Template talk:Infobox officeholder

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Guidelines for when to include each parameter[edit]

Some guidelines as to when to use each parameter might be helpful. There is currently a disagreement (Talk:Julia Gillard#Inclusion of monarch and governor-general in infobox) about whether the monarch and governor-general should be included in {{infobox prime minister}}.

RfC Congressmen's tenures in infobox[edit]

It has been requested to review the following closure, see the pertaining thread at AN. Please comment there, not here anymore. Kraxler (talk) 16:10, 27 February 2015 (UTC) Withdrawn. Kraxler (talk) 14:01, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

The following discussion is an archived record of a request for comment. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
Consensus is in favour, but the group expressing opinion is small given the breadth of scope and the arguments against are rather strong, so it is hard to call this anything other than a vote in favour rather than an actual consensus. I advise against wholesale implementation of any decision and instead advocate a limited trial with examples proposed by opposers to see just how workable it is or is not in practice, with real-world examples. My suggestion is to choose a single area (State or County or whatever works, try the box on everyone and see if it throws up examples of Stupid. As I say, the number of votes is insufficient to call this a proper consensus given the number of article affected, but I doubt that extending it would achieve a meaningful change in this. Suck it and see.

I missed the fact that this applies only to national level (I'm British, I have no real idea about US politics).. I fall back to my original statement: try it, see whether it throws up obvious bonkers result. Guy (Help!) 00:10, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

As closing admin I will say this: the result of this debate is, as I state above, a vote for, but with sound reasons against. 20 people is a small number when you are talking about a template transcluded on nearly ninety thousand pages, many of them biographies of living people. If you're not happy with that, then you can have a straight no consensus based on weight of arguments, not vote-counting.

I chose to try a middle path because the proposal is evidently popular among the small group who participated. I suggested a limited trial with examples proposed by the opponents (as well as the proponents) to test how it works. This is apparently being interpreted as blanket reversal of a previous consensus. It isn't. It's also apparently being interpreted as carte blanche to impose changes without first discussing the parameters of any limited trial. It isn't that either.

You may at this point legitimately do one of the following, I think:

  1. Request the close be reviewed and vacated at WP:AN.
  2. Try the limited trial, as per above, with all parties collaborating not fighting.
  3. Misinterpret the result and thus more or less prove a negative result for the trial by enforcing bonkers results, in which case you revert to the status quo.

I don't really care which you do, but please note that taking aggressive unilateral action without discussion in order to impose an esoteric interpretation of the close, is not one of the options. Guy (Help!) 23:18, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Comment on closing rationale: If 20 participants is too small to reach consensus, what happened at the previous RfC where 14 people established consensus? I hereby give notice that the previous "consensus" is no further recognized as such. You can't eat your cake and have it too. Kraxler (talk) 13:51, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

And I would like to note you can not do that. There was no strong consensus in favour of your proposed change affecting the prior RfC consensus so that close stands as the !vote was not remotely close on it, and the consensus was clear (12 to 2 of which one was misplaced as thinking 2140 articles would be changed ) . A "no consensus" for a change that would affect that prior consensus does not void that consensus per WP:CONSENSUS as one should well recall. Collect (talk) 14:25, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

FYI Out of 20 participants, the vote was 14 to 4 against the previous consensus, with 2 comments not addressing the question. That definitely throws out the previous consensus. My complaint here is not which side won, the problem is that the closer did not address the questions which were to be decided here. If 20 editors are not enough to establish consensus, then 14 are much less. If this RfC can not be implemented, on that grounds, then the previous can't either, besides of having been voted down. That makes us go back to the original consensus, meaning all different district tenures are mentioned with predecessor and successor in the infobox. By the way, except for Grimm and Rangel and another handful of people, that's exactly the current state of things. The previous consensus was never implemented in practtice. What was proposed here, has in the meanwhile become the accepted pattern for state legislators in New York (note that I didn't implement it there, it was done by other editors). Kraxler (talk) 15:21, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
And note the RfC here was NOT to reverse the prior consensus nor was it implied to be aimed to do so - it was to in fact specify:
The predecessor and/or successor should show the actual previous or next officeholder, if the subject defeated/was defeated by the other person, or succeeded/was succeeded without redistricting
Which absolutely does not appear to read "The prior RfC is vacated" at all, but rather appears to confirm the prior RfC. An RfC which seeks specifically to void a prior RfC must so state clearly. And I find your Wikilawyering here a tad puzzling. When a closer cites "strong arguments" that usually means there are strong arguments involved. Collect (talk) 15:42, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
The previous consensus was mentioned in the first sentence of this RfC and that it led to controversy. The following text of this RfC makes it absolutely clear what was the purpose of it. Accusing me of wikilayering, after writing that a vote of 14 to 4 against the previous consensus rather confirms it, well... I just asked for clarification which must be done necessarily by an uninvolved editor. I mentioned some options here, but I already followed the instructions of Guy, as far as i could understand it, see Charles B. Rangel. Kraxler (talk) 15:47, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
And your new claim that the purpose of this RfC was to reverse a prior RfC is improper. Your RfC made no such statement at any point. Cheers and have a great day. Collect (talk) 15:57, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
All RfCs reverse all previous RfCs, in case of a changed consensus, by definition. But I've become wary to try to explain the obvious to you. What I wanted to say was: The previous consensus which "affected thousands of pages" was implemented at exactly five of them: Rangel and Grimm by you, and Barbara Lee, Pete Stark and Jerry McNerney by Binksternet. The claim that 20 commenters can not establish a new consensus for something that is used on exactly five pages is the weakest argument I heard in ages. It actually proves that the closer did not even read through the discussion. The closer has asked to request a review of this closure, and I will do so. Considering the scope of the real controversy (five pages; all other congressmen pages are still like the previous before the previous consensus and would be improved but can wait) there is not much urgency about it, but I shall certainly do it within a few days. Kraxler (talk) 13:16, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

At a previous discussion at Template talk:Infobox_officeholder/Archive 18#RfC on successor/predecessor where a district is not reasonably viewed as the same after redistricting consensus was established to substitute the word "redistricted" at the predecessor and/or successor parameters in the case of redistricting under the there described circumstances. Although this was not widely implemented, only a micro-fraction of articles were adequated to this new usage, it led to a controversy because the usage in infoboxes subsequently seemed to be out of step with the usage in succession boxes. This was discussed at Template talk:Succession box#RfC without conclusion to date. I have given the whole matter a bit of thought and would like to say the following:

  • Infoboxes are supposed to tell about the history of the subject of the article, in this case, the life of politician.
  • Succession boxes are supposed to tell you about the history of the office.

This shows clearly that both the content and the format of these boxes may very well be quite different, since they serve different purposes. However, some people will always claim that the content should be the same everywhere, which then leads to edit-wars which will flare up again and again and are difficult to resolve. On the other side, in my opinion, to split up the tenures of the congressman (caused by redistricting/renumbering) is out of scope in an infobox. The district number has, under any circumstances, no biographical value at all, and as User:Collect correctly stated, is not used in Congress itself. The district number has encyclopedical value, and serves to compile and maintain complete lists. They are also used to legally describe the district at the election, and serve in the case of sitting congressmen to find info on their current district, by reading articles like New York's 13th congressional district. At these articles a map and info on the present characteristics of the district can be found.

Considering the above, I propose the following:

  1. In the infobox of a US representative, the tenure should not be split if the person has been continuously sitting in Congress, disregarding the redistricted numbers. The predecessor and/or successor should show the actual previous or next officeholder, if the subject defeated/was defeated by the other person, or succeeded/was succeeded without redistricting. In all other cases, the parameter should be omitted. If the representative is still sitting, "currently representing the Xth District" should be added.
  2. Succession boxes shall be used as they are, showing the predecessor and the successor according to the pertaining list of the district as numbered.

See the following examples:

The combination of the info as stated in the proposed new infobox combined with the succession box make two things clear: The representative, Rangel in this example, has been sitting continuously for more than 40 years in Congress, and thus neither did lose an election nor was preceded or succeeded in Congress by anybody except back in 1971 by Powell. The representative's district was apportioned different areas necessarily including his residence, and was numbered differently, usually every 10 years, and for encyclopedic reference a link is given to the list which shows the history of the district as numbered as well as those representatives who used that numbers during their elections before and after the subject of the article. Please comment. Kraxler (talk) 15:04, 9 January 2015 (UTC)


