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The inclusion of the elections of UN-recognised "all sovereign states" in the recurring items of In the News has often been challenged in recent years. Generally these discussions spring up when an election of a small country gets posted on the main page, next to what are perhaps stories that some believe are significantly more notable. The editors who nominate these election articles cite ITNR for its inclusion, but a debate usually ensues anyway.

To remedy this issue, numerous suggestions for amendments have been made, the majority of which involve a 'cut-off' for which countries should be on ITNR, and which countries should not. Evidently this approach has failed because editors cannot agree on a cut-off line, which by its nature is subjective and arbitrary. Thus we have arrived at an impasse, which has been summed up aptly by one user as "guidelines aren't working, reform isn't popular and abandoning all rules isn't appreciated."

This uncomfortable status quo has led to repeated conflict amongst editors over time, and, according to those seeking change, demands a consensus that is workable to all parties. Editors should work in the spirit to seek common ground amongst all those involved - rather than polarizing the debate, editors should seek to understand all arguments presented and seek an integrative solution.

The debate has also raised important questions about the purpose of ITN, ITNR and notability of elections and politics related articles in general. Should the discussions here lead to a new consensus and the establishment of new principles, it may well have an impact for other items in ITNR as well. This page is meant as an open-ended discussion on how to move forward.

Please be civil and comment on content so as to induce a constructive debate for all parties and all views.


As we have had many discussion on creating a criteria for ITNR elections that end up inconclusive, closed and then re-opened, this page is intended as an open-ended discussion on proposals and discussions, to be followed at some point by "support" or "oppose" for change, as that hinders generation of a multitude of ideas and quickly degenerates into a stalemate of the status quo, shuts the discussion and opens another one in a few weeks. The idea of this discussion is to try and elicit ideas, discuss its viability and work through oher options before choosing something so as not to get bogged down in nitty-gritty. Hopefully, this can then lead to a fruitful and conclusive debate of inclusion or exclusion instead of ritual discussions that lead nowhere only to be reinitiated soon enough. This could perhaps create a policy as well through consensual discussion.

As a reminder: the quality of the article, regardless of ITNR, is still the prerequisite to posting. The issue discussed here is what should be ITNR subject to a quality update and not automatic posting on ITN.

Previous discussions[edit]


Proposals include:

  • G20 states/OECD countries (new)
  • Exclusion of the 20 least populated states
  • Exclusion of countries with a population less than X
  • All states recognised by at least 1 member state (new)
  • Supranational elections (EU, World Bank, UN, etc)
  • Addition of special candidates (new)
  • "Principles approach" with negative criteria (new)
  • Remove all elections (new)
  • Remove indirect elections (new)
  • Continental representation by X number of states per continent (new)
  • Two at a time clause (new)
  • Maintain the status quo of all sovereign states by UN recognition
  • Election ticker (new)
  • Combinations of the above (new)
Feel free to add further proposals


This is a discussion of criterion, NOT a vote for support. If at some point a timeline is decided and a "vote" set, then we could put it to "support"/"oppose."

G20 states only[edit]

I dont think this is the best idea as it is highly pov to limited perceptions of political bodies based on a status quo set-up. An encyclopaedia should be neutral and inform.Lihaas (talk) 07:43, 19 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I agree. Excluding non-G20 nations would make a bad situation worse doktorb wordsdeeds 07:03, 20 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
We are talking about such inherent notability here that general election in the country is automatically notable. If rules are to be tightened participation in some kind of recognized international organization could automatically merit notability, but wouldn't have to automatically exclude non-members. One other possibility that springs to mind is OECD. It avoids one loophole that comes with G20: as EU holds the chair for all its members, are even the smallest EU countries also automatically notable? --hydrox (talk) 20:32, 20 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

OECD countries[edit]

Im not in favour of this as its another POV. Its member base is almost enirely europe alone which would means Estonia and Luxembourg get\ a pass while Brazil, South Africa, Egypt and India are held back. (only japan, south korea, chile, mexico and israel would be the global representatives)Lihaas (talk) 00:14, 21 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I mostly meant this as a component in the "combination" option, alongside e.g. APEC or G20. --hydrox (talk) 09:20, 21 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Oh sorry, ill move this as a subesction of the above.(Lihaas (talk) 09:39, 21 April 2012 (UTC)).[reply]

Exclusion of the 20 least populated states[edit]

As discussed previously, this is an arbitrary line and not npov.Lihaas (talk) 07:43, 19 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
This was the proposal I put forward a few days ago. Two main points were raised in opposition to the amendment. The first problem people had was the arbitrary nature of the cut-off, implying that the cut-off was somehow inherently biased or NPOV. The second problem was the accusation that the amendment would somehow dilute the importance we attach to elections through the ITN process and Wikipedia more generally.
I agree that twenty countries might have been perceived as a "western bias" approach to the problem of elections and ITN/R. That was not my intention. I chose twenty as a fair and reasonable cut-off point from where to begin the debate. People who responded to the proposal could not accept that the line drawn below country twenty-one was a fair way to conduct policy. To a degree, I understand the problem with the idea. However unlike many of the points raised, both specifically at my proposal and generally elsewhere, I disagree with the attitude which says "all elections can be considered notable." Whilst I accept Wikipedia can be a window on the world, and specifically democracy, that does not match up with the attitude surrounding the nomination of stories at ITN/C. We have been very tough on a number of otherwise sound nominations, but seem to melt into nothingness when faced with an election. I think this attitude needs to be curtailed, which is why I considered it right to add the 20 smallest nations, by population, to the existing list of "exceptions to the rule".
If we accept that ITN/R does not include disputed territories and dependent countries, then we accept that some elections are more notable than others. As a natural conclusion, we accept that ITN/C should not give the nod and wink to every country which comes its way. I propose that we continue to look at ways to differentiate between those countries whose elections (and election articles) are of a degree/standard that front page prominence is sensible, and those countries where an election is not an important development in the news cycle of any given day or week.
Lihaas is correct to describe a 20 country cut off as "arbitrary", as that is the very word I used from the start. However I disagree with "not NPOV". I don't agree that a bias exists in this proposal because, ultimately, the twenty counties would be treated in exactly the same way as disputed/dependent territories, allowing for a full examination of the article and its standard, respecting the election and the electors in the process. doktorb wordsdeeds 13:16, 19 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Perhaps we can use this discussion to come out with a non aritrary figure instead of getting bogged down in the one suggestion to support/oppose. Lets collate a multitude of probable ideas first, debate the merits and then "vote"Lihaas (talk) 13:55, 19 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
The mathematical (and, to me, very logical) perspective: If we have a problem because the possible 200 election items each year is seen as far too many, 180 isn't much of an improvement. For some reason unclear to me, I couldn't raise a discussion on this at the most recent, ill-fated RfC, but if 200 is far too many, 180 cannot possibly be OK. It makes no sense. HiLo48 (talk) 23:37, 19 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
200 a year? where did that come from? National electoral calendar 2012 is no whee near that. But do you have any suggestion that could be discusseD?Lihaas (talk) 23:55, 19 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Yeah. You're right. Sorry. I stuffed up. I guess it's maybe 50 a year. So then leaving out the smallest 20 would reduce that to 45. Hardly worth it. And no, I don't have a suggestion. I regard this whole proposal as misguided, big-is-bestism. HiLo48 (talk) 05:07, 20 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Then what should we do? If regform is needed and called for what direction should we go in? Its one thing to condmn other ideas, but quite another to move in no direction but keeping hitting a wall. You support the status qup?Lihaas (talk) 08:56, 20 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I think you've asked a key question there (assuming you also made a simple typo.) You asked "If reform is needed..." I'm not convinced it is. I'm not sure how many others are. HiLo48 (talk) 21:57, 20 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Exclusion of countries with a population less than X[edit]

Another option was countries below X population level which was more npov, however he Vatican and israel are noteworthy enough while something like Sudan and Saudi would not be as notale in its effect/global coverage/interest.Lihaas (talk) 07:43, 19 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Sounds least discriminating. 1 million is a nice round number, just saying ;) .. It would drop about 39 sovereign countries from eligibility, which is pretty much about 20% of all countries. With 7 million population, Israel is well above 1 mil'. --hydrox (talk) 19:54, 20 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

All states recognised by at least 1 member state[edit]

Most neutral to me as its not limited to the controlling nature of who gets into the UN (Palestinian and Taiwanese elections being a case in point)Lihaas (talk) 07:43, 19 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

  • The implication is that this would include countries like Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Western Sahara, Northern Cyprus etc. etc. Many of these elections are inconsequential, some are purely of ceremonial value. Colipon+(Talk) 15:20, 19 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
the latter 2 are almost always notable internationally, the former 2 being notable particularly for the first after recognition (which failed ITNC). But that could be an arguement for ITNC.Lihaas (talk) 19:34, 19 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Notable yes, though acceptable as nominees by the wider community? I fear that implementing this rule would be inviting trouble doktorb wordsdeeds 07:04, 20 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I would suggest that this line is not included in the final policy draft. We would be opening up far too much trouble with this, as Colipon has already stated. doktorb wordsdeeds 19:49, 19 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

[Attention needed] Supranational elections[edit]

Possible addition here as the UNGA, World Bank and EU are considered notable enoughLihaas (talk) 07:43, 19 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I would say UNGA and EU would work well towards the ticker idea. World Bank I'm not so sure. Colipon+(Talk) 04:42, 21 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
But woul these non national election be ITNR or ITNC on case-by-case including the EU as a supranational body(Lihaas (talk) 09:15, 21 April 2012 (UTC)).[reply]
No to all, it's a giant can of worms. ASEAN, OAS, SCO, FIFA, where does it stop? -- (talk) 19:36, 10 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]
How about wording it as "Elections for intergovernmental organizations"? - Presidentman talk · contribs Random Picture of the Day (Talkback) 12:56, 5 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Addition of special candidates[edit]

As i proposed above, Taiwan and Palestine should be added to the current ITNR criteria as they are notable enough despite UN exclusion.Lihaas (talk) 07:43, 19 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

  • Both countries' elections generate international interest and have wide-ranging ramifications. They are likely to get posted every time they are nominated, thus they clearly meet ITNR criteria. Colipon+(Talk) 15:17, 19 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Discussion on a principles-based (criteria-based) approach[edit]

Over at WT:ITNRSCE I mentioned the following principle for elections (and every other item) that would fit ITNR criteria. A news item should only be ITN/R if it is likely to be nominated at every occurrence, and it can be reasonably expected that editors will agree to its posting every time. Therefore, since we have established that a cutoff is impractical, my view is that in order to move forward, we must ditch the "cutoff-approach" and embrace a "principles-based approach".

It should be stated that the purpose of ITN is to "direct readers to articles that have been substantially updated to reflect recent or current events of wide interest". A large number of elections fail the spirit of ITNR criteria and the 'test' outlined above. And for different reasons:

  1. Election of a microstate has little to no impact outside of that country.
    • Such events do not make the news anywhere except for in its country of origin (and Wikipedia).
    • The counter-argument on this issue is the 'equality' between states insofar as their ability to exercise sovereignty. This assumes that there is some inherent 'holiness' to the idea of sovereignty and ignores the differences (by several orders of magnitude) between large countries and small ones.
  2. Election that are inconsequential.
    • E.g., the People's Action Party of Singapore is expected to win every election; Cuban legislative elections have no impact, on anything.
    • such events do not make the news (except on Wikipedia), and are not "of wide interest".
  3. Presidential elections for countries with largely ceremonial positions. We do not post elections of de facto heads of state in the British Commonwealth - i.e. the Governors General, we should not be doing so for ceremonial heads of state elsewhere - who can be of dubious importance, even in large countries, such as the President of Germany and the President of India.
    • An argument can be made for monarchical succession for ITN/R, but they occur so rarely that it is not really any 'extra work' to simply nominate at ITN/C and judge on their individual merits.
    • This does not preclude the inclusion of such head of state changes provided that they have a great impact or are of "wide interest" - say, if Michael Ballack were named President of Germany. That should go through ITN/C.

