Latest comment: 17 years ago by David.Mestel in topic Re:Student



On Psephos, the flag and description for the DRC is wrong. The last elections were in 1960 I think. Ironically, it was then called just "Republic of Congo". - Xed 10:43, 13 May 2006 (UTC)Reply

  • It seems they neglected to tell me that they have changed their flag.
  • If, as you say, it was called something else in 1960, the statement "there has never been an election in the Democratic Republic of Congo" is technically correct. I will look into this. Adam 20:07, 13 May 2006 (UTC)Reply
Over a month later, the incorrect information and flag still remain on the site, leading to the conclusion that the site is not a serious resource, but merely a platform for political posturing. - Xed 22:55, 19 June 2006 (UTC)Reply
I will nominate for unprotection; seeing as Margana has not responded to my analysis below, I can only assume he would have no objection to us removing the POV and OR Cuba statement. - Merzbow 23:21, 19 June 2006 (UTC)Reply
It looks like the statement was taken out slightly before protection. We should just leave out mention of Cuba. We don't need to provide an example of why the site is not 'politically neutral', we just have to note the claim. - Merzbow

Can anyone explain why my edit is being reverted? I've optimized a wikilink, added missing diacritics, removed Kyrgyzstan as an example of an "obscure" country since it isn't all that obscure, added information about the site's maintainer, and about the site's nonacknowledgment of Cuban elections. What exactly is the problem? Margana 03:01, 6 June 2006 (UTC)Reply

The site is not entirely politically neutral. Under Cuba, it simply states: "There have been no elections in Cuba since 1948", ignoring the elections under the communist system (see Elections in Cuba).
for one is original research. Xtra 03:04, 6 June 2006 (UTC)Reply
Oh yes? Then how is anything in the article, except the Singer quote, NOT original research? What's the source for any of it except the Psephos site itself? And you can go there and look up Cuba. Margana 03:07, 6 June 2006 (UTC)Reply
The Psephos site itself may not be a particularly appropriate source, but at least it is a source. What's your source for "The site is not entirely politically neutral", or is that just your personal editorial? Snottygobble 03:13, 6 June 2006 (UTC)Reply
That is self-evident when it considers that elections in Cuba are not elections. Margana 03:14, 6 June 2006 (UTC)Reply
It is not evident to this self. Snottygobble 03:15, 6 June 2006 (UTC)Reply
Too bad for you. Shall we put it to an RFC and see how evident it is to people? Margana 03:18, 6 June 2006 (UTC)Reply
No doubt you're aware that people who insist on inserting unsourced, POV assertions into articles invariably fail to secure the support of the community. What you would succeed in doing is wasting a lot of time. Time that has already been wasted in various theatres including Cuba, Elections in Cuba and Adam's ridiculous RFC. Judging by your recent message to Zleitzen, it appears you're seeking to bring the argument here. I suggest you go fight the war where the war is being fought. If you succeed in winning your point elsewhere, I for one won't oppose you on this page. Snottygobble 03:30, 6 June 2006 (UTC)Reply
Um, the article Elections in Cuba confirms that there are elections in Cuba. I guess the point is settled there. As, of course, any other reliable source will confirm - it's not in dispute at all. (Which doesn't say that those elections are free and fair, or that Cuba is a democracy. But there are elections.) Therefore, Psephos' claim is extremely tendentious, as any reasonable person will agree. It is in no way "POV" to note that. Margana 03:38, 6 June 2006 (UTC)Reply
Maybe adam wrote "There have been no elections in Cuba since 1948" because he (as an election expert) does not classify show elections as elections. Xtra 03:58, 6 June 2006 (UTC)Reply
Obviously that's his thinking. And of course that's not neutral, since any reliable source will say there are elections and won't call them "show elections". Britannica says: "Voting in elections in Cuba is legally mandatory, as it is throughout Latin America, and voter participation is invariably high. ... There is no party slate and candidates need not belong to the official Cuban Communist Party. ... There is considerable competition for elected office..." To say "there are no elections" is just plain false. But of course Adam Carr knows that. He's just putting his personal biases into what he passes off as a serious reference. If an election doesn't meet his personal democratic standards, it doesn't exist to him. Margana 12:44, 6 June 2006 (UTC)Reply

Quite so. Adam 09:13, 7 June 2006 (UTC)Reply

Okay, I'm going to pretend you don't already know all this, and explain it to you nice and simple. In the last six months there has been a huge argument on Wikipedia over the political status of Cuba, specifically whether Cuba is a communist state, and whether it can be legitimately claimed that Cuba holds elections. The argument has been so big that it has spilled over into numerous articles, article talk pages, user talk pages, and even an RFC. Users have been blocked indefinely. It even made the news [1].

If you want to argue these points, you are very welcome to do so. But Wikipedia already has plenty of forums in which you may do so. You will not be permitted to turn this tiny insignificant and non-controversial article into a new theatre of war in the great Cuba debate. Let me make this clear: if you succeed in bringing Zleitzen and others here to generate yet another debate on the political status of Cuba, I will not hesitate to protect both article and talk page. Snottygobble 04:01, 6 June 2006 (UTC)Reply

As far as I can see, the dispute was about whether Cuba could be called a democracy, not whether it has elections. If it was about the latter, then I guess the dispute is settled, seeing that Elections in Cuba hasn't been edited since May 24 and plainly says in the introduction: "The most recent elections to the National Assembly were held on January 19, 2003." You are not allowed to protect an article where you have been involved in an edit war. Margana 12:44, 6 June 2006 (UTC)Reply

If we can find critics to Psephos to point out this political bias of not coutning the elections of Cuba as such, then we can add a section to this article about its critics. Otherwise, I support the argument made by Margana here.Giovanni33 16:56, 6 June 2006 (UTC)Reply
I personally can see the point in adding a sentence about the apparant discrepancy between different observers (+/- cuba elections), but in a complete neutral way, just as a clean unconstrained observation. And it would be nice if that is supported by a reliable external source. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 02:09, 7 June 2006 (UTC)Reply



"I have never claimed that Psephos is politically neutral. Psephos is my website and reflects my views. My view is that Cuba does not conduct genuine elections." I have no objection to this article stating the above facts. Adam 02:29, 7 June 2006 (UTC)Reply

That said. It is not for us, in an NPOV environment, to make original research value judgements about your website. Xtra 05:21, 7 June 2006 (UTC)Reply

I have now put it in quotes, so you can quote me as saying it, so now it is not original research. Adam 05:39, 7 June 2006 (UTC)Reply

There you have it from the horse's mouth. Don't you feel stupid now, Rebecca, Snottygobble, Xtra, and I@n - trying to "protect" your friend beyond what he himself thinks is necessary? The absurd stretch of "no original research" seems to have become the latest all-purpose argument against practically any facts you don't like. That way, you could call almost the entire Wikipedia original research, except those articles directly copied from a PD source or closely paraphrasing a source in its entirety. In all other cases, you necessarily will have a unique assembly of facts that has not been published in the same way before. The fact that the site denies Cuban elections is as much verifiable by the site itself as most other facts in the article, for which there are no secondary sources either. And the fact that Cuba does in fact have elections is verifiable everywhere. It follows directly that the site is making a false statement. This is not a "value judgement" but a fact. It is also self-evident that this false statement is not accidentally made out of ignorance but deliberately out of Adam Carr's views, as he has confirmed here. Therefore my edit was entirely factual (and moderately worded) in calling it "not entirely neutral". Margana 14:54, 7 June 2006 (UTC)Reply

Excuse me? Do I feel stupid? No. Adam is entitled to have such editorial criteria as he deems in his absolute discretion to be the correct approach on his own site. Someone like me quoting Adam is not original research, because, Adam being another person than I and maintaining a huge electoral repository, is (in my opinion and many others) a reputable source on all things election related. He has a Ph.D, is an accomplished researcher, has written countless articles on wikipedia and is an expert in many areas including elections. Please stop your stupid war here. You will get no-where. Xtra 10:09, 8 June 2006 (UTC)Reply
Eh? Whoever said Adam wasn't entitled to have the editorial criteria he wants? Where did anyone say you quoting Adam is original research? What are you talking about? Margana 13:11, 8 June 2006 (UTC)Reply
Psephos denies that Cuba has elections, where "elections" is defined in Adam's terms. Other sources assert that Cuba does have elections, where "elections" is defined in different terms not accepted by Adam. Because of the disparity in definitions, it most certainly does not "directly follow" that Adam's site is making a false statement. This is a good example of the danger of original research; as amateur editors we simply aren't qualified to make novel syntheses and draw conclusions in a world that's full of linguistic ambiguities and contradictions. Snottygobble 12:14, 8 June 2006 (UTC)Reply
You're mistaken. Election has a generally understood meaning and any reader of Adam's site is misled by the statement that there are no elections, because that will be understood as neither "free elections" nor "show elections" nor any other. Any false statement may become correct if you redefine the terms. Margana 13:08, 8 June 2006 (UTC)Reply
By the "generally understood meaning" of "election", the process by which the Cuba Corgi Club elects its treasurer each AGM is an "election in Cuba". If that's the definition of "election" that you're clinging to, then yes, there are elections in Cuba, but I can only congratulate Adam for adopting a somewhat more sophisticated definition of "election" for the purposes of his site. Snottygobble 23:54, 8 June 2006 (UTC)Reply
Very funny. Within the context of the site, "election" is of course expected to mean national parliamentary or presidential elections. Margana 00:18, 9 June 2006 (UTC)Reply