  • Support as proposer. Kraxler (talk) 15:04, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose There is no single "office" to have continuity with. The old and new districts have no relationship to one another, except that they got sequentially assigned the same number. If we rework the succession boxes to be "The district which represents City X, or neighborhood X" that would have some sort of continues life across redistricting, but also introduces OR and objectivity issues. Gaijin42 (talk) 15:36, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Support as a practical and reasonable compromise. What an interesting proposal. I like the distinction between biographical and encyclopedical values, and think they are the key reason behind some edit wars. It's a pedantic distinction that a Congressman served in district A then district B when it was in many cases the same district. But being pedantic is what encyclopedias are all about. I'm of the mind that we ought to list each and every little distinction, but then it seems like overkill. —GoldRingChip 15:41, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose Noting that some states have, indeed, even used letters for some congressional seats. Noting that the purpose of Wikipedia is to create an encyclopedia of useful information for readers. Readers are not well-served by "pedantry for the sake of pedantry" - a student who tells his teacher "but Wikipedia says George Gnarph succeeded our current congressman, and Wikipedia is an encyclopedia" would likely get an "F." Putting it another way:
Where an article is biographical in nature, making claims which do not serve that biographical purpose are not especially useful to anyone at all. Collect (talk) 16:10, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
You mean to add 8 times "redistricted" in an infobox is "useful information"? Kraxler (talk) 17:29, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
Also remember that to my statement "Charles Rangel succeeded Michael Grimm as a man who was elected in a district with the official number 13." your top choice for ArbCom at the last election answered: "I won't dispute the factual accuracy of such a statement." And he is quite right there. So could we drop that, and look at the real issue? Please read again my proposal and then comment on the merits. Please do not just oppose for opposing's sake. In determining consensus such votes are disregarded anyway. Kraxler (talk) 17:40, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
The famed "you are in a helicopter" sign in the Microsoft anecdote was "factually correct" and totally useless[1] etc. . By the way, one should note that I asked and graded seven questions - using one answer as the only one which counts is silly. Collect (talk) 12:58, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
The problem is caused by trying to build a table of unrelated entities. Pretending they are the same entity is factually incorrect. Saying redistrited is a reasonable solution to that problem. Also would be breaking the infobox into separate sections (or entire boxes) after each redistricting, which would allow us to tell the user about the coverage of the district after each redistricting. See a similar problem (and solution) in titles of nobility such as Earl_of_Clanbrassil Where there are multiple people who have held the title but did not in fact "succeed" each other in any way. Gaijin42 (talk) 17:44, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
RE Gaijin42 - The people listed at New York's 13th congressional district are not "unrelated entities", on the contrary, they are all people who have something in common: They were elected in District 13. Certainly, the area of the district shifted, possibly every 10 years, but the district number is the only thing that identifies the district, both legally and when referred to in the media/sources. Wikipedia, like any other encyclopedia, is a reference work that should give info and clarify doubts of those who read the name or the district number elsewhere. Imagine you research the history of your hometown, and read: "Mr. X represented this area (then the 13th District) in Congress from Year Y to Year Z". You would consult Wikipedia, typing in the name of the Congressman, and wouldn't get any answer because of an omitted/additional middle name/initial. Then you wouyld try the district by number, there you see the name as used here, and go to the article. There you see that the Congressman served a long time, with differently shaped district maps and numbers. In the infobox you see the total tenure, as biographically relevant. At the bottom, in the succession box you would see what numbers his district had at different times, and clicking on the link, you would get info on the district at that time. That's one thing that the succession nav box at the bottom is for. It also serves for cross-referencing, and is used by editors to compile, maintain and improve complete lists. User:Wasted Time R questions "Ask the[ readers] if they ever follow the 'succeeded' and 'preceded' links at the bottom." Well, I guess most of the readers don't, which directly contradicts the concerns of User:Collect and User:Binksternet, but page patrollers, Wiki gnomes, and historian-editors (like myself) do certainly. I follow the predecessor/successor sequences of different offices many times, to get facts and dates checked, comparing with the sources. – Concerning the problem similar to the several new creations of titles like Earl of Clanbrassil, see for example New York's 17th congressional district. The district was eliminated in 1809 and recreated in 1813. Thus at William Stephens Smith who sat in Congress from 1813 to 1815, no predecessor is listed, it says instead "district restored" in the succession box. Kraxler (talk) 15:42, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Support I believe the proposers arguments have been both informative and persuasive, he has evidently researched into this issue and I think adding the word 'redistricted' numerous times is not helpful to anyone, especially when Charles Rangel does now represent the 13th congressional district in New York. SleepCovo (talk) 18:43, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Support future use in infoboxes like File:Infobox example 3.jpg, unless the person actually moved and represented a substantially different geographical area. Support similar use in succession boxes, or elimination of the succession box for this use as redundant. Strongly oppose succession boxes on biographies based on the notion that "Succession boxes are supposed to tell you about the history of the office." Fine, then put them on articles about the office, e.g. "Preceded by Schoharie – Succeeded by Harlem" LOL, but don't put them on biographies of the officeholders. Once the office's 10-year term expires, it could be reelected to represent the same geographical area, or it could be replaced by an entirely different location, in which case the number needs disambiguation: District 13 (Schoharie) or District 13 (Harlem). Wbm1058 (talk) 19:09, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. The topic is an person (bio). The person has been holding the office of congress for decades (like Rangel). IF the topic were an office, as in "NY 6th Congressional District", that is another matter and might show different people (and, Lord knows, different boundaries) for that same period. District Number might be relevant if the officeholder moved to another state and won a " time-consecutive" seat, or moved a "long" (subjective) distance from his/her prior district. So there could be apparent exceptions. Student7 (talk) 01:36, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Support I definitely like the much shorter top infobox entry being proposed. I don't think the succession boxes at bottom provide any value to the reader in cases like these, but I'm pretty sure few readers even know they exist, so it doesn't matter. (Next time you're talking with regular folks who use Wikipedia, ask them if they ever click 'show' on the blue striped things at the bottom of an article. Ask them if they ever follow the 'succeeded' and 'preceded' links at the bottom. Ask them if they know what 'Categories' are on Wikipedia. In my experience, regular folks aren't aware of any of these.) Wasted Time R (talk) 02:31, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
Your evaluation of reader behavior is probably quite right. Please see my answer to Gaijin42 above. However, User:Collect wants to make us believe that the average reader looks at the infobox at the top and sees that Rangel has been sitting in Congress for more than 40 years and is still incumbent, but instantly forgets about it. The reader then proceeds to read the text and reads that Rangel has been sitting in Congress for more than 40 years, and is still incumbent, but instantly forgets about it, and disregards it. He then scrolls down to the bottom to the succession box section, sees by following the boxes that there are sequential tenures with different district numbers, and sees that Rangel is still incumbent. From this box finally he draws the conclusion that, although still incumbent he was "succeeded in Congress" (meaning he left office to make space for somebody else), but would never think that somebody else got apportioned Rangel's old district numbber, and thus somebody "succeeded to that numbered district" (meaning Rangel is still sitting, elected in a differently numbered district). This all while re-apportionment and gerrymander are extrememly well known subjects in the United States, there being elections every two years, and at the time of re-apportionment the subject regularly makes the headlines of the mainstream press. At the end of this whole reading and thinking process the reader then proceeds to school (of all places!, Collect's average reader is a literate student, not an illiterate drop-out) and proclaims in front of a teacher: "Wikipedia says George Gnarph succeeded our current congressman, and Wikipedia is an encyclopedia!" Are Wikipedia readers really like that? Kraxler (talk) 15:42, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose. The fatal problem with this idea is that any succession box in a biography must be about the person who holds office, not about a voting district with an arbitrary number assigned to it. It would be nonsensical to say, for instance, that California's Barbara Lee was succeeded in office by another politician when in fact she continues to hold her office—her district was changed from number 9 to number 13, with some adjustment to the borders, but both versions contain the cities of Berkeley and Oakland, her core constituency. There is no magic dust to sprinkle on the bottom section of a biography to make it ignore the biographical subject and instead represent a numbered congressional district. The place to tell the reader about succession in a numbered congressional district is in the article about that district. For instance, it is certainly appropriate to tell the reader about the sequence of office holders at the article called California's 9th congressional district, which will naturally be expected to tell the reader about the contextual changes, that the area covered by district 9 shifted in totality in 2013. Without the very critical context the raw succession information becomes ridiculous and contradictory. The succession box is a simplistic tool and cannot be expected to provide the necessary context achieved with prose, which is why we should not introduce contradictory nonsense as would be the case if we implemented Kraxler's idea. Binksternet (talk) 05:41, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
Please see my answers to Gaijin42 and Wated Time R above. Kraxler (talk) 15:42, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
Your talk of thinking, literate readers being able to figure it out for themselves is a smoke screen for the ridiculous idea that two identical succession boxes can say different things depending on where they are in the biography. We should never make the reader puzzle out what the information is saying. If the information is that complicated, we should use prose to describe the complexity. The convenience of simplistic succession boxes can only take us so far; once the situation becomes complicated and puzzling, we must use prose to describe it. And of course the numbered district's own article will always show the numerical succession, irrelevant though it may be to the biography. Binksternet (talk) 16:04, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Support for the reasons listed. Infoboxes are not database queries and we don't need to return huge volumes of perfectly normalized data just to be precise. Infoboxes are a summary of the most important facts about a person. Readers don't need to see "redistricted" over and over in an infobox; that information can appear in the article on the districts themselves. It's not biographical at all. It would never appear in a real biography.

    The proposed solution brings the infobox back to its original purpose, summarizing information that appears in the article. Even if you want to include each district separately, there's no reason to include predecessors/successors for every one. Who needs that? It's not in the article. The only use for predecessor/successor on redistricting is for navigational purposes, and infoboxes aren't there for navigation. It's inconceivable that more than a dozen readers are relying on the infobox to be a quick navigation between districts. I doubt even five people do it in a given year. And if we stop doing it, those five people are clever enough to find another solution that doesn't take up half of the article. This proposal is exactly how we should do it. (As a further compromise, we could have one new field that says "Previous districts: 3rd, 4th, 8th".) —Designate (talk) 16:32, 10 January 2015 (UTC)

