Electowiki talk:The caucus

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Advocacy/Propaganda development?[edit source]

What do people think of using this space to hone our propaganda? Here's examples of material I would like to put up:

This is the area that gets harder to manage in a wiki without clear ettiquette, which is why I hesitate to use a wiki for this type of material. Still, I think it would be cool to collaboratively edit advocacy pieces. Thoughts? -- RobLa 20:58, 11 Apr 2005 (PDT)

Personally, I'm all for it. The etiquette I'd advocate for would be:
  • "Friendly" edits (ones which agree with the points being made) to the page, "unfriendly" ones to the talk page
  • However, clear factual errors can be corrected or noted in-place, even if it weakens the argument. (Be charitable in your interpretations of terms before deciding something's a clear factual error.) Homunq 02:51, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
@User:Homunq @User:RobLa I think this makes sense. But are there then "neutral" articles and "advocacy" articles? And how are they distinguished? Category? Namespace?
I want to put a bunch of my arguments from reddit on here, so I can link to them instead of repeating myself. Maybe I'll put them in userspace for now. Psephomancy (talk) 01:35, 25 September 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, reflecting on it now (13 years later), I think putting it in your userspace is the right thing to do to start off with. I worry about setting a precedent that would cause this wiki to get overwhelmed with opinion pieces, since it really would only take one prolific disruptor to make life miserable for the admins of the site. Moreover, we probably need a more robust code of conduct, lest we open ourselves up to some serious trolling and use of this site as a means of distributing horrific propoganda and offtopic gibberish. -- RobLa (talk) 05:10, 25 September 2018 (UTC)
@User:RobLa: Actually, I've been thinking about this and I think it's a good idea to make a place for it in the main space, so that people with a similar POV can collaborate on articles together, rather than writing their own articles in their own userspace (or repeating the same arguments over and over in many different one-on-one discussions that only reach a few people).
I like Homunq's idea of Friendly/Unfriendly edits and separating POVs into different articles. It should be possible to make an Advocacy: or Opinion: namespace? So something like Advocacy:Problems with Instant-Runoff Voting
Or maybe it could just be done with templates, like Wikipedia's Essay template, so it would be Problems with Instant-Runoff Voting with a big box at the top that says "This is an essay written by opponents of IRV and doesn't represent everyone else etc etc". — Psephomancy (talk) 21:43, 31 December 2018 (UTC)

The current state (as of 01:34, 17 December 2019 (UTC)) is that most of the conversation has happened over at Electowiki_talk:Policy, based around the edits made to Electowiki:Policy. My sense of things is that if we rely on a banner, the banner needs to identify a particular editor that is the lead signatory for the article. How can we make sure that future editing curators on this are excited to see new activity in Special:RecentChanges, and build a sense of shared voice, based on the consensus of the Election-methods mailing list (or appropriate venue)? -- RobLa (talk) 01:34, 17 December 2019 (UTC)

Also some discussion at Talk:Vote_unitarity#Possibly_moving_this_article_to_.22User:Dr._Edmonds.2FVote_Unitarity.22. — Psephomancy (talk) 04:12, 1 January 2020 (UTC)

Difference between this and wikipedia?[edit source]

A question: How should the electowiki site differ from wikipedia's "voting theory" category? How do we prevent wasted effort in editing the two pages separately? In what circumstances is it okay to paste wikipedia text into electowiki and vice versa?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Voting_theory

James Green-Armytage 00:03, 19 May 2005 (PDT)

One difference is that electowiki has a point of view. see Policy.
Augustin 18 Aug 2005 (Alternative voting phpBB MOD)
We're also more specialized. However, I would say certain articles could be copied to wikipedia; for instance Robert's Rules of Order could appear on Wikipedia as Voting methods in Robert's Rules of Order or something similar. 69.171.107.31 19:13, 6 November 2006 (PST)

There's no sense in making edits here to major voting system articles here that came from Wikipedia. Lock pages like single transferable vote from editing after adding a template referring editors to the Wikipedia article if they want to make changes. Copy the Wikipedia STV page here every x days so our version of the article stays current. Redirect our STV talk page to the Wikipedia talk page. 24.154.8.81 06:47, 7 November 2006 (PST)


Obviously this is an old discussion, but my point of view is that purely encyclopedic content that can go on Wikipedia should go on Wikipedia, where it will be seen and edited by many more people. Maybe include a quick summary of it here, but otherwise don't duplicate effort in multiple places.

