Reply Sat 13 Dec, 2003 10:50 am
A friend sent me this. I tried it and found it interestiing, though I have some doubts as to the conceptual foundations for it.

The Political Compass

What's your score/placement on the compass? I would list mine, but I didn't write it down, and would have to take the test again. That would skew the score. Anyway, I was just off the exact center of the compass. A bit more economically conservative than the Dahli Lama, and a tad more socially liberal than conservative. Asherman, a LIBERAL!? Oh well, you see my reservations about the concept.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 1,848 • Replies: 26
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JamesMorrison
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Dec, 2003 07:00 pm
My political compass
Economic Left/Right: -1.88
Libertarian/Authoritarian: -2.92

The graphics plot gives a more visual idea of where one stands economically and politically than the numbers. I am not too surprised that I lie to the left of center of both. Might be more accurate to describe me as a centrist. This, of course, tells little about and may even mislead as to how I would stand on a particular issue. A few more well sculptured questions could very well turn me into Hitler's buddy or even place me to the left of Gandhi.

Perhaps this might introduce new terminology: 45 or 225 degreeist or North Easterner or South Westerner, among others. Interesting exercise! Thanks A. Man.

JM
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2003 01:27 pm
I came in on the Economic Left/Right at -.38 (which shows as dead center on the graph) and a -1.44 on the "Libertarian/Authoritarian" scale.

*shrugs*
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2003 02:18 pm
Economic Left/Right: 5.38
Libertarian/Authoritarian: -2.62


There were some questions where I did not care for the choices. I would have loved a few "it depends". I think that the choices were often too broad.

When I looked up the writers of the libertarian right, I smiled. I knew it would be those people before I took the test!
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georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2003 03:46 pm
Interesting. I came out very close to the center - very slightly authoritarian (0.6) and equally slightly liberal (-0.65) - overall faily close to the Pope!

Asherman, if I too am on the left, then you need have no fear.
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JamesMorrison
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2003 04:57 pm
Phoenix:

"There were some questions where I did not care for the choices. I would have loved a few "it depends". I think that the choices were often too broad"

Good point about the generality of the questions but how does one assign a numerical value to "it depends" useful in calculations producing test results? One, of course, cannot. That's why we participate on A2K!

JM
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2003 06:09 pm
Heh. I think I've done something like this before (even in high school already), but in comparison I found this one relatively detailed and precise.

I ended up exactly where I'd expected to end up at: a clear way into the bottom left corner, almost exactly as much to the left as to the libertarian:

Economic Left/Right: -5.00
Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.90

I notice that this puts me somewhere near the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela. Not bad ;-)

The only quarrel I had with the test was that it often asked about "sometimes" and "some" and the like, which forced me to agree with submissions that I generally disagree with. As in, (paraphrasing), "with some criminals, it is a waste of time to try to rehabilitate them", or "sometimes, protectionism is necessary". Had to say "agree" on both, though in general, I feel quite strongly that protectionism is a bad thing and it should always be assumed that there is a point in rehabilitating criminals. But "sometimes", yes, for sure ...
Had this not been so, I'm sure I would have ended up even further in the left-bottom corner.
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2003 06:16 pm
Now an interesting thing to do is to compare all y'r own positions on the graph (how far from the center of the cross) with how the US politicians contesting the primaries score, according to the authors ...

http://www.digitalronin.f2s.com/politicalcompass/images/USPrimaries031002.gif

Note also how Dean relates to the other Dem primary candidates.

And comparing the international one with the primary one is interesting, too, with Kerry coming out somewhere near Schroeder, and Dean near Tony Blair - i.e., 1/3 of the way from Kerry/Schroeder to Bush Jr.

This is the one they made for the UK:

http://www.digitalronin.f2s.com/politicalcompass/images/enParties.gif
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2003 06:35 pm
I find it a bit interesting that a few of us here have scored pretty much dead center on the left/right scale which puts us to the left of all but 2 of the Democratic Party candidates yet on the board we're painted as right wing nazis by the people that are supporting those candidates.. lol
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JamesMorrison
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2003 06:46 pm
fishin;

Yeh, but what about the flip side? What if this was posted by someone unthreating and trusted by the main boards? Might be interesting to see where those termed more "liberal" might score. They themselves might be suprised, especially when juxtaposed next to their favorite canidates. Would it be viewed as some conservative conspiricy?

JM
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georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2003 06:50 pm
Many of our liberal friends on these threads are closet authoritarians, slavishly accepting and enforcing current liberal PC doctrine.
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2003 06:53 pm
JamesMorrison wrote:
Would it be viewed as some conservative conspiricy?


Just an off-hand guess but.. Yeah, methinks they'd figure out that it's put together by Libertarians so I'm sure the idea that it was "cooked" to make them look bad would come up from the usual conspiracy theorists.
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2003 07:15 pm
Ehmm ... sorry to break up the cosy collectivity here, but I would think it obvious enough that, apparently, there's a stark difference between one's own positioning on this scale and that of the politicians one supports. And that this would be true for the Democrats here, too. Which kinda pulls the rug from underneath your glee.

Most of you support Bush - who is way over in the right-top corner - even though you yourselves ended up in the center. Why assume that the liberal A2K'ers somehow would end up around where their politician is at?

There's a much more obvious explanation: we all vote or support politicians who are significantly more top-right than we are. I do - in the UK, I would vote LibDem, not Green. And if the A2K liberals are as far "south-west" to Dean and Kerry as you are from Bush, they probably end up somewhere near me, or at least halfway there - which would sound about right.
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2003 07:20 pm
(Actually, my first reaction to those "primary" and UK charts was - wow, I wonder with what demonstrative protestations about the site's possible bias the conservatives will react, when they find out that their supposedly ultra-liberal bugbear Howard Dean is actually pretty much where they are - or perhaps slightly to their Right?)
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timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2003 07:21 pm
Economic Left/Right: 2.12
Libertarian/Authoritarian: 1.08 ... pretty close to center.

I had no idea I'd sc so similarly to Carol Mosely Braun, John Kerry, and Gerhard Schroeder. Well, I don't feel any different ... about myself, about them, or about the "survey"; none of which should be taken too seriously.

Interesting that only Sharpton and Kucinich, among contemporary American politicians charted, score to the left of center. Not surprising though; politically, The US as a whole is to the right of most of the developed world. I expect neither that nor the relative US economic, political, and military position within the world community are accidents.
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Asherman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2003 07:22 pm
I support the President of the United States, but I'm far from a George Bush fan. Give me a reasonable alternative, and the Shrub can retire to Texas. It is interesting that some of the those considered most conservative are, on this scale, very much centerist. If we are the center, then those who view us as ultra-right, must be almost off the scale to the left and bottom of the chart. I find it hard to believe that some of the Democratic candidates are so much further to the top right of the chart than I am.
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2003 07:35 pm
Now why do people end up supportng politicians far more top-right than they are themselves? Thats an age-old question ...

One answer could be philosophical: we like our politicians to be more cautious, more conservative (small "c"), more strict, than ideally we would like the world to be - as if we don't quite trust our own dreams. Basically, we dont want our politicians to be as generous with our wallets and our safety as we would allow ourselves to be.

Another answer could be systematical. We live in a world where people like Kucinich and the UK Greens are laughed away as the "loonie left". This is argued on the basis of polls which show them with minimal support - but that in principle is a self-fulfilling prophecy, as the support one gathers depends on political and media acknowledgement. Even the polls themselves play a role - many Deanies probably would agree more with Kucinich, but won't even go there because they assume he "wouldn't stand a chance anyway". Basically, we live in a place where the media focuses on the top-right quadrant, and politicians only pay lip-service to politicians in other quadrants if they're from some safe, distant country, like Mandela.

Now if all of the media and political attention is focused on identifying left and right within the top-right quadrant, and thus Kerry ends up being labelled "left" and Bush "right", then people from the bottom-left quadrant would naturally start identifying with Kerry - after all, they're left, and he's the "left" candidate. Comes automatically. Partly we're not even aware anymore of how far to the right our candidate is from us - we have internalised the need for them to have had to make many compromises. For example - in the poll I said that I agreed with the principle of "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need". Now imagine a society where this principle would really determine economic and social policy ... imagine it. Yeh, utopian socialism, pretty much. In the meantime, I've come to naturally consider a politician proposing that the rich should pay 5% more tax than they do now a "leftist".

O - just because I spent three times as many words on the second answer than on the first doesn't mean I give it greater credence - just takes more time to explain ;-). I think they both play a role, in very different dimensions.
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JamesMorrison
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2003 07:46 pm
Hey, I am just glad I didn't score Southwest of Al Sharpton. That would apparently make me an ultra-opportunist!

If Dean gets nominated I think we can all expect him to move to the center a good bit. Perhaps such a migration and a little bit of verbal political adjustment (read: dissembling) might be to his advantage. But the end result of the 2004 Pres election still looks like Bush, especially with today's good news. However, like Asherman my support for the Commander in Chief does not forgo scanning the political horizon for better solutions to our domestic and foreign problems.

JM
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2003 10:11 pm
nimh wrote:
(Actually, my first reaction to those "primary" and UK charts was - wow, I wonder with what demonstrative protestations about the site's possible bias the conservatives will react, when they find out that their supposedly ultra-liberal bugbear Howard Dean is actually pretty much where they are - or perhaps slightly to their Right?)


This is an interesting comment mostly because the only people I've seen make comments about Dean being an "ultra-Liberal" have been those from the left-wing contingent.

Anyone that actually reviews his record would find that he is probably the most "issue oriented" politican we've had run for President in the last century. He doesn't tow a party line. Some of his positions are certianly on the left but others are to the right.
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Dec, 2003 06:48 am
Quote:
I support the President of the United States, but I'm far from a George Bush fan. Give me a reasonable alternative, and the Shrub can retire to Texas


Exactly. 2004 will be tough for me. The only way that I can describe my personal feelings about Bush is total ambivalence.

BTW, as far as comparing my political stance with the politicians on the grid, there IS nobody. Maybe that's my problem! Sad
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