Questions such as this question about golf or (possibly slightly more controversially) this question regarding pronouns don't appear to be have a solid connection to politics and the political process - more that they mention politicians.

I recognise that I am a newish participator, but after revewing the help centre I can't seem to see anything allowing questions about politician's more personal lives - I am looking for some clarification regarding these types of questions.


5 Answers 5


Let's dissect the two

A good standard here would be this

A question about a subject normally off-topic is on-topic when it involves a political response to the subject. Video games, for instance, are off-topic, but seeking to understand a politician expressing outrage about video games is on-topic.

  • 1
    Do European politicians see pronouns as important enough to list in a social media profile? changes the question to be about motivations, which is expressly out of scope, as well as subjective. Fizz's question is much more objective. empirical and answeable, albeit trivial.
    – user9790
    Oct 23, 2019 at 16:17

If I need to say it again (defending my question), politicians supporting [or not] a social cause by their personal but public behavior (rather than legislation per se) seems reasonably on-topic. To give a different example of that kind, Modi personally collecting trash on a beach was newsworthy for this reason. If I ask here if some other politicians engage in that kind of example-setting behavior (on beach trash) it would be on-topic as well. (And yes, the pronouns intro of politicians was also newsworthy.)

I don't have a strong opinion about the other question, on golf. It doesn't seem to be about something that politicians want to explicitly promote, but I could be wrong. It does seem related to the socioeconomic class of presidents on some level, so it could be acceptable in that perspective. Surely more direct questions of that kind are on-topic, in principle.

Also note that the golf question had more closure votes for being a why/speculation-request than being off-topic for the golf-politicians issue per se. While it may be possible answer the why question for politicians who explicitly said why they play golf, it requires a certain level of speculation to generalize from those data points. Had that question been less vaguely phrased, e.g. had it been asking for explicit statements by politicians why they play golf, it would have been less controversial. Note that there are several comments under the golf question (including one of my own) finding it confusingly phrased.


As the author of the question Why do US presidents play golf? I might be regarded as biased.

It is not obvious who benefits by enforcing a strict rule about relevance - a quick look suggests that this site has about 15 questions per day, so relevant questions are hardly being lost in a flood of poor questions.

Regarding my golf question, it has attracted five up votes and two answers, which have taken significant effort from contributors (who presumably thought it an interesting question) and one of which references four publications, including two that I think contain significant political news ("Business Insider" and "The Atlantic").

This answer mentioned that President Lyndon Johnson had used his golf playing to advance his political objectives, and so clearly this has a political relevance.

I purposely asked the question avoiding prompting possible political reasons why US presidents play golf (at least, more publicly than UK politicians). One possible such explanation would be that a golf-playing image makes a president more electable.

The amount of time presidents (Bush, Obama and Trump, at least) spend on the golf course has (I believe) been widely discussed. For presidents, at least, the space between private and political life is very narrow.


An unambigous yes would be absurd alone due to the fact that in many countries, a lot of politicians hold day jobs. Such politicians might create notable facts in science, academia, art, engineering, sports due to their main career path or private interests. Questions on topic in these fields could have zero to do with politics. Or a lot. Crassly put, a question about paints or painting techniques used in a painting by Hitler would have perfectly nothing to do with politics. One about motive choice in the same painting, potentially a lot.


I asked a while ago whether it was known what was Vladimir Putin's Erdos number.

There were a number of objections from people who thought that Erdos number is only applicable to mathematicians. But one of the moderators stated that just because a question was about a politician, it did not automatically mean that it was a question about politics.

Based on that response, I have to conclude that the answer to your question is a "No."


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