User talk:Adz/Parliaments

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Parliaments[edit]

After much procrastinating I’m going to bite the bullet and resolve the Parliaments category problem. Since you both contributed to the discussion I thought I’d check with you before going ahead. Could you please take a look at our discussion Wikipedia:Australian Wikipedians' notice board/Archive 15#MHR Category and let me know if you agree with the last comment I made. Thanks -- Adz|talk 07:27, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

I'm still not quite sure what you're intending to do here - do you mean having seperate categories for parliaments and legislatures, something different, or something broader? :) Ambi 07:29, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

It's not clear to me either. Perhaps if you would answer these questions:
  1. Is Parliament of Western Australia a parliament, a house of parliament or a legislature?
  2. Is Western Australian Legislative Assembly a parliament, a house of parliament or a legislature?
  3. Is Western Australian Legislative Council a parliament, a house of parliament or a legislature?
  4. Is Members_of_the_Western_Australian_Legislative_Assembly,_2005-2009 a parliament, a house of parliament, or a legislature?
My best guess is that 1 is a parliament and I suppose it might be a legislature too; 2 is a house of parliament and a legislature; 3 is a house of parliament, but I don't know if it is a legislature or not considering it is a house of review rather than an initiator of legislation; and 4 is a parliament, but in a very different sense to 1. As you can see, the current state of my understanding doesn't really lead to a solution. Drew (Snottygobble | Talk) 07:47, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

reply[edit]

Thanks both for your replies. I've written out all this text below partly because it is all somewhat complicated and tangled at the moment and I was trying to make sense of it all as I typed. I hope this doesn’t come across as being condescending (I’ve gotten in trouble for doing that once before and am careful not to sound condescending again. – It isn’t my intention). I just thought that by explaining it all it would help us (including me) understand the problem and work out a way forward.

In answer to Ambi's question first, ultimately what I am trying to do is to create categories for the Australian Parliaments (national, state and territory) into the hierarchy of categories that legislatures (or Parliaments) of other countries fit into. These are:

Category:Legislatures

Category:National legislatures
Category:Legislatures of subnational entities
Category:U.S. State legislatures
Category:Belgian parliaments etc
Category:Legislative buildings
and a few other related sub cats.

By Parliaments, I mean the institutions that consist of elected representatives, which meet to create legislation, and all the history that goes with them (be it from 1901, or 1859 or 1851 or whatever. ie. Parliament of New South Wales, Parliament of Victoria, Parliament of South Australia etc. I don’t necessarily mean the ‘composition of a Parliament’ – eg the 41st Australian Parliament or the 40th Australian Parliament (which are listed for eg as ‘Members of the Australian House of Representatives 1910 -1913’. Currently we have articles about State and Territory Parliaments appearing in the same category as articles containing lists of Members of Federal Parliament from various eras.

In answer to Drew’s questions...

  • A legislature is any institution which has the power to make laws. This can be a called a Parliament, a Congress, a National Assembly, and in some cases simply a Legislature (as in the case of the Canadian Provincial Legislatures). The different terms can sometimes be useful in suggesting how the legislature operates and what rules it works under (although not always) but whatever they are called, if they make laws, they are Legislatures.
  • Some legislatures consist of one house or chamber, some consist of two. The different chambers are not legislatures themselves, but they are part of the legislature. The extent to which they can do anything on their own without in some way interacting with the other chamber is limited. So neither the Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council are themselves legislatures, just part of it. (incidentally, an upper house can initiate legislation too, it just doesn’t do it as often).
  • The composition of a Parliament is a more tricky question. After an election we say that the people elected a Parliament, and we might call it the 39th Parliament, or the 40th Parliament of whatever. Some of the pollies might be brand new, some got turfed out at the election, and some return and have been there forever. The Politicians themselves don’t make up the institution though. The Parliament of Queensland for example has existed since 1860, meets in George Street, and consists of all the history, traditions, as well as rules and procedures which apply to it. That doesn’t mean that the old politicians are still part of the Parliament, but that the Parliament is an institution greater than that consisting of the members elected at any given time.

So, 1 is a Parliament (and consequently a legislature), 2 and 3 are both houses of Parliament (but not legislatures on their own), and 4 can be called a Parliament and for convenience often is, but I would say that strictly speaking it isn’t in itself a Parliament.

... so how to resolve the problem?

I’ve thought about it again and looked through the other categories, and I think the best way to do it might be to create Category:Australian State Parliaments (for convenience not mentioning the territories) and putting all the articles about the institutions in there. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Adz (talkcontribs)

I’m going to go out on a linb and suggest that we then rename of off the existing Category:Queensland parliaments, Category:South Australian parliaments etc to Category:Queensland parliaments by term etc. We’d then put a note at Category:Australian parliaments to point to Category:Australian State parliaments and a note at the top of Category:Australian State parliaments to point to the article about the Federal Parliament. We could then list all the Category:Queensland parliaments by term categories under Category:Australian State parliaments.

sorry about the length. Thanks for reading this far. Let me know what you think.

