Following this debacle I remembered that people can't get downvoted past 1. Why is that? Surely a negative number would be a good thing. Perhaps not so much on brand new members who perhaps haven't used the site, but on members like 'Derfder' that have been around long enough (and clearly know how to create the occasional good question)
I think a negative rep would demonstrate the relative standing and reflect the quality of the questions generally asked by a user. Perhaps if negative ranking could be included after a certain amount of time (say x months) so that the user has time to learn how to use the site and if the ranking gets below -20 lets say, any new posts need mod approval or something to be publicly shown.
I couldn't find any info regarding this in the FAQ/help so just an idea.