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Would it make sense to award a gold badge to serious election candidates - those who really had a serious chance of becoming mod, say, the top five in a Stack Overflow election?

This would serve two main purposes:

  • In future elections, give the electorate some information about past campaigns the candidate was involved in. The badge description would show which election they were a candidate in, and how many votes they got or which position they reached, whatever makes most sense. This is pertinent information and a gold badge would be an elegant way to convey it, without having to build an archive of past elections and all the nasty discussions therein.

  • Give the candidate some cool consolation, a badge that's impossible to attain otherwise.

Obviously you don't want to reward all candidacies with a badge, as that would almost certainly lead to a slew of unqualified candidates. I'm talking about very serious runners only.

I guess you could make valid arguments against this - like, it's a disadvantage to new and young candidates, etc. but repeatedly running for mod with strong results is, to me, a serious factor when considering who I give my vote to. Running for mod is a pretty stressful thing, you get called out for past actions, a lot of people is bound to dislike you and say so in candid words, there's a lot of discussion about you... I'd say going through that repeatedly is a definite sign of dedication.

What do you think?

One idea for the badge name would be John McCain - he's the one guy in American politics I know who ran for office repeatedly, and unsuccessfully.

Additional, even better idea by @CajunLuke - Ross Perot

Or (of course!) Ron Paul (although he arguably never made the finals)

Just Candidate might also be enough, and politically neutral. (Not that I think that partisanship would be a problem here - these are historical figures now.)

Edit: Will's suggestion might top them all:

enter image description here

share|improve this question
"Ross Perot" would be less politically charged and McCain did win some elections. He was an Arizona senator before his Presidential run. – CajunLuke Jun 8 '12 at 23:29
@Cajun oh yeah, true. I read his book about how he got his employees out of Iran in the early 80s. Cool guy. Will add him to the list – Pëkka Jun 8 '12 at 23:31
Republican badges. Fox News would be proud. – Robert Harvey Jun 8 '12 at 23:35
@Robert mm, I don't think that's really an issue - McCain just matches the description of "Internationally well-known political figure who repeatedly ran for office without succeeding." Perot was independent: although I guess his leanings were admittedly more to the right than to the left. – Pëkka Jun 8 '12 at 23:36
Well, I'm from Portugal, so, Candidate is just fine! Don't even known the other guys :) – Zuul Jun 8 '12 at 23:39
The obvious problem with naming this badge after American politicians is that the world is a very big place, and large parts of it are not America. – RobM Jun 8 '12 at 23:47
Someone finally submit a badge request for elections and they forget the badge-request tag. So disappointed... – animuson Jun 8 '12 at 23:48
@DJ yeah - it doesn't have to be a name at all. If you can think of some other non-US person who is well-known for their repeated attempts to get elected, do suggest it... but the US presidential elections are arguably the most-noted elections internationally. Either way, it doesn't matter really. – Pëkka Jun 8 '12 at 23:49
@animuson fixed! – Pëkka Jun 8 '12 at 23:50
"he's the one guy in American politics I know who ran for office repeatedly, and unsuccessfully" -- Ron Paul? – Kevin Jun 9 '12 at 0:00
I had the same idea, but apparently a few hours later. As for the name, I'd suggest something in the line of runner-up, silver medal, red ribbon, first princess, always a bridesmaid... – Dennis Jun 9 '12 at 2:32
This stinks of "every kid gets a trophy". If you lose, you lose. Suck it up, go home, try again next year. – raven Jun 9 '12 at 3:04
For the Get Smart crowd: Missed it by that much... – John Flatness Jun 9 '12 at 4:07
@raven that's not really the main point. The idea is to identify strong contenders from previous elections. – Pëkka Jun 9 '12 at 10:22
Naming badges for recent perennial candidates is a recipe for disaster. Especially one who has actually run as relatively infrequently as McCain or Perot: hint: Mitt Romney has sought the presidency as often as either of them - running two or even three times is quite common. A true perennial would be someone like Lyndon LaRouche, but... Blech. – LessPop_MoreFizz Jun 9 '12 at 18:57

As I pointed out in response to Tim's earlier question about this, "Badges for election participation", badges tend to be used to promote desired behavior. We don't really have a problem in getting people to run for moderator. In fact, we have the opposite issue of people regarding being a moderator as a status symbol and running for the position with no idea at all of what it entails. This is why the moderation-related badge requirements were put in place last time around.

If you attach a coveted gold badge to this, it will provide added incentive for people to run for moderator. It might not be the entire reason they'd run, but do we need to encourage people who aren't entirely committed to performing janitorial duty here?

I've run and lost in two elections now (let's see if I can manage it a third time), and I don't care to have this badge. Watching people vote for me and hearing nice things from people I respect was reward enough. Also, I don't know how well it would work as an indicator of people who came close, since you'd need to explicitly call it out in your nomination statement for most people to actually notice. If you're going to have to do that, you could just as well state the primary / final election results from the previous time(s) you ran.

Also, when it comes to a badge name, I have to defer to Will:

Will's naming suggestion

share|improve this answer
Fair enough, good arguments. And yeah, the intended effect (sans the ego-stroking for strong candidates) could indeed be achieved by showing previous vote stats. – Pëkka Jun 9 '12 at 15:41
Could you explain that Susan Lucci comment to me btw? I don't get it. – Pëkka Jun 9 '12 at 15:41 - "After 18 failed nominations, she finally won in 1999." – Brad Larson Jun 9 '12 at 15:44
aahh, I overlooked that bit! Thanks. – Pëkka Jun 9 '12 at 15:49
Having to explain Susan Lucci is no different than having to explain Ross Perot or John McCain @pek – random Jun 9 '12 at 15:51
@random true... but Strunk & White is as obscure to ESL speakers, as well. (And having to look it up is arguably an educating experience, so no harm done.) Susan is cool mainly because it's not political – Pëkka Jun 9 '12 at 15:52
Making S&W less obscure to ESL speakers is probably something that benefits us all, @Pekka. Not sure there's any value in publicizing persistent politicians. Also, Brad makes a compelling argument here - encouraging folks to visit and vote definitely has value, even (especially...) if you don't normally even think about moderators. Encouraging folks to run who aren't strongly inclined to do so... Eh, that's less appealing. – Shog9 Jun 10 '12 at 0:33
@Shog I can totally live with Brad's reasoning (will accept it if nothing else comes up) but about ESL and badges... I don't know. If you're unable to Google a name or something as basic as Strunk & White, you arguably shouldn't be on SO in the first place :) – Pëkka Jun 10 '12 at 0:56

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