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This thread was archived on 6 July 2009 by Calebchiam.

RS:NOT#DEMOCRACY needs to go

I just had a chat with some people over in #wikia. (Log here.) One of the recommendations I was given is to reevaluate RS:NOT#DEMOCRACY. They say we need to get rid of it and, frankly, I agree.

According to RS:NOT, we make decisions as a community based on consensus, rather than polling. "Consensus" in this case is supposed to mean a general agreement among the community. However, the recent Stinkowing issue has shown me that consensus is not always possible. The discussion page has grown huge; with several people on both sides of the debate, consensus is no longer a reasonable goal. In these cases it may be necessary to resort to a vote to solve the issue. RS:NOT#DEMOCRACY prevents us from doing that if needed, and as such, it should be heavily revised or thrown out altogether. Otherwise we are left with few, if any, reasonable alternatives to solving conflicts.

Also, I ought to point out that a community where all editors are equal and that is not a dictatorship, but is also not a democracy, is confusing. Discuss! --Andorin (Talk) (Contribs) 00:20, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Agreed- I've always thought of it that way, but never said anything about it. Thank you for bringing it up. 00:28, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Support - I don't even see why democracy is a bad thing here. (by the way, I got a majority support in my last RFA as Cashman286, it's a long shot that I don't even mind if it is turned down, but would I be a sysop if this went through?)

InstantWinstonDragon 2h sword old.pngold edits | new edits

00:50, 10 March 2009 (UTC) Never mind the last comment - I just noticed you meant to resort to a poll only if consensus is not agreed upon (although the result of that RFA was "no consensus").

InstantWinstonDragon 2h sword old.pngold edits | new edits

00:51, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Disagree - I think this policy reminds us that we should not just just make all decisions in the wiki by a simple vote. Coming to a consensus allows all interested users to express thier opinions, state their reasons, and impart any wisdom to the entire community. Doing things by consensus means that there is a discussion before each decision is made, that helps to make sure decisions aren't made rashly. If we moved to making decisions as a democracy as opposed to a consensus I could forsee a situation as follows. An RFA is proposed, five users oppose because they don't like the candidate's user page (or some other trivial reason), yet four users support because they've worked with the candidate, reviewed their work, and find the candidate to be dedicated and mature. In this democratic case the RFA would fail. A concensus requires people to put forth thoughtful reasons why a decision should be made. Having a concensus does not mean people's opinions don't count. Having a concensus means that people's opinions matter MORE that just having a simple vote. Air rune.png Tollerach hates SoF Fire rune.png 04:30, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

The problem with heated debates is that sometimes the debaters can't look at it with an objective eye, like the Stinko issue. By the way, I'm not saying that we shouldn't operate by consensus. But we should allow voting in extreme cases where consensus is not a reasonable goal. --Andorin (Talk) (Contribs) 04:33, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
I find this policy a problem when only a couple of editors are in a dispute, and no solution can be reached because one believes they have community consensus or they want to wait until more of the community decides to post their opinions. Votes are an easy way to tell among active users who wants what. I agree, not a democracy should go. Cap and goggles.pngTEbuddy 08:40, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Oppose - As RS:NOT#DEMOCRACY states: When contributing to a discussion, an argument should be given for your point of view, instead of simply voting. Others will then respond to your argument, and eventually a consensus should be reached one way or another. What we are talking about here is about changing the first statement, right? I spoke with Andorin and I understood that he meant that this should only happen in some very exceptional cases (he gave the Stinkowing discussion as an example). However, in the Stinkowing discussion, arguments with evidence were given, however, the opposers did not respond to the supporters' arguments, thus a consensus could not be reached. Thus, this example is not really valid (imo).

Just something to note Andorin, maybe you should change the title because you said that it should be amended, while the title says "needs to go" and that means removed. C.ChiamTalk 08:57, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Oppose - To throwing it out. Let me give everybody an example of what could happen if all of our decisions are based solely on votes. Somebody could put an article, such as Armour up for a VFD. Then they could easilly get 25 or so of their friends to come vote to delete it. Should the wiser side of the community not get enough votes to keep, per "policy" it would be required to be deleted per majority rules. This is stupid, and extreme, but possible should we remove this policy. Also, it would lead to voting with no reasoning or backing up your vote. I also see it being abused in situations such as the one we currently have going on. However much we might not like it, people have friends, people have enemies, people follow and shadow other people, and people can be easily influenced or bullied. This could be used against someone (like Stinko), for either side. All somebody would have to do is get enough support in their favor. Removing this rule completely will remove reasoning from the wiki.

I do believe though, that it could be written a little better to allow a vote a bit more acceptable in a way of coming to a consensus, but stress needs to be placed on reasoning and your arguments, rather than numbers. Karlis (talk) (contribs)

09:09, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Oppose - Per Calebchiam and Karlis. While we are not a direct democracy, which is what the policy is about, we are a consensus democracy. -Byte_Master 10:23, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Oppose - I think not being a democracy is one of the many benefits of our wiki. A consensus allows suggestions, comments, and new and improved ideas to also be mentioned. It justifies the belief behind the decision, and is 100% community based. I think it would be harmful to rid this.

13:00, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Oppose - Per Bonziiznob. Prayer.png Jedi Talk HS Log Tracker Summoning.png 17:01, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Important comment to everybody - Further discussion, either supporting or opposing the idea put forth, is, IMHO, futile. Why? Because the dilemma about RS:NOT#DEMOCRACY can easily be side-stepped with the use of already existing policies: we simply apply the use of RS:IAR. The application of RS:IAR can easily be put into action with the help of a consensus. If the community (after a consensus, mind) thinks that the only way to solve an entrenched discussion is through voting, then of course that consensus should lead to some degree of "polling". As long as there is a consensus in order to apply democracy in particular scenarios, I don't mind in the slightest. A magic scroll.png WejerFeather.png 17:15, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Of course, already existing rules cannot be used to advocate for democracy in the "desysoping case". Because there is no consensus in that particular scenario to sidestep RS:NOT#DEMOCRACY, then naturally, we cannot invoke RS:IAR. But that I think is a minor point and has little to do with this discussion in general. A magic scroll.png WejerFeather.png 17:19, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Oppose - I can't even imagine the red tape if we voted on everything. This consensus business is annoying at times, but what would the replacement be? How would we call a vote? Who gets to call a vote? How long does the vote have to stay open?

Opportunities for Gaming the System would abound. I don't like you, I call a vote. I don't like what you've done and want to stonewall you, I call a vote. I want to do something, and you want me not to, let's vote on it! I want to "get" you, I call a vote and get my friends/sockpuppets/houseplants to stuff the ballot box. It's not like real life where you have to prove you're a real person living in the voting area before you can vote in the election.

With the current system if everyone is in favor, things seem to move fairly quickly or slowly, depending on the discussion. If we voted everything would have a set timeframe - vote proposed, x days for discussion, y days for voting, times up, here's the outcome. It would be predictable, but not necessarily better. Mamabear47 22:28, 10 March 2009 (UTC)