Most of this debate belongs at talk:Elections in Cuba. Just as the editor of any publication must decide which material to include, so the webmaster of this site decides which elections to include. He probably omits Corgi Club elections and many others. Elections in totalitarian states are normally reported only for humor, for example the Hoxha regime would get 100% voter turnout, which was good for a joke on the Tonight Show. Anyway, it's not our job to decide if the webmaster is right or wrong. Our job is to verifiably summarize reliable sopurces using the neutral point of view. In this case we should simply say that he does not report Cuban elections, and perhaps quote him, but we should not attempt to connect that to being non-neutral, which would be a surmise and therefore original research. -Will Beback 07:19, 9 June 2006 (UTC)Reply

Why would this belong at Elections in Cuba? There's no conflict there. Every reliable source whatsoever agrees that there are elections in Cuba. No one said Adam can't decide for himself what to include on his site. I'm just saying he makes a false statement when he says there are no elections. Just because he doesn't want to include the results of Cuban elections doesn't mean he has to make such a false statement. He could at least write "There are no free elections in Cuba". That would still be biased, but not so misleading as to say there are no elections at all. The non-neutrality of the site is a plain fact and not a "surmise" or original research. Margana 12:38, 9 June 2006 (UTC)Reply
No-one disagrees with you that Adam's site is non-neutral. Not even Adam. This discussion continues because you want to phrase this article in a way that suggests that Adam's position on Cuba is incorrect. That's why this discussion belongs at Elections in Cuba. Snottygobble 12:43, 9 June 2006 (UTC)Reply
Well, it is incorrect. He says there are no elections in Cuba. Every reliable source confirms that there are. You can't defend a false statement by saying "but I have different definitions than everyone else!" Margana 12:48, 9 June 2006 (UTC)Reply
You say there are elections in Cuba. Adam says there isn't. Well now, this is a dilly of a pickle. What to do? Here's a novel idea: since this article isn't even about Cuba, we don't need to take a position on the issue!
Margana, you are repeatedly reverting to a version that has been rejected by every other contributor to this debate. It is not acceptable. Snottygobble 12:57, 9 June 2006 (UTC)Reply
It's not just I who says there are elections in Cuba. Every encyclopedia or other reliable source you can find says so. So there's no reason we can't "take a position on the issue". It's not an issue that is controversial or disputed in the real world. And it is quite relevant to the article that the site is so biased that it makes plainly counterfactual claims. Just saying that you reject an edit is meaningless, if you can't defend it here. Margana 13:25, 10 June 2006 (UTC)Reply
It isn't acceptable. Margana has been given a 24 hour block for edit warring. -- Longhair 13:07, 9 June 2006 (UTC)Reply
Your bias isn't acceptable. The policy is quite clear that editing disputes are not to be solved by votes or the equivalent (like a larger number of people simply outreverting a smaller number). Accordingly, you had no basis to block me and not them. It is they who're "gaming the system" and abusing the 3RR by sharing reverts among them so that they individually don't have to come as close to the limit as their opponent (although collectively they do). Margana 13:25, 10 June 2006 (UTC)Reply
I do not see the problem with the below version. Is it not accurate? Putting some context and meaning to the statment that the site is not politically neutral is important, no? I note that the below also does not say that Carr is in any way no correct or wrong, but simply clarifies his take on what counts as an election and thus elucidates his own political slant, which is the point of the freely admitted statment. The version that is being reverted is: "The site reflects Carr's views and does not claim to be politically neutral. For example, under Cuba the site simply states: "There have been no elections in Cuba since 1948", ignoring elections under the communist system (see Elections in Cuba)."Giovanni33 19:11, 9 June 2006 (UTC)Reply
He doesn't include elections in Northern Cyprus either. Does that mean he's biased against Cypriot statehood? Maybe, but it's not for us to decide. Let's just report the info and let readers make their own judgements. -Will Beback 20:51, 9 June 2006 (UTC)Reply
You just don't get it, do you? The site doesn't say "There have been no elections in Northern Cyprus"; it may just not cover Northern Cyprus (though as Adam says below, it does). But it does say explicitly "There have been no elections in Cuba since 1948". A false statement. The bias wouldn't be so blatant if he just chose not to cover Cuban elections. But to explicitly deny their existence is a different thing, and it is eminently notable, since it is valuable for a reader to be aware of, otherwise he might actually be misled into thinking there are no elections in Cuba. Margana 13:25, 10 June 2006 (UTC)Reply
Its not a bias against a country per se, its a criteria, which Im guessing, shares the relevant features with Cuba so as to not be counted. Given an example of Cuba or Norther Cyprus (Cuba is more well known), does exactly that: allows the readers to make up their own judgment regarding the meaning and value of his criteria. How is reporting on his stance with Cuba as an example not a case of reporting the info and lettting the readers make their own judgment? Do you think it implies that he is only anti-Cuban?Giovanni33 23:01, 9 June 2006 (UTC)Reply
I have no problem with the article saying that the website does not include election material about Cuba, Northern Cyprus, the Corgi Club, etc. I have a big problem with saying that the webmaster is therefore biased, non-neutral, or any other conclusion that we draw. Of course, if there is a notable source that calls the website non-neutral, etc., then we can report that neutrally. -Will Beback 23:10, 9 June 2006 (UTC)Reply
The conclusion is as trivial as any other in the article, which don't have "notable sources" either. Aside from the Singer quote, the source for anything in the article is the site itself. If that's original research, the entire article should be deleted. Margana 13:25, 10 June 2006 (UTC)Reply
Ok, so what is your objection to the above? Carr himself has stated this he does not claim that the site is politically neutral. Since his is the creator of the site then that is a notable source. We are not drawing OR conclusion we are using the author as a source to describe the nature of his political stance with regard to election criteria. Again, what is your objection to: "The site reflects Carr's views and does not claim to be politically neutral (fact). For example, under Cuba the site simply states: "There have been no elections in Cuba since 1948", ignoring elections under the communist system (see Elections in Cuba)." I have no problem adding more examples, either.Giovanni33 23:22, 9 June 2006 (UTC)Reply
Please! Who are you to judge the merits of this external website's editorial criteria? I mean really! To say that the website is biased or does not conform to NPOV or is not factual is original research, and is in any event POV pushing. Xtra 01:04, 10 June 2006 (UTC)Reply

