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Its..already like that kind of? Whoever gets the most medals!
The question of "carrots vs. sticks" comes up occasionally. I am for keeping reinforcement positive - encouraging is a better way of teaching than discouraging. And down votes and other sanctions would make it easier for those bent on causing trouble to cause it.
That said, I have heard good points in favor of a down vote system, belong to several online communities (coursera, stackexchange) which have down votes and in that context have been known to use it.
Hi @joet99 - good point, and like @blues mentioned, one we've grappled with in the past. Our stance has been to try and *positively* incentivize people to give the best possible responses, and stay away from the 'stick' approach. As we go forward though, we are always willing to take a look at policies like this, and users like blues have been instrumental in getting us this far :)
Keep the suggestions coming!