At various times, my questions have received answers not properly addressing the original question, but instead targeted at a different question. Often, the user posting the answer will decline explicitly to revise it, despite requests, given as comments, toward such effect. When the author of an answer has declined to revise it, I often have invoked a down vote. I feel that it is unhelpful for users not to attempt to follow such requests, and that such cases give rise to the appropriate use of my voting power.
I tend to observe that my own question receives a down vote shortly after I cast my vote against an answer, suggesting a kind of retaliation.
In principle, I feel I should be permitted freely to cast a down vote, as a final resort against a question author not sincerely seeking to be helpful with respect to the actual circumstances giving rise to the original question.
Although it may be conceived abstractly that other visitors would notice the problem, and develop their own answers, or cast their own votes, accordingly, I tend rather to find that bad answers often determine the course of the entire discussion, taking a life of their own, mutating the collective perception of the question. Furthermore, many questions generate such little interest that a single vote is quite significant. Such limitation may be more common in particular communities, such as the current.
It is frustrating to post a question that becomes hijacked toward different ends, and I have wondered about an optimal solution. For example, one might consider how the dynamic would change if users who post answers would forfeit implicitly the right, past or future, to vote on the question. Alternatively, perhaps posting an answer would be counted also as casting an irrevocable up vote for the question on behalf of the same user, since posting an answer is implicitly giving some affirmation toward the validity of the question.
What are potential solutions to the broader issue, inside or outside of the existing automated rules?