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I recently asked the question What US 2016 presidential candidate meets my criteria? based on the precedent set by the highly upvoted question Given my list of convictions, which US party(ies) should I consider? @blip suggested that to ask these questions, we invite a whole class of questions which could flood the site and which are too narrow and individual specific. I think he makes a reasonable argument.

I also see the counter-argument that these kinds of questions actually provide a useful service, linking people to parties and candidates which they might not have otherwise known about. Additionally there are probably many people with roughly the same views who would all be interested in the answer to each one. I don't see us getting hundreds of these these kinds of questions, and they are nice in that they don't invite opinion.

I can see both sides of the issue, but I'm curious what others think. Should these questions be considered on topic?

UPDATE:There seems to be a pretty strong consensus that these questions are not appropriate for this site. I went ahead and deleted mine, but Given my list of convictions, which US party(ies) should I consider? should be a fairly clear example of this kind of question.

  • It took me (IIRC) hours, or more likely days, to write an answer to that one. Frankly, that is a strong indication that the question wasn't a great fit for the site (because such LOE should only be required for definitive, FAQ type, questions). – user4012 May 18 '16 at 15:22
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years ago, back in 2012, there use to be this close reason called "too localized" which was for questions exactly like yours. "Too Localized" questions were questions which needed answers tailored specifically to one asker, and are therefore not likely to help future visitors.

The problem with the "too localized" close reason was that many people didn't fully understand it, and they used it to close very specific, and very esoteric questions, that weren't necessarily closable as "too localized"

I, honestly, consider questions like that to be a form of "too broad" Usually, when I answer questions here, and on Stack Overflow, I like to leave readers with one takeaway. One new concept that they learned, and might be useful in the future.


Imagine this example question

In c#, how do I get a list of numbers from the user, and put them into an array, and calculate the mean and print the result.

That as a very easy question to answer, and it doesn't take a lot of time, but I consider it too broad because I have to teach the OP(and future readers) 4 different concepts in order for the answer to be truly useful, since there are 4 different questions encoded into that one question.

Your question has a similar issue. You're not asking to learn a new concept or fact, rather you're giving us a dataset, and asking us to analyze it and come up with a result. I think that answer is too broad.

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Additionally there are probably many people with roughly the same views who would all be interested in the answer to each one.

But they won't find your question, because it is not search-engine friendly. I couldn't imagine a search query which would cover that whole laundry list of political viewpoints and then leads to this question.

I don't see us getting hundreds of these these kinds of questions, and they are nice in that they don't invite opinion.

Actually, getting some more questions would be good, because this site is currently far behind the question quota for a site in beta. But not at any cost, please.

What I would recommend is taking the points you care about the most and ask for each one individually. I think a question like "How do the candidates for [election] stand on [issue X]?" would be a constructive, answerable (through first-hand quotations) and most of all searchable question.

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This is something of a unicorn search. There are fourteen criteria and at least two possibilities per criterion. That's 16,384 different possibilities. It seems unlikely that any of the ten to fifteen candidates likely to be on the ballot will fit all fourteen. So as a practical matter, you are looking for a partial match. Yet you explicitly throw out two partial matches in the question. How are we supposed to determine what compromises you are willing to accept?

That is basically a discussion question. It encourages back and forth conversation. It's a great kind of question for a forum or chat room and utterly wrong for this site.

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