    • Also, I agree with Wasted Time R that the succession boxes really provide no value, but since nobody knows they exist I'm willing to ignore them. —Designate (talk) 16:36, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Support This is a lot better than the "redistricted" nonsense that is suddenly being forced upon us. It is ridiculous how the so called "consensus" happened in the first place when not a single person complained about the original format all these years before. My only concerns about this are how will this format look on a past representative's page and will it be implemented on every representatives page? There doesn't need to be more inconsistency with the formats. TL565 (talk) 23:23, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Support for offices where the district number is not used in the chamber, as apparently with the US House. However, the number should continue to be used in the infobox where the district number is used in the chamber, especially where there is a requirement that the official live within the district, as the decision whether or not to move to retain office is properly biographical. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 01:40, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Support - it's unnecessarily confusing otherwise. — kikichugirl speak up! 04:51, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Summoned here by RfC bot. I think that the infobox under the previous consensus is preferable. Just saying "redistricted" is uninformative. The proposed infobox doesn't provide enough information. I think that our readers can cope with the more detailed infobox. Coretheapple (talk) 23:37, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
One thing to consider here is that on the mobile interface (at least on my iPhone), you have to scroll through the entire infobox before you can even get to the lead of an article. That argues for making infoboxes more succinct and omitting unnecessary details such as every district an officeholder has represented. Wasted Time R (talk) 00:21, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose Many people remain on a committee but not through holding a single office. There is a problem to solve here, but I'm not convinced that they way described here will be the correct approach. The issue here is how to indicate that a person has continued to be a member of committee over a period of time (that extends beyond their tenure or incumbency in a particular representative role). For example in Scotland this affects many MSPs because of the type of electoral system involved. MSPs can be in the Scottish Parliament either by being chosen to represent a specific constituency or through being selected from a regional list. Drchriswilliams (talk) 00:11, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
The scope of this RfC is limited to usage in case of numbered districts. As mentioned in the title, this involves US congressmen, but similarly may be used for state legislators in the US when district numbers are used (for example New York State Senate since 1823, New York State Assembly since 1966). Legislators elected in districts described by place names, as British, German or French constituencies, have a different usage, and will keep it, both in infoboxes and succession boxes. The difference is that the numbers are chosen randomly (sometimes loosely following a pattern, like the sequence going South-North-West in New York) without reference to the area. Besides, in the US usually every ten years there is re-apportionment and/or re-districting, while in the UK the same constituencies remained without much change for centuries. Kraxler (talk) 16:50, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
Re: British Rotten and pocket boroughs - they ended in 1867. I suspect the same is true of most countries with general suffrage. Collect (talk) 16:55, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
Are we discussing the officeholder template or the Congressman template? It isn't straightforward to find the guidance on the multiple terms:Template:Infobox_officeholder/example#Multiple_terms I was thinking more of the Scottish Parliament or the National Assembly for Wales which use Additional Member Systems. This means that it a number of persons return as representatives in successive parliaments but in a different position and representing a different population. This is because as well as first past the post system for constituencies, candidates can also be selected from a regional list. The currently convention is to use the "office" field to list the constituency in free text (after code to specify a line break). I guess I have some concern that this doesn't always lead to information being presented in a clear and understandable way to people who aren't familiar with the way the elections are run. Drchriswilliams (talk) 18:35, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
We are discussing usage for US congressmen. AFAIK there is no special template for them, they use the "officeholder" template.clarified, see below As already said, constituencies other than numbered districts are not within the scope of this proposal. Kraxler (talk) 11:29, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
Are there around 3500 Wikipedia articles that are using the "congressman" template? Drchriswilliams (talk) 11:47, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
Template:Infobox Congressman is a redirect to Template:Infobox officeholder. That's why we discuss it here. To clarify it further, we should agree then that the proposed usage is for "Infobox Congressman" only, and that congressmen who use a different infobox should get this one, if necessary. Kraxler (talk) 12:10, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
Seems that on top of general problems that infoboxes need to cope with, redistricting causes additional headaches for the congressman template. I'm now happy to acknowledge that this RfC is a practical attempt to filter out the less useful information for the "Infobox Congressman" template. Moved to support. Drchriswilliams (talk) 12:48, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment. Maybe this can't be solved in just one way to suit everyone. How about a permanent footnote that goes with the template to the article which reads, "Every state with more than one Congressional District is required to redistrict every ten years, with the new census. Therefore District boundaries and numbers may not match with any prior decade." ? Student7 (talk) 21:55, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
That sounds awkward and seems to be out of scope for infoboxes. Per WP:Infobox they are supposed to give a "quick and convenient summary of the key facts about a subject, in a consistent format and layout". The purpose of an infobox is "to summarize key facts that appear in the article. The less information it contains, the more effectively it serves that purpose." Footnotes and references should generally be avoided in infoboxes. Kraxler (talk) 11:43, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Procedural oppose. This RfC is invalid, as it was not framed as "a brief, neutral statement of the issue", as per WP:RFC. VanIsaacWScont 01:11, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not a bureaucracy. We are trying to solve a problem here. If you have a better/different proposal or solution, please feel free to tell us about it. Kraxler (talk) 12:10, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. The proposed future usage in the info box conveys a succinct representation of the Representative’s career to date, and serves as an improvement to the current consensus info box. The succession boxes are a handy explanation of how one could research information based on district data. Nothing is lost when the two are paired on an article page. The attempt at combining the two functions as at the present info box is both redundant and hard to read for the general reader. --- Part of the narrative of every political career affected by redistricting should include how the Representative appealed to the voters of redistricted constituencies, and whether they were successful or failed among the new set of voters. In articles where redistricting is a feature, a footnote at the district number in the proposed info box could direct the reader to the succession box which lists all the district numbers in the chronological sequence of the Representative's career. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 16:33, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Support, in almost all cases. Redistricting, at least every 10 years (usually twice every 10 years in California, as the first redistricting is overturned by referendum) is common to all congressional districts and most legislative districts of all sorts in the US. Sometimes, "redistricting" consists mostly of renumbering, in which cases the succession box at the foot of the article could be modified as is suggested for the infobox succession box, but, in most cases, it's arbitrary. (The question of where "redistricted" should link is another one, not discussed here.) — Arthur Rubin (talk) 15:22, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Support This is a practical and thoughtful solution. Agree with Arthur Rubin. That's definitely been the experience in California. SW3 5DL (talk) 19:27, 1 February 2015 (UTC)


Here is a suggestion, why not have an infobox that allows for the current proposed format to be the primary format that shows, and allow for there to be a collapsed list of what district(s), the elected Congressperson has represented? This way it appears less cluttered, but gives the option of a reader to quickly see the Congressperson's seat history, without having to scroll all the way to the bottom of the article to see the succession box.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 06:23, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

I like the RCLC compromise, if the collapsed label is readily found and understood, it should not be cryptic. This may require a header which is clear and fairly long. "Districts the Member has represented" or some such, presented in a bar as wide as the Infobox directly underneath. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 10:40, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
I'm afraid that's a little out of scope for an infobox, please see my comment after Student7's contribution above. I'm not sure that a collapsible table has been added anywhere in an infobox yet. Besides, most of the controversy stems from the notion that the congressman has represented the same district (actually an area that was partially static, always including his residence, but being possibly gerrymandered around otherwise) while the occasional renumbering would have been biographically irrelevant (that the numbers are encyclopedically important has been pointed out above, also). Kraxler (talk) 13:58, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Just because it had not yet been done before, doesn't mean it cannot be tried. Also there are known cases of individuals moving, in order to remain in favorably mapped districts, thus in some cases making which district is being represented important.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 05:21, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
An example of an infobox with a collapsible section is Template:Infobox sportsperson which can accommodate the Template:Infobox medal templates. Drchriswilliams (talk) 11:27, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
RE RightCowLeftCoast - "Just because it had not yet been done before, doesn't mean it cannot be tried." I agree, but I think we should take one step at a time. "Also there are known cases of individuals moving, in order to remain in favorably mapped districts, thus in some cases making which district is being represented important." That must necessarily be explained in the text.
RE Drchriswilliams Thanks for the info. Kraxler (talk) 17:40, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

misleading heading[edit]

