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How the proposals system works

We Citizens can and should participate in our own governance. We Citizens often offer ideas for improvements (proposals) and make calls for a decision to be made between definite options (issues). Notice that we do distinguish between proposals and issues, but, below, we'll sometimes use "proposal" to mean "either a proposal or an issue."

The proposals system is a single place where Citizens may make proposals and raise issues. If you submit a proposal here, and it gains a champion (a "driver"), you can be sure that the community will respond; your ideas or your question will not simply fall through the cracks.

It is simple to start a proposal or raise an issue. Here's an overview of how. You just supply some basic information (basically, fill out a form), which goes in the list of new proposals. If your new proposal/issue is in order, the Proposals Manager will move it to a "subpage" of this page, depending on what body makes the decision about it. For example, proposals for the Editorial Council will go on the CZ:Proposals/Editorial Council page.

Your proposal or issue will get nowhere, however, if no one agrees to make it happen, that is, to drive the process of debating, adopting, and implementing it. We call this champion of your proposal its "driver." If your proposal does not gain a driver within a week, it will be moved from the new proposals page to driverless proposals page. You can become a proposal driver, but if you do, you will have more work to do, and you need to get acquainted with the full proposal system instructions. In any event, the driver develops your proposal on a separate proposal page, where details about the proposal are given: explanation, reasoning, implementation. There is also public discussion about the proposal on that page.

Whenever the driver feels the proposal or issue is ready, it can be submitted to the assigned decisionmaker(s), who should respond before too long.

A proposal is "finished" when it's accepted and put into use. Then it will be deposited in [[CZ:Proposals/GROUP/Finished]], where the GROUP is the decisionmaking body. If rejected, the proposal will be deposited in [[CZ:Proposals/GROUP/Declined]]. (Links to these pages can be found in the "Proposals System Navigation" box below.)

Much new work can be done for the Citizendium without any special permission. You can approach decisionmakers directly, and you might be able to thereby bypass the proposal system apparatus altogether. This system is just meant to make project policymaking easier.

For more on how to the proposal system works, see these instructions.

How to start a proposal

To start a proposal, go to the new proposals page and follow the instructions on the top of that page. Then, optionally, on the new proposals page again, follow the "Start complete proposal" link you'll find at the bottom of your new proposal box, and fill out the page. That's it! You're done starting the proposal!

Please note, as proposer, you do not have to fill out the just-described "complete proposal" page. The proposal's driver (its "champion") should do so--if your proposal actually attracts a driver. If you do not volunteer to drive your proposal, there is no guarantee anyone else will, and it may be moved to the driverless proposals page after a week. Note also that if you become the proposal's driver, it will be very useful (perhaps essential) for you to read the full instructions.

How to comment on (other people's) proposals

You're welcome to comment on other people's proposals and issues.

First, you need to find the actual proposals. You can find the newest proposals on the new proposals page. You can find proposals that have been assigned to various decisionmaking groups by following the various "Active" links in the "Proposals System Navigation" box at the bottom of this page (it's also at the bottom of every page in the proposals system). You're welcome to comment on those proposals, too.

Once you've found a proposal you'd like to comment on, you'll need to click on the "Complete proposal" link. On the page you arrive at, you should find a section titled "Discussion" (or something like that). You can add your comment there, as you would any talk page.

If you want to continue to follow the discussion, we recommend you add the proposal page to your "watch list." To do that, when on the proposal page, simply click the "watch" tab at the top of the page.


It's pretty simple to start a proposal. But if you want to drive your proposal, that is, to see it to fruition, please have a look at our help/policy page. If you have a question, then please contact Jitse Niesen, the Proposals Manager. You can also post a question on the talk page, which the Proposals Manager and others will monitor.

Proposals System Navigation (advanced users only)

Proposal lists (some planned pages are still blank):