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Political Compass

By nobbystyles in MLP
Sat Jun 09, 2001 at 12:59:58 AM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)

You're probably all bored of UK politics by now but there's an interesting questionaire site called Political Compass which uses the Left-Right/Authoritarian-Libertarianist scale to show you where your views lie in relation to major British politicians. Enjoy!

My views closely match up with Charles Kennedy, leader of the Liberal Democrats on the mild Right/Libertarianist scale so voting Liberal Democrat was spot on for me.


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Are you...
o Authoritarian Left 2%
o Libertarian Left 56%
o Authoritarian Right 3%
o Libertarian Right 23%
o Out of your mind with boredom of UK politics 13%

Votes: 88
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Political Compass
o Also by nobbystyles

Display: Sort:
Political Compass | 43 comments (35 topical, 8 editorial, 0 hidden)
All very interesting. (4.00 / 1) (#5)
by loaf on Fri Jun 08, 2001 at 08:48:33 AM EST

Although I wonder whether I really am more at home with the likes of Tony Benn and Ken Livingstone than my natural assumption of being right of centre?!

I find it vaguely ironic that one of the questions related to astrology and then the whole thing sums you up on a grid based on just two dimensions.

Mildly curious in a "it's friday afternoon, let's waste 20 minutes" sort of a way. Definitely highlighting the M in MLP!

Yes it is slightly mindless (none / 0) (#6)
by nobbystyles on Fri Jun 08, 2001 at 08:54:27 AM EST

But fun. Hell of a lot of people i know seem to be ending up where Tony Benn and Ken Livingstone are and I wouldn't of thought of them as particularly left wing. I suppose it depends where you place the centre....

[ Parent ]
On boring politics (5.00 / 1) (#8)
by pwhysall on Fri Jun 08, 2001 at 09:27:26 AM EST

That's EXACTLY what The Establishment wants you to think. "Oh yes, you leave this dreadfully tedious politics business to us. Don't you worry about it, we'll take care of everything."

Regrettably the electorate is doing exactly this, by not voting, by not using the democratic system (how many people even know that if you write to your MP, he is bound by law to write back?), by disengaging from the political process in every way possible.

Sure, Survivor and Big Brother are more short-term *entertaining*, but they don't have an impact on your tax bill.
K5 Editors
I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.

Erm, well I was bored (none / 0) (#9)
by nobbystyles on Fri Jun 08, 2001 at 09:31:03 AM EST

By the endless discusssions of US politics last November so I though that our non-UK K5 users might be equally bored of UK politics by now...

I am very interested in politics myself...

[ Parent ]
Lack of information? (none / 0) (#16)
by pwhysall on Fri Jun 08, 2001 at 11:14:23 AM EST

I think that I would have been more interested in the process last November had I been better armed with some facts about the policies of the contenders - for example, what does Shrub's $1.3T tax cut really mean? Why is this a big deal? Is it real, or just flim-flammery?

Instead, we got some astoundingly dull discussions on the merits of the Floridian voting system and the ins and outs of chads, pregnant, dimpled and hanging. (What's so very wrong with a pencil and putting an X in a box, I don't know.)

What should have been the meat and drink of the election process, *policy*, seemed to get left by the wayside somewhat.
K5 Editors
I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.
[ Parent ]

Actually.... (none / 0) (#30)
by SvnLyrBrto on Fri Jun 08, 2001 at 08:08:23 PM EST

Well, I'm American, and *I* was bored to tears with the endless coverage of the aftermath of last november. Sure, I'm revolted and pissed at the way it finally transpired that the shrub was able to sue until his daddie's appointies handed him the presidency... but the actual process itself bored me to tears.

After all, once I cast *MY* vote, what else could *I* have done? Bitch about it on slashdot/kuro5hin? We all KNOW that's a *great* way to accomplish anything.

Perhaps it'll be a little more intresting now that congress is no longer a rubber stamp factory for king george II. But until the last couple of weeks, US politics was little more than a long chain of reasons to be pissed off and depressed at the way the US was spiraling into the shitter. I was purposely IGNOREING politics because I don't LIKE being pissed off and depressed.

At this point tho, I DO find UK politics more intresting than US politics. You gotta be doing SOMETHING right when you have "The Monster Raving Loonie Partie"!!!


