Talk:Government of New Jersey

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See also[edit]

An editor improved this article substantially. In doing so, there was added several topics to "See also" which seemed to belong to other articles. The natural progression of articles in most states I edit are "Government of state", See alsos or links would point to "Politics of state" and "Elections in state." History is handled from a "main" template from history under the state article. There is history incorporated in "Politics" and "Elections."

"Government" explains the current government. The (higher level) state article summarizes history and points to "History of state" article. From the "History of state" we get to other historical articles relating to government history, governors, wars sometimes, sometimes a status as a colony, etc. All of which are irrelevant to the current Government. I don't imagine that any of the articles that were added were "orphans" needing a pointer to justify their existence. They sounded pretty fundamental.

I do believe that often "See alsos", "External links", and templates at the bottom get so voluminous that they become unreadable and therefore irrelevant to the casual reader, who, BTW, spends an average of one minute reading any Wikipedia article. Student7 (talk) 13:39, 3 September 2013 (UTC)

  • As the editor who expanded this article substantially in recent days, I disagree. I don't write for the average Wikipedia reader with the attention span of a gnat, or the college student looking to plagiarise a paper, I write for someone who genuinely wants to learn something. Sure, this article is about the current government, but linking articles in the See also section that is about past governance is of interest to someone who might wonder why the state government evolved as it did--hence the need for pointing to history. NJ only has a lieutenant governor because of a convention that came from the colonial legislature that became problematic with recent resignations (but served well in 1757). The state's governor's powers evolved to a strong governor in 1947 because of the inadequacy of weak, practically feckless governors under earlier constitutions and hamstrung by a legislature dominated by factions such as rival railroad owners, merchants vs. farmers, and large land investors (the latter holdover, from the colonial period). The State legislature became one of a few with coterminous districts because of the Supreme Court's "one man, one vote" decisions in the 1960s that began to make the state's counties irrelevant. I disagree with your assessment that history is irrelevant to the current Government. The current government exists only because of the trial and error of history. Something someone might consider relevant. That's the Wikipedia reader I write for. That is the very spirit behind why we include See also, References, Further reading, and External links sections. --ColonelHenry (talk) 14:03, 3 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Regarding the specific disagreement about my recent additions to the See also section...in an article about government, it's assumed that to interested readers it could be considerable helpful to link to lists of past governors, or articles about other government offices and direct them to that information. I don't think that is irrelevant.--ColonelHenry (talk) 14:06, 3 September 2013 (UTC)
I agree and thank you for the improvements in the article.
Article is about current government. Anything much beyond that seems redundant. Article about a different state/nation entirely, such as NJ as a British colony, is quite irrelevant to this article.
The article is aimed at the average encyclopedia user who remains on an average page for an average of one minute. We should not strain his/her attention span, if possible. Esoteric material is nearly mandatory for some science articles. I don't think your material qualifies as esoteric and seems germane.
I "watch" about 2,000 articles, maybe 1/3 government articles. I have edited 8,000 different articles, many of them (1/3?) having to do with government. We are trying to convey, using drastically different editors with drastically different viewpoints a "similar" feel between articles so that Wikipedia looks, to the casual reader, as though it were a document with a single philosophy, a similar "feel" to articles. We want the reader to be "comfortable." This "feel" is maintained by attempting to follow Wikipedia policies. The WP:BURDEN of proof is actually on the changer to established forms, no matter how WP:BOLD he was in his original edits. Why distract the reader on unessentials, irrelevant to this article? Thanks. Student7 (talk) 17:49, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
I don't care whether a comprehensive article taxes the gnat-sized attention span of a drive-by reader. Wikipedia doesn't get anywhere with stubs. A reader doesn't benefit from stubs or short uninformative articles. If someone wants information, they'll find it. The way I write and contribute to articles like this, I like providing information for someone looking to find it. As for relevancy, I fear you're ill-informed. If you want to understand NJ's current government structures you need to understand the history. And the NJ government, like the US government, has its roots in British legal and political structures. If an article doesn't discuss the historical evolution that creates the modern office, an article is lacking. Here we provide (and aim to provide) a summary of the evolution to describe the how and what of the office's or institution's modern/current form. Optimally, more detail is found at other relevant articles we direct an interested reader to. If someone wants to find out more about the governor, we send them to relevant articles about the governors, the office of governor (before and after statehood), and other relevant history and law. For instance, if they want to know more about the conventions and power of an office that derives from colonial sources, they can link to an article about that (as we do here--what you seem to object to doing). Please learn what words mean before you use them...because nothing here is opaquely "esoteric" (in fact, it's opening information to a larger group of interested readers not keeping it specialized), and discussion of a government post's historical evolution and connections to articles of relevant detailed content is entirely "germane". --ColonelHenry (talk) 18:08, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
On another note...If I followed the established form for my work on Alcohol laws of New Jersey, it would still be a stub or start-class article like most of the other state alcohol law articles. It's now an FA and very comprehensive...including providing historical information and links relevant to how the current legal structure evolved. I'm not interested in how an article "feels"...I just care that it's comprehensive for the topic is seeks to cover. I don't find your argument about "feel" to be even minimally cogent.--ColonelHenry (talk) 18:12, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
Lastly WP:BURDEN is inherently connected to policies regarding supporting information with reliable sources and establishing verifiability. It is not relevant when it comes to edit-warring over these kind of content disputes. In the case at hand, this isn't a question of verifiability of information argued, asserted, or claimed in an article. You are just claiming its redundant and not relevant, I disagree...you do not contest verifiability. You only have an opinion that it isn't necessary. --ColonelHenry (talk) 18:17, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

Proposal to simplify principle departments table[edit]

I propose that we remove the "Current officeholder" column of the principle departments table and use the room to expand the Notes column, which should be renamed "Description". The officeholder is just not a piece of information that is so important that it should be given as much prominence as the name of the department and its description. Int21h (talk) 13:53, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

I have done it. Int21h (talk) 23:25, 20 May 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps the information should be put into the notes column? IDK it just seems like superfluous information for an introductory understanding of the departments' functions. Int21h (talk) 23:27, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

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