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This wiki attempts to be a community project - every user's opinion matters - so, this is the place for polls that concern the community. A poll is a survey (a measuring tool) which determines the current state of a situation, with respect to consensus. It doesn't form consensus. It merely measures it.

Polling Guidelines

Editors considering an article-related poll must remember that polling should be used with care, and should not invoke polls prematurely. Note that polling cannot serve as a substitute for debate and consensus; that no poll is binding on editors who do not agree; and that polling may aggravate rather than resolve existing disputes.

Polls may be inconclusive and sometimes highly contentious. In order to have a chance of being productive, editors must appreciate the following:

  1. The ultimate goal of any discussion is consensus, and a poll is helpful only if it helps editors actually reach true consensus.
  2. For that reason, polls are never binding, and editors who continue to disagree with a majority opinion may not be shut out from discussions simply because they are in the minority. Similarly, editors who appear to be in the majority have an obligation to continue discussions and attempts to reach true consensus.
  3. For the same reason, polls should not be used prematurely. If it is clear from ongoing discussion that consensus has not been reached, a poll is unlikely to assist in forming consensus and may polarize opinions, preventing or delaying any consensus from forming.
  4. Similarly, if a poll is inconclusive, or if there is disagreement about whether the question itself was unfair, the poll and its results should simply be ignored.
  5. Once responses to a poll have begun, even minor changes to the phrasing of the poll are likely to result in questions over whether the poll itself was fair. Consider proposing poll language several days prior to opening the actual poll to responses, and beginning the poll only once you have consensus on the precise question to be asked.
  6. The purpose of a poll is to stimulate discussion and consensus. Editors should evaluate the explanations that the participants in a poll offer, and should see if those explanations help to develop their own opinions or suggest compromise. In this context, a few well reasoned opinions may affect a debate much more than several unexplained mere votes for a different course. It's the opinions we're looking for, not a show of hands.
  7. Polls should not be used excessively. If a poll was called on an issue recently, there is usually no reason to call a second poll, even if you think that consensus may have changed or that the first poll was conducted unfairly. If you disagree with the "majority" opinion, simply remember that the poll is not binding and continue discussions. Of course, this is subject to consensus. (A quick poll as per "changed mind", "haven't changed" mind, might occasionally be helpful when you're working on a negotiated consensus... to make sure you're not forgetting people!)
  8. The words "vote" and "voting" have a variety of connotations, but on UDWiki they are defined as ballot-casting or majority voting. For that reason, the use of the words "vote" and "voting" are considered incorrect when describing polling. The word "surveying" is closer to what is accomplished during polling. The actual shorthand for poll serveying is simply "Polling".

How to start a poll

To start a poll, you must follow the following steps:

  1. Create a page for that poll.
    • Create this page as a subpage of the UDWiki:Poll page, like UDWiki:Poll/Your Poll. This is meant so this page doesn't get lengthy and unreadable.
  2. Write a draft about your poll.
    • This draft is not the final text for your poll, it is the general idea of what your poll will be regarding.
  3. Link this page here.
    • In the Under Discussion header. Write a few words about what you want to discuss in this poll. Also, add your poll to the tally of polls undergoing discussion at {{Wiki News}}.
  4. Discuss it on the poll's talk page.
    • People will be able to elaborate on the written draft, and add their opinions of what should be changed. Consensus must be reached about the nature of the survey before it is started. Allow about a week for this process.
    • A deadline for the survey should be considered to help resolve the issue in a timely manner.
  5. Write the final text on your poll.
    • Write the final text for your poll based on what was discussed on the poll's talk page.
    • Once started, the questions and wording in the survey should not change. If someone feels that the existing survey is seriously flawed, this is typically an indication Step 4 was not completed properly.
  6. Start the poll.
    • Update Wiki news indicating that the poll is open.
    • The poll must then be moved to the Active Polls header here.
    • Consider using unique headers for each point in the survey rather than multiple Support or Agree headers (see the example below). Users are encouraged to show their support or opposition of each opinion in the poll by posting their answers under the corresponding headers. Lengthy discussion should take place that poll's talk page, not below a particular person's poll response.
  7. Poll closed!
    • Polling closes after the deadline is reached. Deadlines should be at least one week but usually no longer than two weeks. Polls are then archived, and it should be announced on Wiki news that polling has closed.
  8. Post Conclusions
    • After polling has ended and reviewed, post your conclusions under a new header on your poll's page
    • Polls may be inconclusive. If your poll is inconclusive, do not view it as a failure. It simply means that further discussion is needed to form a consensus in the community.
    • Remember that your conclusions are not binding and that efforts should be taken to reach a compromise with those participants in the minority

Guidelines for participating in polls

  1. Since polling is a tool used to measure the consensus of the community, the results of the poll are not binding. As such, participants in the poll should consider that they are not casting a "vote". Rather, they are offering their opinions in an attempt to help determine the public opinion.
  2. As well, since polling is not a vote, you may express your opinion on any of the points raised in the poll. If you are opposed to a particular point, you may state that you are opposed to it while also stating that you support yet another. The goal is to allow everyone to voice their opinion on the issues.
  3. It is considered fair game to try to convince another participant to change their view of a certain issue but it is expected that it be done with civility and good-faith. Lengthy discussion of issues should take place on the poll's talk page. The poll itself should not be used as a platform for convincing others to agree with your stance on an issue. Most opinions should be addressed prior to opening the poll, though so make sure to check the talk page for prior discussion before trying to convince others to change their opinion.
  4. As anywhere else, your opinion on a poll may be challenged. Be prepared to explain your opinion further, and be prepared to explain your logic. Again, don't let this get too lengthy. If you are engaged about your opinion on an issue, it is acceptable to respond but heated discussion should be left to the talk page. These issues will generally be discussed prior to the opening of the poll, so as above, please check the talk page for discussion of the issue if before voicing your opinion on the poll.
  5. When participating in polling, please use hash marks (#) in front of your responses so that they will be numbered.

Example Poll

Below is a generic example of a poll. For more examples, see archived polls below.

ABC is used instead of XYZ

  1. ABC is the best. User:Rick James
  2. Duh. ABC. User:Betty Boop
  3. Yeah I like ABC. User:Gargamel
  1. XYZ has work for years. Why change. User:DJ Jazzy Jeff
  2. Please don't use ABC. User:SomethinsGottaGive
Use neither ABC nor XYZ
  1. LMNOP is looking pretty good in my opinion. User:Jim Bob Jones


Under Discussion

There are currently no polls under discussion.

Active Polls

There are currently no active polls.

Archived Polls

March 2011

UDWiki:Poll/Classifying Suburb Groups

May 2006


October 2006

UDWiki:Poll/Unban Jedaz

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