mob of Iron-age Herdsmen, anyhow; what could they possibly have imagined how the modren world would turn out? Toast s.png (Toast) and marmalade 18:23, 1 February 2009 (EST)
Yeah, that was so "two years ago", and they were only reacting to the George II presidency anyway. ħumanUser talk:Human 23:25, 1 February 2009 (EST)

By the way, which non wikisavvy person used multiple headers all the same? (silly billy) Toast s.png (Toast) and marmalade 23:29, 1 February 2009 (EST)

I guess it was my job to fix that. ħumanUser talk:Human 23:38, 1 February 2009 (EST)

Some idiot's proposal[edit]

And let it be said henceforth:

"That, whereas sometimes RatinalWiki endures internal disputes

and whereas sometimes these disputes engender discussion

and whereas such discussion eventually leads to a desire for closure

that sometimes the editors of RationalWiki shall wrap up such a discussion with a vote and final decision.

It is recommended that discussions of import be publicized, via our "intercom" system and the "community chalkboard" in that many editors will know that some game is afoot.

After much discussion and brandage of clumsy weapons, it sometimes befalls such issues to come to a "vote". Here is how we do this.

(Note: On RationalWiki, your vote is not a secret ballot - you will forever be associated with your political preferences.)

Whereas, if an issue has been discussed at length and well publicized, it may come to some editor's mind that a "vote" is called for. In such cases, the call to a poll shall also be advertised as mentioned above. The open poll term of any given vote will be clearly and sensibly decided by the mob, and can be improved by further discussion.

Whereas, also, the nature of what will constitute a "ruling majority" on any given vote will also be up for discussion by the sensible editors present.

Whereas, ideally the resolution of such a "vote" will come to place when all dissenters have yielded to the more compelling arguments of the overwhelming majority.

Whereas, in the absence of such conditions, the vote will remain an interesting artifact and not be binding."

Please don't edit my horrible first draft. Copy improovemint to the alternate wording section below. ħumanUser talk:Human 23:37, 1 February 2009 (EST)

Discussion of some idiot's proposal[edit]

A combination or synthesis of this & DogP's is what is wanted. Toast s.png (Toast) and marmalade 17:34, 2 February 2009 (EST)

What I was trying to do, in my feeble way, was to "describe" what it is we actually do, without making up anything new. Of course, I also wrote it in a dumbass style, but the gist is still understandable, I hope. ħumanUser talk:Human 18:32, 2 February 2009 (EST)

Alternate wordings of some idiot's proposal[edit]

Hillary Rodham Clinton's Proposal[edit]

I have taken time off from my busy schedule to give some thought to this important issue.

You need to consider two questions: Who do you want to vote? Who do you not want to vote?

The people you want to vote are those people with positive commitment to the growth and development of the site.

The people you do not want to vote are: socks, trolls, vandals and people who wish the site to fail.

I wish to propose a multi-level franchise based on three types of historical activity which will give varying voting powers to users based on differing parameters. (The "voting points" are illustrative and are obvio8usly open to amendment.)

  1. Length of membership. One voting point for every month’s membership of the community.
  2. Editing history. One voting point for every one hundred edits.
  3. Financial support. Two and a half voting points for every contribution.


The reason for the length of membership will be obvious. Those who have been members for longer will have more interest in the site. The data is easy to obtain.

Editing history is a similar test of interest in the community. The data is already available. If it is felt that some editors have made such vast contributions that they would dwarf other editors then a logarithmic system could be introduced. On the other hand, if they have made a vast contribution, then perhaps they should have a bigger say.

The Financial support element is an excellent way to eliminate trolls and socks. While a troll, a sock or somebody with bad intentions could join the site and edit regularly, it is highly unlikely that they would also regularly contribute money. I have used “number of contributions” rather than “value of contributions” for three reasons. Firstly it prevents anybody from buying influence with a single large contribution; secondly because it does not prejudice those with limited funds; thirdly it is a way to keep the total values of individual members confidential.

Giving voting points for financial support is also a way to reward those who actually contribute to the existence of the site.

