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Adopt A Chapter!

1) Introduction

To write up an election platform, at some point of time we have to gather "the raw matter", the pieces we're going to use to write the platform.

In order to speed up the process, my rough suggestion is to have one HTML page per chapter of the platform, then have people "adopt" one or more chapters. These Chapter Leads "fill in the blanks", integrate suggestions, corrections, etc. At the end, we pool together these chapters and write a version of the platform. And we start the whole cycle over again! (I think we'll have to run through the loop a few times before getting a decent result.)

2) Tasks of the Chapter Lead

I'm making this up as I go along, but I guess the Lead should:

2.1) Respect the chapter template. See below.

2.2) Write in HTML. Don't worry, it's ridiculously easy.

2.3) Translate everything in the other official language (English or French). Don't worry, it's a good idea! Since at this stage we do not want to actually write, but just gather materials, in theory we should mostly gather references. For example, in the chapter on Environment, we could have:

- To improve Mass transit: such a book, such a page.
- On the impossibility of replacing gasoline by bio-fuels: such a study, such a link on the Internet.
- etc.

Forcing ourselves to translate everything (or to get everything translated) discourages verbosity, and the tendency to "reinvent the wheel". If we can find the same thing, already translated in both languages, in another electoral platform, or on the Internet, then that's it! Problem solved! It's also a good idea that each Chapter Lead should find a "vice-president" who speaks the other official language (we can put a little ad on the other side of the web site for this). Right there, people have to build relationships with "the other side"!

2.4) Integrate suggestions and corrections from ordinary citizens. In theory, we should hand out flyers from door to door, inviting all citizens to participate. A person having a good idea, let's say, to improve the Maple Sirup Industry, would look up in the Table of Contents who is the Chapter Lead, and send him or her the suggestion.

3) Chapter template

I'm making this up as I go along, but I guess we could have a structure like:

3.1) Overview of the chapter. What are we talking about, what are we not talking about.

3.2) Christian principles that apply. By and large the related Bible verses and numbers from the Compendium.

3.3) Suggestions for practical policies. The actual contents of this generic election platform.

3.4) Adaptation suggestions for jurisdictions. For example, policies that are specific to Quebec, or Canada.

3.5) Dissenting opinions. This is Politics, not Religion! Even in Catholicism, the rule is: "In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas" (Unity in necessary things, freedom in the uncertain, and in all, Charity). So obviously in Politics we should make room for dissenting opinions.

3.6) Currently unanswered questions.

3.7) Respect the format for bibliographical references. For the time being, we use the format of chapter Public education.


4) Conclusion

A single person cannot write a good electoral platform. Actually, writing a good platform is so difficult, that it's a political activity. You need a large number of persons, very dedicated and competent, and well-governed.

You want to help? Contact me!

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