www.whyville.net Sep 19, 2005 Weekly Issue

Guest Writer

How to Write a Better Platform

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Running for Senator? STOP! And look at this article first!

With the latest Senate Race underway, I realized it was about time for a little (better late than never) help with the platforms.

Running for Senator is a big deal. You have three days to submit a valid platform and it costs you 500 clams. Many of the more popular candidates end up spending more on signs, persuasions (No, I don't mean bribes. I mean money to buy a campaign manager who will spread the word, or something similar), and rallies.

Well what happens when the voters get to the poll booth? It's a mess! It's so hard to distinguish good platforms from bad ones, and it takes a long time. Well let me tell you, if your platform is not good, you have no chance of getting votes.

hi pplz im ________ and im runin 4 senate so vote 4 me cuz i will give u clams and make free faceparts and no newbiez allowd! so vote 4 me cuz im nice!

The problems? For starters, this (fake) platform lacks proper punctuation, spelling, grammar, capitalization, and any sentence structure. Next, this uses chat type. Now, anyone who knows me knows that I personally think chat type is bad, and I can stand it. The point is, people want a Senator who is responsible. Being so lazy that you won't type the full words out doesn't come off as very responsible. Also, when someone is reading a platform, they want to skim, which is easier to do with full words.

What else is wrong with it? "i will give u clams," Senators aren't allowed, and will never be allowed to make giving free clams out to random citizens part of Whyville -- unless they want to sacrifice their own clams. "make free faceparts," the designers decide how much they cost, not the Senators. "no newbiez allowd," how would you ban new citizens? And how do you plan to decipher oldies from newbies?

Now, let's move on to how to do it right, shall we?

The introduction comes at the first part of your platform, and should state the following:
-General and/or specific greeting/s.
-Your Whyville name
-Who you are (For example, I'm ____, a y-mail helper and well known Times writer!)

First Section -- Who You Are
This is the section where you should cover anything you didn't in the introduction. How old are you? What state do you live in? How long have you been a member on Whyville? What's your salary? You can include anything from personal experiences, to political opinions, to Whyville related things, to real life school, anything you think the voters should know about you.

Second Section -- Why Should They Pick You?
What qualifies you for the job? Come back to things you mentioned in the above paragraph. Ex: (in the above paragraph) "I was on student council at my school," ties back to, "You should vote for me, because I have experience and have an idea of what the job is like, as represented by my placement in student council"

Third Section -- Your Ideas
What will you do if they elect you as Senator? List ideas in a legible format, and explain each one in detail. Example of good format:

1) BASIC IDEA OF GOAL HERE: Brief detailed description here
2) BASIC IDEA OF GOAL HERE: Brief detailed description here

Note how the basic idea is capitalized -- this makes it easier to "scan" and still get your point across.

Say bye, encourage your vote, sign your name. The end.


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