As used, for example, on Charmaine White Face, the |awards= parameter appears below a "Military service" heading. Can we change this, or add a "non military award" parameter? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 14:08, 10 January 2015 (UTC)

That would be nice - it's also pretty weird o see Jimmy Carter's Nobel Peace Prize listed under the "Military service" heading. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 22:08, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
OK, I've moved it. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 13:45, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
Conventional wisdom would be to move |awards= and create a new parameter for military awards, as that seems to be more specific, but, by far, the greatest use of it is for military awards because of where it was previously placed. (See Douglas Wilder, John McCain, William K. Suter, just to name a few.) Seeing that it would affect potentially thousands of biographical articles, I propose reverting the change and creating a new parameter for non-military awards. ("Honors," maybe?) Rockhead126 (talk) 20:19, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
@Pigsonthewing: @Rockhead126: I agree that military awards should remain under the appropriate section. I don't know which is more common, but suspect that Rockhead126 is correct about it being the military awards. If that is the case, the change should probably (sadly) be reverted until the awards can be split. Ultimately, I'd like to see |awards= and |civilian_awards= as the parameter aliases for non-military awards and |mawards= and |military_awards= as the parameter aliases for military awards. Before any of this is done, though, would anyone be opposed to creating a tracking category to see how often the current |awards= is used? Splitting these could be a smallish-manageable job or it could be a very big one. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 00:27, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
Good idea. I'm just going off of what I've seen. Happy to help split either way. Rockhead126 (talk) 19:15, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
In that case, if there are no objections, but I'll be adding a tracking category to that parameter soon (but not today - time constraints). I'm not sure how long it takes for those to populate, so I'll probably let it sit for a few days. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 23:19, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
Okay, I've created the tracking category at Category:Wikipedia pages using the awards parameter of Infobox officeholder. Waiting for it to populate... – Philosopher Let us reason together. 22:24, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
It has 1,106 entries. WHat now? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 15:09, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Pigsonthewing, Rockhead126: Sorry, I've been busy. I believe that ~1,100 is a quite manageable number, so we should proceed. I would therefore like to create the parameters/aliases (and document them) as I proposed above. I may or may not do that tonight. Once that is done, we can update/adjust the articles accordingly. The articles from the category (as it stands now) are listed at Template:Infobox officeholder/Awards. Just strike them if/as you check and update them. I'll plan to do at least a handful every time I get on Wikipedia, so they'll be gone before too long. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 02:14, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Thank you. I'm not sure we need aliases for newly-created parameters. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 11:38, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Update: I haven't forgotten about this, but probably won't get this coded for a few more days. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 05:50, 11 February 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Yes check.svg Done No aliases created, just |awards= and |mawards=. I've also updated the list at Template:Infobox officeholder/Awards and started the replacement. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 22:06, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

Infobox version[edit]

I started a version based on {{infobox}}, now in the sandbox. it still requires more extensive testing, but should be ready soon. Frietjes (talk) 17:56, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Frietjes I support this. -- Magioladitis (talk) 18:06, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Support. This will allow us to resolve the issue of embedding, described above. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 13:52, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
That's great news! – Philosopher Let us reason together. 18:33, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
now nearly done, but I still need to exercise a few more of the important parameter permutations. you can see the initial results in the testcases, testcases2, testcases3, ... Frietjes (talk) 19:57, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Should I hold off on making the parameter changes discussed at #misleading heading , above, until you've finished? – Philosopher Let us reason together. 22:00, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Philosopher, if you feel comfortable making the change to the current template, then go for it. I can always merge your changes with the sandbox (or you can try to do that as well :) ). Frietjes (talk) 00:30, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
What happened to this? I see the code has been removed from the sandbox.  Liam987(talk) 19:16, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

Code variation[edit]

In Template:Infobox officeholder/Personal data, I noticed an odd discrepancy. To take two examples, we have some parameters that are formatted like this:

! style="text-align:left;" {{!}} Religion
{{!}} {{{religion}}}

While others are formatted like this:

! style="text-align:left;" {{!}} Commands
{{!}} {{#if:1| {{{commands}}} }}

The latter one has {{#if:1| {{{parameter}}} }} while the former just has {{{parameter}}}. Both appear to work the same way. Is the extra code around the latter example necessary for some purpose or is it redundant? – Philosopher Let us reason together. 22:15, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

it is necessary for bullet lists to be used with the parameter. this will go away once we switch to the infobox version. Frietjes (talk) 23:30, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Okay, thanks. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 01:04, 27 February 2015 (UTC)


Note: It has been requested to review the closure which is the subject of this RfC, see the pertaining thread at AN. Kraxler (talk) 16:12, 27 February 2015 (UTC) Withdrawn. Kraxler (talk) 14:02, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

An RfC Template_talk:Infobox_officeholder/Archive_18#RfC_on_successor.2Fpredecessor_where_a_district_is_not_reasonably_viewed_as_the_same_after_redistricting was closed with "Consensus is reasonably clear that successor or predecessor should not be used in infoboxes where significant redistricting has taken place. Useitorloseit did raise a valid concerns about POV over what level of redistricting is needed to render these parameters unusable" on 28 June 2014

The RfC asked: Where the use of "same district number" is used for determining "predecessor" and "successor" n any office, but where the area is so altered as to make such a "predecessor" or "successor" of little or no biographical value, should the infobox be deprecated for such redistricting changes?

An RfC Template_talk:Infobox_officeholder#RfC_Congressmen.27s_tenures_in_infoboxwas closed with "Consensus is in favour, but the group expressing opinion is small given the breadth of scope and the arguments against are rather strong, so it is hard to call this anything other than a vote in favour rather than an actual consensus. I advise against wholesale implementation of any decision and instead advocate a limited trial with examples proposed by opposers to see just how workable it is or is not in practice, with real-world examples" on 25 February 2015.

