Forums: Index > The Soapbox > Introduction

Welcome to the new Campaigns Wikia!

This is an amazing and cutting-edge opportunity for all of us to take part in the move from "broadcast politics & media" to "participatory politics & media." Since this is a brand-new effort, let's take the opportunity to discuss WHAT WE WANT from this site, and this budding movement.

So here goes. Let's keep our posts clear and thoughtful, and lets co-create an amazing resource for all of us!

When you click on a topic from the main Campaigns Wikia page, what information do you want to see?

I want to see...

On the front page

On the front page "solutions to poverty and pollution" in order to talk about the Global Reserve Bank solution at:

  • The "front page" of campaigns.wikia does not have a pointer to "illegal immigration".
True, but there is a page on Illegal immigration. We don't have room on the front page for every single issue, but this is an important one so I wanted to provide a link to it. Chadlupkes 01:05, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
There are ways to find "the best couple issues" that lots of people care about. With proportional representation you can make the process of issue focus something that is procedurally clear and potentially fair. If we wanted to, there are ways on the web to pick the "top N" issues in a not so bad way. - JenniferForUnity 09:56, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Inventories of political advertising. People ask, "Did you hear/see that new ad from Tester/Burns (running for Senate here in Montana)?" and the answer is almost always no. Getting them catalogued and posted somewhere their content and financing can be analyzed seems to me the best way to transition from broadcast politics to participatory politics.
  • I like the "Perspectives" format on the Social Security and Environmental protection pages. Obviously, we need more "objective" info about each topic, as well as a place for back-and-forth debate, but the "Perspectives" is really cool because you can see the variety of where people are coming from, and share your own belief without feeling invalidated by an argument starting right away. Let's keep this as one of the many facets of our evolving creation!

Crossing national boundaries

  • Very few political parties cross national boundaries. Are there not people from China, France, America, Liberia, Chile or wherever that share the same beliefs? Perhaps this wiki/forum may be the debut of enabling people of similar political persuasions to organize locally, nationally and globally...Theo 17:30, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
This is excellent! I believe the people of the world have much in common, even though their leaders may not (first among these being a genuine will for peace - who wants bombs dropping on them?). The internet has already created such a global community to an extent, and it can go much further. --Slije 23:16, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Thoughtful, personal perspectives from different individuals ( 02:04, 6 July 2006 (UTC))
  • Recommendations for further reading ( 02:04, 6 July 2006 (UTC))
Would this be best within each topic page, or a general Recommended reading page? Chadlupkes 01:05, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Rational points of view expressed in well formatted pages, meaning absolutely no personal anecdotes. Debates should be completely factual, people who hinder, or dumb down the debate should be expulsed. Also, a separation of debate from PoV, or this entire project will be destroyed by an influx of badly formed opinion, and nothing will be understandable. And, who will be responsible for determining the "quality" of the "formed opinion"?
We're not computers, we're human. We need perspectives that go beyond fact to determine and explore real solutions. Chadlupkes 01:05, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Open minds and users who are willing to agree to disagree. Good Luck!
  • A link between issues and the politicians that are involved and/or represent me
  • Pages organized in such a way that those of us who want to get active in a local area will know who is running against whom, what the chances are for an upset, and what grassroots people think about the different candidates. In other words, a resource to guide people towards activisim which is organized by State and congressional district. --Tom Brown 07:18, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
So, how do we organize it to provide that level of detail? Check Voter Guides as a start, and see what you think. I think we're mostly in need of people at the grassroots level to fill in the blanks. Chadlupkes 01:05, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
There should be a link to "local elections" on the first page. I like the set-up of Voter Guides, and would combine Future Elections with State selection. I would include: backgrounds of politicians. It is difficult to find politicians by zip code, then click on the ones in your area, and find a) How they stand on the top issues (as determined above), b) A review of thier past acheivements. This would include specifically political and related business experiences, and a possible link to a Wikipedia biography. Note: today, politicians are elected more by their promises/intentions, and less on their actual performance. Changing this would be HUGE: it would focus their actions on achievements vs just winning votes. --User:markjones 23:21, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Cosmopolitan perspectives and international content to provide a global forum for the ideas that are evolving here --Nickc 12:13, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

In a strange way, I would like to see more international contribution. Since my own "left-of-center-progressive economic-Evangelical Catholic Pro-Life Political Perspective" would be shared by many ranging from Spain to Greece to South Africa to Ghana, I would like to see such international interest perked.

