some people like talking politics here, others get tired of it. so a simple solution: why not make a politics sub-forum? those who are tired of it dont have to go in there and anyone who wants to spam politics can do so to their hearts content. i see no reason not to.
I'm on another forum where they've done that. You even have to sign up seperately for it. The political threads were swamping the off topic forum there.
I don't see that here, and the threads here stay civil.
So, I see no reason to do so here. The off-topic forum is already sign in only, so the politic threads can't scare of visitors. For those members who just want to discuss saving gas and money, why are you in the off topic section? I'm not looking of confrontation, but that smacks of complaining about M rated video games for having mature content.
Different people use the site in different ways. For example, I don't browse the individual forums here; I click "View Recent Posts" which shows me posts on ALL forums.
I think plenty of people want to participate in off-topic discussions, so they check the General Topics forum, but they don't want to get sucked in to some of the political discussions. Some political threads aren't even titled with any clue that they're political, and often the ones that are are too strong of a pull.
Additionally, there is the general mood and attitude of the site. When I started here, it was all friendly and technical, and the mood felt good. Now the mood is somewhat dark and the people sometimes seem standoffish. That shows just as clearly in the on-topic threads as it does in the off-topic ones. Those are vague feelings I have and may not add up with what we actually have, but if I have them then others may too.
Also, as for running new members off...it's not only a matter of discouraging them from ever joining, it's also what happens immediately after they join.
Because we're not a political discussion website. Politics is a very polarizing subject. People come here to find out how to drive more efficiently, not to have arguments over which party has the better health care plan.
In my opinion, political discussion on this site should be limited to topics directly pertaining to vehicles, and fuels. That's a pretty wide area right there. I feel this is quite sufficient. On the other forum I moderate on, no political or religious discussion is allowed because of the problems that come with those types of discussion.
As HC pointed out, I also enter the forums via the "recent posts" link. Any user that uses that link will encounter political threads, even if they are in a separate political forum.