The RfC contains In the infobox of a US representative, the tenure should not be split if the person has been continuously sitting in Congress, disregarding the redistricted numbers. The predecessor and/or successor should show the actual previous or next officeholder, if the subject defeated/was defeated by the other person, or succeeded/was succeeded without redistricting. In all other cases, the parameter should be omitted. If the representative is still sitting, "currently representing the Xth District" should be added.

Did the second RfC close invalidate or void in any way any part of the prior RfC? Does the wording of the second RfC imply or state in any way that the prior RfC would be voided or invalidated? Would edits made incompliance with the first RfC close be properly voided or invalidated or properly changed under the second RfC close? Collect (talk) 16:44, 25 February 2015 (UTC)


This arose as a result of [2] made in accord with first RfC, [3] with edit summary changed box under instructions from the closing rationale at Template talk:Infobox officeholder#RfC Congressmen's tenures in infobox my edit [4] your claim that the extant RfC was voided is exceedingly weak and finally the piece de resistance [5] see talk page, this was done according to the expressly stated instructions in the closing rationale, one more revert and the thing goes to ANI, directly. Frankly if this is the modus operandi anticipated by the closer, I would be quite amazed. If this was the actual original intent of the RfC proposer above, I urge that we state here and now that it fails as a method of editing on Wikipedia. Collect (talk) 16:44, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

An RfC about the implications of an RfC for an RfC? Oh dear... Nomoskedasticity (talk) 21:00, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Well quite. The issue is that there is no clear consensus either way. There are claims that it will lead to bonkers results, which are strongly supported, and the only way to avoid that is sound editorial judgment. If the proposal to test it with limited scope immediately leads to examples of unsound editorial judgment based on seeing what you want to see and ignoring the rest, then the trial can be considered a resounding flop and we go back to the status quo. I took this on because I am entirely uninterested in the topic area (which makes the resultant accusation of WP:INVOLVED pretty funny). I'm content to mediate the limited scope trial if people want, or you can get someone else in, I really don't mind. Or you can go to WP:AN and ask for it to be vacated as bonkers, which it may well be. It's a good faith effort to draw something out of a meandering discussion that was often off-point. I have no especial emotional investment in the outcome. Guy (Help!) 22:57, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
  • It was always clear to me that the spirit of the June 2014 RfC was a strong consensus that we should not use irrelevant or misleading district numbers in succession boxes, as the wording made it plain that a greatly changed district number was not of any value in succession. Binksternet (talk) 23:11, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
That makes sense as a reading of it. IMO, the actions of Kraxler show that there is no intention to even think about proceeding with caution, in which case the only possible outcome is a reversion to no consensus, and leave the status quo (see additional comment at the head of the close). Or have it vacated, I don't actually care (good luck to anyone who tries to re-close and doesn't give the pro advocates what they want, their Talk banner will be alight for months). Guy (Help!) 23:22, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
@Binksternet: You mean "infoboxes", not "succession boxes", right? – Philosopher Let us reason together. 01:25, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
I mean succession boxes. The infobox RfC was so clear about what kind of content we don't want in biographies that I took it to mean any kind of boxes including succession boxes contained within infoboxes and also succession boxes at the bottom of the article. Binksternet (talk) 01:30, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
The January succession box RfC was the parallel to the earlier June infobox RfC and reached a clear "no concensus" on any change to succession boxes. You might recall that the applicability of the infobox RfC to succession boxes was discussed and the succession box RfC was held precicely because it was felt that the infobox RfC did not apply to succession boxes, as they serve a distinctly different purpose than infoboxes. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 02:03, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Thus the January RfC does not overturn the June 2014 RfC which strongly settled the matter of how to treat redistricting/succession in boxes. Binksternet (talk) 16:21, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

Note The above RfC has become moot with the proposal, and informal adoption, of the format shown here below, in the next thread. Please do not add any comments here, discuss (if necessary) below. Kraxler (talk) 13:13, 3 March 2015 (UTC)

example of a shorter infobox[edit]

Charles B. Rangel
Official photograph of Charles Rangel dressed in suit and tie against a blue background
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 13th congressional district
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
first in office January 3, 1971
15th congressional district 1993 - 2013
16th congressional district 1983 - 1993
19th congressional district 1973 - 1983
18th congressional district 1971 - 1973
Preceded by Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.
Chairman of the
United States House Committee on Ways and Means
In office
January 4, 2007 – March 3, 2010[1]
Preceded by Bill Thomas
Succeeded by Sander M. Levin
Member of the
New York Assembly
from the 72nd District
In office
January 1, 1967 – December 31, 1970
Preceded by Bill Green
Succeeded by George Miller
Personal details
Born Charles Bernard Rangel
(1930-06-11) June 11, 1930 (age 84)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Alma Rangel
Residence Manhattan, New York
Alma mater New York University (B.S.)
St. John's University School of Law


Occupation Attorney
Religion Roman Catholic[2]
Awards Bronze Star (with valor device)
Purple Heart
Website rangel.house.gov
Military service
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch Seal of the United States Department of War.png United States Army
Years of service 1948–1952
Rank US Army 1951 SSGT.png Staff sergeant
Unit 2 Infantry Div DUI.PNG 503rd Artillery Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division
Battles/wars Korean War

To indicate what appears to be a valid system. Collect (talk) 13:18, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

Well, that took a long time to be hatched. I agree with this layout, and think it looks good and has correct information in a succinct manner, as required for infoboxes. I also think that, although it is slightly different from what I proposed in the RfC, it is well within the meaning of what the supporters of my proposal expected to be implemented. Let's agree on this, as the new format to be used in any congress bio where it is applicable. Thank you. If you agree that the succession boxes at the bottom remain as they are, I'm willing to drop all related discussions and withdraw the request for review, as moot. Let's go back to content, will we? Kraxler (talk) 14:05, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
I do not agree that the succession boxes are useful as is - but the aim here is to find a result which works for the primary infobox. If we now agree on one, then that aspect is fully settled. Cheers. Collect (talk) 14:26, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
I agree that the succession boxes at the bottom have a limited use for the general reader. The interested reader could click always on the next name to navigate directly through the whole list, reading one bio after the other, just getting the link, without trying to get any info out of the box itself. I think that was the main reason why succession boxes at the bottom were introduced some time ago. All I can say now is that they are essential to keep track of the succession of the seats of a legislature, while writing new articles, on the Legislatures and on the members. I have written articles on so far 184 New York State Legislatures (1777 to 1982). Up to 1922 (before copyright) there are lists available, on-line (e-books, google books, archive.com), with minor mistakes, but very well usable. For the time between 1923 and 1981, while the New York Times articles are hidden behind a paywall, and the legislative journals are not available on-line, it is extremely difficult to keep track, aggravated by the redistricting, or not (yes, not having been redistricted when you expect that it should have been, like in 1964 in New York, is as confusing as redistricting itself), at uncertain intervals. You are active in a slightly different field, mostly BLPs I presume. Also, for Congress there's ample documentation (there's no copyright on works by the U.S. government) and all congressmen have their bios already, their history is well established, so that the congress succession boxes are less important. So I accept your opinion, and we'll have to agree that we disagree to a certain extent about the succession boxes. But I don't think that I need any more drama this year. Cheers. Kraxler (talk) 15:00, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
Works for me too. Wasted Time R (talk) 14:14, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
  • I don't think the "assumed office" date should be the most recent one (2013); instead it should be the earliest date in an unbroken series of offices. Binksternet (talk) 15:08, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
I agree. I confess to blinking somewhat when I saw the example for a moment, since I knew how senior Rangel is. Especially since it is mentioned he succeeded Adam Clayton Powell Jr.--Wehwalt (talk) 15:23, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
That part was not changed at all - it s how the infobox always has looked for congressmen. See Nancy Pelosi for her term in Congress in that infobox. Collect (talk) 15:29, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

