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Is a question that asks to estimate the level of political expertise or political talent of a political leader of the past or present necessarily so opinion-based that it must be put on hold?

What if, in some context on Politics Stack Exchange, some people are motivated to inquire about the political expertise of participants on Politics Stack Exchange? Should such inquiries also be put on hold, to prevent answers from being posted, regardless of whether the inquiries occur in a Question thread, or in a comment or chat?

Is Politics Stack Exchange reputation a meaningful and real indication of political expertise?

Why can't voters in the USA figure out a way to attract political candidates to a venue like Politics Stack Exchange, but one having participation restricted to people who are officially declared candidates for political leadership? In that case, the political expertise estimates -- previously too opinion-based to be a key part of a question -- would become reputation numbers that are easily accessible, and no longer a mystery.

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    No, reputation isn't a good indicator other than appealing to coders who dabble in politics – K Dog Oct 28 at 21:07
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    Can you link to the (now deleted, it seems) question? It's hard to form an opinion otherwise. – Fizz Oct 28 at 21:08
  • The question is conceptually a look at the contrast between what happened to the Russian Empire in 1917 versus the history of Egypt. The question is why no such event like 1917 has occurred in Egypt, and whether we can explain the difference in terms of the political expertise of who was in a position of political leadership in Egypt. Or was it just lucky for the people of Egypt and the leaders of Egypt that no such crisis has been faced? – Ren Eh Daycart Oct 28 at 21:12
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    If you mean this question, I'm not sure how your present meta-question is related to that. If you want someone to explain why they voted to close the question linked, please make that more clear in your meta-question. (Attacking the political expertise of those who voted to close your questions(s) isn't going to be terribly constructive.) – Fizz Oct 28 at 21:15
  • The question about the political expertise versus luck of the political leaders of Egypt was placed on hold on the grounds that questions about political expertise are inherently subjective and opinion-based. My question here in Meta is about political expertise of commentators versus political expertise of people who are or were actually serving in a position of political leadership of a nation-state in the world. I cannot recall anywhere calling into question the political expertise of those who placed the thread on hold. – Ren Eh Daycart Oct 28 at 21:18
  • Normally, one would think that Solzhenitsyn and Gorbachev knew something about the USSR, but I have spoken -- on the topic of events in the USSR -- with Marxists who have openly laughed at the notion that either of them could have had any understanding of what was really happening. Now, I doubt that those particular Marxists would have been able to speak aloud in the spoken Russian language, with comprehension, one sentence in the Cyrillic writing system, nor did they appear to be old enough to have had any of the first-hand experiences of Solzhenitsyn or Gorbachev. – Ren Eh Daycart Oct 28 at 21:26
  • It is strange, if politics is the art of the possible, if people like Gorbachev, Yeltsin, Putin, etc have no idea of what is possible and what are the constraints that they face. Was it the coup attempt against Gorbachev that counts against Gorbachev's political expertise? – Ren Eh Daycart Oct 28 at 21:32
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    Alas an exact definition of what "primarily opinion based" means isn't going to be found around here. But see politics.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/121/… for some discussion on a type of questoin similar to yours.. – Fizz Oct 28 at 21:33
  • I've tried to make the question a bit clearer by editing. If you think I changed the meaning of your question, feel free to change those parts back. Try to keep it short, that's often clearer. – JJ for Transparency and Monica Oct 28 at 23:15
  • @JJJ That looks like an improvement to me. The body is a better place to raise the contrast been having official reputation numbers for participants in Politics Stack Exchange, while leaving -- as a kind of blank spot on the map of reality -- any result from an attempt to estimate the political expertise or political talent of people who are or were (according to the historical record) actually working as political leaders of a nation-state somewhere in the world. – Ren Eh Daycart Oct 28 at 23:23
  • @RenEhDaycart I don't really know what you mean. The last paragraph of the question also remains a bit unclear to me. Try to phrase it concisely, what do you want to know? – JJ for Transparency and Monica Oct 28 at 23:25
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Is a question that depends on estimating the level of political expertise or political talent of a political leader of the past or present necessarily so opinion-based that it must be put on hold?

A question like that would be at risk of being closed. Someone's level of talent or "expertise" can be a subjective thing to ask. You might be able to get away with asking about credentials, or asking about accomplishments. Those kinds of questions would have more concrete answers.


What if, in some context on Politics Stack Exchange, some people are motivated to inquire about the political expertise of participants on Politics Stack Exchange?

That would likely be closed, or perhaps even deleted.

It would be closed as off topic because participants on this SE aren't more notable than the typical citizen, so questions about individual users wouldn't be interesting to users outside the Politics community. (I.E. people who come here from Google)

It might be deleted because having a threads about the qualifications of members of the community might make those members feel singled out(and rightly so). That sort of thing frequently leads to toxicity and flaming.


Is Politics Stack Exchange reputation a meaningful and real indication of political expertise?

Not very meaningful. I suppose you could argue that it indicates that they at least spend some time thinking about politics, but there are countless other signifies of that too, and there are way higher qualifications then just having thought about something.


Why can't voters in the USA figure out a way to attract political candidates to a venue like Politics Stack Exchange ...

It's fairly uncommon for political candidates to personally post comments online. I speculate that this is because there is such risk for a candidate in posting something unless they've had other people double-check it for gaffes.

  • Regarding the users' expertise, couldn't that be a subject for chat / meta? – JJ for Transparency and Monica Oct 28 at 23:09
  • @JJJ Perhaps? It would still have the 2nd problem, so it's hard to say for certain that such a question would stand. – Sam I am says Reinstate Monica Oct 29 at 15:03
  • Yea, that's true. It may also be a bit personal for those who do have interesting qualifications but want to remain anonymous. On the other hand, it can be a bit of community building similar to the photo competitions on other sites (Travel SE and The Great Outdoors SE). – JJ for Transparency and Monica Oct 29 at 15:11

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