Is this the first appearance of the DN downvote?
Admins can downvote :)
Why can't other users?
Because they are not admin, I guess
Because it's a too powerful feature for the average user. With great power comes great responsibility.
Well, reddit seems to do just fine. However this is a much smaller community.
Hmm... I think any user should be able to express dissatisfaction about anything, just as any user can express content. Otherwise, how are we to judge what anyone actually likes-- by the amount of upvotes something doesn't have?