I do too include Elections in Northern Cyprus. Adam 00:50, 10 June 2006 (UTC)Reply

I'm not sure what "the above" is that Giovanni33 refers to. I object to saying that the website is biased because they don't include Cuba. It's the "because" that is the problem. We can quote the webmaster saying he is not neutral, and separately we can describe the websites policies. But to connect the two and say that the website is not-neutral because of X, Y, or Z would be original research, unless we have a source connecting the, It's no big deal to simply say that the site doesn't cover elections in Cuba, etc. I don't see what the problem is with just reporting the facts using the NPOV. -Will Beback 02:21, 10 June 2006 (UTC)Reply
What your objecting to does not seem to be connected to the above passage. I'll post the passage for the third time (slightly modified): "The site reflects Carr's views and does not claim to be politically neutral. For example, under Cuba the site states: "There have been no elections in Cuba since 1948", which does not take into account elections under the communist system (see Elections in Cuba)." Note there is no "because" in this passage. It first sentence states a fact: "The site reflects Carr's views and does not claim to be politically neutral." This is what, I presume, you reverted to. So this is not disputed. But, why is providing a good example, such as Cuba, objected to? Its a clear example: it, infact does discount,i.e. does not consider the Cuban elections to be elections under its criteria as it states there have been no elections in Cuba. It makes the point perfectly. Please state your objections to these points.Giovanni33 04:56, 10 June 2006 (UTC)Reply

This article is about Psephos. Whether or not there are elections in Cuba is irrelevant to this article. The article can say that the site does not claim to be politically neutral. The article can say that the site states "There have been no elections in Cuba since 1948". The article can say that this statement is an example of the site's non-neutrality because the question whether or not there have been elections in Cuba is contentious. But the article should not be declaring or implying that there are really elections in Cuba. That is a POV statement that has nothing whatsoever to do with Psephos. Snottygobble 05:28, 10 June 2006 (UTC)Reply

Whether or not there are elections in Cuba is, first of all, not a matter of dispute. It is simply a fact that there are elections in Cuba. Show me one encyclopedia or similarly reliable source that says otherwise, or stop repeating this nonsense. And what's relevant to this article is that the site denies (not just ignores) this fact. Margana 13:25, 10 June 2006 (UTC)Reply
You know, I would go to the library and look for references, except that I don't really care to edit Elections in Cuba, an article unrelated to this one, which I note does not have a references section, and the neutrality of which is disputed.
Do you see the irony in having a long, drawn out argument over whether or not a statement is contentious? The very existence of this debate proves that "there are elections in Cuba" is not a simple, uncontroversial, universally accepted fact, as you keep claiming.
This discussion is going nowhere. I have nothing fresh to say, and I'm not going to keep repeating myself. Unless you say something fresh, I won't respond again.
Snottygobble 04:15, 11 June 2006 (UTC)Reply

I recommend to Margana's attention the admirable article Election (to which I have not contributed), which makes it clear that "facade elections" such as those held in Cuba do not meet any reasonable definition of the word "election." Adam 05:00, 11 June 2006 (UTC)Reply

