|Status of the proposal|
Wikipol: a mediawiki project proposal.
This page is a proposal for Wikipol, - which is short for wikipolicy or wikipolitics - to become a sister project of the Wikimedia Foundation. I have used the the project proposal page for Wikiversity as a templeate for this proposal.
If you want to visit the demo-site press (not yet) here.
A Wikipol is an political program. It is a collection of wiki-pages that describe the actual stands of (webbased) political parties. The members of the e-party can develop and update these wiki-pages by amendments.
Its primary priorities and goals are:
- To give people access to political programs of political parties all over the worlds
- To give people the possibility to join a party (e-membership) which they like,
- To give e-members the possibility to participate in the creation of new stands or changing existing stands or policies of their own party. Thereby changing or setting the course of a political party.
- To initiate an open debate on policy issues within parties,
- To reinvent en clarify politics by openness and participation,
- To boost social change by stimulating participation to political parties
- Complement and develop existing Wikimedia projects (eg. Referencing to fact-sheets of wikipedia)
Beware: A wikipol is paradigm change in the wikimedia philosophy. Wikipol pages do not hold universal, objective information but subjective stands embraced by a limited group of people. The change of a stand can only be done from within the group and only when the group agrees (by vote) on it. Therefore anonymous change of a wikipol page is not allowed. Only registered members can change stands, and only then when they act according to the rules of change the e-party has implemented in their wikipol. The next chapters will elaborate on this.
In particular, two issues should be addressed. How can a change of stands be organized? And which organizational e-structures are needed to implement a wikipol?
The Wikipol e-model-of-politics.
Wikipol starts off, quite simple, by looking carefully into the processes and structures of existing political parties. Existing politcial parties are social organizations with ideas of how to change or to develop the society. These ideas are periodically updated in a political program. Many of them can be downloaded as pdf-documents from the websites of the political parties. During election times these programs are debated and voters implicitly choose between them. It is not the person but the message that counts.
A wikipol describes the idealistic content and message of political parties. A wikipol can be used in three different ways.
- An existing political party creates a wikipol and stays responsible for its content. In that case it will be enclosed within the website of the political party and it can be used as a tool voor communication. But most certain it will not become an instrument of active membership participation in altering policies and ideas of the political party.
- A group op voluntary people can start a wikipol for some existing political party without having an official relation to that party. In that case the wikipol is created and updated on the basis of material that can be gathered from this party and from voting behavior of (members of) the party in representative organs. This can be an interesting scientific project but this too will not become a instrument of active membership participation in altering policies and ideas of the political party.
- Thirdly a wikipol can be used to start new (web based) political communities of people that share a vision and that want to elaborate on it. This usage demands an active membership participation. This kind of wikipol could be pre-phase to a real-world political party. It can internationalize political communities but also very small local political communities can arise from it.
In my vision, a wikipol will be a virtual meeting point of e-members of a political party that collectively create and update a view on society and social policies which should be implemented by gaining political power in a democracy.
Change by vote
In detail: how can a change of stands be implemented in a wikipol. In a normal wiki everyone can make changes to a wiki-pages. This is not possible in a wikipol. First people have to register. Only registered member can propose amendments to change a page. But these changes only take into effect when a majority of e-members agree by vote on an amendment. To control this process moderators will receive new (non-political) tasks. Mainly they gard the rules of a program-statute, which describes what is allowed and what is not allowed.
A vote on a wikipol is never anonymous (unlike most real-time elections). So every e-member can evaluate the voting-history of every other e-member. Even when persons are elected into an organizational function (for instance: chairman of the programmgroup) there is no anonymous vote. This is crucial in order to ‘implement’ the principle of ‘one man, one vote’. Further: it is illegal to have two or more different logins on a wikipol. People who try to do so are excluded from membership of an wikipol. Moderators must have new tools to investigate this kind of irregulations.
Groups and committtees
Conventional political parties have structures like a board, elections, protocols, rules, votecommittees, programcommittees, workgroups etc. The Wikipol e-model of politics need e-structures to organize the process of creating ideas, stating priorities and putting persons in some political function within the e-structure of the party. The e-model-of-politics must be very flexible to meet all kinds of structures and ideas. The structure has to grow gradually out the power of the wiki user environment to liberate political decision-making from conventional constraints of time and place.
All structural elements of a wikipol are defined in meta wiki page: a organization-register. Every member and every political organ and every member of an organ should be declared in it. In detail we need two kinds of organs. political organs (called groups) and administrative organs (called committees).
Every group has a chairman and a limited or unlimited number of members. When the number is limited people should be voted into function or place. When unlimited everyone can join. Groups stimulate the political process. For example, a group of Wikipol e-members might engage in an idea of formulating new stands on basic-income or income-taxation, will create a group an the organization-register, will decide on goal, and in the end they will formulate amendments to change wiki-pages of their wikipol. On these amendments e-members can vote.
Committees, on the contrary, do not intervene in the political process. The just make it happen. These admininistrators (or moderators) can create a vote-committee to control the process of voting on a amendment. They correct vandalism or political vandalism. They check if everything goes according to the rules of the wikipol. A programcommittee organizes the overall process of voting. And of course they should control themselves on not influencing or intervening the political process itself.
The politcal process
Wikipol participants will actively participate in online politics. As for any wiki, community participation involves the editing of wiki pages. Is this case: E-members or groups can propose changes (amendments) to these pages. Any amendment must be entered into a meta wiki page the amendement-register.
Moderators (members of a moderators-committee) check if the person and the amendments fulfill the minimal requirements which are formulated in a program-statute.
A vote-committee ( regulates the proces of debate and voting. It decides when votings starts, the duration of voting, quotum, votingprinciple. After an amendment has been accepted it will be put into the page which was amended.
A board-group can give advice on how to vote for each amendments.
A programgroup can check if pages are consistent with each other or what consequences an amendments has on other pages. (new amendments). It can also check if som basic principles of the party will by violated by an amendment (political vandalism).
Starting point and future effect
A wikipol starts empty! So first a founder(group) has to create a concept program, it has to order this vision into amendable policy chapters or pharagraphs. And it has to formulate a set of basic rules of change.
Wikipols can reference to existing Wikimedia projects when factual data is needed. And existing wikimedia projects can reference to one or more wikipols when ‘subjective’ opinions or ideas has to be taken into account.
To create a complete program can be a huge effort. After some time a wikipol can turn into tool van political management or even government. E-members can collectively change the course of a party. It can have really impact on social development. By participating into political groups and a voting processes the principles of democracy will spread. From this participation political talent of individual e-members can be discovered and implemented in the organization of the party.
Wikipols can be of great value to social science and politics and government. When all political parties of a country use wikipols differences between them are easily established. A spin-off of Wikipols could by the creation of new political parties based on internationalization of political communities.
Scope of Wikipol
What Wikipol is
- A repository of easy accessible, multilingual political programs of parties all over the world
- Each wikipol incorporates a political community that create and change political stands according to the rules layed down in that wikipol (programstatutes).
- An effort to democratically change society globally by stimulating participation into e-politics
What Wikipol is not :
- A wikipol does not overthrow current political structures. It just wants it to make i t work better.
- A wikipol is not neutral. However, accessibily, openness and participation are key wiki-based element of a wikipol.
- There is no universal wikipol is for everyone. There are many wikipols and if if you want to politically participate, you can do so at some Wikipol.
- A wikipol is not a duplication of other Wikimedia projects.
Features Wikipol will/might need in the future
- Metadata patches. amendment history of a wiki page can be seen in the history page. But there is no easy way to see the the future of that page when amendments are processed. What is needed is how a wiki page will look when future amendments are accepted
- Metadata that constitutes organizational structure on a wikipol.
- Software - there is currently no software needed to get Wikipol going, but participants are welcome to experiment with additions to the source code which might help the work of Wikipol in some way. Implementations of these ideas will have to be done through the appropriate channels (probably the Special projects committee).
- Not only political organizations can use wikipols. Every organization that has an open democratic structure and in which member can direct policy of that organization can use wikipols.
- JosJ - firstname.lastname@example.org'