Should the Politics stack exchange be split into separate Liberal and Conservative stack exchanges?

This question isn't as facetious as it initially appears as Politics.SE belongs to a small subset of stack exchanges that are inherently ideological.

"Soft" stack exchanges are not a good fit generally for what was intended as a Q&A model for "Hard" or applied sciences, but ambiguity and grandstanding rhetoric are kept to a minimum on most of these ideological stack exchanges through one of two mechanisms:

  1. Moderators stringently apply quality controls consistently across all content without fear or favour.
  2. Everyone in the same stack exchange generally believes in the same thing. For instance, the Christian, Hindu and Muslim stack exchanges have civil content despite being quintessentially ideological; as the majority of their membership have similar values and post with honest intentions.

If we are not going moderate then perhaps the site should split into specific ideological camps so as to raise the level of conduct in each subsequent stack exchange.

Of course, this is unlikely to be workable with the Stack Exchange software after the fact, so the point I'm trying to make is moderate better.

N.B. Is this a rhetorical question? Yes it is - in alignment with 80% of content posted on this stack.

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    We are trying, but we could use some help. See below. Commented Oct 27, 2014 at 0:45
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    Considering the fact that the way I arrived on this site was because SE unilaterally saw fit to take a workable proposal for libertarianism.SE and fold it into "politics.SE", this isn't as facetious as it seems. The site votes are largely along party lines for any question that is the least outside dry technical matter of process (I've seen plenty of good-for-left-wing answers upvoted pretty highly despite being of atrocious quality. Hell even answers that were 100% confirmed by OP as not answering what OP asked get upvotes because they toe the party line).
    – user4012
    Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 1:45
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    ... interestingly, I rarely see the committed fighters for site quality concentrate on those left wing positive posts.
    – user4012
    Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 1:47
  • @DVK Not that I think of myself as left-wing (Some of my Swiftian rationalist views would horrify my latte-drinking hippy friends); but I stab to death bad questions generally. Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 1:52
  • @LateralFractal - I can trawl through questions... but here's an example of +8 awful answer that was proven completely wrong in the comments for its premise; and used zero facts or references aside from personal opinion of the poster. It did paint unflattering picture of the "right" though. politics.stackexchange.com/a/262/115
    – user4012
    Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 1:56
  • @LateralFractal - this answer has a source. An awful clearly biased source... and has 3 upvotes (total 0)
    – user4012
    Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 2:46
  • @DVK Answers to the question you cite fall prey to the "two bucket" problem which induces orthogonal semantic disagreement as much any factual dispute per se - a framing debate. I also find that drill down of associated links are rarely done on answers of any political stripe. Accusations of selective moderation are valid; and applicable to pretty much every emotionally invested participant. Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 3:21
  • @LateralFractal - here's another Q where CLEARLY there was 100% politics based voting. It wasn't nearly bad enough to be downvoted (not by standard quality-based downvote criteria - which "asked to get a specific answer" isn't one of - motivations aren't part of criteria), yet not really great enough to deserve upvoting except to counteract politics based downvotes: politics.stackexchange.com/questions/6211/…
    – user4012
    Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 22:51
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    @DVK Questions about donations live in that limbo land between neutral fact seeking and dysphemistic innuendo. Neutral in so far as corruption is endemic and bipartisan so the question can be a honest desire for facts. Innuendo in so far as asking the question implies the corruption by default. It has whatever baggage the audience brings to it. The wording of the question, the needless qualifying who the current administration is and the asking for specific party data suggests a level of innuendo. Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 23:16
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    @LateralFractal - that's my point. Innuendo is NOT a valid reason to downvote if the question is eminently answerable. It's a good reason to avoid upvoting though because the question isn't uber-useful (not "not useful" though)
    – user4012
    Commented Oct 31, 2014 at 0:57

3 Answers 3


I know a thing or two about Christianty.SE.

I can assure you we do not have homogeneity. We have very liberal and very conservative members. We have Baptists and Catholics. We have Mormons and Pentecostals. We have Atheists and Muslims. We even have arguments over whether "liberal and conservative" have meaning. But we've built a pretty solid basis of fact-based questions and answers that steer clear of "Truth," sermon, and/or cheese. As my keyboard shortcut says, when you get the chance, please check out our [about] and specifically How we are different than other sites. At some point, I'd like to make a version of that document for politics.

We work together to stop rants on either side, and we reward scholarship over speeches.

More importantly, however, we don't rely strictly on diamond moderation. We flag the heck out of stuff. To wit, I am not a mod there, and yet I've raised over 520 helpful flags- and less than 15 unhelpful ones.

Candidly, here on politics, I'm probably the biggest wuss of all the mods. I look for content to vote up, rather than trying to close everything in sight. But, I respond well to flags, because then I don't feel as though I am censoring people.

I agree, I could be a better mod- but Yannis, Sam, and I are not the only ones who are supposed to be moderating.

Want a better site? Help us.

  • Focus on fact based questions and answers, and vote them up.
  • Flag bad content
  • Model good behavior by writing good questions and answers.

That will fix the problems you see and get us all the site we want.


I have two concerns with this proposal:

Firstly, for answers where liberals and conservatives are likely to give different answers, I would argue that there is value in seeing both sides' points of view.

Having separate sites could end up with both sides engaging in navel-gazing rather than heated debate, which I feel would be detrimental to all who come here with the hope of learning something.

Secondly, the terms "conservative" and "liberal" are not well-defined even within one country's political systems, let alone across national borders.

(For example, as a British observer of American politics, I get the impression that even our Conservative party would be regarded as liberal by the Republicans right now.)

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    Not only the boundary between liberals and conservatives is not well defined, but there are a lot of people (both inside and outside of the U.S.) that don't consider themselves neither liberals nor conservatives. As such, this people would likely avoid both forums.
    – A. Darwin
    Commented May 29, 2016 at 19:16

There are separate SE's for each religion. I suppose there's a parallel there.

That said, if you were to split it, they'd be very different sites than I assume what was intended for this site.

I think there's enough partisan places on the internet to ask questions. Not sure if we need even more.

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