I don't see that article saying anything like that, and anyway Wikipedia articles are not reliable sources. Every reliable source about Cuba confirms there are elections. Margana 14:22, 15 July 2006 (UTC)Reply
Yup. Margana is missing the forest for the trees. He is wrong on two counts here:
  1. The use of the word 'ignoring' in this context is loaded and accusatory, which makes it very important that the statement as a whole be properly sourced (doubly because this is a living person's views that are being talked about). It is not sourced; it clearly falls under Wikipedia:NOR.
  2. Furthermore, the bare word 'election' certainly implies the situation of a fair and meaningful election, not a sham election. By including the unqualified clause 'ignoring elections under the communist system' in the article he is misleading readers into thinking that Cuba's elections are not shams when the overwhelming consensus is that they are. A violation of Wikipedia:NPOV since the minority viewpoint is being misrepresented as the majority.
In conclusion, not only is it highly POV original research, it's plainly misleading. - Merzbow 07:16, 11 June 2006 (UTC)Reply
  1. Again, it is just as well-sourced as almost anything else in the article - the source is the site itself. If the site is not a valid source, you'd have to stub the article down to the Singer quote.
  2. No, the word 'election' doesn't imply anything about fairness. That's why all encyclopedias say there are elections in Cuba. Nor do they say they are shams, which is not at all "the overwhelming consensus". Margana 14:22, 15 July 2006 (UTC)Reply

It is POV to say Psephos is POV because it does not agree with you. Psephos is far more experienced in elections than you and is entitled to make value judgements. Xtra 22:53, 15 July 2006 (UTC)Reply

I'm not saying that it's POV because it does not agree with me. I'm saying it is POV because it does not agree with any single reliable source about Cuba. Psephos' "experience in elections" is neither here nor there, since this is not a dispute about facts, but about how to describe facts that are not in dispute. To describe the Cuban elections by saying "there are no elections" is simply an extremely POV way of describing the reality. Of course the site is entitled to make such POV comments, but anyone else is entitled to point this out. Margana 00:41, 16 July 2006 (UTC)Reply

Adam would have to be both stupid and ignorant to assert that there were no elections of any description in Cuba. We all know, and it appears even Margana agrees with this, that when Psephos says "There have been no elections in Cuba since 1948", the word "elections" is intended to mean "elections that are not show or facade elections". Thus the sentence expresses Adam's POV that Cuba's elections are not legitimate.
In contrast, when Margana asserts "It is simply a fact that there are elections in Cuba", s/he intends the word "elections" to means "elections of any kind, including show or facade elections". This is the only definition by which Margana's assertion is "simply a fact".
I have no particular objection to either of these definitions, but to switch between definitions mid-sentence is simply mischievous. Margana's proposed sentence

Under Cuba the site simply states: "There have been no elections in Cuba since 1948", ignoring elections under the communist system

does exactly this. It is comparable to the sentence

The mouse is considered a mammal, but this is obviously incorrect since the mouse attached to my computer neither has hair nor gives milk.

Snottygobble 00:14, 25 July 2006 (UTC)Reply

Adam would have to be both stupid and ignorant to believe that there were no elections of any description in Cuba. And of course he doesn't, but he nevertheless asserts it, and thus misleads the visitors of his site. Anyone who already knows the situation in Cuba may indeed conclude that he uses his own peculiar definition of election, but this does not match any general use. You pretend there is equal validity between "his definition" and "my definition", but "my definition" is in fact the universally used one. Every reliable source says there are elections in Cuba, and no reliable source says there are no elections. And incidentally, if his definition were, as you say, "elections that are not show or facade elections", then his statement, though not flat-out wrong, would still represent a non-mainstream POV, since there is no general consensus that they are "show or facade" elections, and no reliable source describes Cuban elections in such terms. The mouse comparison fails on many levels, since mammal mice and computer mice are totally different things, and which is meant is usually obvious from the context; your example sentence thus is just nonsense, as the context for each usage of "mouse" establishes the two meanings, so that the sentence is equivalent to "The animal mouse is considered a mammal, but this is obviously incorrect since the computer mouse attached to my computer neither has hair nor gives milk". However, "elections that meet Adam Carr's standards" are a subset of elections, and readers have no way to know that that is what he means by "elections". Saying he ignores the elections under the communist system is equivalent to saying that he excludes those elections from his definition - and that is not obvious, so it is worth saying. Margana 19:06, 27 July 2006 (UTC)Reply
As I have said many times, no-one is arguing that Adam's statement is NPOV, so can you please stop throwing that red herring in. Adam's statement is POV, but it's not on Wikipedia so we can't refactor it. The article already states "The site does not claim to be politically neutral", so that's covered. The problem here is that you insist on using an article on Psephos to insist that there are elections in Cuba. Even if you're right, it is irrelevant. Your insistence on adding an irrelevant and contentious assertion is making it abundantly clear that your motive here is to make your point about elections in Cuba, rather than to improve the article on Psephos. Snottygobble 00:46, 28 July 2006 (UTC)Reply



