Political wiki

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The dkosopedia itself is one of the largest political wiki services in the US. Sourcewatch is perhaps larger and more widely read. In Canada, openpolitics.ca is the largest equivalent. A number of smaller projects in the UK are competing for a similar status as the leading political wiki, but blog technology there has been adopted by the government, and promoted for the UK local issues forum standard set. Some believe that this is a cynical attempt to retard online democracy so that the UK Labour Party can catch up, or to suppress criticism of the Iraq occupation and prevent it from reaching a critical mass as at dkosopedia.com.

As these examples suggest, it is much harder to adjudicate a political wiki than any other kind. For one thing, respect for diversity is far more important than on a wiki with a non-political social purpose, or a homogenous group of users with only one concern in common, and the ability to focus only on that one concern. Among other issues, a political wiki must invite in all opponents of the positions advanced by most users, in order to answer to them slowly and rationally, with deliberative democracy and consensus decision making - to cite their experts and eventually turn all bad arguments around by arguing them from their own premises. For instance, tearing apart everything in the MemeTank into issue/position/argument statements that rely on evidence/source/authority that has already been accepted by one's opponent, such as the good example position:Republicans are unbiblical on abortion.

To make such a case successfully, arguments against the position must come from somewhere! And the arguments for must be critically examined. So it is imperative to invite opponents into the forum and take them seriously:

A serious political wiki must be much more troll-friendly than any other kind of large public wiki. Politics is serious business, includes a lot of violence and implied violence by definition, and, also ad hominems.

Accordingly, there must be a way to achieve equal power relationships, and usually that is done with rough analogs of the town hall and street protest and other forms of disobedience and demonstration, in which one is not required to identify oneself before one states an opinion. Though, it might be important to provide a credential before one can vote on an issue, this is not required simply to illustrate the point one is voting on.

A more stringent definition of a political wiki is "one used to debate political positions by editing them." - the Green Party of Canada Living Platform definition. As only the Green Party of Canada and a few other Green Parties (notably in Michigan, Ontario, Nova Scotia and Alberta) seem to be doing this at the moment, perhaps this definition is too stringent.

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