in reply to Why - - A Node?
...which is why I downvoted the root node in this thread. I strongly disagree with it; I think both negative and positive reactions are important. In fact, I see the negative vote as so useful I wish political systems would adopt it as a means to combat voter apathy that naturally occurs when faced with only bad choices (somehow, the thought of downvoting the greater of two evils seems more pleasant than upvoting the lesser).
My voting generally follows the suggestions laid out by voting guidelines, although I naturally have my own opinions. For example, I'm inclined to downvote discussions which rehash old issues without making references to the earlier instances (although I'm more forgiving now because of the supersearch modifications). Update It's my opinion that the person posting has a duty to read previous posts related to the topic. In some cases, people who have been pointed to past discussions have ended up revising their opinions. I also see it as the poster's duty to refer to the past discussions, for those who might not have seen them. Failing to do so is laziness or negligence in my opinion, and so I vote accordingly.
I do have a small complaint about the voting system, however, when it is used for other purposes. For example, a node which should be deleted because it is a duplicate needs a negative reputation (unless this has changed) to be removed. The primary goal here is deletion--downvoting is just a means to an end, not any kind of a response to the content (although for some it may be a response to the fact that it was duplicated, I suspect this is not true for everyone).
Another example is discussion/meditation posts. Sometimes I read posts that make me consider something I hadn't considered before, or that I feel are well-presented, yet I still disagree with the basic point. An upvote would suggest that I feel the idea should be implemented, whereas a downvote implies that the post was poorly written or the question should not have been raised.