Electowiki is very old, and has many norms that were never codified as explicit policies. Unless we specifically say so, many of the English Wikipedia's policies apply to us, such as the Manual of Style.
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).
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.
"EPOV" is the "electowiki Point-of-View" policy. Basically, the editorial board serves as the arbiter 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.
- Most jurisdictions need much better election systems - A common view, largely shared in the electowiki community, is that the currently practiced electoral systems in many countries are woefully inadequate expressions of democracy.
- Privately-discussed ideas should be publicly well vetted - if you have a great idea for a new voting method, please don't immediately create a new Electowiki page in the main namespace describing the method as if it's an accepted fact. Instead, please vet the issue on the one of the well-known forums among election method activists, or restrict your publishing of the idea to your userspace on Electowiki.
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 main namespace, 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.
Since its January 2005 inception, Electowiki has had an ad hoc editorial board, with de facto membership based on momentum. History:
- 2005: User:DanKeshet and User:RobLa
- 2006 through 2018: User:RobLa
- 2019 to 2021: User:Psephomancy and User:RobLa
- 2021 to now: User:RobLa
User:RobLa would like to formalize this somehow, but as of March 2020, hasn't tried to play the BDFL card to declare a process. User:Psephomancy could have declared Electowiki a fork from wiki.electorama.com after migrating to Miraheze, but User:RobLa snagged the electowiki.org domain name before that became viable. User:Psephomancy and User:RobLa haven't had a lot of time to coordinate on editorial policy, because they have both been busy doing the tech work and hosting work associated with Electowiki. User:Jameson Quinn has elevated permissions on electowiki, but it's not 100% clear why.
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.
As of November 2019, we have a category (Category:Living people) for main-namespace articles about people in electoral reform. As of 2019, the policy is still under development on Electowiki_talk:Policy, but these are the generally acceptable categories are emerging:
- Short summary-style pointers to biographies on Wikipedia
- Short summary-style pointers to biographies on other websites frequently referenced by articles on this wiki
- Redirects to user pages on this wiki, for authors who explicity choose to associate their user account with a real-world identity
Please do not associate user accounts on Electowiki with legal identities without explicit permission from the user.
Writing about oneself
As of May 2022, it would seem as though User:RobLa is the only active member of the electowiki editorial board. So, he's going to develop a policy with respect to writing in the main namespace about oneself. He believes that the best way to handle things is to write about oneself the way that one would write about oneself when writing up a biography to be printed on a conference brochure. However, please do not write anything that can't be backed up with a public link to a reputable website in the event of a dispute. User:RobLa may just write a proper "Rob Lanphier" page as an example.
Code of Conduct
- main article: Electowiki:Code of Conduct
As of 00:57, 30 March 2020 (UTC), Electowiki doesn't have a formal code of conduct. In lieu of that, the defacto code of conduct is Miraheze Code of Conduct for all Miraheze wikis, plus the code of conduct for the EM list, which is quoted below:
- Please come prepared to defend the statements that you make, and to directly answer the questions that others ask of you. This list was set up to increase communication between people interested in new forms of election methodology, not as a sounding board for those who wish to drown out opposing views with prolific repetition of statements already made. When conflicts arise, please use this list to understand fully why the other side feels the way they do by honest intellectual inquiry. And when those who feel differently than you are trying to understand why you feel the way you do, please answer as honestly and directly as possible.
- Hopefully this is all common sense, but sadly not common enough (hence the reason for this message). In summary, please ask, answer, and be humble.
- Main page: Electowiki:COI
Electowiki doesn't yet have a firm conflict-of-interest (COI) policy, other than what we borrow from English Wikipedia: wikipedia:Project:COI. Please read that before editing pages that you might have a conflict-of-interest. Even if you don't think you have a conflict of interest, you should be aware that electowiki is almost certainly going to have a conflict-of-interest policy just as broad as English Wikipedia's COI policy.
Questions, comments, or complaints about this wiki's policies should be directed toward the talk page (Electowiki_talk:Policy).