Ergo, my view is that all elections and heads of state changes that do not fall into the above categories can have its rightful place in ITNR. This is similar to the current approach at 'deaths'. I believe this approach is in line with our mission - which is "ITN supports the central purpose of Wikipedia—making a great encyclopedia." I propose this as a good starting point for all editors involved given the impasse that we've faced in previous discussions, and I am hopeful that we will reach a consensus on this issue. Colipon+(Talk) 15:53, 19 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Firtly thought this discussion was clearly not about support/oppose but to generate dicussion on some criteria FOR inclusion as ITNR. What id your suggestion in this regard? Are you saying to abolish all elections from ITNR? Its not a bad suggesting. Perhaps if thats it we can add it to the quicklist above and then discuss that idea. But lets stay away from votes/supports for now as that quickly boils down to failure ans shuts down convesation again hindering progress.Lihaas (talk) 18:00, 19 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks. Yes, I'll add it to list above. This is meant to be a starting point, and I'd like to hear more ideas from editors before moving forth to 'support' and 'oppose', I agree. Colipon+(Talk) 18:40, 19 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I'm open to the idea of abolishing ITNR for elections altogether and stick to a criteria-based approach. That said, I also don't mind maintaining ITNR and have a set of 'negative criteria' that would disqualify editors from invoking ITNR when the election falls into one of the aforementioned categories. The reason being that, per David Levy, ITNR's election coverage does encourage articles about otherwise underreported events and addresses the issue of systemic bias. It's just that, you know, I prefer that we post an underreported election in Senegal rather than one in Tuvalu. Colipon+(Talk) 18:48, 19 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
All good ideas...but can you suggest a negative criteria to invoke revocation?
Also, whil #3 is objective (to abolish indirect elections except on case by case basis (i suspect Hungary's may election would pass)), #2 is completely subjective (how to define "inconsequential"?) and #1 is somewhat subjectiveLihaas (talk) 19:28, 19 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
The three things above are the criteria. If an election falls into one of those three categories, the nominating editor cannot invoke ITNR and must independently make a case for its inclusion in ITN. This does not preclude them from an ITN posting, obviously, because they will still be nominated via ITN/C. I think the East Timor election would be an example of this - the country straddles the line between 'small' and 'mid-size', but the nominator made a good case about international coverage, young democracy, plus article was good. So it deserves to be posted. But they cannot invoke ITNR in the nomination process. Colipon+(Talk) 20:40, 19 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
WRT #2 being "subjective", you are absolutely right. It is hard to 'define' this as black and white, so we do have to exercise some judgment. To me, an election is not consequential when it is dominated by a single political party (PAP of Singapore as an example, the Congolese Labour Party in Congo-Brazzaville, or even the LDP in Japan prior to 2010), when it is stage-managed and the results are predictable, but does not stir significant international controversy (in the case of Algeria, Gabon, Belarus, China). Colipon+(Talk) 20:54, 19 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Well I think it would be a little hard to get consensus on something subjective. But to give something concrete, if i were to parahprase (And correct me if im wrong) you suggecst elections that result in an incumbent victory should not be ITNR? Perhaps thas a proposal in itself.(Lihaas (talk) 21:02, 19 April 2012 (UTC)).[reply]
In some countries, elections aren't even important to the country itself. Like in the case of Cuba. The average person does not care or know who their legislative representative is, and they know who is boss. Colipon+(Talk) 21:47, 19 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Definately true (and in Gambia and most of Central Asia except Kyrgyz)...BUT what is your suggested criteria. If its the 3 above i dont think that will hold, particularly #2. What im trying ot say is what would the cut off be? anti-incumbency? constitutional role (though that would take some research)(Lihaas (talk) 21:50, 19 April 2012 (UTC)).[reply]
The idea is that there wouldn't be a cut-off because I am of the view that editors will generally come to a consensus on whether the election is notable or not. They can borrow on the criteria above to make their case, as a matter of principle, but in the end, it, like every other ITN/C decision, will have to rely on some degree of subjectivity. Colipon+(Talk) 00:45, 20 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Colipon's response above concerning dominant party systems demonstrates some of the problems of this approach, because elections in Japan were most definitely notable even before the LDP system disintegrated in the mid-1990s (they several times returned LDP minorities or reordered the factions within the LDP significantly). Regarding elections in "dominant party" systems as irrelevant produces significant problems of subjectivity and NPOV. --Tyrannus Mundi (talk) 05:35, 20 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Also the problem here is that what definiition would be used as "inconsequential" and a microstate? What would the ITNR elections be and what will the ITNC election be?Lihaas (talk) 09:02, 20 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

All elections taken off ITNR[edit]

This might seem too radical, but why not remove all elections from ITNR? This way, we're not discriminating against countries based on population or what not. Hot Stop 18:58, 19 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Its the most npov solution, BUT that would open a can of worms over sports (and the minor sports at that)Lihaas (talk) 19:28, 19 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
If we can set a precedent to remove all the other nonsense that we see on ITNR, like the posting of the annual Ireland Hurling championships over NCAA's "March Madness", then it truly does a service to the encyclopedia. Colipon+(Talk) 19:32, 19 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Agreed, only concern is that until that happens this option is likely not to get any support.
Also the timer gets red very often these days.Lihaas (talk) 19:39, 19 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Disagree I like the idea of being radical, though this might end up being more trouble than its worth. I suspect (or fear) that we'd be bogged down in arguments about what rules to apply to nominations in a new rule-less context. This is one of those situations where it would be better to agree on putting up scaffolding rather than either demolishing the whole building or just putting up some fences and tape doktorb wordsdeeds 19:48, 19 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Unless I'm reading something wrong, are you suggesting that allowing people to reach consensus on the merits of each election individually is a problem? Hot Stop 20:57, 19 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Oh no, not at all, sorry if that's how it reads. I think we're in an odd situation where the guidelines aren't working, reform isn't popular and abandoning all rules isn't appreciated. I'd prefer to have guidelines than none, that's my starting point. doktorb wordsdeeds 22:52, 19 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Gotcha. I think one of the problems of having guidelines (besides they're all automatically in or not) is that we'd spend too much time arguing over the minute details, similar to what happened with your proposal. Hot Stop 22:54, 19 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

This option says that ITN will contain no mention ever of US Presidential elections. It's a pointless option. Won't happen. Drop it now. HiLo48 (talk) 23:49, 19 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

That is NOT what the option syas, the options says it wont be ITNR (ie- automatically legible0). as said here time ang adain the discussion is for ITNR not ITN/ITNC.Lihaas (talk) 23:55, 19 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

This is a fairly unhelpful approach in my eyes since it simply delays the question and forces it to be asked each time any election comes up, rather than having a series of fixed guidelines that can be applied uncontroversially in most cases. --Tyrannus Mundi (talk) 05:37, 20 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

This discussion has demonstrated that there is no consensus on the elections issue. If that's the case, they should all just be taken off ITN/R. It does not "waste time" to wait the few hours to get a few people to say "support" -- most of the time, we're waiting for the article to be ready rather than waiting for supports anyway. -- tariqabjotu 18:50, 22 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I have to say that I've given a lot of thought to this and I conclude that it is the only realistic option. As has been noted previously it is clear that there is no consensus for the current arrangements: therefore they must go. The purpose of ITNR is not to get stories posted that otherwise would not be: that is an abuse of the facility, but regretably it is the way it has tended to be used, probably due in principal to the fact ITNR has a lot less involvement and attracts a lot less scrutiny than ITN/C.

It is clear that there are concerns about minor countries featuring so prominently, and it is equally clear than there are understandable concerns about any cliff-edge dividing line between less notable and more notable countries. I don't necessarily share those concerns but can easily understand them. However, if we invoke ITNR at all for elections there has to be such a definite cliff edge - it is only a matter of where the line is drawn. ITNR definitions must be clear and unambiguous if ITNR is to serve any point at all lest it becomes counterproductive as debates ensue as to whether ITNR applies or not.

I also note that any concrete proposal to narrow the current ITNR criteria made so far is one step removed from the actual subject, in that proposals so far have tended to focus on the countries holding them as opposed to the elections themselves. The country is undeniably one key factor that may affect our assessment of notability but not the only one. There are many other factors we may or may not consider relevant including:

  1. The nature of the assembly - are elections to rubber-stamping legislative assembly (e.g. China or Cuba) that provides only a thin veneer of democracy as notable as an election to an assembly holding real decision-making power?
  2. Does the election result in a change of government, i.e. is an election that results in a second or subsequent term for the existing administration as notable as one that results in new leadership for the country?
  3. Has the result been unusual in other respects? We could assert that if the former ruling party is completely wiped out at the elections (i.e. zero seats, which has happened) that is notable. Similarly if extremist far-left or far-right parties make significant gains that could be considered notable even if they fall short of a majority.
  4. If the election pioneering in some respect - for example the first election after a period of a lack of democracy, or the first election after a change in the voting system or some other relevant constitutional change.

