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As one experiment ends, a new one begins for Policy Wiki

With the tabling of the federal budget, The Globe and Mail's first experiment in merging public-policy debate and social-media tools - the Public Policy Wiki, a joint venture with the Dominion Institute - comes to a kind of conclusion, although the discussion we helped to start will continue as long as Canadians have ideas they wish to share.

We collected the data on the federal budget policy proposal that our contributors and readers most supported, and will send it to the Finance Minister.

But the budget portion of the Policy Wiki will remain available for contributions, even as we begin a new chapter aimed at discussing Canada's policy toward Afghanistan later this week.

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During the two weeks it has been open for business, the Policy Wiki attracted more than 100,000 page views. The policy proposal that received the most support - as measured by a combination of page views, comments and votes - was the idea of a 100-per-cent GST rebate for non-profit institutions such as charities, hospitals and universities.

The next-most popular briefing note was a proposal to create a Green Infrastructure Fund, which would see Ottawa spend $6 billion for upgrades to the power grid, energy-efficient building renovation, switching to renewable energy sources, and improvements to public transit and the highway infrastructure to reduce pollution.

For more on the specifics of the briefing notes, and a look at what the next phase of the wiki will involve, please go to either the wiki itself ( or my blog, Ingram 2.0 (

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