Proposal for viewing Showing first in office date - does this help? Collect (talk) 15:36, 1 March 2015 (UTC)


  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference resign-ruling was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ "Rep. Charlie Rangel (D- N.Y.)". Roll Call. Retrieved May 28, 2011. 

(This space intentionally left blank)

Template-protected edit request on 28 February 2015 - move appointer above deputy[edit]

Currently when both the appointer= and deputy= functions are used deputy appears higher than appointer, this gives infoboxes where both are used an odd layout for example: Donald Verrilli Jr.. If you compares this to for example: David Cameron where the monarch, who is the appointer of the Prime Minister, appears above deputy (I am aware a different function is used to produce that result) you will see how this visually makes more sense. Therefore could the template please be changed to display appointer above deputy. Thank you. Ebonelm (talk) 22:53, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: please make your requested changes to the template's sandbox first; see WP:TESTCASES. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 00:19, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
If I knew what the problem was I would... Ebonelm (talk) 11:13, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
Ebonelm, fixed? I may have moved it up further than necessary, so we can try to more fine-tuned placement if there is a problem. Frietjes (talk) 16:03, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
That seems to have done the trick - thank you. Ebonelm (talk) 21:16, 2 March 2015 (UTC)


We need the field "other_names". Women have their maiden names or a different surname if they were married more than once. Men may be known as "W.W. Smith" or "William W. Smith" or "W. Wallace Smith". --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 19:53, 7 March 2015 (UTC)

Template hack: order fields[edit]

When any of the order (order2, etc.) fields are filled in, I find that double square brackets print around the following office name (see Jerome Wiesner). (They don't appear if order is left blank.) I can't think of any good reason why this would be desired behavior, so I think it's a hack. Am I correct? JustinTime55 (talk) 14:19, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

Please see the template documentation which clearly states that: "The parameter |order= is used in conjunction with |office= to state that the officeholder is the nth holder of the office, for example "2nd President of Mauritius". If |order= is not specified, the value of |office= can be wikilinked in the usual way, for example, "[[Ministry of Defence (Singapore)|Minister for Defence]]". However, if |order= is specified together with |office=, the value of |office= is automatically linked to a Wikipedia article of the same name, whether such an article exists or not. Wikilinking cannot be used to redirect the link elsewhere, but a piped link can be created like this: "Ministry of Defence (Singapore){{!}}Minister for Defence" (note that the double square brackets have been omitted)." Ebonelm (talk) 14:41, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
you can also use |title= if the wikilinking is a problem. Frietjes (talk) 16:54, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

Make links to office optional[edit]

For some reason, this template links to the office only when an order is specified. For example, if the parameter 'office' is set to 'President of the United States' and the parameter 'order' is set to '44th', the office will be linked, but if the order is not specified it wont be. This is really inconvenient when the office is something like 'Member of Parliament for Morley and Outwood', because there most likely won't be a page for the office of the MP from that specific constituency, and nor should there be. I think it would be better if this whole feature was removed, but that would require manually adding links to hundreds of pages with this infobox, so instead I request that a parameter be added to turn this off, such as 'links' which could be set to no.  Liam987(talk) 18:05, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

Comment While I actually think it would be a good idea to remove the automatic linking when the order function is used, I don't know if what you have requested is technically possible. Also without wanting to sound like a broken record as you will see in the section above this is not the first time topic has been raised in the past few days. As you will see in the template documentation there is a clear way to get around the problem you describe. In the example you give the problem would be resolved by writing "Member of Parliament{{!}}Member of Parliament for Morley and Outwood". While of course I understand that the example you gave may only be a hypothetical it is worth pointing out that for members of the British Parliament the order function isn't really appropriate due to changing boundaries, bye-elections etc. which makes listing the order of the office held irrelevant and mildly misleading. Ebonelm (talk) 18:53, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
While I am amused by the often misleading results of insisting of "proper order" for any office, I suggest that no entry should be made in any infobox which is of misleading or grossly inapt biographical value, or even of negative actual biographical value. The purpose of any biographical article should be to provide useful and usable biographical information, not to provide information which is "technically correct but completely useless" as the Microsoft anecdote goes. Collect (talk) 19:15, 15 March 2015 (UTC) .
Oops didn't see the same topic being raised directly above. Anyway, the place where I specifically had a problem with this, better than the British parliament example, was at the page Sonia Lagarde that I'm translating from French. She was the third "vice president of the assembly of the South Province of New Caledonia". There isn't even a page for this position in French, and the possibility of there every being one in English is incredibly miniscule. There are so many minor positions like this that should never have their own articles.  Liam987(talk) 19:36, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
X mark.svg Not done Please provide mock up code (such as in the Template:Infobox officeholder/sandbox) that can be moved online. If you just want to discuss this more, please continue. — xaosflux Talk 03:10, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
I've disabled the request pending code in the sandbox. I suggest a simple ifexist check and only to link if the target of the link actually exists. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 09:43, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

Template-protected edit request on 22 March 2015[edit]

Currently, {{{honoric_suffix}}} is displayed between {{{name}}} and {{{native_name}}} fields, leading to a semantically correct but rather ugly result (see here). To fix the display style, some editors repeatedly roll the {{{native_name}}} into the {{{name}}} field which semantically however isn't optimal. I therefore propose switching the two parameters and slightly adjusting the latter in size, as accomplished in the template's sandbox.
Regards, --PanchoS (talk) 18:24, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