These and countless other factors could legitimately affect the opinions formed by a contributor at ITN/C. Similarly there are other enumerable factors that can't be anticipated in advance because they are a one-off unique situation, but may affect one's assessment of the significance of any particular case. How can any number of factors such as these be taken into account on ITNR? It's simple: they can't.

Any solution the complex nature of these factors can't be expressed in a very digitial the-condition-is-met-or-it-isn't manner as needed for ITNR. However, we have a template for an alternative mechanism to look at in the form of the death criteria. These are not perfect - they are possibly too vague to the extent that you can argue for almost anyone - but they do provide a framework for discussion that directs debate away from less profitable channels and generally allows consensus to emerge in a reasonable time span. I see no reason why a similar "elections criteria" could not be developed, hopefully one richer and less vague than the death criteria, that would similarly channel debate into a finite number of issues that can be explored relatively quickly and a consensus reached in a reasonable time frame. Crispmuncher (talk) 17:10, 10 May 2012 (UTC).[reply]

This was a thoughtful response to a real and serious issue. I had previously suggested a criteria-based approach (see above), but I use a set of negative tests (rather than positive criteria), which I noticed overlapped with a lot of your suggestions. I fully stand behind the position that elections and changes in government should be judged on their own merits, rather than the country of origin. Colipon+(Talk) 17:36, 10 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]
How about abolishing ITNR period and taking ALL maters on case-b by-case including sports?
And we need to reove google hits as a criteria for supporting/opposingLihaas (talk) 12:34, 11 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Remove indirect elections[edit]

This should be a simpler call to cut down criteria. Non-popularly elected (hence predic\table) elections can be removed, with ITNC discussions for special cases.Lihaas (talk) 19:42, 19 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

How many countries would this effect? And how would you define indirect election? Hot Stop 21:00, 19 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I will seize this tongue-in-cheek opportunity and point out that the world's most notable election is in fact an indirect election, and so is this closely followed election.

Joking aside, I don't think there would be much practical relevance to this. I do think that something like the Hong Kong Chief Executive elections are notable - that is indirect and non-sovereign. Colipon+(Talk) 21:03, 19 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Not sure of the top of my head but the commonwealth countries would be excluded as well as many europen states. Indirect would be, as said above here, not popularly elected (ie- by the legislatures and not the people)
True abou the US, but it is somewhat mandated by a popular vote as opposed to many head of state elections. But then again even as ITNC i think all the examples would pass
Im inclined to support this initiative as an accomodation, though theres so far been no comment on the cutoff plausabilities as to what line to draw.Lihaas (talk) 21:05, 19 April 2012 (UTC)).[reply]
Legislatures also have a popular mandate, and the mere fact of the legislature appointing the president rather than the people means very little as far as notability goes. A more logical option would be to remove parliamentary republics where the head of state is disempowered, but I'm not sure that would be a very good idea as even those elections tend to have considerable symbolic significance. --Tyrannus Mundi (talk) 05:27, 20 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Continental representation by X number of states per continent[edit]

Per WP: Globalize this is another plausible accomodation to incorporate the X (say 5?) biggest states in each continent? We could also scale the number down for both the Americas and Oceania to 2/3? With others on ITNC. Or perhaps organise it by the UN regional groupings with the largest in each getting the cut. (though thats largely the same)

Im now very much in favour of this idea so as to globalize the ITNR while cutting down too.(Lihaas (talk) 21:55, 19 April 2012 (UTC)).[reply]
Really?! This would be unworkable for numerous reasons. There natural conclusion would be a European and Asian bias, perennial arguments about which countries could be 'credible exceptions', and a dedicated sub-team of editors would be needed to handle debates off the ITN/C pages. This would not be practical way to deal with the issue at all doktorb wordsdeeds 01:20, 21 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
No, it would just be the set for ITNR (possibly 5 largest) with the others being ITNC. BUT that said seems like the ticker idea is gaining.(Lihaas (talk) 09:13, 21 April 2012 (UTC)).[reply]

Two at a time clause[edit]

I like the status quo. Partly because I consider all national elections to be significant. Partly because it's simple, and fair in the sense that it doesn't discriminate against countries based on arbitrary criteria. ITN is usually not awash with updates (most of the time we can only dream of a three day news cycle), so I don't see an intrinsic problem with a small country getting its proverbial 15 minutes at the expense of a week old story.

The one credible argument for change that I can see is if more than a couple of elections were on the template at the same time. I therefore suggest that a two-at-a-time clause would be a better solution than changing ITNR itself. —WFC— 22:01, 19 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

What do you think of an 'elections ticker', or an 'elections box' to form part of ITN. It would be in the format of "Recent elections: France, Guinea-Bissau, East Timor" etc. This would reduce the text that it occupies on the page but still maintain 'equal coverage' without lending undue weight to one country or another, or to elections in general.

Argument wise, you will have to think of something better than "I consider all national elections to be significant". Why? It's been shown above that some of them are not of wide interest, others are inconsequential. The only argument I've heard is that there is some attachment to a perceived 'sanctity of sovereignty'. Colipon+(Talk) 00:42, 20 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I thoroughly explained my basic reasons in the previous discussion. Art Lapella attempted to use hit counts to sidestep the primary arguments, with limited success. Oh, and described us as a laughing stock (whilst failing to acknowledge the hilarity of one of the most highest traffic websites in the world having an "In the news" section which is frequently a week or more out of date). The sum of your contribution was to imply that those who successfully get elections onto ITN are unprofessional. No-one even tried to refute my points about regional interest from massive countries. Nor did anyone try to counter the fact that all national politicians, be they from upstanding democracies or tinpot dictatorships with token elections, take/veto/rubber stamp/follow the party line on decisions which can have life or death implications for thousands or millions of people (on military action, capital punishment, healthcare and so on). —WFC— 03:03, 20 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
But it isn't that complicated. Microstate-centrism and globalism are more opposite than synonymous. That's all. Art LaPella (talk) 03:12, 20 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
The issue with this argument is that it assigns some intrinsic value to sovereignty and embeds this deeply flawed notion that all 'sovereignty' is equally exercised amongst states - and that we assign this sovereignty purely to general elections and changes in heads of state. Conceded, some can make life-death decisions, but a lot of them do not. In a lot of countries powers are devolved - US states make capital punishment decision, while Canadian provinces oversee health care and education. Apparently those are not 'sovereign' enough to be considered notable. This is not to mention the importance of judicial authorities, which in many countries have equal status constitutionally as the executive. It would be foolish, then, to not include something like a US Supreme Court nomination, which has much greater implications over a much greater number of people, over an inconsequential 'election' in the Gambia. And not to mention this again but a lot of heads of state exercise none of the powers that you mention above, so you will have to extend your argument some more for it to hold water in that regard (current ITNR provisions includes all changes of heads of state). Colipon+(Talk) 03:46, 20 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
As for the ticker, I've no objection in principle. , although I note it would that ITN stories take even longer to go from top to bottom and off the template, because this unbearable quantity of elections would no longer be part of that system. As an aside, I think it's high time that ITN itself became a moving ticker. But a Main Page redesign is at least a decade away. —WFC— 03:06, 20 April 2012 (UTC) Striking part having thought about this. —WFC— 21:55, 20 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I like the idea of having a small sub-section for elections, that would take care of the issue. Around The Globeसत्यमेव जयते 08:01, 20 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Retention of existing criteria (all sovereign states)[edit]

While I appreciate the sincere efforts made by editors above to arrive at a new criteria, and while some of the arguments made do make some sense, I would still like to support the existing criteria of all sovereign states.