Imagine all the people...
[ Parent ]

Some other political tests (5.00 / 3) (#10)
by TheophileEscargot on Fri Jun 08, 2001 at 09:38:29 AM EST

According to this test I'm a Labour Party supporter

According to this test I'm a strongly ANTI-libertarian Liberal Democrat supporter.

Whereas according to the test posted I'm strongly libertarian, and slightly leftish.

I recommend trying all the tests until you find one you like!
Support the nascent Mad Open Science movement... when we talk about "hundreds of eyeballs," we really mean it. Lagged2Death

Some difficult questions (none / 0) (#13)
by codemonkey_uk on Fri Jun 08, 2001 at 10:31:56 AM EST

There where some difficult questions. With no "I don't know", or equivilant option, I think its put me further left (economically) than I feel. The Authoritarian/Libertarian balance seems right though:

Economic Left/Right: -2.24
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -4.76

"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell

Give us an example (none / 0) (#14)
by nobbystyles on Fri Jun 08, 2001 at 10:54:43 AM EST

as I thought they were quite straightforward on the whole..

[ Parent ]
Examples of botched questions (none / 0) (#33)
by pavlos on Fri Jun 08, 2001 at 10:42:23 PM EST

I also found several questions flawed because the factual correct response is the opposite of the answer that supposedly measures your views. Examples (paraphrased from memory):

"The only social responsibility of a corporation is to maximize profit for its shareholders".
This is, indeed its only social responsibility, if it could be called one, and that's why I as a left liberal think corporations are bad. However I feel that a "yes" answer would earn you a right liberal point.
"War, chaos, etc. could be ended by a catastrophic flood or earthquake"
Well, of course they could, as could christmas, shopping, elections, and conversation. What innane question is that? I imagine a "Yes" answer means you believe in an interventionist god.

And another silliness:

"... type of sex is sin"
Is this supposed to be bad or kinky. I have no personal definition of "sin", although I think I am a very moral person. I find "sin" belongs with "prayer" and "confession", not with "selfish" or "unjust".

Pavlos (-7.14, -7.59)

[ Parent ]

Fascinating (none / 0) (#15)
by silentz on Fri Jun 08, 2001 at 11:03:01 AM EST

Very interesting to see that (so far) almost 70% of people here are Libertairian Lefties... Does this represent society as a whole, or just the few people who find sites like this interesting?

Hard to say (none / 0) (#17)
by MrMikey on Fri Jun 08, 2001 at 11:17:49 AM EST

I came up as:

Economic Left/Right: -5.31
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -7.59

so no surprises there. Given that people who read, much less post to kuro5hin.org are a self-selected group, I don't think we can infer much about the politics of the rest of the population. I live in a university town in N. California, and dread the day I need to move somewhere where, in all likelihood, people will be on average less well educated and more conservative socially. Then again, perhaps I'll move to another university town. :)

[ Parent ]

Same Boat (4.00 / 1) (#21)
by Mad Hughagi on Fri Jun 08, 2001 at 01:44:13 PM EST

I don't think this in anyway represents the general population. If the people on kuro5hin were like the general population I wouldn't spend any time here.

I came up right about the same as you. I always score as a social libertarian on these tests, and for the most part I think they are pretty good indicators (roughly) of your political affiliation.

I live in a university town as well (and go to university). I suspect the majority of people reading kuro5hin are from an academic background or a technical background (or both).

It's kind of funny - when I go home to my rural nothern ontario hometown it's like returning to a different world. It's easy to get encapsulated in the bubble of the academic environment. Personally I don't want to ever leave the academic institution. It's a different culture, a different environment - and there really isn't anywhere else like it (that I know of).


We don't make the products you like, we make you like the products we make.
[ Parent ]

huh... (none / 0) (#22)
by Mad Hughagi on Fri Jun 08, 2001 at 01:47:43 PM EST

If this represented society as a whole, Ralph Nader would be the president of the United States.

Which, unfortunately, is not the case.


We don't make the products you like, we make you like the products we make.
[ Parent ]

hmm (none / 0) (#27)
by dr k on Fri Jun 08, 2001 at 05:17:08 PM EST

It is almost as if they planned it for you to score yourself as Libertairian [sic].

