A couple of weeks ago someone posted a question about whether POTUS can prevent Congress from overriding a veto by simply ignoring it. It didn't look to have much to do with history, but I happened to know the answer, so I answered it anyway.
I was asked whether this had ever actually happened in practice in a comment on my answer. I thought this was a good question, and updated the original question, and my answer, to reflect it.
One comment suggested that my "surgical edit" meant that the question met the "threshold" for History:SE, but that it would be a better fit for Politics:SE. I'm not sure exactly what this "threshold" is, or where it's documented.
Either way, the question was migrated to Politics:SE.
Then we had a question about whether the 1864 US presidential election could have been postponed without a constitutional amendment. Now, this looks to be a pretty clear. It's a question about history, right?
Apparently not. The consensus view again seems to be that this should be on Politics:SE. This was even backed up with a view that the question is "counterfactual", and so a better fit on Politics:SE.
Well, let's break it down:
- It begins with an assertion that there were proposals to delay the election, that these met little support, and that Lincoln rejected them. All factually correct, although the OP failed to cite their sources in the question.
- Then there is a question: would a delay have been possible without a constitutional amendment? Now, that is a matter of fact, and can be answered with historical evidence.
- Then the OP quotes the results of a recent poll (and subsequently added a link to their source).
- Finally, the OP asked a follow-up question: "Would the legal feasibility of such a postponement be any different from the 1864 case?" - again, a matter of fact and, as it happens, actually answered with the same historical sources as the first question.
So, nothing counterfactual there.
[Perhaps this is a good time to mention that I'm not a registered user on Politics:SE for (what I consider to be) two very good reasons.
The first is that - as far as I can see - too much of their content is opinion, rather than evidence, based.
The second reason I've avoided Politics:SE is that there is a lot of counterfactual argument/discussion there. Frankly, I wasted far too much of my life on discussions about counterfactual history when I was an undergrad/postgrad student of history/archaeology.]
The question is currently closed as "off-topic".
Then, a couple of days ago, we had a question about whether an American political party had a legal personality anywhere at any time.
Again, the almost knee-jerk reaction in the comments seemed to be "This should be on Politics:SE". One comment even suggesting that it had already been asked and answered there (it hadn't).
This time, there's been a bit more debate in the comments about whether the question is on topic here. As I write, the question remains open ...
However, the fact remains that three questions have attracted close votes in the last couple of weeks on the basis that they are about politics - even though two of them (arguably all of them, if the comment about the "threshold" is taken at face value) are clearly about the history of politics). So that prompts my question:
Are questions about the history of politics on-topic here?
[Perhaps the issue is only when the questions are about US politics, as that is also the case with all three of these questions].
As for the question of "fit", presumably the very fact that the questions are posted here means that the OP (in most cases) is interested in the history underpinning the question. Personally, I'm not convinced that migrating questions in that circumstance helps either the OP or this site.
Now, I know that, in theory, and at time-of-writing, History:SE has 378 users who have earned sufficient privilege (500) to cast close votes. In reality, I've noticed that close votes always seem to show the same dozen-or-so names. I'm hoping that most users who cast close-votes also use the meta site and will contribute to the discussion.