I concede that some elections are more notable than others. Elections in the US are more notable than elections in Greecec which in turn are more notable than elections in Seychelles. But does that mean elections in Seychelles are not notable at all? The sanctity of sovereignty is not a perceived notion - sovereignty is by definition sacrosanct - nobody can tell the people of Seychelles what to do except its own government. I agree that global power equations necessarily have a bearing on what the Seychelles government will likely tell its people to do, but that does not take away from the sovereign power - we are all aware of some countries that defy the global power hierarchy (although mostly to its own detriment).

Determination of notability on the basis of google hits / page hits on Wikipedia only seek to reinforce systemic bias. I can once again take the example of Mass Effect 3 and the Ba Chuc Massacre.

Please also read David Levy's arguments in this discussion.

Thanks. Chocolate Horlicks (talk) 06:32, 20 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

No, systemic bias would be relevant when comparing Google hits for India elections vs. the U.S., but not when comparing Karachi or Tokyo to Andorra, a Western country. Art LaPella (talk) 14:30, 20 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Sorry, you are right there. Chocolate Horlicks (talk) 02:46, 21 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Having considered the proposals advanced above and commented on a couple, I'm led to agree with this stance. The problem I noted with regards to the example of Japan suggests to me that there is more danger of aggravating systemic bias, like you point out, in attempting to do away with the straightforward criterion of reporting every election in a sovereign state by default. For all its flaws, the current policy is the least bad option, since it's easily comprehensible and has no international prejudice. If elections are taking up too much space (and I don't personally think they are), I would certainly favour producing more news items in other fields rather than suppressing coverage of elections. I also note Lihaas' unexplained statement that elections in "Sudan and Saudi would not be [notable]" as another example of this bias. --Tyrannus Mundi (talk) 07:15, 20 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Another point – arguments have also been advanced that the mere fact that the outcome of an election is certain makes it non-notable for our purposes. I'm not convinced at all by this. There are two cases to consider here, dominant-party systems and single-party systems (e.g. Singapore and the PRC respectively). In the first case, where the framework is democratic but dominated by one party, precisely because of that system the significance of the electoral results should be sought in other facts: Did the support for the ruling party increase or decrease or stay the same? Did opposition groups make any significant breakthroughs, or none at all? (Both would be significant facts.) In the second case, where the underlying system is undemocratic, it should be recognized that elections serve a symbolic role rather different to the one they serve in liberal democracies, and even if there is no effectively non-single-party grouping at all—like North Korea but unlike China—they provide a very important component of the state's symbolic narrative that is important to analyse. In neither case is the election just an irrelevance, and in neither case is it legitimate to simply say that the results were known "all along": elections have more aspects than just the fact of who won. --Tyrannus Mundi (talk) 07:28, 20 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
The statement was only under said criteria, which was also a reason not to do so. But your 2nd aguement is certainly very sound.Lihaas (talk) 09:09, 20 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Microstate-centrism is no more fair/unbiased/unprejudiced than the rotten borough problem of 1832. Art LaPella (talk) 14:20, 20 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose I'm sorry, but given the level of opposition that arises every time one of the smaller states is nominated, this is unworkable. We've had examples where countries get posted despite overwhelming opposition, and that should show that the current system is flawed. Granted a lot of the people who oppose aren't "regulars" and won't be bothered weighing in on this discussion. Hot Stop 16:23, 20 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Do you think there won't be overwhelming opposition to whatever compromise gets made in the "back room" here? --Tyrannus Mundi (talk) 10:17, 21 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Thats why we have a consensus iscussion. Granted consensus can cahnge bt not every month(Lihaas (talk) 12:55, 21 April 2012 (UTC)).[reply]
User Tyrannus, I think I have exhausted all my substantive arguments, and we are talking in circles. I am confident that the case to strike down the status quo is very strong, so I won't bother repeating what we have already outlined. If you continue to hold that change is unnecessary, I am happy to take the above-mentioned arguments be scrutinized against the case for change, and let admins or whoever else has oversight to judge for themselves. Colipon+(Talk) 19:20, 25 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I'm also in favour of keeping the status quo. Like it or not, within the United Nations, every sovereign member state has the same power (with the exception of the 5 veto powers) - so who's in charge in the Seychelles may ultimately be as important as who's in charge in Slovakia, in Cambodia or in Nigeria. Any limitation will be artificial - why ignore the 20 smallest? Why not the 19 smallest, the 30 smallest, the 42 smallest? Why focus on the OECD, the G20, or any organisation other than the UN? Another argument from my point of view (biased, admittedly) is that including news on elections of small countries is one of the things which makes Wikipedia INT unique and noteworthy. I don't need INT to necessarily tell me that Barack Obama or Mitt Romney has been elected - all news sites on the Internet will tell me that immediately after the elections. The info that Taur Matan Ruak has been elected in East Timor (with the link to background infos on what has happened beforehand and what this may mean in the wider East Timorese - and indeed in the regional South East Asian context) is on the contrary a unique service that Wikipedia INT can provide me. Khuft (talk) 20:48, 25 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Yes, microstates have disproportionate power in the UN, which is one of the reasons the UN gets bypassed for major decisions. Any limitation will be "artificial" in the sense that every post/don't post decision is artificial. If you like In The News because it provides news you won't see elsewhere, microstate-centrism is one way to accomplish that, but does that mean our stories don't have to be notable any more? Art LaPella (talk) 00:08, 26 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
If notability is the criterion, I'm a bit apalled about the current ITN section - the train wreck in the Netherlands? Still? Please... :-) But I've highlighted this somewhere else already. Maybe I'm a supporter of "microstate centrism" as you call it, I'm not ashamed of it. I simply don't think that an artificial limit will really help. Taking the List_of_countries_by_population_in_2005 as basis, the 20th least populated country is Saint Lucia (if I counted correctly); Samoa, Vanuatu and Barbados would make the "cut" however. This will lead to people questioning why an election in Samoa or Vanuatu is still highlighted (probably with people referring to other population data/other size criteria); at the same time "microcentrists" complaining about why an election in St Lucia was not highlighted even though the last Samoan was, etc.
I'm actually warming more and more to the Election Ticker proposal below - this may be a good compromise. Important elections could then still be highlighted further via the "normal" ITN process. Khuft (talk) 21:42, 26 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Election ticker[edit]

