UK Local Issues Forum Guidebook

The UK Local Issues Forum Guidebook distributed by e-democracy.org in PDF form, remarkably, advocates some rules for local issues forums that differ markedly from those applied in successful political wikis. It is not clear if these arise from practice or are simply made up based on feelings. They are quite similar to the generic e-democracy.org Forum Rules, as it advocates:

  1. A strict use real names policy - analogous to requiring picture identification from everyone who enters a town hall meeting - highly questionable.
  2. "No individual may post more than two posts a day" which presumably does not include the corrections, link additions, and etc., which only forum managers may add
  3. "No personal attacks" whatever that means. This has been the most adopted, and least successful, "rule", in all of the history of online deliberation.
  4. "Issues discussed must be local issues" though there is presumably a way to refer regional issues to the bioregional e-democracy district council or some other body that could, for instance, take up watershed or air quality issues that transcend one community.

There is no data on whether this Guidebook has ever been used successfully in practice. It does not appear to reflect the wiki best practices or the habits of political wikis.

The fact that it is distributed in PDF suggests it is simply an incompetent document prepared by those who do not actually trust nor use online forums or formats.