I suggest two additions to scope that may be already included de facto on this site.

  1. Political customs: in the US these are such things as resigning under protest, Senator block of judicial appointments from their home state, direct flights from Saudi Arabia to Israel by the President. I'm sure there are many others, and I see no need to not include them.

  2. Political movements: the rise, the philosophy, the shape, the size. I'm not sure if this is technically in scope. I do think these questions are routinely answered here however.

  • I agree that these topics should be considered on-topic, but not sure if adding more text to the already long /help/on-topic page is a good idea. It seems to me that perhaps it's time to revise that entire page and see if we can fit the essence of the site in two or three paragraphs.
    – user11249
    May 24, 2017 at 14:12
  • @Carpetsmoker - Our Help pages need love. We have had other questions about editing the on-topic page too. Maybe we should have a generic "let's edit the on-topic page" question? I'm not really sure how other communities create/maintain these pages. May 24, 2017 at 20:36
  • 2
    not really sure how other communities create/maintain these pages: I believe that many take the same approach as we do @indigochild: they don't update them :-) Making a meta post is the best course of action, but in the end it's up to the moderators and their judgement... Part of the problem is that measuring consensus can be hard in the current meta system.
    – user11249
    May 24, 2017 at 20:55
  • What stops political customs from being an "opinion based" argument? May 25, 2017 at 4:41
  • 1
    @DrunkCynic You can objectively ask about their history, which or if both parties have employed them, if they have been evoked at all, under which circumstances. No need to ask whether they are good or not.
    – user9790
    May 25, 2017 at 12:12

2 Answers 2


Those two categories of questions have to do with politics, so they're already on topic at Politics.SE. No additional expansion of scope is needed.

Keep in mind that just because a question is on topic doesn't make it a good one. You should still ask questions which are not too broad, opinion-based or unclear.

  • 2
    It's not really obvious to me that these topics are on-topic from reading /help/on-topic.
    – user11249
    May 24, 2017 at 15:57
  • 1
    Me neither, hence I posted the question
    – user9790
    May 24, 2017 at 16:44
  • 2
    Sounds like the answer is "It's on topic, how do we make that clear".
    – Bobson
    May 25, 2017 at 2:53

In my reading of the Help page, both of these are already on topic. I don't think we are systematically closing questions that fit into those categories, so I don't think there is a practical problem that needs to be solved. However, we could make our Help more clear.

Political Movements

Questions about political movements are generically on topic. Asking about the characteristics or properties of any movement is on topic because the "conflicting egos" category covers this. We could expand and clarify that point though:

  1. Public Opinion - Questions about "who supports what" are on-topic. This includes questions about aggregate public opinion, political party membership, ideology, movements, as well as the statements of notable political personalities.

Questions about philosophy are on-topic in practice, but I've already pointed out in another question that our Help doesn't support that. I would suggest we make it clear that questions about political theory and philosophy are on-topic to clear this up. We would need to be clear about what makes a good political theory question/answer.


Your point about "customs" to me sounds a lot like "strategy". Questions about social customs (even insofar as they could involve politics) are off-topic. For example, this question about body language was closed because of its emphasis on social custom.

Your examples are different. They all involve the political process. To me, these are captured under "working themselves out". Blocking nominees, resigning from office, etc. are all part of how politics happens. In the wording of the Help page, they are part of the "[process] by which policy is made".

  • I strongly disagree about "Customs". Customs are unwritten rules and I would also strongly disagree with closing a post because it pertained to "strategy" or "social custom" both of which can be deeply and appropriately intertwined with politics. We need to stop the knee jerk instinct to close posts that can be answered and have something to do with politics. It is absolutely infuriating.
    – ohwilleke Mod
    May 31, 2017 at 6:18
  • @ohwilleke - I actually said that (in my opinion) strategy is on-topic and covered by the Help page. May 31, 2017 at 14:20

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