This suggestion seems to have garnered some interest, I personally seem to like it. We could put perhaps 2 concurrent references to ongoing elections and more easily and quickly replace it?Lihaas (talk) 09:14, 20 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

While this may sound nice, there is an intrinsic problem - many election articles don't make it to ITN because the updates are not sufficient. Putting them in a ticker wouldn't help, as we don't want to feature bad articles on the Main page. So we'd still have to go through all the ITNC process. And we gain almost nothing... Just a thought. --Tone 13:49, 20 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Your point about ITNC is correct Tone, although I guess the point of relegating elections to a single line is that we are no longer featuring them per se, simply giving them a concise mention. This is a good compromise: it strikes the balance between giving small countries recognition, whilst at the same time not devoting an amount of space to them that other people are uncomfortable with. Given that all elections would have to go to ITNC for quality approval anyway, a full blown hook for massive countries/shock results/otherwise unusual elections would remain an option if there was consensus to do so.

I was initially a bit cynical because of the effect this might have on the turnover of stories. But having thought about this, an election can be accurately described as "recent" for far longer than most events can be reasonably characterised as "news". Thus, having a line for recent elections should decrease the number of stale stories. —WFC— 17:03, 20 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I agree with user WFC that an election's 'notability span' may well last a longer period of time than a conventional ITN posting. For example, the French presidential election has been of 'wide interest' for about a month now, but we can't post anything about it in ITN until after the election concludes - and it is always in the dogmatically stringent format of "X wins a majority in Y's country's parliament". Moreover, this ticker would also lend some coverage potentially to non-sovereign entities whose elections may be considered of 'wide interest'. Examples of this would include the recently concluded Hong Kong Chief Executive election, 2012 and the upcoming Alberta general election, 2012. Colipon+(Talk) 17:13, 20 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Good idea. I suppose theyd all be nominated as usual and those without explicit support that oly have the requisite updates would be in the ticker and only a full blurb if consensus decides.
In the same vein, we could have a posrts ticker too except for more notable bigger events. Granted this would cut down the number of stories BUT with a ticker taking up about 2 lines we wont need to worry about filling psace as often(Lihaas (talk) 18:38, 20 April 2012 (UTC)).[reply]
I completely agree. That would filter out more 'marginal' and 'regional' events like NCAA, Grey Cup, AFL grand final, and Hurling (which, granted, get great viewership in their countries of origin but almost nowhere else) from occupying a sentence of prose in that box, but still retain their prominence in the main page for their wide viewership. This would also prevent semi-notable deaths, like that of Dick Clark, from becoming too contentious. My ultimate 'vision' is that a ticker or 'sticky box' will just incorporate 5-10 of the most notable stories in the news recently a la the style of "top stories" of Google News.

Though, this population of editors has shown extreme resistance to any changes to the status quo. Colipon+(Talk) 20:16, 20 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Another plus is that this can save us the energy from coming up with a 'blurb' every time. Colipon+(Talk) 20:20, 20 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Could someone do a mock-up of an ITN box, to show how multiple tickers might look? —WFC— 20:22, 20 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I dont know the coding but ill call attention to this section for a mock up of coding
Also a thought that just came to be was to permanently link: Elections, with the link changing on 1 Jan every year. (or even end Dec)(Lihaas (talk) 00:08, 21 April 2012 (UTC)).[reply]
  • Neutral I like the idea about a ticker, though it appears we would all have to concede that every debate we have here would need to be mothballed. There would also need to be a wider debate amongst the community, wouldn't there? It could ultimately conclude with a front page redesign if it is taken forward. doktorb wordsdeeds 01:18, 21 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

The ticker sounds like a workable solution. This will ensure representation of elections of all sovereign states without taking up too much space. Of course, only those articles that are nominated and which are sufficiently updated (usual procedure for any ITN story) should be featured in the ticker. Like many other editors suggested above, I'm also keen on seeing a template/format for the ticker. Also, will this require a larger consensus since its altering the main page appearance ? Chocolate Horlicks (talk) 02:34, 21 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

One question I have is, where an election story has elements of notability other than the election itself - shock results, landmark changes, electoral violence, etc ... do they still feature in the ticker only or can editors discuss at the ITN/C page for a full blurb ? Chocolate Horlicks (talk) 02:38, 21 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Good question. I guess we will have to be careful in separating the 'administration' from the consequence, if I can put it like that. Elections themselves are fairly dry and procedural - ballot papers are marked, counted and results declared. What is not so pretty is the aftermath of specific election results, and that's where the usual problems we've all experienced in ITN/C will jump up again. If it's not done properly, we could have a situation whereby the election ticker has a link to the Anywhere Election, 2012, that everyone knows caused riots and deaths, whilst the ITN box has no mention of the Anywhere Riots 2012 because there's a hold-up debate while we all count our Oppose and Supports. It is so often like herding cats but we're going to have to co-ordinate ourselves if the ITN + Ticker combination is going to hold any credibility across the community as a whole doktorb wordsdeeds 03:37, 21 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
The 'shock results' question is extremely relevant. Having an election ticker, in my view, ups the threshold for a 'regular' ITN post involving elections - it would have to involve significant, widespread controversy (Iran 2009, US 2000) or have triggered some other, bigger event, such as a coup.

One interesting result of the elections ticker is that, in this case, widely followed special elections, such as those recent by-elections in Burma, would be posted, as would say, the Minnesota senate election of Al Franken (which generated significant controversy both in and of itself as well as a subject discussed on ITN/C). Colipon+(Talk) 04:39, 21 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Well im not sure those would get posted, more so over this, but thats for ITNC. We discussed above that ITNC can still open blurbs per consensus.
Id also imagine that the link can stay in the ticker longer (ie- day before/da OF election) and could conceivably be added for the non-UN sovereigns. More so in months like this with few elections (quit boring for me ;))(Lihaas (talk) 09:02, 21 April 2012 (UTC)).[reply]

A mock-up[edit]

Dick Clark in 1990

An "elections ticker" would look something like this box.

Advantages of this approach:

  • Solves the "undue weight" issue of microstates
  • Removes undue weight given to elections (and politics in general) on ITN, while increasing their main page exposure (this should be a win-win really for both sides of the debate)
  • Can include elections prior to voting day, as well as after the vote has taken place, if the story continues to develop
  • Places widely followed elections with significant readership interest right on the main page for easy access without it being 'cycled through' over a 5-day span
  • Easily includes 'special elections' without giving them undue weight and avoids discussions over sovereignty criteria
    • Special elections includes but is not limited to regional elections, significantly notable by-elections, party congresses/nomination contests, referenda, elections for religious figures, and elections in non-sovereign entities
    • Can include elections for World Bank, EU, UNGA etc.
  • Avoids debates over blurbs and subjective evaluation of what one-liner best describes the outcome of an election.
  • Allows obviously notable elections in countries with a favourable systemic bias (e.g. US presidential primaries) to gain exposure without too much unnecessary debate, while also allowing an easy 'in' for elections in countries with unfavourable systemic bias (Uttar Pradesh).

