The ultimate responsibility to ask a good, answerable question is that of the asker, not the community. If you want to spend your time fixing others' questions for them, that's your prerogative, but please don't accuse others who may not have that same amount of time or patience, of being uninviting. (Personally I try to avoid editing questions by others, because I'm never sure if I'm changing the asker's intent.)
The caption on the downvote arrow is "This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful". Downvotes are a hint to the asker that there is probably an issue with their question, and again that it's up to them to figure out what and fix the question. If you are willing to take the time and effort to post comments trying to prise information from the asker, that they should have already provided in their question - more power to you, but again, others who won't or can't spare that time aren't necessarily being uninviting.
The meta downvotes are less forgivable, though, because in my experience people who take the time to participate on meta are the ones that actually care about their questions and want to learn, so those people should definitely be assisted wherever possible. OTOH, the downvoters may have felt that the meta question was already answered by the how to ask page (which, BTW, is the "hand up for new users" you're talking about).