Although I remain for now an opponent of voting, I can play devil's
advocate and answer some of Axel's concerns, I think.
Axel Boldt wrote:
That's unrealistic: in reality, once an issue has
been put up for a
vote and one side has lost, the issue would be considered pretty much
settled and anybody arguing further would be considered a sore loser.
This is why many people rush to ad-hoc votes: they want the debate to
This could be alleviated to a significant extent by having long time
periods of discussion before the vote is finalized. We've been
talking about some kind of moderation for some of the mailing lists,
and it seems like the discussion has already died down. If I were
to set January 31st as the date of the vote, with voting to be
conducted until February 15th, this would be plenty of time for lots
After all, what is the point of "collecting data
informally and to
tabulate/quantify opinions", if not to make a decision? The fact
that 56.4% of all Wikipedians favor XYZ is clearly no substantial
argument for or against XYZ.
Right, but this is where voting proponents say that other voting rules
might be better. For example, we might say that we're adopting a
position of rough conservatism and that any proposal for a major
change requires a win by a certain percentage, not just 50% win in a
It might be argued "Who is to decide what we're voting on, and what
counts as a major issue, and what the alternatives are, and how they
are worded?" Those might be good questions, but the answer could
remain essentially the same as now: right now, ultimately, *I* decide,
after listening to everyone and trying to modify a proposal until
there is little disagreement.
I have no intention of giving up benevolent dictatorship anytime soon,
and with regard to really big issues (i.e. Wikipedia is an
encyclopedia, not a humor site), things will never change.
If 99% of wikipedians decided, for example, that the Wikipedia should
become a pro-American pro-libertarian POV reference work, I'd just
say: fine, go away, and the 2 people who are left with me will
continue to work on wikipedia.
But if 99% of wikipedians have an opinion counter to mine on virtually
any less central issue, I'll go along. That's what happens now.