Wikipedia:Peer review/Félix Houphouët-Boigny/archive1

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Félix Houphouët-Boigny

This peer review discussion has been closed.
I've listed this article for peer review because, quite frankly, I would like to see this article become featured.

Thanks, --I'm an Editorofthewiki[citation needed] 00:36, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Initial Comments from Meldshal42 (talk · contribs)

  • Could you change the roles in government section into prose, or at least a table?
  • The article has a lot of images. If I had to choose, I would remove the hammer and sickle image at least.*conside
  • There seem to be quite a few redlinks in the article. Ed, I think you or Blofeld should take advantage of those for DYK...

Alright, getting specific Please add a ref *Doubts remain as to the identity of his father.

  • Could you provide more information about his siblings, especially Augustine, who appears to have died at a young age?

I want to know more, and I'm sure I'm not alone.

  • Just more about his siblings, but oh well...
  • I think the image of Boigny in the chapel with the disciples and Jesus is very nice and all, but it may be considered POV and is really unnecessary.
    • I find it extremely necessary. How would it be considered POV? --I'm an Editorofthewiki[citation needed] 22:55, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
      • Well, it just came to thought that it may be considered POV because it showed the disciples and jessus, figures of christianity. But if you say so... --Meldshal [Wanna chat?] {contribs} 23:21, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
        • It is in no way promoting Christianity as a religion, just documenting a stained-glass window on the World's Largest Church. --I'm an Editorofthewiki[citation needed] 23:27, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Alright, I think I am done here so far. --Meldshal [Chat] 18:11, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Other images to be removed:Cocoa bean and the place where he worked at. --Meldshal [Wanna chat?] {contribs} 23:21, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Feel free to remove them yourself, but I personally like a lot of images, to spice up the article and make it look more interesting. --I'm an Editorofthewiki[citation needed] 01:12, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Comments by Blofeld In terms of content this a quite an excellent article and for an article on an Ivorian person is wonderfully resourceful and detailed. If only we could get this kind of coverage for all African subjects and this encyclopedia would be a far better place. For me the strongest part of the article is the coverage of the eocnomy particularly 1960s and 1970s section.

However I do have a number of general areas that need to be addressed. The article undoubtedly needs a major copy edit. In nearly every paragraph or section there are phrases or sentences in need or rewording and general polishing. In some places it is quite sloppy and at times even difficult to read because either a sentence is too short or is too long which affects the comprehension of the article. The other major problem is the article structure I think. Some seperate paragraphs are unnecessary and should either be merged together or sections fused into others. I would strongly recommmend merging some of the latter sections into the main body of the article. In African Politics is very much a part of the main body of the article and I;d rather see a comprehensive section which highlights all of the main points. The death section in my view should be nearer the bottom and the award section last. Occasionally the article repeats itself. What it needs now is a major copy edit and restructure in places which if achieved will become a superb article eventually. ♦Blofeld of SPECTRE♦ $1,000,000? 12:56, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

  • Comments Basically all the refs are in French, which is to be expected for an article translated from Obviously also since Cote d'Ivoire is Francophone/former French colony, most of the published info will be in French. HOWEVER, WP:V requires that English sources, where available, be used in preference to foreign-language sources. Have you looked through the English-language literature at all to see if some of the more basic facts could be referenced to such sources? Calliopejen1 (talk) 08:34, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
  • There were also issues with the images (many non-free marked as free), I removed these and replaced the infobox with a crop of the Kennedy photo. Calliopejen1 (talk) 09:03, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Thank you for handling the image problems. I was not aware of the LOC image issues. As for the sources, I'll be adding English references where appropriate. Nishkid64 (Make articles, not wikidrama) 16:24, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

Comments from Awadewit List of comments generated by copyediting the article this morning:

  • Is this article in AE or BE? I found some inconsistencies. We should decide and alert all copyeditors.
  • With the new option not to link dates, I would like to suggest we delink all of the dates in this article.
  • There was a lot of overlinking in this article - obvious terms, terms linked multiple times - I have tried to take care of some of this while copyediting, but someone should look over the article checking just for this.
  • Overall the structure of the article needs to be improved. Details about FHB's political career are spread out over his biography and the "African political career" section in a confusing way. It is not at all clear what the principle was for placing some events in a separate section from the biography. I would try to integrate these into one seamless narrative. The same is true of the "Personal life" section - the details in that section should be integrated into the biography as a whole. We cannot separate his private life from this public life in this way, clearly - they are tied together.
    • Moved all of "African political career" into other sections. I still have some concerns about the organization of "President of Côte d'Ivoire". I typically write biographies in roughly chronological order; this article is separated not by decades or years, but by aspects of Houphouët-Boigny's presidency. As for the personal life, I'll see what I can do. I don't know if it can be done, seeing as how the article jumps all over the place. Nishkid64 (Make articles, not wikidrama) 13:55, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
  • The "Opposition to China and the Soviet Union" is oddly placed under "Personal life". It should also be properly integrated into the article where appropriate.
  • He was also appointed minister in the French government several times between 1957 and 1961. - Somehow we need to indicate he held a variety of ministerial positions.
  • The second paragraph of the lead does not quite hang together. The first part is about how he ran the country and its economy, but the information about the capital and the church doesn't seamlessly flow from that.
  • However, doubts remain about the accuracy of this date as the Baoulé do not maintain a birth register - To me, this would read better as "birth registries", but would it be more correct to say "a birth registry" for the Bauole?
    • They do not maintain a birth registry or birth registries, so either would be appropriate. I chose "registry". --I'm an Editorofthewiki[citation needed] 22:15, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
  • It is highly probable that he was born was before 1905 - Do we know why it is highly probable that he was born earlier than 1905?
    • Reworded to ". It is possible that he was born before 1905,[5] as unofficial accounts place his birth date up to seven years earlier." Nishkid64 (Make articles, not wikidrama) 15:41, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
      • But what is the reason that unofficial accounts give for placing his birth before 1905? Awadewit (talk) 13:28, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
        • "However, doubts remain about the accuracy of this date as the Baoulé do not maintain a birth registry." --I'm an Editorofthewiki[citation needed] 18:31, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
  • In honor of his entry into politics, he decided to add Boigny, meaning "irresistible force" in Baoulé (symbolizing his role as a leader)[1] to his surname, thus becoming Félix Houphouët-Boigny. - I'm a bit unclear on what exactly is the symbol here. This needs to be reworded.
    • Reworded to "At this point, he decided to add "Boigny", meaning "irresistible force" in Baoulé (symbolizing his role as a leader),[7] to his surname, thus becoming Félix Houphouët-Boigny.[17]" I wasn't sure what the first part meant either. I can only guess that he added "Boigny" to bolster his political cred. Nishkid64 (Make articles, not wikidrama) 15:41, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
  • In particular, he was an ardent proponent of a project that would build settlements in France's overseas departments and territories. - I don't think that this project is explained well. I'm not sure I really understand it.
    • In short, it was housing development project. Chop down the forest and build some houses in its place. Nishkid64 (Make articles, not wikidrama) 15:41, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
      • This needs to be explained better in the article. Awadewit (talk) 13:28, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
        • Added the word "housing". --I'm an Editorofthewiki[citation needed] 18:38, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
          • I still think this could be explained better, but let's see if anyone else asks for an explanation. Awadewit (talk) 15:19, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