Votes should be by majority of points and the polls should be kept open for 36 hours.--Hillary Rodham Clinton 12:23, 2 February 2009 (EST)

Discussion of Hillary Rodham Clinton's Proposal[edit]

No Toast s.png (Toast) and marmalade 12:29, 2 February 2009 (EST)

Perhaps you could elaborate?--Hillary Rodham Clinton 12:32, 2 February 2009 (EST)
Burocracy on burocracy - we don't need it! (still don't know how to spell that damn word!) Toast s.png (Toast) and marmalade 12:40, 2 February 2009 (EST)
Perhaps it would behoove RW to parody a system of beyerocracie. Neveruse513 12:44, 2 February 2009 (EST)

Quote: bureaucracy

Organization whose structure and operations are governed to a high degree by written rules and a hierarchy of offices; in its broadest sense, all forms of administration, and in its narrowest, rule by officials.

At least I've found out the spelling Toast s.png (Toast) and marmalade 12:46, 2 February 2009 (EST)

Nay. Each of the criteria for increased voting power has the potential for abuse, and it defeats the point of an election to have voting rights bought through site support. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 12:47, 2 February 2009 (EST)

Response - It rewards editors who contribute (however you define it) at the expense of those who do not. Indeed, I would argue that it encourages participation. I would concede that it is a little complex, but perhaps it would e better to analyze and remove that complexity rather than dismiss it out of hand. It would be difficult to abuse the financial contribution test.--Hillary Rodham Clinton 12:51, 2 February 2009 (EST)
(EC) I don't care for buying votes. Also, there the inevitable nightmare of trying to figure out how many voting points someone has is not worth it. Keep it simple. Sterilerationalize 12:53, 2 February 2009 (EST)
EC EC So: You can buy votes, in essence. (I'm retired, living on pension, as is my partner - can't afford to give more - so I'm disenfranchised?) AND BUREAUCRACY: I HATES IT. Toast s.png (Toast) and marmalade 12:55, 2 February 2009 (EST)
The proposal is for the number of contributions - not their value.--Hillary Rodham Clinton 13:01, 2 February 2009 (EST)
And there are two other ways to get votes - so you're not disfranchised even if you give nothing.--Hillary Rodham Clinton 13:02, 2 February 2009 (EST)
Also, are nine months of 1,000,000 shitty contributors really better than 3 months of 100 quality ones? Sterilerationalize 13:03, 2 February 2009 (EST)
No, but it really would be a pain trying to evaluate that.--Hillary Rodham Clinton 13:06, 2 February 2009 (EST)
Yes it would. So why bother? WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 13:06, 2 February 2009 (EST)
I wasn't suggesting that we should. My proposal would count them all.--Hillary Rodham Clinton 13:09, 2 February 2009 (EST)
(EC) Then stop proposing things that would be a pain to evaluate. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 13:09, 2 February 2009 (EST)
See above - that was not my proposal.--Hillary Rodham Clinton 13:10, 2 February 2009 (EST)
I was referring to your proposal, of which the words red tape are the most accurate summary. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 13:11, 2 February 2009 (EST)
Perhaps parts could be automated.--Hillary Rodham Clinton 13:13, 2 February 2009 (EST)
By your own admission, automating the means of checking your criteria would alter the criteria significantly and make them undesirable. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 13:19, 2 February 2009 (EST)
How so?--Hillary Rodham Clinton 13:32, 2 February 2009 (EST)
As you mention, a computer cannot tell the difference between a mechanized "bot" edit and a substantial contribution, so a "bot" that made a million and one brainless edits would be able to outvote a bloc of a thousand users who made a thousand good edits each. This means, that as a result of automating this process, instead of "more voting rights for more contributions," you have "more voting rights for more willingness to abuse the Wiki by running brainless bots." Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 13:41, 2 February 2009 (EST)
Actually I don't think I did mention that. Are you sure that a computer can't tell the difference between a human and a bot? It was my impression that they could. But if they can't then my proposal would need to be amended to exclude that (berhaps unlikely) possibility in some way. I am confident that it is not beyond the wit of man. Or woman. Somewhere.--Hillary Rodham Clinton 14:00, 2 February 2009 (EST)
Particularly not a woman in a maroon pant suit. DogP 14:02, 2 February 2009 (EST)
I might concede that point if you can show a currently existing extension to the MediaWiki software that could perform the necessary classification, because we will not be whacking up a custom solution for something that is of fairly little relevance to most of us. But even if the bots could be filtered, that does not resolve the problem of a few good edits vs. a lot of bad edits. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 14:33, 2 February 2009 (EST)
EC EC EC EC EC EC I'll start stockpiling socks now so that in a year I can take over the wiki with my vast army. Sorry_ its a definite NO. Toast s.png (Toast) and marmalade 13:08, 2 February 2009 (EST)
To be effective your socks would both have to constantly edit and donate money. I would say if they did that then they should vote.--Hillary Rodham Clinton 13:12, 2 February 2009 (EST)

