Unlike Wikipedia, Electowiki is specifically for elections and voting systems-related materials. Therefore, only make
[[wikilinks]] to topics that we will want to have here someday.
Topics that are already covered by Wikipedia can be linked using interwiki links with the notation
[[w:Electoral reform|]], which will look like this: Electoral reform (and likewise for Wiktionary:
[[wikt:FPTP|]] becomes: FPTP).
Note: this policy is new, and subject to revision. -- RobLa 22:38, 15 Mar 2005 (PST)
Electowiki has a policy somewhat similar to Wikipedia's NPOV policy. However, due to the subjective nature of the topics at hand, it's hard to have a strict NPOV policy without becoming a clone of Wikipedia. Thus, the policy regarding point-of-view is one of "EPOV".
"EPOV" is "Electowiki Point-of-View" policy. Basically, the editorial board (currently DanKeshet and Robla) serves as arbiters for what belongs and what doesn't. Over time, we'll try to evolve more formal guidelines, but for now, here's some general guidelines we plan to use:
- We have a point of view. Electowiki tries to be a general resource for experts to get complete information, but makes no promises about neutrality. Other sources, such as Wikipedia, should be used to obtain neutral information.
- Err on the side of neutrality - while the EPOV will come out from time-to-time, it should be hard to distinguish it from Wikipedia-style NPOV in the vast majority of cases.
- Fairness to other points of view - we acknowledge other points of view, however far out we may think they are. We strive not to rewrite history, or misrepresent the support or lack thereof for particular positions.
- Latitude to editorialize on other positions - while acknowledging opposing points of view exist, we also reserve the right to comment on those positions in ways which may not be so flattering
- Controversial points of view should be vetted on election-methods list - if there's a dispute over editorial policy, take it up on the election-methods mailing list.
- Meta-View - A common met-view, largely shared within this wiki, is that the currently practiced electoral systems in many countries are woefully inadequate expressions of democracy.
Real-world voting reform advocacy and organizational work are also welcome, though we don't yet have a policy for how to organize it. We may want to add a bias template to advocacy articles in the mainspace, for example. As for your own userspace, anything is fair game, as long as it's election-related.
Please let us know your opinions of this policy on the policy talk page.
Why not just use Wikipedia?
Wikipedia is a free content encyclopedia with an extensive section on voting systems. The election-methods mailing list community has "adopted" the Wikipedia section to some degree; most people who edit Wikipedia voting pages are aware of the mailing list and vice-versa. Wikipedia is a great encyclopedia project. However:
- Wikipedia is not a research community. Wikipedia only wants well-established ideas and facts. New systems, new methods for evaluating systems, new insight, and new jargon are invented frequently on the mailing list. These ideas need a place to grow up to before they are notable enough to be included in Wikipedia. Electowiki can be this research community; Wikipedia cannot.
- Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a place for promotional activism Electowiki strives to be accurate and informative. But many of us research not just for knowledge, but also for change. Electowiki can be the place where we collaborate on arguments for change, craft draft letters to use when we write to groups where we are involved, et cetera.
Because Electowiki and Wikipedia's content are both governed by the same license, they can be perfect complements to one another, incorporating content from the other whenever useful.