Campaigning is a political process, so it's at least nominally in scope.

Our examples/first few questions seem to be centered around policy/political science.

Should questions from people aimed at helping them win an election be on topic?

Off the top of my head, those might break down broadly into questions about:

  • Election rules in a specific country (nomination, financing, etc.)
  • Organizing an effective campaign.
  • Fundraising
  • The cost-effectiveness of certain techniques (door knocking, billboards, etc.)

2 Answers 2


I think we should allow questions on campaigning. For questions that are opaquely seeking campaign advice, we should probably worry more about the question being too localized.

I think many campaign advice questions will be caught by the normal rules of a SE website, but I think the main thing to be on the lookout for in questions seeking campaign advice is if they are a "what should I do?" question. Of course, that exact wording would be rare, but it can't be difficult to identify which questions are saying as much in different words. Politics.SE should aim to be descriptive, rather than prescriptive, and those questions call for the exact opposite of that.

I'm a bit hesitant to give a strict list of criterion, because I don't want to over-correct for an as-of-yet non-existent problem.

I haven't really participated much in the meta of any given SE site before, so I'm not really sure how communities normally deal with these sorts of issues.

  • Can you expand a bit about what campaign advice might be? For example "what is a free supporter management software" q might be a bit shady, but "Do I need a complex campaign bureaucracy to run for city council?" one might not be.
    – jrg
    Commented Dec 5, 2012 at 1:54
  • @jrg I think the first question should be considered off topic, as it has very little to do with the political process, but the second one should be considered kosher, because it concerns a political process, though, there might be other problems with the question unrelated to it being campaign advice. Commented Dec 5, 2012 at 1:59
  • That's why I'm asking you to expand on your opinion a bit, because on the surface I agree with you, but I'd like some more detail. :)
    – jrg
    Commented Dec 5, 2012 at 2:05
  • @jrg I'll try and edit in some criteria into my answer. Commented Dec 5, 2012 at 2:07
  • @jrg I've expanded a bit on my original answer. Hopefully it's a bit clearer, though I'm not entirely clear on the specifics, so I won't be surprised if it isn't. Commented Dec 5, 2012 at 2:22

I would reformulate the goal, it is not about aiming to help win elections, but instead about answering questions and sharing knowledge about a political process. Whether a given answer is useful in a specific situation should not influence us on giving the answer or not ;)

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