I strongly disagree with that argument. Replace downvoting
with reaping and i will agree. Downvoting existed at this
site long before reaping, which came about from trolling.
Then I think we agree. I view downvoting purely as suggesting that a node be reaped, and believe that it is useful for this. Pushing a node's score negative has been the way to make it reapable for my entire short perlmonks lifetime, and this is why I do it. While downvoting is also a way to keep the node's author at a low rank ("bad peer review"), I don't particularly care about doing this, since I don't typically look at an author's home-node when reading posts. If I needed to establish some degree of trust in a post, I will read the author's other posts and their replies. That, or look for a spiffy, multi-colored .sig... So if there were two different categories of "--", "bad" and "shouldn't exist", we wouldn't have to use the same term to mean different things.
Anyways, sorry to drag you onto the soapbox.