Blessings in Jesus Christ, Rob J. King


  • I'd love to see a community created, standardized questionnaire for each race (Presidential, Congressional, etc) with a wide range of topics and hot button issues that each Candidate, their representative, or the community (Backed up with facts, quotes, links, voting history, etc) --JasonLR 13:59, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
I don't know if we'd want to create this, but we certainly could be posting the results of questionnaires that the candidates already fill out. Chadlupkes 01:05, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
There's already people doing things in this general vein. Project Vote Smart, Voter Information Services, and Smart Voter are examples. None of them are wikified... Perhaps they would be a good place to look for ideas for this wiki? Perhaps we should be building bridges to them. - JenniferForUnity 09:56, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
So the question becomes do we want to encourage candidates to use the existing infrastructure, or develop our own in competition with other groups. A page for Candidate questionnaires might have links to these places as well as a recommendation for the WikiPages Project to have a Q&A page where people can post their own questions for the candidate. Chadlupkes 16:34, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Traditionally contentious subject brought to life by study and analysis aimed at understanding, rather than killed off by invective and posturing --Dunstan 14:06, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Thoughtful debates where people revise and polish their positions based on others' input, and not just talking at an audience! Mindspillage (spill yours?) 16:24, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
  • List of countries, political parties, candidates and their platforms so that voters can get informed on their platforms (or lack thereof!) and make informed decisions.
  • A well structured, comprehensive taxonomy of all the issues. For each political issue: (1) a summary of the issue that all sides can agree is "as neutral as possible", (2) a representation of each "side's" opinion and perspective in the issue, (3) a solid description of the "common ground" (divisive politics tries to pretend there is no common ground, which is what IMHO kills debate) in the debate, (4) a respectful back-and-forth where both groups try to separate "spin" from fact. In the end the reader, armed with both sides and as much information as possible, can actually DECIDE where s/he stands.
Complete? Wow. Seems like a job for Issuepedia, but it's all welcome here too. Grassroots build, of course. Chadlupkes 01:05, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Clear lines between neutral, factual description of issues, on the one hand, and normative views on the other. Maybe each topic (e.g. education, or at a more concrete level, for example, school choice/vouchers, or busing, or the fairness concerns about property taxes being used to fund schools) could have two sections -- a facts section up front, and then a second part following in which people sort of sympathetically reconstruct or expound the various normative points of view that exist on an issue. That way, readers and the writers themselves could get clear about where the differences really are. -- Dgrobinson 00:40, 7 July 2006 (UTC)
  • A comprehensive one-stop shop for political information organized with the "wants to be well informed voter" in mind. Ideally, this information will be critiqued by so many wikireaders/wikieditors that it becomes free of political bias/posturing, misinformation, lies, & hogwash. I'm SO looking forward to this!
So are we. It's going to take all of us working together. Chadlupkes 01:05, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
  • An area within each category to pose questions and receive answers to them.
  • Calls for volunteers or suggestions as to how the public might assist in promoting or fighting an issue.
  • Discussion on (or dissection of) Political Talk Radio - both right and left - a site like this should cut them both down to size.
  • First, empiricism. Claims that certain laws or policies result in positive effects need to be evaluated from (numerical) data to the greatest extent possible. For examples, in debates over DRM and copyright law, some sides present arguments that their policies result in greater economic well being for society. Let's see some numbers to back up those assertiosn. Second, what about ideas for political action to influence elections or public opinion? Or is that outside the scope of the site?--Noname123 21:32, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
  • I want to see an article on a specific topic that has an easy to follow discussion. Border Security would be a good article with lots of facts that could be discussed. There seems to be no clear line between content contributors and editors. My nickname doesn't show up here as I edit someone else's post. That should be changed. You can't follow who said what or when someone changed it...very weak and impossible to follow let alone secure.
You can track this in Page History. Chadlupkes 01:05, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Hopefully, this wiki will become more than just another directory of parties and canditates to inform voters. It should be the other way aroud: The canditates should be using this as a resource to become more aware of the voter's perpectives. I would like to see a list of proposed policies and some way of ranking their importance (perhaps a rating system?). The ultimate aim should be that the best proposed policies are adopted by candidates.
Zapatistas in Mexico are campaigning in another way, from below. spim 07:04, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Something more than simply another site where people can conduct partisan attacks and flame wars about issues that are well argued on the 'net already. This should be a place for thoughtful discussion, and even debate, about how to improve the political system and make campaigns better.