Content that isn't appropriate for Wikipedia belongs here, such as original research, advocacy, things that are not "notable" or cannot be reliably sourced, etc. So:

  • Biographical information about Condorcet: Wikipedia
  • Discussion about what the Condorcet criteria means: Wikipedia
  • List of which systems meet which criteria: Both?
  • Description of a new voting system that hasn't been used in the real world: ElectoWiki
  • Explanation of why system X is better than system Y: ElectoWiki
  • Analysis of real-world elections and who would have won under different voting systems: ElectoWiki
  • Results of every real-world United States Senate election: Wikipedia
  • Results of some minor party's experiments with IRNR: ElectoWiki
  • Detailed analysis of Wikimedia's Board elections: ElectoWiki :D

Psephomancy (talk) 02:25, 11 September 2018 (UTC)

Major delegable proxy project[edit source]

Hello, I am currently mulling over some ideas for coordinating and facilitating more effective delegable proxy activism. Many people have come up with this idea independently and started websites about it, but there doesn't seem to be an single unified integration of all the available information into one place on the web.

I want to start two parallel (but intertwining) projects. The first is basically evisaged as a book that would integrate some of the most important research, ideas, etc. on delegable proxy in order to comprise the definitive work on delegable proxy. Depending on how much is out there, it could be a short book, but we'll see when we get there.

The other project will probably take the form of a wiki, and its purpose would be to gather the activists together under one roof, where they could have freedom to do their own thing (e.g. start WikiProjects and sub-WikiProjects on specific subject areas and ideas within the field of DP) while also sharing resources and having mechanisms for coordinating activity.

I'm trying to figure out, should be this implemented as part of a larger project (e.g. Electorama) or as a separate project, on another site? Is it intertwined with other election methods-related subjects to the point where it would be better to keep it all together on one wiki? I'm only aware of a few overlaps, e.g. Green-Armytage mentioned the possibility of using STV to pare down proposals in a DP system to a manageable workload.

Anyway, rather than post something extensive here, I put some more detailed musings on this topic on my user page. Feel free to contact me if you're interested in collaborating on this. Thanks, Justin Bailey 16:06, 25 February 2008 (PST)

Cleaning up categories[edit source]

There are many different variants of the same category names.

User:Jameson Quinn's definitions:

A note on terminology: “Electoral system” means all the election rules of a given country, including voter and candidate eligibility, elections for different offices, campaign rules, etc. “Voting method” is the formal mathematical part of that; the algorithm that determines what information must go on each ballot and how that information is aggregated to choose a winner. I’ve avoided the term “voting system” because it’s ambiguous; it could refer to either of the above, or to the specific machines used for casting ballots.

https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Help:Categories/en#Redirecting_a_category says:

Like normal wiki pages, category pages can be redirected to other normal or category pages. However, this is not recommended, as pages categorized in redirected categories do not get categorized in the target category (bugzilla:3311). Some Wikimedia sites use a "category redirect" template to mark redirected categories, allowing manual or automated cleanup of pages categorized there.

Wikipedia style says

categories are almost always given plural titles and many templates are as well.

So I'll re-categorize each page under "voting methods" and delete "voting systems" categories. Psephomancy (talk) 03:39, 2 September 2018 (UTC)

StructuredDiscussions[edit source]

Should we use the StructuredDiscussions extension for Talk pages? This wiki uses it, for reference: https://allthetropes.org/wiki/Talk:Main_Page

Psephomancy (talk) 02:45, 11 September 2018 (UTC)

Psephomancy, at this point, now that we seem to have a reasonably active community to watch things, I think this would be fine. I was a little worried about this back in 2018 when you first proposed this. Now (in 2020) that we have a lot of editors, and now that I'm a lot more comfortable with Miraheze, I think we can give it a shot, I'm not how much work migrating our existing talk pages to StructuredDiscussions would be at this point, but assuming we can make the shift without a lot of work on anyone's part, I'd be game for trying it out. -- RobLa (talk) 20:20, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
I'm a little scared to click the button because I'm not sure exactly what it does and I don't want to screw things up for people. Will it enable the Structured Discussion on all blank Talk pages? Will it print any kind of warning or explanation or do we have to do that?
It looks like existing talk pages will be unchanged and need to be migrated, which is good. — Psephomancy (talk) 05:39, 12 February 2020 (UTC)

Search Engine Optimization[edit source]

Is there anything we can do to raise this site in Google results? If I search for "Summability criterion", wiki.electorama.com is the first result, but electowiki.org isn't on the first 5 results pages at all. The first result actually points to Category:Voting system criteria, which is weird.