  • In 1946, he was appointed a member of the Commission des territoires d'outre-mer (Commission of overseas territories), of which he regulated universal suffrage - Something is off here - "of which he regulated universal suffrage" - He promoted universal suffrage? He regulated voting? What?
    • His responsibility in this commission was to regulate "universal suffrage". I believe this means he made sure that everyone who was allowed to vote actually got the chance to vote. Nishkid64 (Make articles, not wikidrama) 15:41, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
      • This is just very awkward - how about he "oversaw voting regulations" or something? The current wording is much too confusing. Awadewit (talk) 13:28, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
  • The latter became a member of the African Democratic Rally (RDA) - The latter meaning the PDCI? Perhaps this should just be stated explicitly?
  • As the Cold War set in, the alliance with the Communists became increasingly damaging for the RDA, especially when the PCF moved permanently in opposition in 1947. - "moved permanently in opposition" is unclear
  • Tensions reached their height at the beginning of 1950,[11] when, following an incident, nearly the entire PDCI leadership was arrested - What incident?
  • Ultimately Houphouët-Boigny was saved by his parliamentary immunity, although his missed arrest was popularly attributed to his special powers and and his prestige. - I changed this sentence - please check its accuracy. Also, "special powers" sounds a bit like a superhero - perhaps something like "influence"?
    • Influence it is then. That sentence and the previous one also contradicted themselves; that contradiction is now fixed. --I'm an Editorofthewiki[citation needed] 23:53, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
  • numbers which, according to Thomas Hodgkin and Ruth Schachter, are certainly underestimated - Who are Hodgkin and Schachter? We need to give them little ID tags so that the reader knows to trust the information from them.
  • the only one of the RDA elected in Côte d'Ivoire out of the two running.[1] On 24 August 1951, he delivered a speech in the Assembly contesting the result of the elections, which he declared tainted by fraud. - Why exactly did he think the election was riddled with fraud?
    • I don't know. He must have been closely following the elections and noticed that they were tainted by fraud. --I'm an Editorofthewiki[citation needed] 16:31, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
  • He also denounced the exploitation of overseas deputies as "voting machines" - I don't understand.
    • The overseas deputies were French political pawns. They supported whatever the French government wanted. Clarified in the article. Nishkid64 (Make articles, not wikidrama) 18:54, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Thereafter, Houphouët-Boigny and the RDA lived through a veritable period of purgatory - Beautiful, but encyclopedic?
  • Named a member of the Committees on universal suffrage, constitutional laws, rules and petitions - Is this one committee or three separate committees?
  • His principal achievement in these roles was to create a shared organisation of Saharan regions that would help ensure energetic independence for the French Union - What is "energetic independence"?
  • "Rehabilitation and entry into government" - I think we need a better word than "Rehabilitation" - it has too many medical connotations in English (this word cannot be literally translated)
  • Following the adoption of the Loi Cadre reform granting internal autonomy to many sub-Saharan African colonies on 23 June 1956, a territorial election was held in Côte d'Ivoire on 3 March 1957, in which the PDCI—transformed under Houphouët-Boigny's firm control into a political machine[1]—obtained a huge victory - What was the victory exactly? The PDCI was elected to posts inside Cote d'Ivoire?
  • Houphouët-Boigny, who was already serving as a minister in France, as President of the Territorial Assembly and of mayor of Abidjan, chose Auguste Denise to serve as Vice President of the Government Council of Côte d'Ivoire,[3] even if he remained, for France, the only interlocutor in the colony - Who is remaining in France?
    • H-B chose Denise to a position which required communication with France. The French still considered H-B to be the only person who they could communicate with in the colony. Nishkid64 (Make articles, not wikidrama) 15:07, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
  • His popularity and influence in France's African colonies, upon the growth of anti-French sentiment, had become so formidable that one French magazine claimed that by 1956, the politician's photograph "was in all the huts, on the lapels of coats, on the corsages of African women and even on the handlebars of bicycles." - The "his" in this sentence refers back to Denise - is the sentence supposed to be talking about FHB?
  • The referendum produced the French Community, an institution meant to be an association of free republics which had jurisdiction over foreign policy, defense, currency, common ethnic and financial policy, and strategic raw materials.[38] It did not long survive the referendum, however: at the end of 1959 de Gaulle allowed the Mali Federation to obtain independence within it. Upset by the President of France's move, the members of the Conseil de l'Entente and Houphouët-Boigny asked for Côte d'Ivoire's independence, which he proclaimed on 7 August 1960. - I have worked on these sentences, trying to make them clearer. Please check them for accuracy, particularly the part of the members of the council and their role.
    • H-B was a member of the Counseil de l'Entente. I've merged the contents of another section into "Pro-autonomy" so the above sentences are all over the place. Nishkid64 (Make articles, not wikidrama) 15:07, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
  • To solve this problem, Houphouët-Boigny decided to exile Mockey in September 1959, claiming that Mockey had attempted to assassinate him using maleficent fetishes in the "complot du chat noir" (black cat conspiracy). - What? Is "fetish" really the right word here?
  • The Arab-Israeli paragraph does not seem to fit in the "Rise to power" section.
  • Under his brand of paternalistic authoritarianism, Houphouët-Boigny subdued dissent by offering government occupations instead of incarceration. - This is vague.
    • Well, it appears that he shut up dissenters by offering them government positions instead of sending them to jail, which would just create an even greater ruckus. Nishkid64 (Make articles, not wikidrama) 13:33, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
      • Can we say anything more specific? Awadewit (talk) 13:41, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
        • Like what? --I'm an Editorofthewiki[citation needed] 14:59, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
          • I don't know the history. I just know when I got to this part of the article, I wanted more information. Awadewit (talk) 15:19, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Gbagbo gained recognition as one of the principal instigators in the student demonstrations on 9 February 1982, which led to the closing of the universities and other educational institutions. - What were these demonstrations about? The sentence almost sounds as if the demonstrations were promoting the closing of the universities.
  • Gbagbo went into exile in France later that year, where he promoted the FPI and its program of government. - What "program of government"?
  • He made a point out of the President's age, suggesting that he was too old for a seventh five-year term.[5] Houphouët-Boigny did not counter this, instead broadcasting television footage of his youth, and he won 2,445,365 votes to 548,441. - The footage would suggest that FHB did counter the accusation of age. This is confusing.
    • We meant that he didn't counter Gbagbo's point about the President's age. Instead, he showed footage of his youth. In any case, I guess it's better if we just say he did counter. Nishkid64 (Make articles, not wikidrama) 15:07, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Two important student demonstrations took place in May 1991 and February 1992. On 18 February (while Alassane Ouattara was the Prime Minister), Gbagbo was arrested and sentenced to two years in prison,[7] but was released in August. - There is no context for this. What was the context? Why were the demonstrations important? Is this important to have in the FHB article?
    • Removed. I would like to say that the demonstrations fueled support for Gbagbo, but I can't find any reliable sources to back that up. Nishkid64 (Make articles, not wikidrama) 13:33, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
  • I think the section on Gbagbo could be cut down a bit.
  • Since 1961, Francis Wodié, the founding member of SYNARES - What is SYNARES? Link? Spell out acronym?
  • The Francis Wodie section does not explain the nature of his opposition to FHB very well. Some more information is probably needed here.
  • The advantages granted by the code of investments he established in 1959 allowed foreign business to repatriate up to 90% of their profits in their country of origin - "code of investments"? Hm. That seems slightly odd to me.
  • Considerable resources were made available to finance national projects. - This sentence is just sitting there. No explanation. Nothing.
  • this new demand, as elsewhere in Africa, assimilated to social elevation - I can't quite make out what this sentence should say. It is very unclear.
  • Efforts were also made in education: in 1975, the enrollment rate for primary education was 17.3%, 5.1% for secondary education a 0.5% for higher education;[8] by 1985, the literacy rate was 57.3% for people over the age of 15.[8] - This statistical comparison is not particularly helpful, as it is comparing two different things.