I see where you're going with this, but if so, Category:Queensland parliaments (and others like it) would be fairly empty - they'd have only one or two articles. Ambi 10:23, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Do you mean all the subcategories listed under Category:Australian parliaments ? They would remain as they are, except that we would rename them to Category:Queensland parliaments by term to help differentiate from the institution of Parliaments. -- Adz|talk 10:51, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Where would the actual legislature articles be? Ambi 11:31, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
They'd all be under Category:Australian State parliaments (which would sit under Cat:subnational legislatures). We could also have a note at the top of Category:Queensland parliaments by term which says something like "This category lists members of the Parliament of Queensland according to terms of office. -- Adz|talk 11:51, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, I guess that works. Ambi 12:11, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

A couple of issues spring to mind here.

  1. The definitions of legislature and parliament may well be pretty complex, but for our purposes we can define legislature as a law-making body, and parliament as a particular kind of democratically elected law making body. So a parliament is necessarily a legislature by definition, but a legislature isn't necessarily a parliament. If and only if all Australian legislatures are parliaments, then it is appropriate to name our category Category:Australian parliaments. Superficially, this would appear to be the case. However, the Western Australian Legislative Council, which is now merely a house in a bicameral parliament, was before 1890 an appointive legislature. i.e. a legislature but not a parliament. So if we name our category Category:Australian legislatures, then we would put WA's Legislative Council in it for historical reasons, but if we name our category Category:Australian parliaments, then we wouldn't. What to do?
  2. I firmly disagree with you that 4 "strictly speaking... isn't of itself a Parliament". As inconvenient as it may be, I believe that the word "parliament" has two meanings. My Western Australian Parliamentary Handbook refers to both "Parliament" in general, and to the "1st Parliament", "2nd Parliament". So too does my History of the Parliament of Western Australia.

Here's an alternative proposal for your consideration:

Category:Australian parliaments
Category:Parliament of Western Australia (note singular "Parliament")
article Parliament of Western Australia
article Governor of Western Australia
article Western Australian Legislative Assembly
article Western Australian Legislative Council
Category:Parliaments of Western Australia (note plural "Parliaments")
Members of the Western Australian Legislative Assembly, 2005-2009
etc
Category:Parliament of Queensland
article Parliament of Queensland
etc
Category:Parliaments of Queensland
etc
etc

Note that Category:Parliament of Western Australia clearly uses the institution meaning of the word parliament because it is singular; Category:Parliaments of Western Australia can only refer to the composition meaning because it is plural. The word "parliaments" in Category:Australian parliaments is ambiguous, but that is appropriate since articles of both kinds would fall within its subcategories. Drew (Snottygobble | Talk) 12:19, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

I actually like Drew's one a bit more, I think - I think having state categories at both levels is a good thing. Ambi 12:27, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

--

I like this too. I'd just make a couple of suggestions.
  1. Category:Parliaments of Western Australia be called Category:Parliaments of Western Australia by terms or something similar to help disambiguate.
  2. that we consider putting Category:Australian legislatures above Category:Australian parliaments.

So you'd have:

Category:Australian legislatures

article Parliament of Australia
article Parliaments of the Australian states and territories
Category:Australian parliaments by term
article Members of the Australian House of Representatives, 1901-1903 etc.
Category:Parliaments of Western Australia by term
Category:Parliament of Western Australia (note singular "Parliament")
article Parliament of Western Australia
article Governor of Western Australia
article Western Australian Legislative Assembly
article Western Australian Legislative Council
Category:Parliaments of Western Australia by term (note plural "Parliaments")
Members of the Western Australian Legislative Assembly, 2005-2009
etc
Category:Parliament of Queensland
article Parliament of Queensland
etc
Category:Parliaments of Queensland by term
etc
etc

- Is that what you meant by having state categories at both levels Ambi?