If I search for a specific phrase "rather than the highest total score", Google only returns wiki.electorama.com

Psephomancy (talk) 22:42, 31 December 2018 (UTC)

I'll need to set up redirects as appropriate. The main trouble with doing this is migrating in a way that respects the Creative Commons attribution license, per my comments over on https://phabricator.miraheze.org/T3624 . We can do some soft redirects today, and in fact, I've done that with Summability criterion, and I've got some ideas for how I want to set up the Apache redirects. -- RobLa (talk) 01:14, 1 January 2019 (UTC)

I'm not sure redirects are the problem, though. The site appears invisible to Google for some configuration reason. I tried adding it to Google SearchConsole, and testing https://electowiki.org/wiki/Proportional_representation, and got:

URL is not on Google This page is not in the index, but not because of an error. See the details below to learn why it wasn't indexed.

Duplicate, submitted URL not selected as canonical Status: Excluded

Google-selected canonical: N/A

The site as a whole says "Processing data, please check again in a few days", so we'll see what it says later.

Psephomancy (talk) 19:40, 1 January 2019 (UTC)


I turned on mw:Extension:Description2 extension and mw:Extension:OpenGraphMeta extension (which uses the former), and they seem to be working, except there are two description tags on the main page, one from the manual WikiSEO, and the other auto-generated from the first paragraph by Description2.

Google SearchConsole for https://electowiki.org/wiki/Median_Ratings says the same thing:

User-declared canonical None

Google-selected canonical N/A

While inspecting https://electowiki.org/wiki/Proportional_representation says it is in Google, I guess because it's linked from the main page?

Referring page https://electowiki.org/wiki/Main_Page

Another exact phrase search finds the wiki.electorama.com site, and also the electowiki.org URL, but that is hidden under "In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 3 already displayed."

Maybe turning on https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Manual:$wgEnableCanonicalServerLink would help? It seems to be enabled on Wikipedia. — Psephomancy (talk) 20:28, 2 January 2019 (UTC)


Reception123:

So I'm looking at Google SearchConsole now that it's finished the Coverage report.

There are a bunch of URLs in the category "Duplicate without user-selected canonical" of the same form:

   https://electowiki.org/w/index.php?title=Voting_system&veaction=edit&section=10&mobileaction=toggle_view_mobile
   https://electowiki.org/w/index.php?title=Majority_Judgment&veaction=edit&section=2
   https://electowiki.org/w/index.php?title=Instant-runoff_voting&veaction=edit&section=11

Similar URLs also show up below the "omitted similar entries" fold at the bottom: https://www.google.com/search?q=%22districts+do+not+ensure+that+an+electoral+system+will+be+proportional%22&filter=0&biw=1440&bih=789

So I think it's deducing the wrong canonical URLs for certain pages, including the old domain, weird API URLs, etc. and so it hides the correct one. I think the only way to fix this is to add link rel="canonical" tags to each article, which I think you need to do using https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Manual:$wgEnableCanonicalServerLink Google doesn't seem to care about the og:url tag provided by WikiSEO extension.

That's the second method listed on https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/139066?hl=en

It's not possible to do the first method since that requires me to own both miraheze.org and electowiki.org and it seems like an obsolete method anyway. I don't think I have the power to do any of the others, either. — Psephomancy (talk) 02:57, 9 January 2019 (UTC)

Template for mailing list posts[edit source]

It might be good to have a template to reference mailing list posts. Is there a unique ID for each post or something like that? — Psephomancy (talk) 17:09, 9 February 2019 (UTC)

Help page[edit source]

Should probably have a Help page to explain the features that aren't present on Wikipedia, list the Wikipedia features that aren't present here, and link to Wikipedia for the things that are the same. For now, check out User:Psephomancy/SandboxPsephomancy (talk) 05:12, 21 June 2019 (UTC)

Meta-articles[edit source]

Which of these should be moved to Electowiki: space?