Go take the Scientology quiz, I'm sure you'll score well there, too.
Destroy all trusted users!
[ Parent ]

Not a fan of some of the questions (none / 0) (#19)
by OOG THE CAVEMAN on Fri Jun 08, 2001 at 11:28:29 AM EST

First, I fail to see how all the "children should be seen and not heard" type questions are really relevant to political ideals. It is not uncommon for one to see parenting and family issues as an area outside of politics and thus have differing opinions. For example, one who values discipline at home is not necessarily a hardline authoritarian in politics. The questionaire probably read too much into such personal level questions.

Second, I find the section about religion and sex really flawed and distorted. The questions are all large blanket statements that only really leave room for all or nothing. For example, the question about homosexuality as a sin annoyed me. In my case, I find homosexuality to be abnormal (and I am against the whole PC gay pride movement), but I do not view it to be a sin or something deserving punishment. But unfortunately, that option turned out the be the closest thing to my beliefs because of the sweeping nature of the questions. The same is true of the sex before marriage being a sin, the religion and morality being inseperable question, and the sex and sin question (to which I answered agree, strongly disagree, agree, respectively).

I've always viewed myself as a staunch conservative with libertarian leanings and emphasis on the individual, but apparently this quiz tells me im on the authoritarian right (yeah that one vote is mine). Whatever, those things are fucked up anyway.
It's a matter of degree (none / 0) (#20)
by nobbystyles on Fri Jun 08, 2001 at 11:40:51 AM EST

Tony Blair is classed authoritarian right but he's in moderate part of it. In US terms he would be classed a liberal (Democrat).

Classing lifestyle choices as sins is little emotive. I think it should have been 'Do you think homosexuality is wrong?'...

[ Parent ]
bias (none / 0) (#26)
by your_desired_username on Fri Jun 08, 2001 at 05:00:04 PM EST

Look on the bright side. The questions allow one to determine the biases and assumptions of the test-makers. :-)

[ Parent ]
Telling about Labour (none / 0) (#23)
by lordsutch on Fri Jun 08, 2001 at 01:56:36 PM EST

I think it's pretty telling that Labour Party members (or ex-members... didn't Scargill go and set up his own, electorally-irrelevant party?) occupy all four quadrants of the grid... talk about being everything to everyone!

(I found I was closest to Kenneth Clarke, which seems quite rational to me. I was always something of a wet Tory myself when I lived in England.)

Linux CDs. Schuyler Fisk can sell me long distance anytime.

A more interesting idea: (5.00 / 2) (#24)
by gauntlet on Fri Jun 08, 2001 at 03:05:14 PM EST

Each question is a single dimension. people answer the questions with more than 4 options from one side to the other. Some of the questions will be related, others not, it doesn't matter. Get people to give some basic information about themselves, including political affiliation or preference, and fill in their answers, then do some data mining.

In particular, do a cluster analysis of the data. Are there really groups of people that hold distincly different and bordered points of view. I'd be interested to see. Show which questions have high correlations, categorize them, associate those categorizations with the clusters in your analysis, and come up with truly descriptive names for different areas of political perspective, if they even exist.

One interesting challenge would be in coming up with the questions, but they could be suggested. I could personally take care of the web-site/database portions of it, but the cluster analysis is a bit beyond my capabilities.

"It is difficult to catch a black cat in a dark room. Especially if there is no cat there." - Confucius

Okay you ukanians (none / 0) (#25)
by John Milton on Fri Jun 08, 2001 at 03:58:12 PM EST

I'm not british so someone will have to explain this for me. My left/right is -2.65 and my authoritarian/libertarian is -3.72. This puts me somewhere near Gandhi and Tony Benn. Gandhi I know, Tony Benn I don't. This pretty much confirms my suspicions. I'm a liberal but not an extremist, and I have some conservative issues.

This one stuck out:

The most important lesson for all children is discipline and respect for authority.

Well in my opinion, the most important lesson for all children is self-discipline and respect for everyone.

"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton

A crappy of options (2.00 / 1) (#28)
by delmoi on Fri Jun 08, 2001 at 07:12:08 PM EST

I consider myself to be Authoritarian middle, really. I don't care what you do, as long as I can rule with an iron fist.
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
I want a new term (4.33 / 3) (#29)
by ZanThrax on Fri Jun 08, 2001 at 07:26:40 PM EST

for the opposite of authoritarian. These tests keep telling me I'm strongly libertarian, and I really don't like that. Libertarians bug me with all their leave the corporations and the rich the hell alone rhetoric. I don't like social control laws. I'm all for economic control laws, especially those that limit the power of corps, so I don't really fit in at all with the libertarians.