Margana, please assume good faith: not only does my being Australian have nothing to do with my reversions, I need not have commented here to have followed and understood the situation. This situation, by the way, is clearly unhealthy - you cannot continue to defy consensus, and other editors should not be forced to continually enforce it. Therefore, I suggest that unless your disruptive actions (which are blatant) cease, the matter be brought to arbitration.--cj | talk 12:55, 18 July 2006 (UTC)Reply

No, it's of course just a coincidence that almost everyone who reverts on your side is Australian. And yes, before you take part in an edit war, you should join the discussion; anything else is disruptive. And no, this talk page shows there is clearly no consensus, so no one is "forced to enforce" anything. As to arbitration, that is only the last resort in dispute resolution; feel free to bring the matter to an RfC. Margana 14:40, 18 July 2006 (UTC)Reply
You are a budding conspiracy theorist. Xtra 12:24, 19 July 2006 (UTC)Reply
Please refrain from personal attacks. Not only are they against accepted Wikipedia custom, they detract and distract from the value of the discussion. And don't argue that this is not a personal attack either, as the article Conspiracy theory states, the term is a disparagement. In any case 'what someone is' is not cogent to the discussion and is of negative value. Remember, our goal here is to create a good article that is up to wikipedia standards.User:Pedant 22:28, 17 August 2006 (UTC)Reply

Compromise Sentence


The site reflects Carr's views and does not claim to be politically neutral, specifically stating "There have been no genuine elections in Cuba since 1948," denying them under Carr's view that the elections under the communist government are not worthy of being described as such.

This sentence states Carr's view and the exact embodiment of that view on Psephos, and the italiced word has been added per Carr's comments below.

To deny means:

  1. To declare untrue; contradict
  2. To refuse to believe; reject
  3. To refuse to recognize or acknowledge; disavow

The site by implication declares them to be false electins, refuses to believe in the existence of a democratic election there, and refuses to recognize the election that does occur. That's 3 for 3.

I'm opening an informal straw poll: Please sign if you've been involved in this so that we know where everyone stands. The goal (and I think requirement for this to be resolved here) is 0 oppose. If you do oppose, edit the above minimally to reach your needs and post that with your opposition. Thank you.

  1. Support per the fact I'm proposing it. --Wslack (talk) 22:49, 9 August 2006 (UTC)Reply
  1. Talking about Carr's view in that specific way is too speculative. Personally, I don't think it's merely that he doesn't think the elections aren't worthy of being described as such, it is also that he actively seeks to mislead readers by suggesting there are no elections at all, when he could easily explain his position by saying that there are elections of some kind but they don't meet his standards. Your version seems to make excuses for him. Let's just objectively describe what the site says (there are no elections) and what the facts are (there are elections). Anyone can draw his own conclusions from that. Margana 23:43, 9 August 2006 (UTC)Reply
Your thoughts about what his purposes are do not belong in the article. If I was to say "Metal does not exist." and that quote was put beside the words "Metal does exist." there would be a clear implication of me being stupid. That is POV, plain and simple, whether or not I am wrong about metal's existence. In the same way, your desire indicates a wish for clear POV. That does not belong in this article. Your expressed desire for POV has caused you to see a (what I believe to be neutral) compromise sentence as "making excuses," in my opinion. With Carr's new statement, do you still see reason to oppose this? --Wslack (talk) 05:46, 10 August 2006 (UTC)Reply
Uh, I offered my personal thoughts about Carr's view to show that your personal thoughts may not be the only explanation. Far from wanting to put my thoughts into the article, my point was that yours do not belong there. And, well, if the facts are such that people may draw certain conclusions, that is not POV. The article about Hitler will mention things that are bound to reflect poorly on him. That doesn't mean it's POV. So, if you actually say a stupid thing like "Metal does not exist", or "There are no elections in Cuba", you can't complain that those statements, compared to the reality, will make you look stupid. NPOV only means that the article should not explicitly call you stupid, or put up speculation that would imply you're stupid; but if verifiable facts don't reflect good on you, it's your problem. As to Carr's new statement, it remains to be seen if he actually changes his site thoroughly. As of now, I would just change the example from Cuba to Laos. Margana 12:03, 10 August 2006 (UTC)Reply

The sentence now says "no genuine elections," if that helps you guys any. Adam 23:48, 9 August 2006 (UTC)Reply

Well, that's better. But Cuba was just one example; will you make the same change with respect to the other countries whose elections you have denied so far (e.g. Laos)? Margana 00:20, 10 August 2006 (UTC)Reply



I am disgusted. For months we've sought a way of compromising on the use of Cuba as an example of Psephos not being politically neutral. Now that we finally have a resolution, Margana has suddenly decided that Cuba isn't a good example any more. All of a sudden it has to be Laos.

Margana, you have shown your hand. You do not wish to improve this article. You are only here to have a good long argument and upset people.

Snottygobble 23:43, 16 August 2006 (UTC)Reply

I haven't suddenly decided that Cuba isn't a good example anymore. It isn't a good example anymore because Adam has suddenly changed his Cuba page - but apparently he did so only in an attempt to avoid the embarrassment of having his POV pointed out in this article; presumably he thought I was only interested in Cuba and would then drop the matter. But since he has not changed anything else, the site as a whole is as POV as before, only that Cuba is no longer the best example. And this POV should be pointed out in the article, which is a vast improvement to this ridiculously biased article as written by Rebecca on Adam's dictation. For example, I only just found out that "Matthew M. Singer of Duke University" - a formulation which suggested that this person is a member of the faculty - is in reality just a student at that university, hardly notable enough to justify such a lengthy quote. And yet, this person is apparently the only basis for the contention that the site is "noted" for various things. Hence my "citation needed" tags; if no citations are forthcoming, I will remove the unsourced claims. Margana 00:00, 17 August 2006 (UTC)Reply

I added the word "genuine" in the hope that this would help resolve the dispute here. Obviously it hasn't, since Margana is here to push a pro-Castro (or maybe just pro-dictators) political agenda rather than to write a better article. If Margana is going to interpret my change as some kind of victory for him in his childish propaganda campaign, I will change it back again. My dictionary (OED) defines "election" as "The action of choosing for an office, dignity or position, usually by vote." An election thus requires an element of choice. There has been no element of choice in any Cuban "election" since Batista came to power, so the statement "there have been no elections in Cuba since 1948" is entirely factual. Adam 09:57, 17 August 2006 (UTC)Reply

That there's no choice in Cuban elections contradicts all other reliable sources; I quoted Britannica on this page before. You seem to think there can't be meaningful choices if there's a single party; but there are even countries with no parties at all which have meaningful elections. There's a choice between individuals. Margana 12:31, 17 August 2006 (UTC)Reply

There is no choice whatever in Cuba - there is a one and only one candidate for each position to be elected, and no public advocacy of choice is permitted. If the Britannica says otherwise it is wrong. Adam 12:59, 17 August 2006 (UTC)Reply

Only in the final round there's one candidate, but the nomination process at the local level is competitive, and ultimately voters can still vote against the chosen candidate (he needs 50% support to be elected). Oh, and if the fact that candidates are unopposed means there's no election, I wonder why you speak of the "2000 presidential election" in Iceland, saying "The incumbent, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, was re-elected unopposed" - isn't that a contradiction in terms by your definition? If there's no choice between multiple candidates, it's no election, right? Margana 13:29, 17 August 2006 (UTC)Reply

Other candidates were free to nominate against the incumbent, as you know perfectly well. You also know that in Cuba the entire process is controlled by the Communist Party. Anyway, I am not inclined to argue further with someone so willfully stupid or dishonest, particularly since I am not actually editing this article. I think however that I might return to Elections in Cuba after two months' absence, and take on the Communist Party of Wikipedia on its home ground again. Hasta la vista. Adam 13:54, 17 August 2006 (UTC)Reply

And in Cuba other candidates were also free to contest the nomination. The candidates are not simply handpicked by the party, and as I said, in the general election the people have the option to reject candidates they disapprove of. So there is plenty of choice, but your rigid anti-Communism doesn't let you acknowledge that. Margana 20:52, 17 August 2006 (UTC)Reply

And your rigid pro-Communism doesn't let you acknowledge that the Party you love so dear would punish anyone brave enough to "choose" - ala National Front (Czechoslovakia) etc etc. Communism and Marxism died 15 years ago and they are not coming back. PMA 23:49, 17 August 2006 (UTC)Reply



In what sense am I "playing lawyer"? See this page, which clearly shows that he is in fact a PhD student, not a lecturer or professor as the article suggests. --David Mestel(Talk) 06:37, 1 September 2006 (UTC)Reply

True. But he has a Masters. So unless you're actually seeking to diminish him, it would be more appropriate to refer to him as a MSc than a PhD student. Snottygobble 07:19, 1 September 2006 (UTC)Reply
How about "an MSc and PhD student", or some other similar wording which makes it clear that he has an MSc, but is also a PhD student? --David Mestel(Talk) 07:23, 1 September 2006 (UTC)Reply
What has the fact that he is a PhD student got to do with it? "MSc" is relevant because establishes the extent to which he is qualified to comment. "PhD student" is utterly irrelevant, unless you think that his decision to continue studying somehow makes him less qualified to comment than if he had headed straight out into the workforce. Snottygobble 07:28, 1 September 2006 (UTC)Reply
Well, the fact that it says "of Duke University" shows that he is at the university, and it's important to make it clear that it's in a student capacity, not as a lecturer. --David Mestel(Talk) 07:49, 1 September 2006 (UTC)Reply

Oh, get lost, David. Your "client "has been duly banned, so you can go off and advocate troll somewhere else. Rebecca 08:17, 1 September 2006 (UTC)Reply

