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The description of Silver Badges on the Badge Page says:

Silver badges are awarded for longer term goals. Silver badges are uncommon, but definitely attainable if you’re interested.

The silver Constituent badge, however, is awarded for voting in a moderator election. To earn it, you only have to click one button. There are bronze badges that take more work to earn - like Quorum, Student or Teacher, which at least require that you get some upvotes.

I argue that voting in a moderator election is basic use of an SE site, and the badges you get for this should be bronze, just like the Caucus badge:

Bronze badges are awarded for basic use of Stack Overflow. They are easy to earn.

I could also put this another way. Suppose someone is willing to vote in a moderator election if it earns him/her a silver badge, but will no do so if it only earns him/her a bronze badge. I argue that this hypothetical person is hardly taking moderator elections serious anyway.

So, a bronze badge is high enough for voting in a moderator election.

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18  
Noooo, my silver badge!!!!! –  nhahtdh Aug 14 '12 at 13:54
    
@nhahtdh I was expecting a barrage of downvotes..... –  S.L. Barth Aug 14 '12 at 13:55
    
I upvoted this question, though. That is a joke comment. –  nhahtdh Aug 14 '12 at 13:56
    
@nhahtdh I understood it was a joke, don't worry. –  S.L. Barth Aug 14 '12 at 13:57

4 Answers 4

I disagree. Take a look at the stats from the last community election on Stack Overflow:

99,626 voters were eligible, 60,208 visited the site during the election, 19,479 visited the election page, and 4,426 voted

So out of 60,000 people who visited the site (and so presumably were aware of the election) only a third of them actually bothered to look at the election page at all, and only a twelfth of them actually cast any votes. If casting a vote in a moderator election were as easy as "clicking one button" then surely many more people would have voted. Right?

I think you're underestimating the difficulty of voting in an election -- at least if you're doing it responsibly, and I think most of us probably are. When I cast my votes, I read every candidate's statement multiple times and read everything from the QA session. I also sought out individual posts by the candidates I was considering, both on SO and Meta. I took it quite seriously.

I didn't have to, of course, and there's no way for SO to police that behavior. But I think the above stats show that on the whole, community members are taking moderator elections seriously, and are not simply voting to earn a badge; otherwise, there would be a lot more people voting!

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Exactly what I thought –  Hugo Dozois Mar 14 '13 at 17:15
    
You start with "I disagree", but it seems you only disagree with a secondary statement ("you only have to click one button") but not with the suggestion that Constituent should be a bronze badge. Or do you? –  Junuxx Mar 14 '13 at 18:18
    
I disagree that the OP's line of reasoning is a sound basis for "demoting" the Constituent badge. It's possible that some other argument could persuade me. But in the absence of an argument I find persuasive, I think it should remain a silver badge. –  senderle Mar 15 '13 at 19:09

To earn it, you only have to click one button.

This is true, but you have to have the privilege to vote in an election too; 150 reputation clams.

  • That's 15 up votes

OR

  • 75 approved edits

OR

  • 3x50 rep bounties
  • etc...

I agree with you that the actual act of voting is a simple click of the mouse, but to be able to vote, you have to have "proven" yourself worthy (however lenient the conditions are).


Now the Caucus Badge is definitely a bronze candidate because it only requires you to visit the election page... I think a silver badge for voting is generous but still fair...

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3  
To downvote, you have to have 125 rep. That's what it takes to earn the Critic badge, and that's bronze. Just to be clear on this, I'm fine with a rep requirement for voting. I just feel the badge is in the wrong class. –  S.L. Barth Aug 14 '12 at 14:22

I totally agree. Just because many people don't want to participate in an election, doesn't make it hard to get. It is an easy badge, no matter how many people have it.

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I think another approach is if you think about how it serves SO if a particular badge exists. It is one of the most important things that moderators be the best in their place. It can be achieved if many people votes in the election, especially in the final phase.

Because badges are confirmation that what you do is good. If you look at them like this, Constituent badge is awarded for doing something very good.

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I don't mind that there's a badge for voting. But IMO the badge is in the wrong class. –  S.L. Barth Mar 14 '13 at 16:40
    
@S.L.Barth You are right about saying that voting is not a "long term goal". On the other hand more important things should be made more desirable. This badge serves this aim I think. –  qben Mar 14 '13 at 21:09

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