Psephomancy (talk) 00:57, 7 September 2019 (UTC)

Hi Psephomancy, a belated thank you for this list. I copied it over to User:RobLa/Electorama 2005 cleanup, and I have the cleanup task on my TODO list -- RobLa (talk) 00:46, 31 March 2020 (UTC)

Archiving off older discussions[edit source]

I'm going to start archiving off older discussions. We don't have a bot framework to do it automatically yet, but I'll be copying things off to child articles much like the bots do on Wikipedia talk pages. I'm also going to be reordering these so that new stuff shows up on the bottom -- RobLa (talk) 01:04, 13 December 2019 (UTC)

Interwiki redirects[edit source]

Whoa, I didn't know interwiki redirects worked!

The Center for Election Science

A little jarring that you silently end up on a different site, though. I wonder if there's a way to delay it momentarily. — Psephomancy (talk) 01:21, 8 January 2020 (UTC)

Yeah, I was a little surprised when I encountered that too. I think I'm personally fine with it staying the way it is (immediate), but I probably wouldn't object if you figured out how to put some indication that the user is going to a different site. Perhaps we should make the skin on this site a little more visually distinct. Thoughts? -- RobLa (talk) 02:59, 11 February 2020 (UTC)

Categories[edit source]

The list of uncategorized articles is growing over time, but I'd like it to always be shrinking to zero.

New articles were created by User:BetterVotingAdvocacy, User:Toby, User:Dr. Edmonds. Can you all try to add categories to new pages so they are easier to find and so they can show up in dynamic lists? (I think this will notify you since I mentioned you.)

I enabled the DynamicPageList extension, so we can do things like automatically list all proportional cardinal methods:

or all multi-winner single-mark methods:

etc. — Psephomancy (talk) 03:11, 12 January 2020 (UTC)

Psephomancy I do not have the time to do this level of organization right now. There is already categorization for most of this on the pages Multi-Member System, Cardinal voting systems and the most high level one Voting system. You could just copy this structure. --Dr. Edmonds (talk) 04:04, 12 January 2020 (UTC)
User:Dr. Edmonds, I do not think that Psephomancy made an unreasonable request of your time, given your level of activity on this wiki. Please reconsider your response. -- RobLa (talk) 01:04, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
User:Dr. Edmonds I'm just asking that you put category tags on the new articles that you create. I'm not asking you to categorize other articles you aren't involved with. As the creator of an article about a voting method, you're the most likely to be knowledgeable about which properties it has. — Psephomancy (talk) 01:15, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
Psephomancy For the most part I thought I had been. I have done my best to come up with a taxonomy. Anyway, I finally have a little time to look into this. Is there a way we can build a template which could be filled out for each system? This would help with Taxonomy. Something like what exists for band like this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metallica page. There are several things which could be filled I will give an example for my system since I know it best

Number of Winners: Multi Winner
Ballot Type: Cardinal
Vote Target: Candidate (as apposed to parties in a partisan system)
Selection Procedure: Sequential (Others being Bloc or optimal)
Proportionality Class : Unitary (Others being Theile, Phragmen, Monroe or None)
Single winner reduction : Score
Party List reduction: Hamilton Method

Does this seem like a good idea? If standardized it could really help for quick comparison. This is just a first pass on what sort of things we could add to such a template. There could also be things like Inventor. First used. ect --Dr. Edmonds (talk) 17:51, 10 February 2020 (UTC)


You mean w:Template:Infobox? Yes, we could add something like that. — Psephomancy (talk) 18:24, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
This should help with categorization. Can you put one together hopefully we can come up with a format that would work for all multimember systems. Ill populate the pages if you can make one like the one I made above. --Dr. Edmonds (talk) 22:17, 10 February 2020 (UTC)


So I was thinking about this, and I'm wondering if we should change our policy so that voting methods go in *all* categories that apply to them, even if they are also in a sub-category of that category.

