wiki basics

How do i start using this wiki?

If you find something that interests you, a missing fact to support a point, for instance, or a big hole in the middle of an argument, or something that screams to be posted, by all means post it! Here's how:

To edit pages ...

If you want to contribute to the content of the page (for instance, by inserting relevant facts; editing for clarity, grammar or punctuation; making or responding to an argument), click "Edit" in the top right corner of the page.

There is helpful formatting information in the second part of the Edit window; to see it, click "edit" on any page and scroll down. Follow the detailed instructions to create and save your changes. If you want, you can practice editing in the Sandbox.

Once your changes are saved, the page content is part of openpolitics.ca and is subject to editing by other users. These guidelines will give you a sense of how your work may be edited, as well as tips on style and format.

Further information on this subject, as well as formatting and other tricks, is available in the second half of the Edit window. Click "Edit" on any page and scroll down to find it.

One of the key features of a wiki is the extensive links between pages.

To link to another page, insert the title of the page you want to link to inside a set of double parentheses, like this: ((page name))

Ideally, page content should be short and concise (like 200 words or less), and perfectly described by the page name. If you have something to say that is not directly relevant to the page name you're on, please put it on another page, either an existing one (which you can find using the "search" function) or a new one.

New pages

To create a new page, start from the page you want to link from. Insert the title of the page you want to link to inside a set of double parentheses: ((like this)). After you save (unless that page already exists) you will see an underlined question mark like this. To create the new page, click the question mark, put your new content in the Edit window, and save.

Page names

An important note about page names:

Getting page names right is critical in wikis, and tends to follow strict rules. Generally the correct page name is the shortest and most commonly used phrase that describes the content. Using quirky page titles may be a cool way to express yourself, but trust us, nobody cares about what is on a page called "creating a dynamic education policy". Most people and the best ideas will go to the page named "education".

Page names must follow naming conventions:

  • page names should be easy for people to find, either by guessing or by searching keywords
  • in almost all circumstances, the shortest possible page name that still describes the content and the scope is the best name
  • avoid punctuation, especially apostrophes (even though, to anguish the souls of grammar puritans everywhere, this can make the page name grammatically incorrect (e.g. GP Womens Caucus) - an imposition which we must bear with fortitude and courage, safe in the knowledge that the apostrophe is dropped for a greater good)
  • avoid duplication

As with any open politics content, page names may be altered at any time in accordance with naming conventions. In case of a bad page name, please do not change the page name as it can mess up people's bookmarks. Rather, if a change is necessary, make a new page with the correct name, move the content over and redirect the user to the new page.

Be Bold.

In wiki, you don't have to be shy:
  • If you think that an issue has been poorly described, improve it.
  • If you disagree with all the positions put forward on a page, add a better one.
  • if you can argue effectively for or against a position, go for it.
  • nobody's perfect. You can be certain that someone will be along edit what you wrote, hopefully fix your typos and improve (or disprove!) your ideas.

To link to an external page, insert the complete URL between square parentheses, like this:


The entire URL will appear as a clickable link.

General Guidelines

Use the Edit function for IPAs:

Use the Comment function for opinions: if you can't say it without saying "I" - as in "I think" or "in my experience" or "I need clarification" - then it's a comment. (Exceptions include "I think the second paragraph should say ...")

The question of when edit and when to comment can be a difficult one, and figuring it out is all part of the fun of wiki-ing.

To register and log in...

You can register a username and password here. Once you've registered, look for the box labelled "Login" at the top-right of any page. Enter your username and password in the appropriate slots and hit the button labelled "login". The page will refresh, and the Login box will now read "logged as: (your username)". If you have any problems see: Login Help

If the login box is not visible on your screen, it's possible that your browser is not compatible with our Tiki Wiki software. Please refer to Tiki Wiki and Browsers for more details.

If you forget your password, you can retrieve it at tiki-remind_password.php. Always keep your login information secret — do not share your login with others.

How do I "learn the ropes"?

There are lots of things that new participants need to know, but start here: