Why paying for votes is a good thing
The Real World
When most people hear about paying for votes in the EOS network, they automatically equate it with corrupt politicians paying poor voters so that they can be elected and then exploit their power.
Voter bribing in the real world is a very serious problem when the income of a politician is hidden, the amount they take from Government funds is also unknown. There is also no record of how much they are paying to the electorate, everything is hidden from view.
Voters are happy to satisfy the short-term need for cash, in exchange for the long-term detriment of being ruled by a corrupt official. This reduces the value of the overall system to the benefit of the individual.
Successful corrupt politians will steal from the people to become richer and richer, allowing them to bribe more and more voters. This creates a vicious cycle which can be passed through generations.
Because corrupt politians hide their income, it becomes impossible for honest politicians to be elected. They cannot earn enough money to pay for voters and therefore they cannot be elected and close the loopholes which allow their opponents to win.
How Blockchain Voting is Different
Within the EOS network, the software dictates how much each block producer earns. There is no opportunity for a corrupt block producer to steal funds and hide them from view. Equally, the amount paid to voters will be open to scrutiny.
When we know the income and expenditure of the block producer, all that is left is to see if the entity can possibly survive financially. If the outgoings for the block producer exceed their earnings then we know that they are receiving external funding to pay for their votes. This should be a clear red flag to anyone looking.
When all voter rewards are allowed, then we can start to get creative with what those rewards are. The voter does not have to be the recipient of the reward, they could vote for a block producer who gives money to charity, or promotes dapp development. If we try to ban paying for votes then only the dishonest will pay for votes.
It is likely that different types of voting pools will be developed so the loophole of a block producer channeling extra funds around the back will not be very successful because they will only be able to bribe individual voters (so will be ineffective if it is normal to delegate your stake). The income and expenditure will be monitored for a pool in the same way as a block producer so we would see anomolous payments.
Banning payment for votes is particulary problematic. What defines a payment? We all know that we receive a feeling of happiness when we donate to a charity, so if a block producer promises to give to charity then are they paying us in happiness? What about a more financial example? If Alice finds out that Bob's block producer will promise to fund a new startup dapp and she buys the dapp's tokens and then votes for Bob, did Bob just pay Alice for a vote? What if Bob told Alice secretly?
If paying for votes was banned then only the evil ones would pay for votes.