I want to praise silent downvotes. I think they are underused, underappreciated, and misunderstood. This may be due to statements such as one in
down-voting tag wiki:
Downvotes are the community's way of telling peers that their content can be improved.
I think this is totally wrong. Clicking an arrow is not a way to communicate with the OP. Leaving a specific (not copy-pasted) comment that speaks to the mathematical content of their post may be such a way.
Votes are a way to communicate information to readers. They help them sort and filter the content, for example allowing them to read only nonnegatively scored or positively scored questions. I think of $0$ score as neutral, 3-star rating: this is the score the system assigns to a post without knowing anything about it, good or bad. After a post is read, it may be found to be above or below par. "Subpar" is represented by negative numbers, just because SE is not golf.
I think the current effort spent on forcing posters to "improve", rubbing their noses in meta threads etc, is not an effort well spent. I'd like to see a more relaxed approach: "you have a question, cool. I don't think it deserves the default 3 stars (0 score), but whatever — someone may answer anyway." If someone answers, good content is added to the site. If nobody cares to answer, in 30 days the question is automatically deleted. Silently, without any closing-arguing-reopening drama.
You take wheat to cast into the Earth's bosom; your wheat may be mixed with chaff, chopped straw, barn-sweepings, dust and all imaginable rubbish; no matter: you cast it into the kind just Earth; she grows the wheat,—the whole rubbish she silently absorbs, shrouds it in, says nothing of the rubbish. The yellow wheat is growing there; the good Earth is silent about all the rest
Edit 1. I see that for some people it is difficult to tell what is asked here. This is what I ask:
When you come across a question that makes you go ugh, don't rush to the "close" button. Don't copy and paste the latest party resolution as a comment. Don't threaten the OP with potential downvotes, votes to close, the worm that dieth not, or the fire that is not quenched. Just make your ugh audible to others with a downvote. If you really want to add a comment, do it, otherwise move on. Life is short and was meant to be enjoyed.
Edit 2. I clarify that the sentence "If nobody cares to answer, in 30 days the [negatively scored] question is automatically deleted." is not something I propose here; this is something that is already in place across the SE network. Another automatic effect of downvotes is to remove questions from the front page of the site: this happens when they reach the score of -4 or lower.