  • The decline was perceived as a fleeting situation, since its impact on planters was accentuated by the Caistab, the agricultural marketing board,[3] which ensured them a decent income. - I think "accentuated" is the wrong word here - don't we want something that means something more along the lines of "the board insulated them from the problem"?
  • From 1979, in order to prevent a sudden drop in prices, the government attempted to stand in the way of tariffs on raw materials by boycotting the world market prices. - unclear what "stand in the way of tariffs" is supposed to mean
  • In November 1989, Houphouët-Boigny resigned to liquidate his enormous stock of cocoa to big businesses. - he resigned his post or he was resigned to liquidating his stock?
  • Despite the implementation of certain measures, such as the reduction of the number of young French workers (who worked abroad in lieu of serving in the military) from 3,000 to 2,000 in 1986, which liberated thousands of jobs for young graduates from Côte d'Ivoire, the government failed to control the rising rates of unemployment and bankruptcy in many companies. - This is confusing.
  • Gbagbo went even further, claiming legal recognition of rights of national land - unclear
  • That Gbagbo was FHB's first presidential opponent should be mentioned once, not twice. It seems to flow more seamlessly in the in the "Social tensions" section.
    • I merged it to the "Opposition" section, because that is the section we discuss about Gbagbo and his relation to the president. --I'm an Editorofthewiki[citation needed] 12:39, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
  • In order to reform public life, Houphouët-Boigny donated his plantations in Yamoussoukro to the State. - Was FHB under any suspicion of corruption?
    • Yes; that is steted in other parts of the article. --I'm an Editorofthewiki[citation needed] 03:17, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
      • But it was not clear when I read it. Perhaps the new organization makes this clearer? Awadewit (talk) 13:47, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
  • In the parliamentary elections of 1980, he allowed voters to choose among a multitude of candidates in order to eliminate a number of barons of the regime. - What do we mean by "barons" exactly?
  • The president was himself involved in this matter since his family received 6,700,000 CFA francs per month from the State. - It is not entirely clear what "this matter" is. Grammatically, it is referring to the LOGEMAD debacle, but the sentence itself seems broader than that. Something seems amiss....
  • his personal wealth was estimated to be between seven and eleven billion dollars - US dollars?
  • Houphouët-Boigny devoted himself to spending on luxuries. In 1983, the capital was moved from Abidjan to Yamoussoukro.[18] There, at the expense of the state, he built many buildings such as the Institute Polytechnique and an international airport. - This is confusing - these sentences seem to be part of the corruption and scandal section, but how is building an airport and a school with government money a scandal? I'm sure it can be, but it is just not clear here.
    • The title of the section is "Scandals and splendor of the regime". That is a splendor. --I'm an Editorofthewiki[citation needed] 18:18, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
      • Schools and airports are not usually viewed as excess, though. Awadewit (talk) 13:47, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
        • How about we retitle the section "Scandals and building projects"? --I'm an Editorofthewiki[citation needed] 14:45, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
          • But that begs the question why are the two being combined? Were these building projects considered scandalous and, if so, why? Awadewit (talk) 15:19, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Houphouët-Boigny offered it to Pope John Paul II, who consecrated it on 10 September 1990 - What does "offered it to Pope John Paul" mean?
  • The unveiling of such splendor, during a collapse of the national economy, did not have the effect Houphouët-Boigny hoped it would - What effect was that?
    • It was to display national prosperity, but at the time tha nation wasn't exactly prospering. Clarified. --I'm an Editorofthewiki[citation needed] 14:50, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

I only copyedited through the "Death and legacy" section, but I read the whole article, that's why my nitpicks focus on the early sections. :) Awadewit (talk) 16:38, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

  • Current ref 150 (Histoire de la famille Boigny) deadlinks, there's no archived copy at, and it doesn't seem to have been a reliable web site to begin with. Calliopejen1 (talk) 13:12, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
  • I haven't read the whole article yet, but I'm kind of confused by its structure. Why the separate "President of Côte d'Ivoire" and "African political career" sections? Calliopejen1 (talk) 13:14, 4 August 2008 (UTC)