I get that sentiment I have been saying similar things for a long time. I personally don't believe spite voting and all that stuff nessisarly is the reason for Pvp stuff not passing and ending up in the state that it is now from neglecting the player base for so long.
I think the issue is mainly jagex doesn't have many people who participate in Pvp anymore. We had Chris Archie when we started who was a semi okay pker and understood what was happening.. but as time went on he got busy then moved on to a different position away from development as far as I can tell and focuses more on the live performaces for dead man mode. We have a Pvp person but as far as I can tell she hasn't the most sense she has been here, and get the sentiment that she doesn't maybe understand the runescape pvp enviorment as well.
I think the other problem you have is with pvp itself in a way. People invest hundreds of hours in pures with different combat brackets, and combat styles. Some of these Pvp builds are built entirely around specific special weapons which sometimes may need to be nerfed which causes a conflict with the pkers who put time and gp to making an account around that item that is to be nerfed.
Sometimes a new special attack weapon gets suggested and other pure types may vote no for it because it will devalue their pure build because they know they'll just get owned by void rangers 24/7 if X item passes.
I think it's a serries of small things that along with the memes off reddit make it appear that it only didn't pass because people spite voted or just because they hate pkers.
Like if jagex does ever do a good job and makes a good Pvp update that's close to passing/has a lot of support and ask for the communities input they will get a lot of conflicting balance suggestions from people with different play styles, then some people might spite vote which also doesn't help, but isn't the root cause.
People take the path of least resistance.