IMO it makes more sense to add the News and Current Events forum not use it to replace W&P. People really seem to need W&P.
It's not a wise move to delete negative or divisive debate (the left/right only threads) in a time in the cultural dynamic when it is indeed so profoundly divided. It may suck to say it, but it's true that the world just isn't happy-happy like some folks would prefer (if only it were...). MDC needs to recognize the real need for solidarity amonst those who are oppressed by the abuser culture. The abuser culture wants a place to come together and bash their victims without feeling that they're causing harm (yeah, the irony and perversion of this is not lost on me). On the latter I don't get why they need MDC, they have the entire news media, the pop-talk culture and just about every other forum on the continent pandering to their "values." In contrast, those who dissent and do not agree and take issue with the mainstream have no place, MDC being a rare exception, to come together and commiserate, plot, synthesize, analyze, vent, console, etc. Taking away the meeting place only helps the abusers not the victims.
I'm wondering if MDC is just not desiring to provide the place anymore (be it due to exhaustion, etc.). That's a legitimate need perhaps, but it should be simply stated as such, not smothered in some pseudo-rationalizing to justify what seems to be the urge to just not deal with anything dirty, messy, negative, and divisive. That's just not a good method to deal with anything, IMO. Sometimes we need space to opt-out, so fine, MDC should just say so if this is the case. Look when I feel too sensitive and tired I opt out by just not going into W&P. (When I unwisely have failed to heed my own advice, I've been bitten by my errors; but a little egg on the face helps one be more prudent in the future--one hopes anyway).
MDC moderators could do some different kinds of interaction on the threads... perhaps guiding dialogue, posing more questions, challenging assumptions on all sides is far more progressive than merely nixing dissent, debate, and pain and smothering it with happy-happy (which isn't going to work, just try it and you'll see). Peace and democracy are not flat; they're dynamic and dirty. I know with my own limitations I could not volunteer for this very difficult area to moderate... heck, sometimes W&P flat out needs a skilled mediator, even a therapist or two.
I'm not supporting anyone bashing anyone by expressing my support for keeping W&P (and expressing my concern over the sticky here stating this change)... on that aspect (which I've been on both sides of, IMO) I believe there's a lot more emotional maturity and personal responsibility needed, as well as better non-violent communication on the part of posters. I know I don't always model what I'd like to see on W&P threads and I'm grateful for the slack given at times. But I don't support MDC excising W&P in favor of slapping a false smiley on members who clearly need this forum to exist. I actually do support the idea of activism being morphed into a take action forum for activism postings. A cautionary note: in my experience dry bulletin posting-only forums usually die off in a few months. Some discussion is still necessary to keep them going.
So.... anyhoo, that's my four bucks....