Tuesday, November 20, 2007

To What Extent Are Primary Candidates Favored Because of Their Perceived Political Philosophy?

Or, is it their smiles, hair or age?

Here's a poll/quiz/test/survey you can take to measure whether your political preferences reflect politics and policies as opposed to . . . ah . . . more superficial criterion.

If you're interested in this ten-minute exercise, read the orientation below which can save you some time. If not, then click on outta' here and be gone!

Welcome to The Political Compass™

There's abundant evidence for the need of it. The old one-dimensional categories of 'right' and 'left', established for the seating arrangement of the French National Assembly of 1789, are overly simplistic for today's complex political landscape. For example, who are the 'conservatives' in today's Russia? Are they the unreconstructed Stalinists, or the reformers who have adopted the right-wing views of conservatives like Margaret Thatcher ?

On the standard left-right scale, how do you distinguish leftists like Stalin and Gandhi? It's not sufficient to say that Stalin was simply more left than Gandhi. There are fundamental political differences between them that the old categories on their own can't explain. Similarly, we generally describe social reactionaries as 'right-wingers', yet that leaves left-wing reactionaries like Robert Mugabe and Pol Pot off the hook.

That's about as much as we should tell you for now. After you've responded to the following propositions during the next 3-5 minutes, all will be explained. In each instance, you're asked to choose the response that best describes your feeling: Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Agree or Strongly Agree. At the end of the test, you'll be given the compass, with your own special position on it.

The test is entirely anonymous. None of your personal details are required, and nothing about your result is recorded or logged in any way. The answers are only used to calculate your reading, and cannot be accessed by anyone, ever.

The idea was developed by a political journalist with a university counselling background, assisted by a professor of social history. They're indebted to people like Wilhelm Reich and Theodor Adorno for their ground-breaking work in this field. We believe that, in an age of diminishing ideology, a new generation in particular will get a better idea of where they stand politically - and the sort of political company they keep.

So are you ready to take the test? Remember that there's no right, wrong or ideal response. It's simply a measure of attitudes and inevitable human contradictions to provide a more integrated definition of where people and parties are really at.
Click here to start.

Omigod! I am not at all near where I thought I was. I always think of myself as in the middle of the road, maximum mainstream, Mr. Moderate and Objective.

I am sure I used to be! I am amazed to finally realize how much Busheney have radicalized me!

Messenger writes:
I note three things:
  1. Ron Paul is really not that far away from Gravel and Kucinich.
  2. There are no authoritarian leftists in the primaries.
  3. I score right where I thought I was.
Here's Hillblogger's political portrait:

Silver Surfer:

15 Moderated Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11/20/2007 08:51:00 AM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Commentators who wish their "portrait" to be published in the column above may email me a screen dump! Otherwise, leave your "digitals" in comments. I'm interested in where all you guys and girls are, I'll tell you!

11/20/2007 08:51:00 AM  
Blogger Messenger said...

Economic Left/Right: -7.88
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.77

11/20/2007 10:15:00 AM  
Blogger Sapo said...

It's the Hair.

Economic Left/Right: -7.75

Libertarian/Authoritarian: -8.36

Start at bottom left. Move 2 2/3 blocks over and two blocks up.

That's me!

11/20/2007 05:18:00 PM  
Blogger Sapo said...

Except I don't in the least consider myself a libertarian.

11/20/2007 05:20:00 PM  
Blogger Bob Keller said...

Economic Left/Right: -0.75
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.21

Pretty much where I expected to be....

11/20/2007 05:26:00 PM  
Blogger Bob Keller said...

vigilante, Where did you get the various candidates positions?

I can't believe they all belong in the upper right hand quadrant.... especially Ron Paul, former Libertarian Candidate for President.

Great and fun "test" by the way....

11/20/2007 05:34:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Wizard, to answer your question, the FAQ attached to the site says:

How can you tell where they're honestly at by asking them, especially around election time?

We've relied on reports, parliamentary records, ... and actions that spoke louder than words.

11/20/2007 06:20:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

In Europe we've American politicians have always been perceived as right-wing, i.e., Republicans being far right and the Democrats being moderately right-wing or liberal.

Is this generally true?

11/21/2007 05:32:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I am a bit surprised that Ghandi should be considered a leftist at all.

At the time, he might have been considered anti-Establishment (British that is) but in no way would he have been tagged 'leftist' as in the "Communist left" we knew and know today.

11/21/2007 05:36:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...


Very interesting political philosophical charting.

Some of the questions were difficult because I think they addressed pretty much the American and being a European, I felt some questions were not my concern and a few I thought left no room for say, further discernment but, never mind.

Eg., question on taxation for instance, something to do with taxing the rich. I answered with America in mind. I was told that in America highest tax is something like 35% which is no way near our level in France or the UK. In France it could go up to 75%, hence I thought your rich weren't being taxed enough but I would think our rich in Europe are being taxed TOO much. Income tax alone for someone earning a 7-figure salary in Europe amounts to almost 70%.

My generic "score" surprised me a bit but at the same time, I think, I've answered very truthfully so I accept the "verdict" although I don't know if I'm qualified to form part of the "accused."

Here's what The Political Compass says of me:

Economic Left/Right: -2.50
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -0.62

By the way, kudos! Mean it, great post!

11/21/2007 05:58:00 AM  
Blogger Commander Zaius said...

Economic Left/Right: -3.62
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -2.97

Taking a break from all the stuff going on in the family and had to try this test again. I never recorded my earlier test which I took a few years ago but I have slid to the left and more social Libertarian.

11/22/2007 05:45:00 AM  
Blogger Stella by Starlight said...

This was a great test, vigilante.

I'm Economic Left/Right: -6.75;
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -8.31

Just put me 3.5 spaces over from the left and move two spaces vertically. Guess that makes me slightly more conservative than M.D.

More liberal than Gravel or Kucinich. I notice most of the Dems are, at least, balanced. And most of the Rethugs are up there with Adolf Hitler and Maggie Thatcher. Just curious why Busheney didn't come closer to the fascist axis (pun intended).

11/22/2007 07:08:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Yeah, Stella. I always figured M.D. to be closer to the 'edge' than yourself!

11/24/2007 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger Stella by Starlight said...

LOL. You and M.D. keep my on my toes.

11/24/2007 09:05:00 PM  

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