Topic: Requirement to add explanation to votes  (Read 217 times)

Coco Bandicoot
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Post #101830
August 04, 2017, 05:32:00 AM

So one thing that has plagued the UH for as long as inactivity has been simple votes.  "Aye."  "Nay."  "Abstain."

At a glance, this isn't an issue if the person voting has been lively in the discussion prior to voting...so you're at least getting an idea of why they're voting the way they are.

At a different glance, this is a glaring problem if it's in the opposite direction of them being silent in the discussion...and thus you're left wondering why they voted the way they did.

When it comes to topics such as UH seats, or changing a grammatical error in a previous law...this isn't a big issue.

When it comes to regional affairs such as altering duties of officials, dictating Wintreath's stance on NS affairs, and other such topics that have an outward effect on the region and its people...it's a monumental issue.

This previous law that was passed (the one dictating that action should be taken concerning events in Lazarus) is a prime example of that.

If taken to heart, our actions in this affair are something that would affect the region either positively or negatively depending on what action we take.  It's not a matter that should be taken lightly, and should require explanation from the voting members of the UH.

The fact that there was discussion from only 1 of the voting members (as well as one abstaining member and the monarch) is concerning, and this shouldn't be allowed in this kind of affair.  It's already baffling enough that this topic wasn't brought to the Platform for citizens to discuss...the last thing we need is simple voting on an important issue that will affect our region.

I'd like to propose that a law be passed that requires members of the UH to explain why they're voting the way they are if they haven't participated actively (no, I don't just mean a single post to show that they're in it, but actually engaging and giving their views) in the discussion beforehand.

Or, hell, to save on semantics of what it means to be "active" in the discussion, just require that an explanation be given behind a vote no matter what.  Why did you vote "Nay" to appoint Pengu as Lord Emperor?  With this resolution, we'd at least know the answer!
1 person likes this post: Mathyland « Last Edit: August 04, 2017, 05:37:32 AM by Coco Bandicoot »
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    Post #101834
    August 04, 2017, 05:40:21 AM

    I think that's a good idea. And I'd argue that the same should apply for the OH, too, if possible.
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    Post #101836
    August 04, 2017, 05:42:02 AM

    I agree with this.  I think if you're going to vote no matter which office you're in, we should be able to know why you're voting that way.
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    Post #101858
    August 04, 2017, 12:27:15 PM

    Im against it. I dislike things that compel speech as much as I dislike things that block free speech.
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    Post #101861
    August 04, 2017, 01:46:47 PM

    Ordinarily I would agree, North, but elected officials should be held to a different standard than ordinary citizens.
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    Post #101895
    August 04, 2017, 06:35:25 PM

    And normally I agree with that, North.

    However, again, looking at the last topic, it left me a bit disappointed.  We're talking a topic that decides Wintreath's stance in a matter regarding a conflict between a divided government (aka Lazarus).

    As I mentioned in IRC, first of all this is something that the Secretary should have posted to the Platform for the citizens to talk about and debate, as it's something that affects the region as a whole (and, you know, as per law it's kind of their job to do so).  Likewise, it's a discussion that the entire UH should have discussed in detail as opposed to just two of you and Wintermoot.  You guys were elected by us to have our best interests at heart, after all, so it's not unheard of for us to want to hear your views on a matter such as this.

    However, since neither of those things happened, something like this needs to exist.  There are topics that shouldn't be brushed by with a simple vote when little to no actual discussion between all members of the party has happened.

    Right now, you have the Monarch confused as to what stance to actually take, because unlike how I feel about the UH's approach to this (for the most part), he's looking at every side of the matter.  If this was something discussed in detail as opposed to how it was handled, perhaps you'd see the position he's being put in.

    So at the very least, it's not unheard of to ask the UH just why they decided to vote the way they did.  If anything, it's more unheard of that people would vote without giving a reason in cases such as this.
    « Last Edit: August 04, 2017, 07:03:09 PM by Coco Bandicoot »
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    Post #101956
    August 05, 2017, 03:25:39 AM

    Then should I explain an abstain vote? Or if I am absent should I explain that? What if I really have no opinion on this issue and am just voting because it looks like the rest of the UH will vote yes anyway, should I explain that?(Oh no, an argument about abstain votes....)

