Category talk:Votes

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Creating the category[edit source]

(The following was copied from "Talk:Main Page")

Since we have takes to vote a lot more on controversial issues, actually *finding* the pages with votes on has become more important. Since votes are sometimes very hidden on categories talk pages or user pages, someone not checking all recent changes might miss them, despite having an interest in the issue. Why not make a category votes. Whenever a vote is called somewhere, the person calling the vote adds that category to the page. That way you can easily check what is currently being voted on. When the vote is closed, the category is removed. --Xeeron 11:33, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
I like the idea - there have been one or two issues where I didn't even know a vote had been asked of the community. It's part of the reason I wanted to extend this one until Wednesday instead of something nearer - to give people a chance to actually find it to know a vote had been requested. I'll add the tag here now. We can remove it or change it later if people decide for that - although I was really tempted to create a vote on creating the page ;-) --Barek 12:30, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
Thinking about it again, we might not simply remove old votes from the category votes, instead we could move them to Category:Old votes to help us keeping track of issues already voted on and help new people get info about community decisions. --Xeeron 12:23, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
Instead of a category for the old votes, I think just a tally page Completed votes or something similar. Copy the voting results and add a line stating the results and what that means:
Yea:User1, User2, User4, User6
No:User3, User5
With this vote it was resolved that the site "" would be used for a Wiki about the game "Guild Wars". Decided on 5/16/05.
Seperate each vote with a level 2 headline (==Vote X==) so that when it starts getting filled up the page will be easily navigated with a table of contents. --Rainith 12:31, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
I think completed votes should go into the Style & Formatting section or some kind of editing guidelines section. This way new users can actually see them and be informed about them. Overall, we need someone to step up and maintain our style and formatting section and keep it up to date with our decisions. I nominate PanSola. --Karlos 15:53, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
Hmmm you are right Rainith, over time, the articles might be clogged by lots of old votes, better to remove the category fully. All I really want is one place where all old votes go. --Xeeron 19:17, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Discuss the page[edit source]

The page seemed a good idea to me. Feel free to rename or remove if others feel strongly about this. --Barek 12:38, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

If we choose to keep this category, then I suspect that we should probably link it to the "How to Help" page so that people know that it exists. Opinions on this? --Barek 12:44, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
Sounds good to me, I was getting freakin' lost with all of PanSola's votes out there. More confusing than a butterfly ballot to a Florida retiree. :P --Rainith 15:51, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
I like the idea, very much! --Tetris L 17:03, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

"Unless somebody objects ..."[edit source]

A few time I've handled a potentially controversial edit by putting it on hold for a few days to give people time to object. I put on the talk page "Unless somebody objects by <day>, I'll make the edit." That is not strictly a vote, but I wonder if I should categorize such pages as vote to make people aware of it. Thoughts? --Tetris L 17:07, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

Sounds good. --Xeeron 18:07, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
It's almost useless. The reason for the vote "category" (I'd prefer all votes be stored within a single article but we'll see how this version works, first) is because there's so much activity nowadays it's nigh-impossible to keep track of things. I'd say don't bother with a weak "If anyone notices.." bit; just do the edit. If they have a problem/question, they can bring it up on the Talk: page. --Nunix 21:37, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

I think people are generally resistent to change. i.e. if you are adding information, you don't really need anyone's permission or opinion. If you are doing minor edits/fixes, no big deal either. But, if you are removing information or if you are changing the layout (of the infromation, not the page)... i.e. how everything is tied together, whether these creatures are type A or type B. You probably wanna propose your edit in the talk page first. Give it a few days. If people don't fuss, go ahead and do it. If people fuss, then put the matters to a vote. I think that's a sound plan. --Karlos 23:58, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

Vote culture[edit source]

I'm getting a little tired of seeing these votes appear everywhere, with newish users assuming they're binding. The wiki has never needed nor wanted votes throughout the vast majority of its history. We come to consensus via rational discussion, or we don't change the status quo. It simply makes sense. Otherwise, we'll be voting on everything every time we get a new user who disagrees. Additionally, if 51% of the population thinks, for example, that we should capitalize all nouns, that doesn't seem sufficient to justify an unbelievable amount of work on restructuring this place. I also having to fear being away from the wiki for a few days, because if I don't vote on a certain controversial "issue" in time, everything'll change.

The simple fact is that, in most cases, these votes have been for entirely trivial issues that only a few people have had. The Guilds issue is the obvious exception, but that vote was completely invalid anyway, as the choices presented on the "ballot" were indistinct and inconclusive.

I don't know where this voting culture came from, but I really think it doesn't belong here. —Tanaric 09:01, 22 March 2006 (CST)

I'll admit I'm probably the one who started the vote stuff here. "We come to consensus via rational discussion, or we don't change the status quo" Consensus means anyone has veto power against other ppl, and I don't really like that. You are giving every newish user veto power against the rest of the community. Voting keeps track of individual's opinions better. A vote doesn't always have to be a single majority vote. For major decisions, especially ones that change an existing guildwiki tradition/policy, I would argue a bigger margin is needed. When I jsut started doing this vote business, I wouldn't go ahead with the results if the winning margin is too small (lead by 2, for example). Now for votes I started I just outline the process and let ppl know if they think this vote should be run differently they can discuss it. -SolaPan 09:18, 22 March 2006 (CST)
"I also having to fear being away from the wiki for a few days, because if I don't vote on a certain controversial "issue" in time, everything'll change." So what if the community reach a consensus during the time you are away? Everything will still change. I agree that trivial things shouldn't bother with votes. I'm not starting a vote upgrading armor info box to my new shiny edition. I'm not starting a vote over whether Damage should be unstubbed. I just do them, or wait a few days for comment. But for things that have much bigger impact, if it's not kept track in category votes, you might not even notice the discussion is actively going on, and you might see EVERYTHING change even though you didn't even go away from the wiki. -SolaPan 09:30, 22 March 2006 (CST)
All of SolaPan's points and one more: While it is often possible to come to a consensus, there have been bitter fights over trivial decisions as well. Instead, a simple vote on the issue is often helpful to avert lengthy discussion (which sometimes spill over into personal conflicts as well). --Xeeron 19:27, 22 March 2006 (CST)
For the most part, I agree with the need of the vote process. For bigger issues, it results in a faster process and a centralized tally of users opinions at the time of the vote. The vote process also usually begins with a discussion first, but even once a vote is called, it leaves open the option to voice opinions on the ballot options, to try to convince others to vote with you. Just because there are votes, does not mean that discussions stop taking place.
Contrary to Tanaric's opinion, I also feel that it also makes it less likely that a user would miss being able participate. In the prior discussion method, it was just as likely as under the vote process that being away for a week could result in a missed oportunity; but under the vote process, there is this category to help guide users to where votes are taking place. So, when they return, they can quickly see what decisions are up for vote/discussion.
All that said, I can also see where the vote culture is going overboard. Not long ago, a vote that wasn't taken very seriously by most (including, unfortuneately, myself) was called by Stabber that asked "Have there been too many frivolous votes recently?" While I found the vote itself frivolous (it really needed to at least start as a discussion here), it did bring up a valid point about the vote culture that's developing. Namely, it's getting to the point that decisions that used to be made on the fly are resulting in a vote, or sub-votes on elements of the vote, etc. To me, a poster child for this problem is the Syntax Pole. A need exists for users to stop calling for votes on every decision. Votes are good for large issues; but, management through committee is going to start bogging down the wiki to a crall with an over-burdensome beaurocracy if left un-checked. -- 02:12, 23 March 2006 (CST)
Hey, there is a reason why the syntax poll is called a poll -- because it's NOT a vote! I'm just asking what everyone like, it's not related to any decisions! -SolaPan 02:35, 23 March 2006 (CST)
Sorry if I misunderstood your intent on that one; however, it was setup in the same structure as a vote, and while the word 'poll' can mean asking for a survey of opinions, it can also be a synonymn of the word 'vote' depending upon usage and intent (I just double-checked the dictionary just to make sure I wasn't totally off on that one). -- 02:43, 23 March 2006 (CST)

Ok, so I have conflicting opinions on this. On the one hand, I do believe in voting. On the flip side, I think we have taken this to an extreme.

This comes back to the issue of process. I am a big beaurucrat and I always like to define and follow systems in what I do. (called OCD in modern psychology) :) We implemented a voting process for example, but we never put in a process for when and how it would be enacted. That was fine then, but is no longer fine now. I am truly annoyed by the emerging theme of re-voting on old stuff. It just threatens to spiral this entire community into a never ending debate. Voting in this wiki is a "means" to an end and not some "inalienable right" to be practicedindiscriminately. So, we don't "have" to vote on any issue that is disagreed upon unless there is visible discord and the debate does not seem to going anywhere.

Me and Tanaric are probably the only ones left from back in the day (May 05) when the game first came out. Back then it was easy to manufacture consensus and get people (who care) to agree and move on. And even when things got real dicey between me and Tetris, we seldom asked for a vote but actually submitted to what the overall group seemed to want. I think the first vote here was instituted by Rezyk when me and him clashed over the Hex article. And I think that was a valid scenario of when a vote is needed.

What? Grave, Biro and I are all still kicking around here, Karlos, just silently. ;p --Nunix 16:37, 23 March 2006 (CST)
That was not instituted by me. --Rezyk 09:24, 25 March 2006 (CST)

Solution? Vote on whether we should have voting! :) I think we ought to (as a community) have a simple guideline that says, vote only as a last resort. Otherwise, talk it out. --Karlos 05:20, 23 March 2006 (CST)

Votes are often superfluous. Talking too much is also often superfluous. I started playing GuildWars in April, but it took me a while to find GuildWiki, sadly.
Encourage people to be concise in discussion and make it clear how GuildWiki works. Often, that is up in the air and there is rightly a lot of discussion. Straw polls are great. Decisive votes for definitively deciding things don't exist on this wiki. We've decided on some things through votes, but things can always change. Close votes shouldn't result in drastic action, because it could just as easily go the other way. People need to be sensible, and ultimately that does fall on admins to ensure (and to be sensible themselves).
Most people here are smart. I'm not overly worried about the voting culture here. People are Mostly Sensible (and yes, I use uppercase there).
Guildwiki is awesome. Thanks for making it so, anyone who reads this (and lots others besides).
--JoDiamonds 06:15, 23 March 2006 (CST)
There is one simple but important difference between the start of guildwiki and now. A small group of very active people has evolved into a much larger group of mixxed active and not-so-active people. With the later, discussing till consensus arrives is a longish if not infinite undertaking. That is why votes are needed when numbers grow large. --Xeeron 07:49, 23 March 2006 (CST)
If something becomes an infinite undertaking, it's likely that such a change should not be made. In a case where a change quite obviously needs to be made, and a single user is unreasonably adamant about a certain scheme, an admin could step in to guide the discussion. This has been done frequently in the past, though it was never acknowledged so formally. In general, if I come into a discussion I'm not involved in, and I say that user X needs to give up, it happens. I'd like to think it's because of the respect I've gained here since release. I'd also like to think that this respect among all users is sufficient. Unfortunately, we've grown significantly since then, and I realize I'll have to start throwing around my admin title more and more to keep such a culture alive (I had to do it with that Sagius fellow a while ago). —Tanaric 08:27, 23 March 2006 (CST)

I think that after the current crop of skillbox votes the entire voting scheme should be scrapped or very heavily discouraged. I feel that too many things are being decided by a core group of hyperactive users. If we are to continue with voting, then votes should not be considered binding if they lack quorum, i.e., a supermajority of the active contributor base, to be suitably defined. Nor should votes be considered valid if the ballot is not fixed and specific for the duration of the vote -- let us end the practice of "other (please specify)" options. If quorum cannot be suitably defined, then we should elect a rolling arbitration committee to handle disputes, and leave everything else to anarchyuser initiative. Most people here (myself excepted) have malleable opinions and are willing to listen to reason. Let us use that instead of forcing people to take inalterable positions on the various issues. — Stabber 06:33, 23 March 2006 (CST)

I agree with the principle, but disagree on how quorum should be defined. If there is any issue on how to organize/structure/format certain aspects of PvP articles, most likely I'm not going to care. And when I say I'm not going to care, that means I'm fine with the result either way. If it happens that most of the active contributors only care about PvE and not PvP, then you will very unlikely to find a quorum on PvP article related issues. Heck, I don't even know how to define a quorum in general for GuildWiki, since people come and go all the time, and often without notice. -SolaPan 07:56, 23 March 2006 (CST)

As far as an arbitration committee: there's no need for that additional layer. The admins can handle that, and probably have been. Had anything particularily harmful to the wiki been decided by vote, I would have simply protected the page.
As far as quorum: this idea is simply impossible here. We're primarily a fansite; that we're a wiki is irrelevant to most of our users. People come here to get advice on the game, not to vote about how that advice is displayed. —Tanaric 08:27, 23 March 2006 (CST)
Random input from reading the above: Tanaric's bit about missing-the-whole-vote is completely valid; this category STILL needs to be linked off the main page in some fashion (GuildWiki:How_to_help would be a good place for a link title along the lines of "Current formatting topics" or such); if there's a problem with frivilous votes, grant that as an admin-only right; generally, we have admins for making final decisions on contested issues, maybe votes are okay for the dinky stuff? --Nunix 16:37, 23 March 2006 (CST)

Another issue with voting is its vulnerability to sock puppet accounts. --Rezyk 09:24, 25 March 2006 (CST)

That is also an issue of rational discussion if you can fake a 90% majority (and smart enough to make sure they don't sound like the same person), and let an admin step in to tell the 10% minority to be reasonable and give up... -SolaPan 12:59, 25 March 2006 (CST)
And here I thought it was an open secret that we are all Karlos' sock puppets... — Stabber 13:02, 25 March 2006 (CST)
Well, everyone knows that Rainith and I.... I mean that Karlos and I are the same person... --Rainith 13:04, 25 March 2006 (CST)
Sola: not really. Escalation to admin doesn't mean they wave a Nerf bat and say, "Do what the rest of them want!" It means they step in and make a decision. Which could be the 10%, easy. Gravewit and I are always available for "buck stops here" decision but frankly, neither us nor most of the users like it when we act on that level of the wiki (we prefer our lofty floating castles), so if it never gets to that point, that is a GOOD THING.
Re: fake accounts: the voting issue is tricky because (and I think someone brought this up over on the GWG forum) the active-contributor population of the wiki is pretty small. We can say, "Well, only trust the names you know," but that doesn't really work out so well, does it? Cos new people will come in sometimes, but how far do you want to trust that new name that's shown up? I don't really have an answer for that. It's something the community needs to sort out. --Nunix 19:15, 25 March 2006 (CST)

As a fairly 'New Contributor' I'll second the notion on how new users can easily percieve voting as the excepted system for doing things around here. I believe nearly every discussion I've read or been apart of in a little under two months has had some form of voting used to end/settle it. Its also quite danting when its teamed up with the "hyperactive group" of contributors that seem to put their two cents into everything they see.--Amokk 16:08, 23 August 2006 (CDT)

so agree. voting should only be used once a compromise resolution cannot be met, and even then major objections should be discussed and resolved before taking any action. votes should be used as a path of last resort to a amenable solution. --Honorable Sarah Honorable Icon.gif 16:24, 23 August 2006 (CDT)

Salvaging Experience from the Vote-Boom[edit source]

A list of things that developed as the vote culture evolved. They are not specific to the voting method, and I think should be kept no matter what our decision making model is (except for absolutely dictatorship).

