Wikipedia:Of course it's voting

Oft-heard on Wikipedia is the notion Consensus is not voting!, most often by an editor on the short end of a vote. Any serious evaluation of common Wikipedia practices leads to the realization this is not true. If consensus was truly not voting, the following logical consequences would occur:

  • Votes of the form "support per nom," or "oppose per John Doe" would be ignored as pointlessly redundant.
  • We wouldn't care about socking in discussions.
  • There would be no snow closes.

In fact, the policy page itself links to an information page which explains: "If the discussion shows that some people think one policy is controlling, and some another, the closer is expected to close by judging which view has the predominant number of responsible Wikipedians supporting it, not personally select which is the better policy. The closer is not expected to decide the issue, just to judge the result of the debate, and is expected to know policy sufficiently to know what arguments are to be excluded as irrelevant." (emphasis added)

What this means in practice is although consensus is voting, it is weighted, not all votes count, nor count the same. IPs, accounts created five minutes before posting a vote, and editors who are obviously bat-shit crazy[1] probably will not have their votes counted, or counted less than established editors.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Per our no personal attacks, there's no need to point out on-wiki that the editor is bat-shit crazy – just weigh the vote appropriately if you're a closer (possibly mentioning that the argument is bat-shit crazy does not conform to Wikipedia rules and practice).