1

1) Are questions in the form of "How does X set of political views explain Y conundrum/controvercy/objection" on-topic and welcome?

As a random example, would the following question of the type:

There is a popular argument made that quality of life (based on various factors listed below) is better in Cuba (or $insert-your-own-leftist-government-country) compared to, say, USA.

How do the people making such argument explain the fact that citizens of $country frequently try to - legally and not - immigrated to USA, whereas there are virtually no citizens/residents of USA who choose to immigrate to that country despite the claimed quality-of-life gap?

Update: just to be clear, I use "Country X" here in meta, the real SE question would of course pertain to a specific country.


Another question of the type would be:

There is a popular argument made that quality of life (based on various factors) is better in ($insert-your-own-leftist-government-country) compared to, say, USA. A usual example is comparison to Cuba, made a couple of times on this site.

While quality of life is usually calculated in objective manner, based on $statistics, what are the efforts made by the people citing such statistics to ensure that (a) the statistics are not manipulated by the central controlling government in countries that don't have freedom of the press and independent professionals collecting and reporting them; and (b) That such statistics are designed to compare apples to apples, methodologically?

2) Bonus question: If such questions ARE acceptable, what do we consider good and acceptable forms of answering and commenting on such? E.g. would answers from opposite ends of political spectrum's views be considered welcome/valid (e.g. explaining that "Side X claims that the answer is THIS, while in truth that's an invalid argument because of M, N and O objections")?

2

Firstly, on the specific example you give ...

The first paragraph might be improved by deciding whether it wants to be general:

It's sometimes argued that quality of life (based on various factors) is better in Country X compared to Country Y.

... or specific:

There is a popular argument made that quality of life (based on various factors) is better in Cuba compared to, say, USA.

Lumping Cuba in specifically with ($insert-your-own-leftist-government-country) doesn't feel especially productive to me, as its situation is rather different from that of many other countries considered to have leftist governments (for example, one might claim that in Cuba emigration is motivated by political concerns, repression, etc., while in some other "leftist-government" countries it's more likely to be economically motivated).

The two variations on a second paragraph could also be cleaned up a little to avoid the appearance of endorsing one point of view:

Variant 1:

A common rebuttal of this argument claims that citizens of Cuba frequently try to - legally and not - immigrated to USA, whereas virtually no citizens/residents of USA choose to immigrate to Cuba.

Is there evidence for this claim? If so, how might a defence of the Cuban government attempt to reconcile these two apparently contradictory pieces of evidence?

Variant 2:

If we accept that quality of life can be calculated in objective manner, based on $statistics, how can an argument citing such statistics ensure that (a) the statistics are not manipulated by the government or agency producing them; and (b) such statistics are designed to compare apples to apples, methodologically?

Now, on to your questions:

1. Are (such questions) on-topic and welcome?

I don't think there's any doubt that they're on-topic, but as worded I think they border on not constructive. As noted above, though, I think that's more to do with praseology than content.

2. If such questions ARE acceptable, what do we consider good and acceptable forms of answering and commenting on such?

Your example of an answer - "Side X claims that the answer is THIS, while in truth that's an invalid argument because of M, N and O objections", is needlessly provocative; the same content could just as easily be worded along the lines "Side X claims that the answer is THIS. Side Y, on the other hand, objects that (M, N and O objections)."

Note that I don't think an answer necessarily has to give both sides of the argument - but it's less likely to start a flamewar if a description of the argument is presented, rather than the argument itself.

  • Sorry for confusion, all the examples were meant to be specific when turned into real questions. E.g. the actual non-meta question would be about Cuba, not "Country X". I updated the question to clarify that. – user4012 Dec 13 '12 at 21:58
1

If the question is about a specific argument made by specific people then I think a well referenced answer could be made. I think good answers could also come asking for what political experts have written on the topic.

But if the question is general or generic views then there is no way to address the issue here that would be considered constructive. There are many opinions and quite frankly the issues we actually face are so complex that it is impossible to address them here. Those types of questions are better suited for discussion forums, or as the subject of research papers and blog postings.

If after some point we begin to have a politics SE Blog I can see something like that being the subject of a post there. But questions should be around the facts not the opinions.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .