I think the problem might be that precisely because it pops up in the 'lounge'or 'ufc' that people get heated over it. They don't immediately think 'this is a political thread I should tread carefully' but that its an invasive/disagreeable opinion popping up unexpectedly in what is usually a leisurely area.
If you designate a place for it and lay down and emphasize some rules before hand I think people will come into the discussion prepared to have their opinions and values challenged. Its like if you're at a bar and someone makes some contentious statement , maybe things won't be so amicable, but if you're going into a debate knowing beforehand that its an argument and that there are some formal rules, things are going to be alot more civilized.
In summary, the very designation of a separate 'political' space may in itself effectively make for more civilized discourse and secondly, could prevent the contentious threads from popping up unwanted in other areas.
my 2 cents.
Last edited by Iuanes; 05-05-2010 at 02:38 PM.