I have a question about Hillary Rodham Clinton's proposal. Does she feel that designing voting procedures for Rationalwiki is (a) more, or (b) less important than reopening the six-party talks over the continuing use of the Yongbyong nuclear reprocessing plant? DogP 13:15, 2 February 2009 (EST)

This is bit of light relief from my more onerous duties. Thank you very much for your concern.--Hillary Rodham Clinton 13:16, 2 February 2009 (EST)
No. Two points; first, keeping track of "voting points" would be a pain. Second, donating $20 in $1 increments is worth 5,000 edits? Really? And this seems like a good idea? Z3rotalk 13:17, 2 February 2009 (EST)
There are many clever people on this wiki. Perhaps the points system could be automated. The voting values are merely illustrative.--Hillary Rodham Clinton 13:19, 2 February 2009 (EST)
EC (again!) Was going to write something, but I cannot be bothered to take the time to attack such a stupid (bureaucratic) proposal any more; NO Toast s.png (Toast) and marmalade 13:21, 2 February 2009 (EST)
May we can get Rod Blagojevich to contribute. Sterilerationalize 13:22, 2 February 2009 (EST)
I thought I had constructively responded to all the objections.--Hillary Rodham Clinton 13:23, 2 February 2009 (EST)
Well, I must say how impressed I am by your ability to juggle tasks. That we have such an august member available to contribute to the dialogue, and particularly such an experienced negotiator is quite the honour for RW. When you're done designing voting systems here, you must elucidate your future plans for the West Bank and the Settlements issue - I'm we'd all love to have a private audience. Might I ask - does Bill ever sock up on Conservapedia? I think he'd make a fine contributor. Anyway, I was also wondering if you hope to introduce as much beaurocracy to the nation as you hope to bring to the RW table? DogP 13:23, 2 February 2009 (EST)
I must say that it's nice to hear a friendly voice. Yes, (sigh) I do have a lot on my plate. Dear Bill used to contribute at CP but he found it to hard to juggle the time and he had to give up on it. My proposals here at RW are designed to mirror the type of fair and responsible government that Mr Obama and I intend to deliver to The United States and, indeed, the world in general.--Hillary Rodham Clinton 13:28, 2 February 2009 (EST)

Moar boutonierrre[edit]

I have so far resisted commenting on any of this site reorganisation. At one time I supported having some conflict resolution proposals as there was some scope for abuse of power by sysops. Now that every man and his DogP are sysops it's almost impossible for one individual to wield excessive power. (It almost supports Andy's views on gun control - just arm everyone.) I have been a fairly active editor but perhaps not contributing to as many quality articles as I would like. However, I have been a long time financial supporter and have a degree of emotional attachment to this site. It would greatly disappoint me if there was a significant influx of people who decided to change the ethos here. The problem is that if only sysops are allowed to vote, then with the gay abandon with which sysopships are handed out (and I am sure that some people have multiple socks who are sysops) there is a risk of sock loading of votes. So HRC's proposal has some attraction for me although the details might give someone like Human or RA a large clout. I don't think that my commitment is any less or more than either of them so would object, I just happen to have a wife and job, and therefore less free time to indulge my obsession here. So my dilemma is that imposing all these rules and standards will change the nature of the site but if we have to have a vote then I think there should be some criteria for enfranchisement. Pensioner Toast may not have the money to contribute but s/he contributes through contributions. Most socks don't contribute enough edits (and then mainly on talk pages) and neither do they have their own financial contributions (one would presume). As for cutting off votes after 1 week then I would be highly pissed off if something major was decided when I was on holiday or on a business trip. So I lean towards Weasel and DogP's standpoints, but if more formalised procedures are demanded then I would require more than mere sysopship to be enfranchised. And if I don't like the results I'll probably just stop contributing financially. Redchuck.gif Генгисmutating 15:02, 2 February 2009 (EST)

PS Just to clarify, the enfranchised would only get one vote each. Redchuck.gif Генгисmutating 16:05, 2 February 2009 (EST)
Speaking as the person this system would overwhelmingly favor, at 21 points for months, 350 (!) points for edits, and a handful of donations, I think this idea is entertaining, but dead in the water. ħumanUser talk:Human 15:58, 2 February 2009 (EST)
As I pointed out in the proposal, we could make that logarithmic so that edits counted for less beyond a certain number.--Hillary Rodham Clinton 16:05, 2 February 2009 (EST)
The problem most are having with this system is it's too Animal Farm; some editors are more equal than others. Either we're all equals (relatively) or we're not. If we're not, I don't think this site would be as fun. Go figure. Z3rotalk 16:01, 2 February 2009 (EST)
Yes, more committed and active members would have more say. Is that a bad thing?--Hillary Rodham Clinton 16:07, 2 February 2009 (EST)
It is if you believe in the idea of "one person, one vote." Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 16:11, 2 February 2009 (EST)
We are not a meritocracy (that's some other website). Z3rotalk 16:18, 2 February 2009 (EST)
But what is explicitly wrong with the idea of the people who spend both time and money - the people who actually build the site - having more say than some sock or casual visitor?--Hillary Rodham Clinton 16:22, 2 February 2009 (EST)
Because casual user for the most part don't care. Look at the recent debate about moving the Andy Schlafly article. Maybe one of our most important articles, and, what, 20 people voted on whether to move it or not? And Human (the main move antagonist) conceded defeat in favor of overwhelming protest. Under your system, whatever a few users say goes, which is bad. At that point, why not just make Trent make all the decisions (note: this is sarcasm). Z3rotalk 16:30, 2 February 2009 (EST)
I have more than 1 2 sysop accounts. Bunchanumbers 16:32, 2 February 2009 (EST)
One could play with the numbers to make the system more open. The values I used were examples. Nobody is prevented from voting, but new users and socks would have less say than clearly established users and financial contributors. --Hillary Rodham Clinton 17:25, 2 February 2009 (EST)

I won't even consider this unless the point values are multiples of π. Sterilerationalize 17:56, 2 February 2009 (EST)

The number of voters involved should also be an exact multiple of π. No rounding up or down. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:09, 2 February 2009 (EST)
Cernunnos! I'm fed up of this endless discussion. One vote each, set voting period, read 'em and weep - just like real life. If something gets really screwed then we can look at it four years a bit later. Totnesmartin 04:32, 3 February 2009 (EST)

Related or unrelated side discussion/Request for Data[edit]

  • Just out of curiosity, how many times in RW's history have we actually voted. Yeah, I know the TK banning incident, but when else?
  • How many times has a conflict been resolved by discussion instead?

Sterilerationalize 18:00, 2 February 2009 (EST)

1. Not nearly enough to warrant this level of discussion.
2. All the other times. Z3rotalk 18:10, 2 February 2009 (EST)
What he said. We have lots of minor opinion pole style votes for trivial things. We certainly don't need rules for those. The only community issue vote I've seen in my time here was the science namespace one - all it achieved was to decide that we don't have the new namespace, & it pretty much killed off further discussion about what we do instead. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:17, 2 February 2009 (EST)

Mothball the voting discussion[edit]

naphthalene, 1,4-dichlorobenzene and camphor, materials used in mothballs

Should we? Toast s.png (Toast) and marmalade 18:24, 2 February 2009 (EST)


  • Aye. We need to focus on other thingsThe EmperorKneel before Zod! 19:28, 2 February 2009 (EST)
  • Aye 19:52, 2 February 2009 (EST)
  • Ayup, but can we afford the mothballs? They are rare this time of year, and hence rather pricey. Especially if we want them from organic free-range moths... ħumanUser talk:Human 20:44, 2 February 2009 (EST)
  • Yep. Here's my vote to not vote to change our nonvoting policy to one of voting or not voting. Yessir. Sterilerationalize 21:42, 2 February 2009 (EST)
  • Aye. Z3rotalk 22:10, 2 February 2009 (EST)
  • Moth THESE balls, Baby! DogP 22:50, 2 February 2009 (EST)
  • Aye lad. Redchuck.gif Генгисmutating 03:31, 3 February 2009 (EST)


I'd say that we need to formalise the voting process somehow.--Bobbing up 03:41, 3 February 2009 (EST)

Closure rules[edit]

When the vote ratio is exactly equal to the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, this vote will close permanently. ħumanUser talk:Human 23:49, 2 February 2009 (EST)

We should have a vote on that Totnesmartin 04:26, 3 February 2009 (EST)