Alternatively:

Category:Australian parliaments

article Parliament of Australia
article Parliaments of the Australian states and territories
Category:Australian parliaments by term
article Members of the Australian House of Representatives, 1901-1903 etc.
Category:Parliaments of Western Australia by term
article Parliament of Western Australia
Category:Parliament of Western Australia (note singular "Parliament")
article Parliament of Western Australia
article Governor of Western Australia
article Western Australian Legislative Assembly
article Western Australian Legislative Council
Category:Parliaments of Western Australia by term (note plural "Parliaments")
Members of the Western Australian Legislative Assembly, 2005-2009
etc
article Parliament of Queensland
Category:Parliament of Queensland
article Parliament of Queensland
etc
Category:Parliaments of Queensland by term
etc
etc

... I'll leave you with that thought. I have to go to sleep. I may not be online tomorrow. I'm glad that we seem to be making progress. -- Adz|talk 13:22, 9 January 2006 (UTC)


I'm happy with Category:Parliaments of Western Australia by term. I'm also happy to include Category:Australian legislatures as a supercategory of Category:Australian parliaments, but it seems to me it will only ever contain that category and the odd historic legislature such as Western Australian Legislative Council. There could be an argument for leaving it out and letting the historic legislatures remain uncategorised in this system.

Rather than put article Parliament of Australia directly into Category:Australian parliaments or Category:Australian legislatures, I would propose creating a Category:Parliament of Australia to include articles Parliament of Australia, Australian House of Representatives, Australian Senate, Governor-General of Australia, Parliament House, Canberra and any other articles that might exist on Speakers, Presidents, Ushers, Standing Committees, etc.

Your proposal of grouping Category:Parliaments of the Australian States and Territories is not to my tastes, but I suppose it is necessary because we need a place to put generic articles such as Governors of the Australian states.


i.e.
Category:Australian legislatures

article Western Australian Legislative Council
etc
Category:Australian parliaments
Category:Parliament of Australia
article Parliament of Australia
article Australian House of Representatives
article Australian Senate
etc
Category:Parliaments of Australia by term
article Members of the Australian House of Representatives
article Members of the Australian House of Representatives, 1901-1903
etc
article Members of the Australian Senate
etc
Category:Parliaments of the Australian States and Territories
article Governors of the Australian states
Category:Parliament of Western Australia
article Parliament of Western Australia
article Governor of Western Australia
article Western Australian Legislative Assembly
article Western Australian Legislative Council
Category:Parliaments of Western Australia by term
Members of the Western Australian Legislative Assembly, 2005-2009
etc
Category:Parliament of Queensland
article Parliament of Queensland
etc
Category:Parliaments of Queensland by term
etc
etc
etc

Your proposal of a Category:Parliaments of the Australian States and Territories by term doesn't seem particularly useful to me, but I have no real objection to it, except that I would rename it Category:Australian parliaments by term so that it could include Category:Parliaments of Australia by term. Drew (Snottygobble | Talk) 23:03, 9 January 2006 (UTC)


Ok. I generally agree with what you've got above. I agree with your comment about not having a supercategory of Australian legislatures, so lets get rid of it. (WA Legislative Council might sit more hapilly under Category:Historical upper houses - although I see your point that it was the legislature, rather than a Parliament. It could sit under Aust Parliaments). The only remaining question in my mind is whether Category:Parliaments of Australia by term shouldn't be renamed to make it clear that it contains lists of members of the Federal Parliament, rather than containing information about all the States and territories. This is a minor point though and I'm happy to let it go. I've pasted below your latest version with my suggested changes. The point above appears in bold. So is that it? Are we done? (see my additional note on Drew's talk page about putting this to wider consultation).

Category:Australian parliaments
Category:Parliament of Australia
article Parliament of Australia
article Australian House of Representatives
article Australian Senate
etc
Category:Parliaments of Australia by term
article Members of the Australian House of Representatives
article Members of the Australian House of Representatives, 1901-1903
etc
article Members of the Australian Senate
etc
Category:Parliaments of the Australian States and Territories
article Governors of the Australian states
Category:Parliament of Western Australia
article Parliament of Western Australia
article Governor of Western Australia
article Western Australian Legislative Assembly
article Western Australian Legislative Council
Category:Parliaments of Western Australia by term
Members of the Western Australian Legislative Assembly, 2005-2009
etc
Category:Parliament of Queensland
article Parliament of Queensland
etc
Category:Parliaments of Queensland by term
etc
etc
etc

Brilliant. I like this solution a lot. Also, I think the historic legislatures could just go in the parliament category for that state or territory, as well as the general historic category. :) Ambi 11:57, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

I suggest we put together a final (final!) version and post it at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Australian politics/Parliaments, then post notices at both Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Australian politics and Wikipedia:Australian Wikipedians' notice board.

Drew (Snottygobble | Talk) 12:47, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

I've put together a draft proposal at wikipedia talk:WikiProject Australian politics/Parliaments. Could you both have a look at it and make any changes you see necessary. (perhaps strike old text so we can follow what changes have been made). When we're all happy with it we can transfer it to Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Australian politics/Parliaments. I may not be around an awful lot over the next couple of days but I don't mind who does this once we have agreement. -- Adz|talk 05:46, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
You don't need a draft for a talk page - be bold and create it! -- RHaworth 06:27, 11 January 2006 (UTC)