Wikipedia:Naming conventions (government and legislation)
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|This guideline documents an English Wikipedia naming convention. It is a generally accepted standard that editors should attempt to follow, though it is best treated with common sense, and occasional exceptions may apply. Any substantive edit to this page should reflect consensus. When in doubt, discuss first on the talk page.|
This page contains naming conventions for articles related to government offices, elections and legislation.
Guidelines for government departments, agencies, and officials
- Use official names in article titles (United States Department of the Treasury instead of Treasury Department), unless an agency is almost always known by an acronym or different title (DARPA).
- When creating an article with a common title, be sure to disambiguate it properly: For example, Department of Justice (Canada), Minister for Foreign Affairs (Australia), Cabinet Office (Japan). Disambiguation is unnecessary if the country or other jurisdiction is a natural part of the subject's name (Statistics New Zealand, Royal Australian Navy), a common method of disambiguating in common speech exists (Cabinet of Germany, Prime Minister of Japan, Treasurer of Australia), or if the agency or office name is unique or is by far the most common meaning, or primary topic (Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Foreign and Commonwealth Office). Care should be taken to avoid convoluted or artificial constructions: Something of Something of Jurisdictionname.
- When creating a new article with a name that might refer to another existing entity for which an article is not yet written, take care to "pre-disambiguate" it, and create a disambiguation page (listing your new article and red links to yet-to-be written articles with identical or similar titles).
- When writing articles on government bodies or offices with native titles not in English, an English translation should be favored, except when reliable sources in the English language commonly use the native title. For example, National Assembly of Bulgaria (not Narodno sabranie) but 2003 loya jirga (not 2003 Grand Assembly) and Bundestag (not Parliament of Germany).
Elections and referendums
- For elections, use the format "Demonym type election/referendum, date" (Canadian federal election, 1867, Faroese independence referendum, 1946 etc).
- For future elections of uncertain date, use a form similar to Next United Kingdom general election.
- For elections to particular bodies or offices, use a form similar to Scottish Parliament election, 2007, Nepalese Constituent Assembly election, 2008, or Kentucky Attorney General election, 2011.
- Choose the terms by-election/special election according on which term is appropriate to the relevant country: Massachusetts's 5th congressional district special election, 2007 (American usage), Glasgow East by-election, 2008 (British usage).
- For US initiatives and similar ballot measures, use the format "Jurisdiction Measure Identifier, Year" (California Proposition 13, 1978; Washington Referendum 71, 2009; Maine Question 1, 2009).
Guidance on naming conventions for legislation:
- Prefer titles that reflect the name commonly used in reliable sources.
- Generally, use the short title instead of the long title (for example, European Parliamentary Elections Act 1999 instead of An Act to amend the European Parliamentary Elections Act 1978 so as to alter the method used in Great Britain for electing Members of the European Parliament to make other amendments of enactments relating to the election of Members of the European Parliament and for connected purposes), unless the long title is much better known. However, a redirect from long to short titles should be created, and the long title should be included in the article.
- Observe official titles and common use: In the United States, the form typically includes "of" with the year (Judiciary Act of 1789), while legislation in Britain and the Commonwealth realms tends to be referred to by the short name form and then the year without any comma or "of" between them (Judiciary Act 1903).
- If several acts have the same common name, the title should:
- Redirect to the primary topic, if one exists (the page Clean Water Act is about the U.S. federal law, with a link to non-primary topic Clean Water Act (Ontario) at the top of the page), or
- Be a disambiguation page (for example, Official Secrets Act or Representation of the People Act), if multiple acts of substantially equal importance exist, or
- Redirect to an article about the series of acts, if a set of acts are related (for example, Townshend Act redirects to Townshend Acts). This also applies to when two acts are passed with the same name and year in two separate parliaments, as in different enactments of the same piece of legislation; a single article should be created, with the singular redirecting to the plural: Act of Union 1707 redirects to Acts of Union 1707
- If the two different acts are passed in the same year with the same title, parenthetically disambiguate based on country: European Communities Act 1972 (UK) and European Communities Act 1972 (Ireland).