Based on experience of the last couple of elections here, and thinking ahead for May elections I think we could benefit from a clearer organisation of posts here to help the casual reader. I’d be interested in what you think.
We should assume readers know nothing about elections, or how government works.
We create a new elections category under politics. (So people can ignore them all if they wish, or choose to be notified of everything!).
Create a wiki post (community maintained) to track the specific election day which can outline what’s going on and what its about in human speak “Eastleigh Central By-Election Feb 2022”, “Eastleigh Elections May 2022”. This one for example could be created now, and then regularly maintained so people can choose to be notified of any news or discussion about it.
The above wiki page should act as current status, and an index to farm requests out to more specific wiki pages for each local election taking place. Example: “Eastleigh Central Borough Council Election May 2022”, “Eastleigh North Borough Council Election May 2022”.
Each specific election page would link off to other content related to that election such as Who can I vote for profiles, and any discussion for that particular election. (Including candidates asking for a hustings, or the hustings itself!).
We abandon the ‘political leaflets’ category, and instead posts the leaflets related to a specific election within the relevant election thread.
We automatically close election topics 30 days after the election has ended to avoid confusion.
I think the benefits of organising this way are:
Reduced new topics. No longer a topic per leaflet, but a topic per election event, making leaflets about the election easier to find and
allowing candidates a place to challenge what is said in leaflets. (ie, leaflets promote the discussion rather than leaflets sitting in isolation).
We work collectively as a team, rather than individually to organise information that may be useful to people.
Getting updates on a particular election you’re interested in becomes much easier, while you have the ability to ignore all else.
you’d more easily be able to see the distribution of leaflets and activity in specific areas to see which areas parties are targeting, or not.
Sounds reasonable. An election category and keeping leaflets in the same discussion make sense to me. Give it a try.
On the subject of leaflets, it would be awesome to encourage people to upload them to https://electionleaflets.org/ and link here (or upload here as well). It’s the slightly unloved part of Democracy Club but it’s a useful archive for research and it would be great if we could contribute.
The problem I see with this (and maybe you can give it some love to find resolution as I love the idea).
The leaflets aren’t well indexed - for example I can’t see all leaflets by a particular individual.
There’s no textual transcription, so I can’t search for contents.
The site doesn’t support one-boxing properly, so as you’ll see below example, if I linked a leaflet, an image preview doesn’t show of a specific leaflet which immediately puts 95% of people off from clicking on it. This would be really useful and hopefully quick to address:
I think this could be fixed very simply by just adding the og:image meta tag, example:
In the coverage of the last election, 25 leaflets = 25 topics in addition to the election talk topics. Using the proposed method above, election topics would be 14, and leaflets would be posts within existing topics. This should drastically cut down on the noise and keep it relevant by area?
It would also help bring a little clarity to the noise as I’m sure some wards get far more leaflet bombardment than another. Bear in mind a reader interested in one area, is unlikely to be interested in another as we might be.
I’m sure there are likely more leaflets delivered than we knew about here.
Perhaps the best longer term approach to leaflets is to upload to the archive as suggested by @jtonline, and then post in the relevant thread with a link to say seen delivering to x area.