  1. For any discussion that involves potential major changes to stuff, allow several day's time to give more people a chance to see/join/respond to the discussion, even if initial discussion have a full consensus.
  2. For any discussion that involves potential major changes to stuff, keep them in a category so there is a centralized place to check out all the major discussions going on.
  3. Keep a short summary, at the very top, of different ideas being tossed around. Also keep track of who supported which idea, but hasn't checked rejoined the discussion after a new idea came out.
  4. When something is finally decided, announce it prominently, but let it sit for a short bit to catch the people who somehow still managed to missed the discussion and has any new perspective not considered before.
  5. The decision should be clearly noted in either a policy article or a style and formatting article, and there should be a relatively easy way to locate the old discussion from the archives in case anyone have question on the decision result 5 months down the line. Much of the problem of "redeciding everything" is because there was hardly a trace of the previous decision process on the subject. Without knowing what factors were delibrated before, we cannot tell if we now have a new/better perspective to have a rightful cause to rediscuss the policy, or if we are merely repeating everything that was said before.

-SolaPan 17:14, 25 March 2006 (CST)

This is possibly the most rational thing somebody besides me has ever written on a talk page. ;) —Tanaric 06:17, 28 March 2006 (CST)

The Category:Votes page has this notice: "Please note that votes are non-binding, and the existence of votes is being contested at Category talk:Votes." Given the age of this discussion, is this still happening? If so, maybe it should point elsewhere or something new should be added? --Kyshnysh 22:13, 10 July 2006

Voting in other Wikis[edit source]

I realize that we're not Wikipedia; but it can sometimes be useful to learn from the experiences and policies of others. For those who hadn't seen it yet, here's the guidelines on Wikipedia for creating a survey/opinion poll on issues: Wikipedia:Straw polls. --Barek 00:34, 18 April 2006 (CDT)

Voting Issues[edit source]

I've seen some issues come up with recent votes, and I tend to agree with several of the complaints. Voting doesn't appear to be a policy currently, and I don't think it needs to be - but guidelines need to be clarified. I think that if we're to continue the use of a vote system to decide issues, we need to add two specific items:

  • Advertising of votes. As few users will regularly review Category:Votes to see what new votes may have come along, we need to better publish the votes as they take place. My first thought is to add a section to the top of GuildWiki:Community_Portal for votes, perhaps adding subcategories for "policy related votes" and "all other open votes" (or something of a similar concept). This makes it harder for someone to try to dispute a vote's results on the grounds that the participation was small or that it's not representative of the wiki.
  • Policy for re-votes. Namely, if someone disagrees with the results of a vote, I didn't see anything in the current guidelines to prevent them from re-starting the process with another vote request. Inserting the guideline that a vote result stands for, say, 6-months or so before it can be brought up for a re-vote allows time for people's egos to cool off following more controversial issues.

If there are other open items, feel free to add them. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 20:01, 6 August 2006 (CDT)

Maybe a personal pet peeve of mine, but votes need to have a clear ending date too. --Rainith 21:21, 6 August 2006 (CDT)
I agree, that is an annoyance of mine as well, I should've listed it. But, if someone forgets to list a closing date, I don't think the entire vote should be thrown out. If no ending date is listed, I'm thinking that there should be a default time-span to prevent it from being arbitrarilly closed. Maybe four weeks from when the vote was first announced. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 21:35, 6 August 2006 (CDT)
I would like to see more mention in the guidelines about when a vote is and is not appropriate. See GuildWiki_talk:Policy for more of where this has been brought up recently. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 21:42, 6 August 2006 (CDT)
If the policy change and policy proposal guidelines I proposed are adopted, GuildWiki:Policy itself will serve as a summary for any policy-related discussions. I also suggest adding a section to GuildWiki:Style and formatting similar to my proposed process for policy change on GuildWiki:Policy, so that all significant style discussions are listed there.
This would result in a repurposing of Category:Votes for only those votes that are stylistic or preferential in nature—things that, in the long run, don't matter which way the votes go, so a simple majority is appropriate. —Tanaric 09:53, 7 August 2006 (CDT)

There needs to be a page GuildWiki:Voting in the policy category that explains how the voting process is supposed to work. Maybe we have some page of that kind floating around, but it is not tagged, or we should write it. --Xeeron 02:31, 24 August 2006 (CDT)

Minor thing, I reckon that when a new vote is created, it should not only be added to the Votes category, the actual category page should be edited with text saying a new vote has been created which expires on XXXX date. That way people can just have that page in their watchlist and know when a new vote has been added so the voting process can occur quicker, instead of having to manually check the cateogory (which I often forget). --Xasxas256 05:31, 24 August 2006 (CDT)
As I posted above, I think adding a section to the top of the Community Portal page would give the move visibility to announcing new votes. Changes to the votes category page are only useful if people even know the page exists. The Community Portal page receives much more traffic and would be far more likely to catch the interrest of newer site users. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 08:40, 24 August 2006 (CDT)

Binding votes[edit source]

See: GuildWiki_talk:Style_and_formatting/Builds This is a binding vote, at least for any build currently affected by it, since they will (according to the votes) be deleted. - Greven 13:17, 28 August 2006 (CDT)

A vote becomes concensus if those losing the vote agree to carry out the motion of the majority. The vote is non-binding insofar as you can go to each talk page and contest the deletion there, as with any other deletion. However I doubt that you will be able to create a concensus against deletion. --Xeeron 06:31, 5 September 2006 (CDT)

Proposal: Voting to require account[edit source]

This proposal is in response to the actions of User:Onlyashadow. See: Talk:W/A_Armored_Assassin, Talk:W/E_Shocking_Flurry, Talk:W/any_Enraged_Smasher#Rate-a-Build. This also applies to some concerns over qualifications to vote on Builds, as it requires the (minimal) effort to create an account in order to vote on a Build. - Greven 13:21, 3 October 2006 (CDT)

I'm kind of against this on the grounds that I don't want to further legitimize voting by creating policies around it. If this were to apply only to the build vetting process (which I'm trying to stay out of), I wouldn't really care. --Fyren 14:02, 3 October 2006 (CDT)
I agree that voting should not be the central policy setting method; but as we continue to grow, votes are going to become more and more frequent. We've really grown to the point that concensus through discussion tends to bog down to a standstill. That leaves either a tiered hierachy of elected or otherwise appointed users that can establish policy and help provide oversight/guidance (admins do not have that power on this wiki - policy makes clear that admins are regular users who happen to have extra set of tools available); or the other option would be a voting process which is open to abuse.
On making voting policies; the work around to requiring an account is that a user can create multiple accounts. It's more effort for them; but does permit them a work around. No fully electronic system of registration/validating/voting can be made 100% secure; but some safeguards can be put in place. We can require an account; but we would also need to require a minimum amount of usage (a certain number of posts or more), or that the account be active for a minimum amount of time, or some combination. The problem is that these then add additional overhead that someone would need to enforce in some as-yet unknown way.
I can immagine even more complex wsolutions, but they require increasing amounts of customization/programming to accomplish - to the point of requiring a vote system external to the wiki, which I seriously doubt is a direction in which we want to move.
I don't know the final solution; but the recent incident again re-opens the question of if we want to try devising a means of blocking open proxies and TOR nodes as a first line of damage control/management. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 14:12, 3 October 2006 (CDT)
Its even easier to catch a bunch of low contrib accounts all voting on the same thing — Skuld 14:27, 3 October 2006 (CDT)
The intent is for the Builds process, yes. While I know voting isn't perfect, I just want it to be fair. You could create a new username, but it'd be pretty easy to see if someone's voting the same as another.. and if they aren't, then it would cancel out (assuming 2-choice vote). - Greven 14:11, 4 October 2006 (CDT)