Some practical issues/drawbacks would include:

  • Will this require too much upkeep for constant updating? Who determines when an election should be put up and when it should be taken down? What standards will be used?
  • Does it still require editors to nominate elections to the ticker through a special process akin to ITN/C (particularly if we go forth with the idea of including 'special' elections?
    • If so, should a new talk page be started for candidates purely for elections ticker?
  • General resistance to changing status quo, and involvement from wider WP community to approve proposal.
  • Do article 'update length requirements' change?
  • Confusion over which elections are general elections and which ones are presidential elections.
  • Does not solve problem of royal succession - those are not 'elections'
  • Cannot highlight the articles of candidates themselves or announce winners.

Please lend your thoughts. Someone who has more coding experience can probably improve on the format a little. Colipon+(Talk) 05:25, 21 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

That looks very good. I like how 'streamlined' you have made it. Maybe we should look at making it clear that the elections are listed in date order? This avoids any doubt as to the selection of countries available and the order in which they're listed? That aside I am leaning ever more towards this option as some form of solution to our problems doktorb wordsdeeds 05:28, 21 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Looks good (though id add we have to cut down to incorporate a sports ticker too). Suppose we would stick to the UN-status or possibly other sovereigns with the exceptions added (Taiwan/alestine) but for sub-national would still run through ITNC to add to the ticker. Dont suspect it needs too much regular control and would avoid red timers as often. ITNR can decide a minimum time to keep the election up, something well discuss but i think 4-5 days ebefor and after should do it (well need to discuss when to start the day count) + I suppose it would need a prelim nomination but would be straightforward, this is to remind admins to post it if hey are not following the calendar. + update woudl change of course but only somewhat, since if we post BEFORE the election then it only need be a decent article (these days i often increase stubs by Nightstallion, he then gets final confirmation sources, etc and templates) + no confusion as such, as it works right not the titles are only by past conention for parliamentary/legislative/general (Which needs standadising) + but royal succession is the "change in head of state" which is ITNR, guess we can move that here too. So as to add ALL changes in govt? + highlighting would occur when ITNC adds a blurb. Of corse all this would need some wider consensus, but at this point were just generating ideas. (must say great progress in a little over 2 days)
Also everything requesting a blurb would need to be individually discussed at ITNC, ITNR would be for the ticker alone
I would also suggest limiting to 3 state and 1 non-state (sub or supra national)Lihaas (talk) 09:11, 21 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Two things: How does giving elections their own subsection not give them undue weight? Why shouldn't other events get their own subsections (sports events e.g.)? Secondly, how does this avoid giving microstates undue weight when all states continue to be listed on an equal footing in this approach? --Tyrannus Mundi (talk) 10:24, 21 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Good question. To answer: weve also suggested for sports (politics and sports being too representative on ITN) it delineates the overcovergae of small states with emphasis/. Its like a sticky on election with mention for the current elections and orotating every week or so
Its an accomodationg between multiple views of globalising all sovereign sates and only listing the sujectively important ones.Lihaas (talk) 12:58, 21 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
My question is how is it an accommodation? It lists all elections on an equal footing, therefore it clearly privileges the pro-microstate view. --Tyrannus Mundi (talk) 17:59, 21 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • Looks pretty awful. If we're not including info on the results on the blurbs, I'd be pretty opposed to it. Hot Stop 14:01, 21 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • As you will all notice above, I outline some of the drawbacks of this plan in detail. I do not pretend that this is a perfect solution, but I am still of the view that it is the closest we have come to addressing the concerns of all the parties. That said, we welcome all constructive comments on how to tweak/change this plan. Colipon+(Talk) 18:54, 21 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

On the practical issues identified in the initial post (I've numbered them in the order the bullet points were posted).

  1. I'm a non-admin, but would suggest that the increase in workload would be trivial. I say this because these articles are already eligible for ITN, and the same basic principles would apply: admins would still check that an article is ready (as quality is the only requirement), and would still post if it is.
  2. I would suggest yes, because we can always do with an extra few eyes for article quality. Not nominating at ITN/C would probably be bad for admins, who would then have to find the elections, unilaterally decide if the quality is up there, face the prospect of defending any unilateral decisions that were challenged etc.
    2.1 Not unless it becomes absolutely necessary. Dividing a page that wasn't too long in the first place achieves nothing other than lessening scrutiny.
  3. That's out of our hands. All we can do is try to convince them.
  4. Absolutely not, and I don't see this as posing a problem. Elections are stand-alone articles which get updated as the news comes in; update-wise deaths are usually the most contentious area.
  5. For an international audience I don't think it particularly matters. Internationally, the interest is usually in the balance of power, and the focus usually on the people who hold power in the relevant parties, whether they were involved in the election or not.
  6. We're not abolishing ITN/C.
  7. Again, we're not abolishing ITN/C. If consensus is that a specific election is significant enough to merit a blurb, it should remain eligible to have one. In those circumstances that country's election wouldn't be added to the recent elections section until the blurb fell off the bottom of the template.

WFC— 20:24, 21 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Could you possibly explain point 5 in a bit more detail, as I'm still not clear on why it wouldn't matter for an international audience? --Tyrannus Mundi (talk) 20:41, 21 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
For most readers outside of a given country, the precise mechanism of the election isn't the most significant bit. Of more interest is whether that country has undergone a significant change in the balance of power, or whether the election signals an extension of the status quo. That holds even for the very big countries. If we're not expanding on the result, it seems very odd to expand on the mechanism of election. —WFC— 01:20, 24 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Would it make sense to split the Elections ticker in two - Recent and Upcoming? In the current setting, I wouldn't know whether e.g. the Timorese election has taken place or not. Some users may only be interested in the end result, so they could find those under the "Recent" section. Khuft (talk) 22:39, 25 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

e could bold the current one and list them all chronologically?(Lihaas (talk) 09:55, 26 April 2012 (UTC)).[reply]
Yep, sounds like a good option too. Khuft (talk) 21:44, 26 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Moving Forward[edit]

I would like to suggest moving forward on this, since there is some semblance of consensus here and otherwise the discussion seems inactive. Is it safe to assume that everyone is more or less comfortable with this idea, but we still need to hash out the specifics (how many elections to post at once, how to formalize, who has oversight, how to nominate etc) ? Colipon+(Talk) 19:12, 25 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Agree. Almost all of the alternatives are preferable to the status quo: listing microstate elections but not major country primaries for instance. Art LaPella (talk) 20:26, 25 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
In the last discussion, the status quo "won", so it seems a bit rushed to claim that almost all the alternatives are preferable to the status quo... :-) Also: primaries in major states can still appear on the ITN section, if I understood the process correctly, if enough people can be convinced that a piece of news concerning a primary is relevant enough for a global audience. I find the idea of having an Elections ticker is quite interesting too, but I'm not fully convinced it's better / more relevant / more informative than the status que... Khuft (talk) 21:15, 25 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks for your input. There has been a lot of discussion on this topic, and it is not true that the status quo 'won' the previous discussion, just so we are all clear. You can read the discussion from the links above, particularly the comments from the closing editor. Colipon+(Talk) 03:46, 26 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I arrived at this discussion from here: Wikipedia_talk:In_the_news/Recurring_items/Archive_5#Elections_of_very_small_countries_.28originally_.22Kiribati.22.29 - where the conclusion is indeed that there was no consensus to change the status quo. Claiming that the status quo "won" was probably a not very neutral way of mine to formulate it - sorry for that. For me, it's important that this alternative is submitted to the vote of the whole community before being implemented - and indeed editors here should be aware that there may be no consensus again. Therefore, if you all want to make sure that the Election Ticker is accepted by the "skeptics", make sure that indeed the specifics are hashed out in detail, and that the end result is appealing also from a visual perspective (i.e. not cluttered with too many elections; at the same time not too empty either; maybe also considering some chronological element as discussed above, etc.). Else, the end vote may again be a "victory" for the status quo (i.e. "no consensus to implement the Election Ticker").Khuft (talk) 22:00, 26 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I'm certainly in favor of it, although I didn't comment above, so it seems like we can move on. —Bzweebl— talk 02:29, 26 April 2012 (UTC) Ditto. I think we're finally getting somewhere. doktorb wordsdeeds 07:13, 26 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]


As we're moving on there are issues we need to suggest and then discuss to get a conclusive plicy. how many elections to post at once, how to formalise, who has oversight, how to nominate and more (feel free to add)

So i would suggest (as above) upto 4 concurrent elections, with 3 for national level elections and 1 local/supranational.
Wed then need to run it though ITNC talk or generate more debate here. But then again we cant wait forever if people dont want to discuss.
Process should be the same (ie- quality of article)(Lihaas (talk) 13:24, 26 April 2012 (UTC)).[reply]
My suggestion would be for the administrators who usually post articles - Tariq, BorgQueen etc., to also have oversight over the election ticker. Basically they would just look at the annual elections calendar and post the two most recent concluded and two most immediately upcoming elections. Sovereign state elections would quality automatically, as would the 'special candidates' described above. But any sub-national or other 'special' elections should be separately nominated at ITN/C for the ticker, and the threshold of consensus should be lower, given that the election ticker is more fluid and takes less room. As for the number, I would say 5 is a happy medium? Colipon+(Talk) 13:42, 26 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Couple of issues, dont think an admin is going to be monitoring the calendar, bit much to ask.
not sure about a lower threshold for consensus (no probs with me but others probs would have concerns)
5 overall or any seperation beteen the variations?(Lihaas (talk) 20:34, 26 April 2012 (UTC)).[reply]

I am vehemently opposed to any set number of elections. If an election is ticker-worthy it should be posted, and otherwise it shouldn't. I see no need for a limit. However, if it were to get too cluttered or too empty we could deal with that case by case. In addition, I support Colipon's proposal that posting admins can post national elections from the electoral calendar and special elections should go through a nomination process. —Bzweebl— talk 22:48, 26 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I can see where you are coming from,. but per the calendar there are several doxens o elections, so where do we draw the line as to hat is on the tickerr at any given moment? Thats what i meant by how many at a time (with the constant changes to remove old and add new, etc)(Lihaas (talk) 08:54, 27 April 2012 (UTC)).[reply]
This would also cut down the number of ITN slos that are so depesterae to be filled subjectively.Lihaas (talk) 20:44, 29 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Well, if the purpose of this is to solve the problems of elections being given undue weight on ITN, I think that preventing them from being allowed on ITN should mean that we'll be free to add elections to the ticker that may have been objectionable before. Bzweebl (talk) 22:22, 29 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Absolutely. But at some point down the line, an old election will need to be replaced by a new one, hence the need for a rough limit of how many elections we display at a time. It would simply be a "newest comes in, oldest goes out" policy, precisely as we do with ITN at the moment. —WFC— 06:46, 1 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Exactly, and thats objectively based on the list at the calendar (which are all sourced)...we could possibly automatically incluse one subnational election or leave an open slot for it to be added via ITNC.(Lihaas (talk) 19:07, 1 May 2012 (UTC)).[reply]
I think we need to do some sort of 'pilot run'. Limiting to four or five elections is fine - ideally a single line on a normal computer monitor. I don't think we need to define how many of these need be 'special' or regional. Should be totally dependent on the circumstances. The time period deserves special mention: the French presidential election, for example, has been in the news for several months. It might not be a bad idea to keep it there for the duration. Colipon+(Talk) 19:31, 1 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Correct me if im wrong, but it seems a minimum of four is agreed an dup to five, with the subnational at ITNC to add as a possible 5th? (or replace if a national is 5th?)Lihaas (talk) 22:10, 1 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Sounds right. I am ready to move on to put this into effect as soon as possible. Bzweebl (talk) 23:44, 1 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Lets go with this, timing is perfect as we have four concurrent national election this Sunday to ;) Test should appease people too and then see how it fares.(Lihaas (talk) 08:55, 2 May 2012 (UTC)).[reply]

I'm sure there's going to be a lot of users crying foul... but at least we demonstrated that consensus can change. Colipon+(Talk) 13:03, 2 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Combinations of the above[edit]

Any combination of the above policies per discussion here.Lihaas (talk) 22:00, 19 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]


Prior to any "vote" a summation of criteria can be listed here based on discussion above. As of today, it seems these ideas are popular:

  • Addition/Removal of special candidates and supranational elections (Taiwan, Palestine, UN and EU)
  • Election ticker
  • Status quo
  • Remove all elections

This list is a preliminary one that will be updated as discussion progresses. Some ideas may be removed and others added.


Current ITNR criteria[edit]

I just want to put this out there, given that I am not the only one that feels uncomfortable with having so many elections take up space on the main page, in the intervening time frame from now until we reach some sort of consensus on this issue, is it still considered acceptable (a golden rule, if you will) to invoke ITNR to post elections? Colipon+(Talk) 17:42, 10 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]

No i dont think so. Wihout consensus it will be bold and unpopular to remove it. We have to stick to it in the interimLihaas (talk) 12:36, 11 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Bloated discussion topics[edit]

Would someone experienced in wikicode provide for a way to get rid of (either through archives but preferably through a "show/hide" option) discussion topics that have lost steam or unpopular and unlikely to generate more discussion? This page is getting too large. Colipon+(Talk) 17:42, 10 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]

You could move the older unpopular ones not listed above this section to something like Wikipedia talk:In the news/Recurring items/Elections/Old or Wikipedia talk:In the news/Recurring items/Elections/Unpopular for archival reasonsLihaas (talk) 12:38, 11 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]