Template:Infobox person has the same problem.  Liam987(talk) 19:08, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
{{Infobox person}} has got a regular field for native names. Alakzi (talk) 21:11, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
That would be an alternative solution for this one here, too. I'm actually fine with whatever is practicable and can be consistently applied. --PanchoS (talk) 23:18, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
That would be OK with me. Consistency is always a plus. Alakzi (talk) 23:37, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
Oppose: This has been requested and rejected previously. It would be a bad thing to do. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 19:49, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
Why?  Liam987(talk) 20:12, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
I'm curious, too. --PanchoS (talk) 22:59, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
@Pigsonthewing: You say, "do not re-enable template until consensus is reached". Okay, but the progress of the discussion depends on you clarifying what you mean with "It would be a bad thing to do." In the archives, I couldn't find a discussion on this aspect, but maybe you (or someone) can point me to it. --PanchoS (talk) 23:31, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
See #native_name placement and size above. Alakzi (talk) 23:37, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
I agree Nizolan's point in that discussion. It looks weird the way it currently is.  Liam987(talk) 00:26, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
Ouch. Searched the archive but didn't spot it on the current page. Sorry for that.
As I said before: We can either switch position and adjust size, which is what people do anyway, even if it means adding the native_name manually. Or we can turn the native_name into a regular field as in {{Infobox person}}. The current situation simply doesn't work out, neither visually nor does it make any sense. --PanchoS (talk) 01:14, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
It makes sense to do it the same way as it's done on {{Infobox person}}, for consistency's sake. I'd like to hear Andy's explanation of why it would be bad.  Liam987(talk) 19:48, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
You already have. See #native_name placement and size above. (That's a comment on the original proposal, not on mirroring {{Infobox person}}, which would be a good thing.) Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 21:55, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

Request: Change 'In office' legend to 'In role' for Infobox First Lady[edit]

There are perennial complaints that First Ladies are not officeholders and that their infoboxes should not have a legend of 'In office' above the dates. For the latest such posts see Talk:Nancy Reagan#"In office"? but there have been a number of other such complaints over the years. In most respects the officeholder infobox template is appropriate, since First Ladies have start and end dates, predecessors and successors, and so on. But the position is really more of a role than an office. Therefore, this is a request to change {{Infobox First Lady}} such that it has a legend of 'In role' rather than 'In office'. Thanks. Wasted Time R (talk) 14:17, 3 May 2015 (UTC)

done. if this causes a problem, we can always investigate a more 'fine-grained solution', like toggling the label based on the use of the |officeX= parameters. Frietjes (talk) 14:47, 9 May 2015 (UTC)
am I going crazy, or has this change been applied to every officeholder's infobox? Moonboy54 (talk) 23:49, 9 May 2015 (UTC)
yes, if this causes a problem, we can always investigate a more 'fine-grained solution', like toggling the label based on the use of the |officeX= parameters. Frietjes (talk) 16:30, 10 May 2015 (UTC)
well it has the potential to cause a lot of confusion. I don't see why the entire template for all political offices should be changed to accommodate the First Lady. Moonboy54 (talk) 00:28, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
I made a comment supporting the change for the First Lady page, but I agree with Moonboy54 that it should not be applied to all officeholders. The problem after all is that the First Lady is a role, not an office. Perhaps it should be changed back, with a new field of "In role" also added so that it can be used when appropriate. AtHomeIn神戸 (talk) 06:49, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
I don't have the technical knowledge, but can we have an option to choose to use "In role" but default to "In office"? Connormah (talk) 19:53, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Wasted Time R, Moonboy54, AtHomeIn神戸, Connormah we now have "In office" as the default and you can change it to something else like this. I changed a couple of the first lady templates, but will leave it up to others to change the rest. I decided to go with a more free-form label since I can imagine someone may want to change this to "In position" in some cases. if this causes a problem, I can track any non-standard uses and address it with a different solution. Frietjes (talk) 20:17, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks very much, this latest formulation looks good. I changed a couple of First Lady articles that I work on. There are some infobox-tweaking regulars who will come along and change the rest of them I'm sure. Wasted Time R (talk) 01:59, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

Cabinet positions[edit]

Many veteran politicians have cabinet positions held included in this infobox. In many cases this makes the infobox, in my opinion, extremely and unnecessarily long for the articles (see for example Lloyd Axworthy, Jean Chretien, Lou Hyndman, etc). I think mention in the prose of the article as well as in navboxes is sufficient for this - I'm wondering if there's any other views on this? Connormah (talk) 13:53, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

@Connormah: We ran into this problem, interestingly, for Chinese politicians who have held a plethora of roles, many of which are actually quite important offices, but it makes the infobox so unbearably long. For example, Xi Jinping, the current Chinese leader, has nearly a dozen important offices currently, but also historically has held the top post in Shanghai as well as governorships of provinces, was the head of the party school, in addition to membership in numerous Communist Party bodies such as the Politburo, which are also worthy of mention. To address this problem we decided to put only his top three offices in the infobox, and outline the remaining offices in the infobox footer. I know the situation may be a little different from that of Canadian politicians but maybe perhaps it will offer some insights into how to shorten an infobox. (See also Li Keqiang and Hu Jintao). Colipon+(Talk) 19:41, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
@Colipon: - That's how I see it too. But I'd like to hear some other opinions. Someone kept reverting me at the Axworthy article a while back on this. IMO the infobox shouldn't go beyond the references section or reach half the article (except for stubs). Connormah (talk) 19:54, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
@Connormah: Perhaps we could take inspiration from {{Infobox member of the Knesset}} - see, for example, Isaac Herzog. We could use the present format for their most important offices and the Israeli format for the remaining ones. Alakzi (talk) 21:52, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Village pump (policy) discussion[edit]

Started a discussion regarding part of the MoS, and concerning the use of links within this infobox template at the Village pump. Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#RfC: Should the holder of a political office be linked within an infobox more than once (i.e. as the successor), when they have already been linked (e.g. as the vice president, predecessor, lieutenant, etc.)?. Godsy(TALKCONT) 07:47, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

death_cause not supported?[edit]

I notice that infobox officeholder does not support the parameter death_cause. Is this an oversight? Infobox person does support it. Seems like an interesting and relevant data point. - Kzirkel (talk) 10:50, 23 May 2015 (UTC)


I attempted to use the "ward" parameter but it seems like it's been removed? Per https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template_talk:Infobox_officeholder/Archive_15#Ward it was agreed that it would be added, but it doesn't work when I try. I'm trying to use it to add to the infoboxes on the new batch of UK MPs who were previously local councillors, and ward is more accurate than councillor. Any help? LaSeandre (talk) 21:01, 24 May 2015 (UTC)