It's not always obvious which parent categories apply to a given voting method, and it would allow you to see all Condorcet methods on one page, for instance, without navigating into the the drop-downs for "Condorcet-reducible PR methods‎", "Sequential comparison Condorcet methods‎" etc. It would also allow the above DPL lists to work without needing to include sub-categories (which can only nest 2 deep anyway). Does this seem like a good idea to anyone else? — Psephomancy (talk) 01:29, 29 February 2020 (UTC)

Is there some kind of technological solution that would allow users to see all the Condorcet methods on on page if they wanted to, but otherwise would keep it the way it is now? I just think it could be intimidating for a new user to see all sorts of wonky Condorcet methods on one page and lose interest in learning about any of them, for example. BetterVotingAdvocacy (talk) 03:07, 29 February 2020 (UTC)
Not that I know of — Psephomancy (talk) 03:55, 29 February 2020 (UTC)
User:Psephomancy, I think my suggestion on this point would be that most articles should go into the deepest sub-categories possible, but for a minority of them (the most prominent ones, such as FPTP), they should be allowed to go into multiple categories where users might like to see them. Something like Schulze is probably the most prominent Condorcet method, for example, so it's reasonable to put it in both (Category:Smith-efficient Condorcet methods) and (Category:Condorcet methods) to maximize the odds that people to whom the information is pertinent will see it. BetterVotingAdvocacy (talk) 06:47, 23 March 2020 (UTC)

Editing velocity[edit source]

Bill Gates reportedly said "Measuring software productivity by lines of code is like measuring progress on an airplane by how much it weighs". Code is frequently made more efficient and useful by removing lines of code, rather than adding them. I believe that bit of wisdom also applies to prose and articles on this wiki. Do we have the review capacity to deal with the current velocity of contribution to this site? I'm not sure. Having witnessed rapid expansion periods on Electowiki (where I was more tolerant of low quality prose) has left a difficult cleanup task. How can we ensure that all of us (myself included) can be proud of the quality of Electowiki when (at the end of the year) we look at what we've achieved in 2020? -- RobLa (talk) 23:29, 30 March 2020 (UTC)

See also Pascal: https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Blaise_Pascal#Quotes. Or, for that matter "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure": initial conciseness is worth much cleanup.
I'm not sure, either. If we get overwhelmed, it might be a good idea to shift the EPOV further in favor of "summaries of what has already been discussed elsewhere" (i.e. referencing what has been said before on EM or in academic papers). Apart from that, and beyond keeping brevity in mind, I can't think of any simple solution at the moment.
If we had lots of users, we could experiment with Approval-y editing where the users could mark which paragraphs they consider important and not. But we don't have enough users for the jury theorem to work, and even if we did, just coding the thing would take a lot of time. Kristomun (talk) 00:07, 31 March 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for weighing in so quickly! I've always loved the Pascal quote in that link above ("I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time"), but many of the others are also apropos. I think it would be fun to experiment with some sort of Approval-y editing method, but I also agree that it would take a lot of time, and the cost/benefit ratio is probably too high (and out of reach, at the moment). -- RobLa (talk) 00:21, 31 March 2020 (UTC)

EM list migration nominations[edit source]

broken out from #Editing_velocity into separate topic by RobLa (talk) on 18:56, 31 March 2020 (UTC)

Thinking idealistically and a bit ambitiously (and a bit humorously), imagine asking on the EM mailing list to focus on identifying which articles here deserve to be moved to Wikipedia, and asking for help refining those articles. I realize this is a fantasy, but sometimes that's a good starting point for figuring out which path to pursue. (I think it's in Alice In Wonderland where someone says something like "If you don't know where you are trying to go, then it doesn't matter which path you choose.") VoteFair (talk) 00:33, 31 March 2020 (UTC)

This is an interesting idea. It seems that the Electowiki community and the EM list community are starting to diverge. Given the mixed comfort levels of using EM list by the current Electowiki community, and given the excruciatingly slow adoption of Electowiki by the EM list community, and given that Wikipedia editing is something that there's only a subset of us that are comfortable linking our Electowiki identities to our Wikipedia identities, I can see all sorts of complicating factors. What do other people think? -- RobLa (talk) 18:56, 31 March 2020 (UTC)