User:Qq/Straight ticket

Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, 10th Edition, p. 1-2

As my userpage notes, I am a radical inclusionist, supporter of the principles of WP:EM, and proponent of WP:PWD, who does not believe in deleting any articles or userspace or Wikipedia namespace pages unless local, state, federal or international law require their removal. Accordingly, I will often vote "Keep" on a series of deletion discussions after taking only a cursory look at the article to verify it is not a copyvio.

Some people object to this, saying, "But deletion debates are decided based on policy and reasoned arguments. You're not taking into consideration the unique attributes of each article." Well, that's true. But I don't need to. I already know that, by my standards, if it's verifiable, then it should be kept; and if it's not verifiable, then it should be blanked or redirected. Either way, we don't delete. (Redirection, by the way, is fully compatible with current policy and goes on all the time; and in the case of a seldom-used redirect, there is little practical difference between redirection and blanking.)

I would also like to ask, What if the shoe were on the other foot? There are plenty of deletionists who go around deleting articles on Starcraft minutiae, for instance, after only a cursory glance. I might argue, "But you didn't thoroughly examine this article!" They might reply, "I don't need to. I already know that by my criteria, it's not notable." That's their prerogative.

And why is it their prerogative? Because that's the way our system works. In theory, decisions are made according to policy and the strength of arguments. In reality, it's often a question of who gets out the vote. Just as in a real world election, rainy weather can affect the turnout and tip the election, random factors affect the outcome of our deletion decisions. If it's the holiday season, for instance, or someone is on vacation, then they are not there to vote. If one side's voters are less ardent about showing up, that can affect the outcome.

Of course, even if people do show up to the polls, if the debate goes in a direction that's clearly against policy, the vote can be set aside. If it's a copyvio and everyone voted to keep, the article will still be deleted; and if it's an article being deleted for unverifiability alone, and a dozen reliable sources show up at the last minute, the vote to delete can be set aside in that case as well. But many cases fall in a grey area in which the notability decision is subjective. As has been noted, policy and guidelines only vaguely describe the boundaries of notability, due partly to a desire for flexibility, partly to a wish to avoid instruction creep, and partly because of the difficulty in enacting new policy, as noted at WP:POLICY. Accordingly, many issues have been left for deletion debates to sort out (see WP:PQ). By the community's decision not to set clear, precise rules on notability that would make all deletion decisions a simple matter of policy application, they have designated participation in deletion debates as the way to shift policy.

And given the subjective nature of such "grey-area" decisions, my view is that a straight ticket is acceptable. We allow it in many other areas of political life. A yellow dog Democrat is free to vote Democratic in the presidential, gubernatorial, senatorial, congressional, and mayoral races without regard to the qualifications of the individual candidates. He has decided that the one issue – party affiliation – takes precedence over all others. Similarly, I have decided that inclusionism and support for pure wiki deletion override any arguments that might be based on an individual article's attributes.

Some people might say, "But you're being disruptive." Can I not vote how I wish? What kind of organization is this? In most organizations, you pay your dues and obtain rights and privileges in return. You can vote and speak in debate, as long as you do not abuse those privileges, e.g. by voting twice, or attacking another member's motives in debate. On Wikipedia, I pay my dues, so to speak, by making productive edits; and I should be able to exercise the privilege of speaking in debate and influencing Wikipedia decisions.

People might object, "But you're voting the same way in all these decisions. You're disrupting Wikipedia to make a point." Is there any example in WP:POINT that is remotely similar to what I am doing? No, and for good reason; because once you begin questioning the motives of users who vote similarly on a group of deletion debates, you open it up to all kinds of which hunts in which people can protest, "But this person is voting to delete on everything!" This issue was already settled in the case of Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Kmweber.

Is there any limitation on how many debates a user may participate in? The rules specify nothing on that subject. And so, I need not obey restraints arbitrarily imposed by other users, without broad community consent as expressed in policy, and in contradiction to my rights as a Wikipedian.