For instance, I have the very beginnings of a question swirling around in my mind about a fairly hard to explain ranked-choice voting system (not even close to fleshed out in my mind yet) which might be the default voting system in the focal government in a story I'd like to write. The question would be first and foremost about the actual voting system and if the best strategy for every voter under that system would be to vote their actual preferences or not. Questions about the consequences of such a system on various aspects of the society would be secondary.

Would such a question be a fit here? I believe the secondary matters to be very much on-topic and I think they're a natural outgrowth of the primary question. I'm just less sure if the primary question would be a fit here or if I should try Politics or a different SE site for the primary question and follow up on here with the secondary questions while referencing the primary question on the other SE site.

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    $\begingroup$ I think we have some voting questions on the government tag. They might be more about designing for a desired outcome, rather than asking how people would behave. (Leaving this comment because I don't have time to research it right now, but maybe you want to take a look.) $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Feb 21 '18 at 1:17
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    $\begingroup$ If you would like feedback on a question draft you are working on before posting it on the Main Site you should check out the Sandbox. $\endgroup$ – Sec SE - clear Monica's name Feb 21 '18 at 7:29
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    $\begingroup$ See also What's the preferred reaction to “bonus points for…” addendums? $\endgroup$ – a CVn Feb 21 '18 at 13:12
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    $\begingroup$ Please ask yourself what kind of answer you want to have. If you want to know what the official doctrine is here, what the experts on the field of voting have to say about it, you might not find much help here - on topic or not. If you happen to know nothing about the topic and are looking for broad, easy to understand but not necessarily true answers, it might be a bit better. If you are looking for a creative approach, you have come to the right place $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Feb 21 '18 at 15:26
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    $\begingroup$ It's very much about the type of thing you're asking. If you specifically want a flawed system, Politics probably won't be much help. Ranked AV/STV type systems can be fairly hard to explain at the best of times, but it's almost always best to vote for your first choice as first choice. $\endgroup$ – Separatrix Feb 26 '18 at 11:32
  • $\begingroup$ I've finally posted an initial draft of my question in the Sandbox, linked here. $\endgroup$ – Aporia Mar 16 '18 at 0:06

I disagree with sphennings on that asking about creating a voting system wouldn't be about worldbuilding.

Our scope specifically includes (this is two of the three main "on topic" points from What topics can I ask about here?):

  • Creation of elements of a world (languages, species, buildings, etc.)
  • Effects of events or world elements, including biology, technology and magic, on specific aspects of that world's societies, cultures, and environment

A voting system can absolutely be considered an element of a world; specifically, it forms one part of a system of governance. Hence the first bullet point applies.

A voting system will have effects on the elements of the world and possibly the world itself, so depending on the specific question the second bullet point certainly can apply.

Of course, the question still needs to meet all other criteria for answerability, specificity, clarity, and so on.

Also of course, consider the expertise that might be needed to answer the question. Is a worldbuilder the most appropriate person to ask, or should you ask an expert in politics? Yes, posting the question on Politics SE might require reframing it, but it might give you better answers. Or worse. It depends on what you're looking for. I still feel that worldbuilding questions should involve something imaginary, and a made-up voting system certainly could count for that.

If you want feedback on your specific question proposal, then you can use the question sandbox. While the sandbox isn't perfect, it's usually a fairly good way to iron out the worst wrinkles of a question before posting on the main site.

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    $\begingroup$ It's really hard to judge questions without looking at the actual text. There are plenty of questions about voting systems that definitely on topic for WB. To me I think that if the question is about a voting system divorced from context in a world, if it's just theoretical, it's no longer about worldbuilding. If the question is about how it would fit in the world or adding a voting system to a world that satisfies some criteria, then it's definitely about WB. $\endgroup$ – sphennings Feb 21 '18 at 13:01
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    $\begingroup$ @sphennings Hence my paragraph about needing to meet all other criteria. And, added later, the mention of the question sandbox. FWIW though, that downvote on your answer isn't mine. $\endgroup$ – a CVn Feb 21 '18 at 13:10
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelKjörling I've finally posted an initial draft of my question in the Sandbox, linked here. $\endgroup$ – Aporia Mar 16 '18 at 0:06

If you're asking about creating a voting system, you aren't asking about creating a fictional world. So while you could shoehorn your questions so that they would be technically on topic, this isn't the best place to be asking them.

You are correct in your assumption that questions about integrating the voting system in a fictional world are a good fit for this site.

  • $\begingroup$ So then, if I'm understanding correctly, even though I am concerned with the consequences that system would have upon the citizens of the world that I'd be building the system for, that because those concerns could still be addressed on the Politics site, then the question wouldn't really be on topic here. Is that an accurate reading of your answer? I only ask because the voting system is foundational to the narrative I'm thinking of and would be a central concern as I build the world around which the narrative (and the voting system driving it) would be taking place. $\endgroup$ – Aporia Feb 21 '18 at 1:08
  • $\begingroup$ Technically any question can be made to technically be about worldbuilding, My favorite example of this is "In my world people do math exactly like they do on Earth. What would they consider the solution to the problem 1 + 1?". That's technically on topic but it's really a math problem. Similarly if you're wanting to get real answers about a theoretical voting system don't ask WB, there are better people to ask than us. $\endgroup$ – sphennings Feb 21 '18 at 1:13
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    $\begingroup$ It really depends on the type of question you're asking. "I've made up a voting system, how would this effect the distribution of parliament in my fictional country?" is a much better fit than "Compared to real world voting systems how does this voting system I've created measure up?" $\endgroup$ – sphennings Feb 21 '18 at 1:15
  • $\begingroup$ I've finally posted an initial draft of my question in the Sandbox, linked here. $\endgroup$ – Aporia Mar 16 '18 at 0:07

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