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Only the proposer of the referendum and Election Committee members may modify this page. Substantive modifications by the proposer after the referendum has been formally proposed at 'June 2016 Referenda' will invalidate the signatures of any current supporters, and require them to sign again. Comments should be placed on the Talk page.

This page contains a proposed referendum question, the existing rule(s) which the proposer and any supporters of the referendum wish to change, elaboration on the proposal, and the proposed new text.

Renaming of the Constabulary, June 2016

Proposed by John Stephenson (talk)

A proposed referendum on existing rules follows. If it is voted on, Citizens could support or oppose the question by indicating 'Yes' or 'No'. Under Article 37, a two-thirds majority is required for this referendum to pass because it proposes to modify the Charter.

To support the establishment of a referendum on this issue, sign here.

This Charter-modifying referendum proposes to rename the Constabulary and its membership to make its role and functions easier to explain and understand.

Current text

Currently, the Citizendium officers who are responsible for enforcing acceptable behaviour on the project are called 'Constables', with a 'Chief Constable' as head of a group known as the 'Constabulary'. This group is authorised via Article 24 of the Charter and others.


The original reason for the names 'Constable' and 'Constabulary' was apparently to bring to mind the image of a friendly village 'bobby' who would gently enforce the law. However, the names suffer from two problems:

  • it is not at all obvious what they mean and what their powers might be;
  • they have overtones of a police state or authoritarian society.

As Citizendium is an internet-based project, it would be better to rename these offices and the group as a whole so that they would be easily understood by the average internet-user: this referendum proposes that the Constabulary shall be known as the Moderator Group, with its members called Moderators and headed by a Moderator-in-Chief, the last being the the new name for the Chief Constable. There is little reason to suspect that any reasonably well-informed user would be unfamiliar with these terms, as they occur repeatedly on other forums.

No changes would be made to the powers of the Constabulary. The Charter would be amended to replace all instances of the names to the ones set out above, and the Constabulary home pages and all other mentions in current documents would also be replaced accordingly. Current rules could maintain the original names but be understood to refer to Moderators, but may be rewritten as necessary.

Although no changes to the role of the Constables are proposed, to ensure that no-one feels that they are being unfairly labelled, the referendum further proposes to enforce this change as of July 1st, 2016 and release all current Constables from their service on that date.

Lastly, as the position of 'Chief Constable Emeritus' has never been used, the referendum proposes to abolish that position by repealing Management Council motion 2010-003.

The Citizendium Council would retain its power to appoint and dismiss Moderators as it sees fit. An interim period in which no Moderators would be serving is acceptable since an existing rule allows all Citizendium members in possession of administrative technical privileges on the wiki to use these to counter vandalism.

Proposed referendum

On July 1st, 2016, the Citizendium Constabulary shall be renamed as the Moderator Group, with the office of Constable renamed as Moderator and the position of Chief Constable renamed as Moderator-in-Chief; furthermore, all serving Constables shall be released on that date and any emeritus Constabulary positions abolished.


  • In the event that Referendum 1 passes, the mention of the Constabulary that it would add to the Charter shall be changed to Moderator Group.