How will this Wiki differ from that of Wikipedia?

This is easy. For some editors (not everyone), Wikipedia is their first wiki, and some of them do not understand that wiki and encyclopedia are different concepts. Not every wiki is an encyclopedia. Neither is Campaigns Wikia.

  • Campaigns Wikia is not an encyclopedia. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia.
  • Wikipedia already has plenty of facts about political events. Campaigns Wikia can contain not only facts, but campaigns, statements of beliefs, reasons to vote for a candidate.
  • Campaigns Wikia brings together communities that... campaign. Wikipedia only brings together those working on encyclopedia articles. Many editors here do not work on Wikipedia.
  • Wikipedia has plenty of facts, but it is not geared toward political debate. Usually it gives very brief overviews of varying perspectives, and only includes the major voices on any given issue. This wiki hears your voice. With this wiki, we can more deeply explore arguments from all sides of an issue.
  • Wikipedia has standards of importance for political candidates or other individuals that say if the person or office is too low to be on the radar screen of a majority of a population, they don't need their own article. Campaigns Wikia is open to all candidates at any level.

These things are the same on both Campaigns Wikia and Wikipedia: the site runs the MediaWiki software and you can edit any page. Both sites use the GNU Free Documentation License, and you can reuse material from Wikipedia at Campaigns Wikia if you give credit with the {{wikipedia|name of Wikipedia article}} tag.

This is probably the most relevant question of all. I encourage everyone to review the pages and categories linked from the English Wikipedia portal on politics, to get a better idea what content is already out there. My personal interest is more in targeted campaigns on particular issues, using wikis as a tool to create campaigning materials. I'm not yet sold on the idea that the central Campaigns Wikia will provide a better political knowledge base than Wikipedia. However, it could provide resources for campaigners, such as strategy documents and howtos.--Eloquence 01:03, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

For those not familiar with Wikipedia, it's also important to note how articles are often structured in multiple layers. For example, there is an article abortion, then there is one abortion debate, and then there are individual articles about Religion and abortion Libertarian perspectives on abortion, and so on. There is no real limit on how deep it can go, as long as the information is verifiable and written from a neutral point of view. This standard of quality strikes me as a good thing for political debate -- I'm not sure how useful it is to have uninformed, unsourced arguments on an issue.

What Wikipedia typically doesn't do is quoting the position as is. Rather, positions are integrated into a larger encyclopedic narrative, attributed and rephrased. Again, I actually think this is a good thing -- I'd rather steer political discussion away from emotionalized rhetoric, and towards a summary of key facts. Rather than trying to go into much detail, I think that the Campaigns Wikia might benefit from short presentations of the stances of particular parties and candidates on the issues, with a good index of links to more detailed platform statements and summaries.--Eloquence 01:12, 8 July 2006 (UTC)


What inherent hazards are there in public political discourse that need to be addressed, and how should they be?

  • Values are personal, not debatable.
  • Discource needs to be civil, and should not devolve into personal attacks - and this needs regulating
  • Is it a flame war, or a discussion? If you can't tell, it's bad for this project either way
  • Debates should not become childish "Is not/Is, too" back and forths which add nothing to the discusison
  • Discussions should be just that, discussions, not 2,000-word essays cut-and-pasted from the Internet
  • The community needs to decide: Is the primary goal here to be a chat board, or a place where enlightened political discourse takes place? The answer will decide the usefulness of this site to moderates and non-voters seeking enlightenment
  • Excessive profanity should not be tolerated, since it adds nothing to the discussion (note that I said "excessive," though sometimes just once is enough to send a discussion spiraling into a flame war)
  • The mission states: (We) "would rather see democratic politics be about engaging with the serious ideas of intelligent opponents." The key words are "serious" and "intelligent." Are there safeguards for ensuring this will happen, or are we naively hoping it will turn out this way?
  • The question of "discourse" holds the paradigm that politics are battlefields. Imagine a political debate where the politicians are not allowed to use words, neither in speaking nor in writing. There are tons of examples how leadership is not about words; from the Avatar Thoughtstorm , the Dyad and Joseph Jaworski all thru David Bohm's On Dialogue


Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.