There seems to be some disagreement about whether "What are the advantages and disadvantages of X?" questions are on-topic for this site, with, on the one hand, a number of questions being close-voted apparently for having a title that uses this formula, and on the other hand, the question

Asking about advantages and disadvantages isn't a list question

having the highest score on meta.

I can understand that the advantages/disadvantages formula could be seen as inviting argument for or against X, rather than inviting a description of what those arguments are, although I don't think that's usually the intention, and answers so far have IMO been fairly successful in avoiding doing so, especially considering the subtlety of the distinction.

While I'm not a big fan of boilerplate in general, perhaps it would be clearer to rephrase such questions along the lines of "What are the main arguments in favour of and against X", as in this question, whose title was recently edited in this fashion in order to avoid being accused of being a "list question".

UPDATE: I've now posted a poll on this issue.

  • 1
    Polls are pretty simple; mark the meta post Featured (so it shows up in the community bulletin) and have answers for each polling option and people vote on them
    – Zelda
    Commented Dec 10, 2012 at 20:14

1 Answer 1


These are not good questions on SE. Most questions should have a right answer. These are both list questions and subject to quite a bit of "Bad Subjective" opinion.

That said questions like What is the party's official position on the topic of and what are their arguments for against such a policy? would be a good question. Even a question that contrasts 2 or 3 parties position could be OK so long as is it asking for a constructive explanation of the topic and positions taken by others not a subjective opinion its good and bad points.

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