Frankly, Rebecca, I have had just about enough of you. I come along and correct a factual ambiguity in the article, and I am told in an edit summary to "cease wasting our time", and that I am "lawyering". Then I come and discuss it on the talk page, and I am told to "get lost", and that I am "trolling". David Mestel(Talk) 09:30, 1 September 2006 (UTC)Reply
Oh, and by the way, you might like to try reading Wikipedia:Edit summary with respect to this edit. --David Mestel(Talk) 09:33, 1 September 2006 (UTC)Reply
David, I don't think "correct[ed] a factual ambiguity" is really accurate. Singer holds a BSc and a Masters in political science and has published quite a number of papers on elections. Clearly he has specialised in election studies, and "specialist" is an appropriate term. By changing it to "PhD student" you discounted all his prior qualifications and publications, implying that he is not qualified, or barely qualified, to express an opinion on election resources. Okay, yes, your change also removed the potential to mislead people into thinking he is member of the Duke faculty. But what a tradeoff!
Also, as Margana's advocate, you can reasonably be expected to know that you were making a change that had already been made by Margana a number of times, and rejected by everyone else. Did you think that we only rejected it because it was Margana? - That would be an astounding assumption of bad faith. Will you continue to counsel Margana to obtain consensus before reverting to his version while you yourself revert to his version without prior discussion? Snottygobble 12:48, 1 September 2006 (UTC)Reply
But do you agree that Rebecca calling me a troll is untrue and in fact borders on a personal attack? David Mestel(Talk) 21:21, 1 September 2006 (UTC)Reply
I'll answer your rhetorical question after you've answered mine ;-) Snottygobble 06:04, 2 September 2006 (UTC)Reply

To return to the subject at hand, "of Duke University" is also irrelevant. He's obviously not a member of the faculty, and there's no suggestion that he's speaking on behalf of the uni. The only reason to provide any information about Singer at all on this page is to intimate the extent to which he is qualified to express an opinion on Psephos. I therefore propose

"Matthew M. Singer, who holds a Master's degree in political science, wrote:"

What could be more neutral, accurate and concise? Snottygobble 12:26, 1 September 2006 (UTC)Reply

Absolutely fine. David Mestel(Talk) 13:15, 1 September 2006 (UTC)Reply
Okay, I've edited this in. I believe that everyone (except Margana) will be happy with this. My apologies if I've jumped the gun. Snottygobble 13:24, 1 September 2006 (UTC)Reply
My one concern with this is that it doesn't make it clear that he is basically an academic (rather than just a random person with an MSc), so you might want to consider the wording "Matthew M. Sanger, a PhD student at Duke University who holds a Masters degree in political science, wrote:". However, I have no real view either way on this one - it's just a suggestion. David Mestel(Talk) 21:21, 1 September 2006 (UTC)Reply
This is precisely why the original version was superior. Rebecca 03:44, 2 September 2006 (UTC)Reply
I agree. Singer: holds an MSc in political science; is a PhD student; in political science; at Duke University; has published several peer-reviewed articles on elections. We don't need to say all these things. We don't want to write a thesis or even a paragraph on Singer here. We just want to convey the extent to which Singer is qualified to comment on Psephos. I think "a specialist in election studies" was accurate, neutral and concise. And I think "a PhD student at Duke University who holds a Masters degree in political science" is accurate but not particularly neutral and decidedly long-winded. Snottygobble 06:04, 2 September 2006 (UTC)Reply
I strongly disagree with you on this - you are, by implication, grossly overstating his credentials - you imply that he is actually a college professor, which he is not. I suggest a change back to "who holds an MSc in political science". David Mestel(Talk) 19:14, 12 September 2006 (UTC)Reply
I have no strong objection to that. Snottygobble 23:48, 12 September 2006 (UTC)Reply
I oppose this. You yourself said the wording was incorrect, David. Quit being a prat. Rebecca 04:27, 13 September 2006 (UTC)Reply
Please be civil. I said that the wording was slightly unclear, and proposed a clarification, which was regected for reasons, as I understand it, of style. However, I strongly believe that this version is better than the status quo, for reasons which I have set out above. David Mestel(Talk) 06:03, 13 September 2006 (UTC)Reply
We've established fairly clearly that he is indeed an election specialist. As usual, you're trying to make a twisted interpretation of the wording that is actually there (which says nothing about him being a professor), in order to get a better result for your "client" at the expense of the article - despite that "client" being banned long ago. Rebecca 07:46, 13 September 2006 (UTC)Reply

In the first place, you are the one who is using the term "client", not me. In the second place, when you see "specialist", you do not immediately think "student" - and when it says "at Duke University", you think "lecturer". I'm simply proposing a more precise wording. David Mestel(Talk) 17:54, 17 September 2006 (UTC)Reply