I've been somewhat active in the Politics.SE community for a few weeks now. I have personally learned a lot from my short time here and would very much enjoy seeing the community grow. One possible way of fostering this growth would be to make this site a better resource for common or even rudimentary questions about political processes, of the kind that might regularly be searched for on google. This could increase visitors to the site from search engines, interest in membership, and provide benefits to the world at large. It would also be a good resource for people posting answers to other questions on this site to be able to reference other answers to more rudimentary questions either to explain particular words or processes, or as recommended additional reading. I'll provide a few examples of the kind of questions that I'm talking about, but note that I'm not necessarily suggesting these questions specifically, because I have not actually checked to see if these specific questions already have answers here.

  • How does a bill become law in the United States?
  • What are the powers of the US President?
  • What are the qualifications required to become the US President?

I reviewed the Help Center information regarding questions that should/shouldn't be asked, and felt that it was somewhat ambiguous on this topic. For instance, I could see this language in particular as precluding the asking of questions that the asker already knows the answer to:

...based on actual problems that you face

However, these types of questions seem very much within the scope of what's on-topic, specifically with respect to this language:

...for exchanging objective information about the policies, processes, and personalities that comprise the political arena.

I can see another potential concern being that some rudimentary political questions might encourage other poor questions to be asked. For example, I would probably agree that "What are the capitols of the 50 US States?" or "When was George Washington President?" are not a good fit for this site, and would encourage others to ask poor-quality questions despite being valuable in an encyclopedic sense. That's probably better left to Wikipedia.

However, assuming that the questions and answers are of high quality, do not promote behavior that would otherwise be considered unacceptable, and are generally factual/procedural in nature (i.e. not pushing an agenda or encouraging bias), would asking these kinds of questions with the intent of providing an answer to serve as a resource be acceptable?

  • The "don't ask" page is a standard page all sites on the Stackexchange network have in common. It doesn't really apply well to a site like this one. Unfortunately we can't edit that article just for this site.
    – Philipp Mod
    Commented May 10, 2018 at 13:29

3 Answers 3


I see no reason not to post and self-answer a few basic questions. The purpose of this website is to create a FAQ about political processes. While these questions might be common knowledge to most people of this community, they might not be for those who find it using search engine queries.

Such canonical questions can also be useful to close questions as duplicates when they appear to be very specific but can actually be answered by simply looking at the basic political processes involved. For example:

The bill XYZ got approved by Congress but just got vetoed by the President. Does that mean this bill won't ever become law?

-> Possible Duplicate of "How does a bill become law in the United States?"

Regarding the "...actual problem" phrase on the Don't ask help page: Please note that this page is a standard page which is the same for all sites of the Stackexchange network. While most of it is also relevant for this website, I don't think that this particular phrase applies very well to a non-technical site like Politics Stack Exchange. But unfortunately we are unable to make any site-specific edits to it.

  • Is it possible to edit the boilerplate Help page? Commented May 10, 2018 at 23:57
  • @indigochild As I said, the "Don't ask" page can not be modified. But there are some other pages of the help center which can be edited. Which page exactly are you referring to?
    – Philipp Mod
    Commented May 11, 2018 at 0:13

Some people may mark down questions like this as being trivially answerable and easy to find on the internet.

You might find better luck if you asked with a more international flavor. E.g.

  • How does a bill become a law in India?
  • What are the differences between the German President and Prime Minister?
  • What the qualifications required to run for parliament in the Netherlands?

I did not check these for existing questions either.

The international part means that for most people they won't be as trivially answerable. It also allows for people not from the United States to answer some of the easy questions.

  • I used the US in my examples mostly because that's what first came to mind, and did not mean to imply that similar questions regarding other countries would not be as valuable. Indeed, I'd be personally quite interested in the answers, but would not be able to provide the answer myself without first researching them. In either case, the point here is that what is trivially answerable is very much a matter of where you come from. While questions about the US political process are trivial for me, they probably are not for someone from India and vice versa.
    – Texas Red
    Commented May 9, 2018 at 17:25

Ask away.

I take the "actual problem" line as a hint to tone down worldbuilding; pretty certainly nobody here has an actual problem with say impeaching the US president and vice president simultaneously or with the existence of a nuclear button, but we have reasonably well received questions on them.

You must log in to answer this question.

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