    I just dislike this because why we vote on something really depends on the situation and circumstances and adding a mandatory reason will make things very political. When I proposed making mentions mandatory I got much of the same pushback as this, something that compels speech is not popular. I doubt with something even more subjective, an opinion on specific issues, then just adding @(random name) when calling a vote would be received very well by the rest of the UH.
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    Post #101961
    August 05, 2017, 03:55:11 AM

    Then should I explain an abstain vote? Or if I am absent should I explain that? What if I really have no opinion on this issue and am just voting because it looks like the rest of the UH will vote yes anyway, should I explain that?(Oh no, an argument about abstain votes....)

    I just dislike this because why we vote on something really depends on the situation and circumstances and adding a mandatory reason will make things very political. When I proposed making mentions mandatory I got much of the same pushback as this, something that compels speech is not popular. I doubt with something even more subjective, an opinion on specific issues, then just adding @(random name) when calling a vote would be received very well by the rest of the UH.

    Well I mean, Chanku explained it, even though he discussed in depth in the topic.  He said he was staying out of it because it was a personal matter.

    To me, that's explanation enough, since we're at least getting where he's coming from as to why he decided to abstain.

    If you're absent entirely, clearly that's a different story.  I'm not saying you have go to give a lengthy detailed response either...I'm just asking that there's reasoning behind votes.  Reason enough to where we get an idea of your view on the matter, rather than just a simple push through.  Especially when you're voting out of the blue without having said a word in the discussion thread.

    Again, really I'd just want this for the more important issues such as the previous topic as well as other actual regional affairs.  But as IRC decided to prove through much pointless debate, there's always going to be that argument of what constitutes as "Important."  There's always going to be someone that sees the number of UH seats as "important" enough to warrant explanation...even though personally I don't see it that way.

    So really, the blanketing of this to cover just all topics is just to appease those out there who will be the ones to argue semantics.

    And again...if you discuss actively enough in the actual discussion thread for people to get an idea of the stance you're taking, then this isn't an issue.  This is mainly for when that discussion isn't happening between all members of the UH.  This is mainly targeting the silent ones who just vote "aye" or "nay" or "abstain" and we have no idea why they swing that way.  If you're discussing in depth in the discussion thread, then there's really no reason to have to add explanation to your vote...as we already should have a good idea of why you're voting the way you are.
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    Post #101962
    August 05, 2017, 04:05:21 AM

    And I notice that you responded to the question with your reasoning in the discussion thread, @North.

    That's what I'm talking about.  It doesn't have to be something lengthy or worthy of a book.  What this is asking for is UH members just give a reasoning behind their votes at the time of voting.

    This:

    Quote
    I voted Aye because I did not like how the government of Lazarus was conducting themselves and how they accused Wintermoot of an attempted coup.

    That's what I'm talking about.  It gives the other voters as well as the readers an idea of your stance.  You don't like how the government of Lazarus is behaving.  You don't like that they're badmouthing Wintermoot.  Those are reasons enough that we can understand your vote.

    That's all that this resolution is asking for.  It's asking that rather than waiting until after the voting period to give a reason, that you just put it alongside your vote if you weren't active in the debate topic.

    And it doesn't have to be that precise every time.  We don't need to know your entire personal feelings about why 5 seats in the next UH session is enough.  Even just saying "I just think 5 seats is enough right now." is enough.

    Like I said, the main focus of this is getting explanation for the regional topics of importance.  Revocations, regional stances on foreign affairs, commendations, condemnations, law changes, role changes...those are topics to me that require detail behind votes.  When there's not debate going on in the debate thread, then there needs to be reasoning behind the votes when the voting happens.
    1 person likes this post: Doc « Last Edit: August 05, 2017, 04:09:43 AM by Coco Bandicoot »
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    Post #101970
    August 05, 2017, 05:20:42 AM

    But if you really feel like you want an explanation as to why someone voted in one particular way, as a citizen, you have the right to ask. If they refuse to answer, you have the right to hold them accountable to that answer in the elections. I just feel like making it mandatory is a bit of an overreach.
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    Post #101974
    August 05, 2017, 05:57:49 AM

    But then that begs the question of why I or anyone should have to ask every time.

    While I have a right to ask, an elected official should be more than willing to explain their views/stance behind a vote when the moment calls for it.  I shouldn't have to walk up to you on the street and be like "Hey North, so why did you vote this way?" every time an important issue is voted on.  If it's something important to the region, you as an elected official should be making that answer clear the day the topic is put up to debate.
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    Post #101981
    August 05, 2017, 08:21:00 AM

    Well, I would say that on a vast majority of 'Important' issues our reasoning would be clear. Also, this would be very hard to enforce. Say the reason I put for every vote is 'I flipped a coin and it landed Aye' or 'after consultation with the sun gods and the Great Egret I must vote Nay' would that be taken as an explanation? And if I forget or neglect to provide a reason will I be punished? And if I can put nonsense reasons or if its not enforced what would be the point? And if it is enforced I would say that it would be an incredible over reach of power.
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    Post #101983
    August 05, 2017, 12:14:11 PM

    I mean no offense by this, but if you're someone that you're going to essentially give mock reasoning or can't be bothered to explain because you're going to assume that everyone should know your stance on any issue (let alone important ones), then you probably shouldn't be running for office in the first place.

    First off, again this is clamping down on people who don't speak in the discussions.  If that's not you, then this wouldn't affect you since at that point, yes we would have an idea of your stance.   If this is you, then all it's asking is that you give an idea of the motive behind your vote, especially for important regional matters.

    As an official being hired by the people, you're held to a higher standard.  When you casually push by a topic that affects the region, it's worrisome because regardless of what you want us to assume, asking people to "ask" your stance as opposed to freely giving it when it's actually asked of you (aka in the bill discussion) is baffling to say the least.  This resolution is reminding you that you're still representatives of the people hired by the people.  And that we have a right to know your motives without having to "ask" you for them.

    If you're really that bent out about a law being proposed because of your silence, then use the discussion time and actually talk.  Discuss with the other Skrifa like it's your job to, and actually engage and debate like the people elected you to do.

    If all of the UH was actually using that time well, then this topic wouldn't be here in the first place.  We'd already know what we needed to know, and simple votes would be alright at that point.

    Alas, that time isn't being utilized by everyone, so here we are.
    « Last Edit: August 05, 2017, 12:17:06 PM by Coco Bandicoot »
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    Post #101984
    August 05, 2017, 12:41:02 PM

    I'm not saying that I would give mocking reasons, I'm just saying that unless you punished people who did or just ignored the requirement it would be useless and if there were punishments it would be an over reach in my opinion.

    Also, just to clarify, I'm just debating something I'm not all that in favor of, I'm not all 'bent out of shape' and I cant tell if that was a snide snipe at me or not.
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    Post #101986
    August 05, 2017, 02:14:46 PM

    It wasn't, I'm just terrible at phrasing early in the morning.  This is far from just zeroing in on you, as personally  I think you do generally discuss enough to get an idea of how you stand on topics.

    Even with the voting ended in the latest resolution, you at least had the courtesy to explain the reasoning behind your vote, which again is all I'm really getting at.

    In the end, I just want to know as I'm sure others do: When it comes to the resolutions that affect us, what's the motive behind the vote?

    Even if this is a resolution that doesn't come to fruition, this needs to at least be a wakeup to the UH of both current and future that they need to get their act together and take the role more seriously.

    Whether that's pushing and encouraging fellow skrifa to engage in discussions, or prompting them in the vote threads and asking for their reasoning, something has to give.  This inactive-but-voting-to-slip-by schtick on regional affairs isn't cutting it anymore.
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