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Vote Swapping is an idea that appears (note my political ignorance) to have come into existence during this presidential election, as a result of the Internet and the three-cornered Bush-Gore-Nader race. There are several sites that have sprung up to facilitate vote swapping, aimed at liberal voters. The goal is to put Gore in office, while simultaneously getting Nader the 5% of votes needed to receive federal funding for the 2004 election. This is accomplished, in theory, by strategically distributing votes by state: if you live in a state where Al Gore is already strong, you swap your vote for Gore with someone from a state where he is weak, and instead vote for Ralph Nader... While your opposite number, theoretically a Nader supporter, votes for Gore.

The most streamlined of these sites that I saw in my five-minute perusal was http://www.winwincampaign.org.

The concept of vote swapping can be (and probably has been) applied to the voting system of Everything. While I feel that the ethics of participating in such a thing are rather sketchy at best, there are several ways to go about this which do not involve elaborate off-site facilitation schemes such as those used in the 2000 U.S. presidential election. Disclaimer: I would like to point out that I have never engaged in this sort of thing, I am merely documenting the process as I have envisioned it.

The first and most successful method (presumably) involves two J. Random Noders who have established a friendly rapport on E2, both of whom have voting privileges. The noders may well know each other in real life, but not necessarily. These noders both have writeups that they feel have been ignored, overlooked, or underappreciated in terms of unsolicited public votes. They each agree (via /msg or e-mail or whatever) to "swap" a set number of votes to be spent on the other noder's writeups. The arrangement may be as simple as "vote up my lowest reps" or as complex as exchanging lists. This method works entirely on the honor system, and if one noder fails to uphold his/her side of the bargain, then justice can easily be exacted upon that noder by downvoting some of their other writeups. Since you can only vote on a writeup once, this is a very tit-for-tat method of increasing the rep of one's poorly performing nodes. See also: Targeted Node-vertising. Note: Of course, if the writeup(s) in question truly suck(s), this will not guarantee that they will not be nuked as they deserve to be.

Another possible method would be to create a vote swapping node (don't even think about adding a writeup like that here) which acts to facilitate the swapping of votes among noders. This idea is unfeasible because it would almost immediately evoke the wrath of gods and editors who would not appreciate your clever attempt to subvert the voting system. Do not try this. And do NOT /msg me requesting this. I am not kidding.

A tangent of this concept is "C! Swapping" - but this would be privy only to Level 4 or higher noders who would probably be disinclined to engage in such behavior. But then again, this probably happens every day without the benefit of overt conspiratorial dialogue. When you earn your way up to the Executive Levels, the rules work a little differently - true in the Big Blue Room, and I suspect no less true in these environs.

Advice: Don't do this. However, if you do decide to try vote swapping, do so with extreme caution. Do not assume that your E2 buddy will feel the same way about this idea as you do. If the subject is broached online, you might bait them in the Message Inbox with something like "/msg J._Random_Noder What are your thoughts about Vote Swapping?" and then judge the response. Let me restate this point: Don't do this.

Vote swapping is probably evil. At best, it is assuredly frowned upon by many. Still, the world is full of opportunists. Kids, don't nodevertise. And don't vote swap either. It will give you hairy palms and cause blindness, okay? You have been warned.

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