Although WikiPolicy uses the same software and ethos as Wikipedia, there are a few key differences in the editing approach. This document aims to guide the more devoted editors in their efforts.
Each 'Government' has its own collection of pages for major policy areas. The number of pages for each government should be kept to a minimum. About 20 seems appropriate.
It is somewhat difficult to decide what the major policy areas are. What department does 'same sex marriage' go under? Should the department of veterans affairs have its own full page? Should the environment page be split into 'Global Warming' and 'other'? The answer to these questions can be discussed in the Discussion section of the main list page for each government.
Each base article should divided into four sections:
- The first introductory section, without a heading, should detail the various ministers responsible for the area, and the changes made to these positions over the life of the government. It may also detail a brief and clear overall narrative of that policy area.
- The second, headed Government Policy, should be a very well referenced account of the initial policy adjustments made by the government upon its election followed by any changes made to the policy over the life of the government. The section may be divided by sub headings that depend on the sub policy areas.
- The third section, headed Party Criticism should provide details of criticism of the policy direction of the government made by registered Australian political parties. This section should be divided into the party names eg. Liberal, Green, Australia First, Christian Democrats, etc.
- The final section, headed Broader Criticism should detail criticisms that have not been made by any present registered Australian political party and be divided into section by perspective, eg. Libertarian, Protectionist, Marxist, Catholic, etc. In this final section, it is permissible to abandon the passive voice. However, all statements must be based in reason and evidence and be made without the use of pathos.
Some absolutely essential tools are:
- [] - place around the name of WikiPolicy pages that you wish to link to. Eg "Main Page".
-  - place around an internet address that you wish to link to. Leave a space and then enter the text that you wish to use Eg ""
- [ citation needed ] - place after an assertion that requires justification with evidence.
- - Use to create a reference after an assertion of fact.
Referencing is absolutely vital, and is one of the things that makes a Wiki stand out from conventional blogs. All assertions of fact must be followed by a reference to some evidence. It is expected that, unlike Wikipedia, most references will not be internal to WikiPolicy, but will be to external websites and online documents. In the 'Government Policy' section of each page, these are likely to be departmental web pages, party policy documents, ministerial speeches etc. In the 'Criticism' section these might be economic studies, green papers, senate submissions, published theoretical analysis, manifestos, scientific publications, and so on.
Unlike Wikipedia, it is expected that many editors will be motivated by self interest, or catharsis. In either case, editors will want to protect their own ideas with well referenced prose. For this reason, the most productive editors may well be active politicians, party members, public servants, journalists, or advocates of all kinds.