Saturday, April 29, 2006

The Political Compass™

Posted by J

I have just taken "The Political Compass" test. It consists of 6 pages of questions on just about everything from globalization ("If economic globalisation is inevitable, it should primarily serve humanity rather than the interests of trans-national corporations") to sexuality ("No one can feel naturally homosexual"). For each question punters are given a choice of 4 answers: "strongly disagree", "disagree", "strongly agree" and "agree". The answers are totted up and the result is expressed arithmetically and graphically.

It is easier to describe the graphical expression. There is a horizontal left-right axis and a vertical authoritarian-libertarian axis. These axes create an "authoritarian left" box, an "authoritarian right"one, a "libertarian left" and a "libertarian right". My score comes to -1.13 on the left right scale and -4.92 on the authoritarian-libertarian scale which puts me in the libertarian left - slightly to the left of centre but comfortably into libertarian country.

To give some idea of where that puts me
  • Stalin is in the top left hand corner
  • Hitler is also at the top of the authoritarian scale but slightly to the right
  • Thatcher is well to the right of Hitler but only two-thirds of the way towards Hitler on the authoritarian scale;
  • Gandhi and Friedman are at about the same level as me on the authoritarian-libertarian scale but Gandhi is significantly to my left and Friedman well to my right - in fact he is right of Thatcher.

As for political leaders Tony Blair shares a spot on the authoritarian right with Silvio Berlusconi and John Howard. As for UK political parties New Labour and the Tories are on the authoritarian right, the Lib Dems (for whom I actually vote) are on the libertarian right though well to the left of New Labour. The only party in the libertarian left are the Greens and they are well to the left of me. Similarly, John Kerry and George Bush are on the authoritarian right. There is daylight between them but not much. Ralph Nader is the only US politician on the libertarian left that I have ever heard of and he is somewhat to the left of me.

I was directed to the Political Compass by one of the "Euston Manifesto" trainspotters. Had it not been for him I would have had a go at that risible screed, but that will have to wait for another time. I suppose everything has its uses.

1 Comments:

Blogger areopagitica said...

from k

I'm way into the economic/libertarian left with scores of -6.88 and - 6.36. This put me near Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama and diametrically opposed to Bush, Blair, Berlusconi and Howard. I've no quarrels with that. It's more interesting than I'd expected although sometimes I wanted to add notes and explain my position. Perhaps it's a good way for people to start thinking through political ideas.

8:12 am  

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