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Reply to "How do you define ...."

Originally posted by Rowe: ..... political discussions ... exacerbated to the point ... of arguing ... rather than participating in a productive debate.

Ok, the term 'hot-head' in the context of political discussion.

[paraphasing for clarity] I take it the question is, when does spirited discussion pass the line of 'productive debate' into the relm of 'argument'?

I often see, espeically on other boards, discontent shared quickly and often when the discussion is 'unproductive'; however, I rarely see the beneficiaries of productive debate acknowledge the fact.

Given the context of the word 'argument' especially in relation to the term 'productive debate',
- what are the identifiable elements of Productive debate,
- what are the check and balances surrounding such elements that permit for a proper airing of the issues being debated,
- how do you insure subject matter interest long enough to achieve maximum benefit?