Wikipedia:Articles on elections
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Wikipedia has many conventions that have emerged for election coverage. These have reached enough maturity that some very good examples can be identified.
For U.S. PresidentEdit
Wikipedia:Style for yyyy U.S. presidential election deals specifically with that type of election. Much of what follows still applies:
For other single-winner electionsEdit
Mayors and Governors and other Presidents are elected also in single-winner elections that require similar documentation to US President races. Focus is on the candidates, ultimately, in such elections.
For elections of the U.S. Congress by state and house, an attempt was made to clarify what should and should not be included for candidates without their own articles. Unfortunately, there was very little of relevance or value offered. Although Jimmy Wales worked on Wikipedia during the time of the discussion, he chose not to take part.
Very different rules and standards apply for elections in parliamentary systems which are often hard to anticipate, and where there is not such a focus on personalities:
An upcoming election is a future event and no matter what polls or press say, it does not have a predetermined outcome. In some cases rumours about what might happen can bias the outcome, and this is something Wikipedia literally never wants to be accused of. Try to follow the good examples of how to do this fairly:
- The UK general election, 2005 coverage as of the day of its announcement shows exactly how complete coverage should be, when the event is widely anticipated - note that there a cover a predicted future electoral event that may not happen at all - the focus should be on what might make it happen, or not, and the consequences of that decision, not on the mechanics or candidates except insofar as their bios and more general articles should be linked
An election so strictly defined in law and practice and terminology that it can be documented very completely. After the event, a very complete article will be written, and any predicted effects or the timeline of the election can then be moved to a separate article as the actual effects are described in the article, that is now about the past event:
Worldwide, most elections are for a parliament along the British model. One good example of a recent parliamentary election showing all the best practices is:
- 2004 Canadian federal election, Timeline of the 2004 Canadian federal election and Results of the 2004 Canadian federal election show how complete the documentation should be after the fact. Anything you can do to get the documentation in its final form early, will save much time right after the election where the demand is high for the results, quick.
Many elections are controversial. Here's some guidance about that:
- 2004 Taiwan presidential election is a Taiwan election; Note that Mainland China, unlike most neighbouring countries, takes very specific positions on what should happen in Taiwan, and what party or leader - the one who most favours the one China policy - should be elected.
- 2004 United States presidential election
- George W. Bush shows how to cover a candidate that has been through many controversies
- 2004 Madrid train bombings shows how to cover an event that is widely believed to have affected an election outcome
- 2004 Russian presidential election shows how to cover an exceptionally one-sided, but not universally condemned, election
- January 2005 Iraqi parliamentary election shows how to cover an election where a major faction or party boycotts the vote, where the legitimacy of the process is also questioned, and where there is need to report extreme and frequent violence or threats of same at polling places or in the runup to the election;
Elections where electoral fraud is widely reported are not reported as elections at all, but, typically, as part of the biography of the incumbent political leader or "party" or faction that rigs the election, or, as part of an article on the final outcome, if the result overturns a government, as in Ukraine in 2004 and Kyrgystan in 2005.
There are also nice boring good examples, like
Best practices and hazardsEdit
A few best practices and hazards can also be identified:
- Neutral point of view is always important, but just before an election it is important to update pages and watch for any systemic bias due to one party or faction or another being over-represented in the overall edit stream
- Swing state covers a US-federal-election-specific term that changes. The definition and examples will require updating before each US election.
The WikiProject Elections and Referendums will also be a place to gather tips and discuss editing of these articles. by saumil
- Wikipedia:Naming conventions (elections), policy regarding naming election articles