There is no them. There is only us. We are them.

You are an anarchist (none / 0) (#34)
by pavlos on Fri Jun 08, 2001 at 11:16:09 PM EST

You are a socialist libertarian, also known as an anarchist. Most anarchists who adopt the term for themselves are in fact considerably left of center. While anarchy does not include economic control laws (or any in fact), it does involve the abolition of money, which is a pretty drastic left economic measure.

I think it is probably impossible to be a pure center libertarian, except by being undecided about economics. Intuitively, I think that a center (ie. market and welfare state) economic arrangement needs to be supported by law and so in an anarchy the economy would have to move either clearly left or clearly right. One of the main (hypothetical) concerns of anarchy is in what order to remove laws to get it to move to the left.

And yes, it bugs me too that economic libertarians have co-opted the term.

Pavlos (-7.14, -7.59)

[ Parent ]

Or an archist ... (5.00 / 1) (#36)
by Robert Hutchinson on Sat Jun 09, 2001 at 04:26:32 PM EST

You are a socialist libertarian, also known as an anarchist.
Yeah, and I'm a communist individualist.
While anarchy does not include economic control laws (or any in fact), it does involve the abolition of money, which is a pretty drastic left economic measure.
I'd be interested to hear how one can abolish money without the existence of economic control laws.
And yes, it bugs me too that economic libertarians have co-opted the term.
You'll have to forgive them for thinking that "anarchy" might actually mean the absence of rule.

Robert Hutchinson
No bomb-throwing required.

[ Parent ]

And What Do You Call Bosses? (none / 0) (#39)
by moshez on Sun Jun 10, 2001 at 06:13:12 AM EST

If not "rulers"

[T]he k5 troll HOWTO has been updated ... This update is dedicated to moshez, and other bitter anti-trolls.
[ Parent ]
Depends on your definition (none / 0) (#41)
by Robert Hutchinson on Sun Jun 10, 2001 at 07:16:02 PM EST

I'll restate the end of my last comment: "the absence of coerced rule."

Robert Hutchinson
No bomb-throwing required.

[ Parent ]

Depends On How You Define Coercion (none / 0) (#43)
by moshez on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 03:02:49 AM EST

I'd stay threat by starvation is as good as threating by guns.

[T]he k5 troll HOWTO has been updated ... This update is dedicated to moshez, and other bitter anti-trolls.
[ Parent ]
Eh... (3.00 / 1) (#31)
by Jin Wicked on Fri Jun 08, 2001 at 08:18:05 PM EST

These compasses and maps for political alliance are almost always incorrect. They always try to place socialists and libertarians on either the left or right, when in fact they really don't fit anywhere on these particular models. Libertarians are essentially anarchocapitalists (they want a capitalist system with little or no government), and socialists (not Leninists, etc. -- too many people call themselves socialists these days) are anarchosocialists...meaning they also want little to no government, but in a socialist system. Clearly the farther you get to the left and right on the spectrum, the more government power either side is trying to win. The centre, where the moderates are, is where the least amount of government power would be preferred. (Which is still quite a bit.) Obviously this is not where Libertarians or socialists go. The Libertarians and socialists don't fit anywhere in this model, so many of these types of programs try to fit the Libertarians in with the right (they are not), and leave real socialists off entirely. (We all know real socialists are like the USSR and China right? No, but that's what they'd like you to think.)

Anyway, I'm done ranting now. I'm just tired of seeing something like this for the umpteenth time. It's especially frustrating on the US Libertarian website, because they're doing a good job perpetuating the myth that all socialists are tyrants that want to steal your teddy bear and toothbrush and make you eat gruel, or something. :p

This post was probably not written by the real Jin Wicked. Please see user "butter pie" for Jin's actual posts.

Ah: --\ (none / 0) (#35)
by pavlos on Fri Jun 08, 2001 at 11:41:48 PM EST

Please reconsider the description provided by the site (which is the usual one). It can be summarized like this:

  • Top left: They want a hugely powerful state that controls everything and enforces economic equality. Soviet style "communism".

  • Middle left: About the same government power and freedom as we have now (in the west), but used to create equality. True Marxists, socialists.

  • Bottom left: No government, equal distribution of power. Traditional anarchists, aka. anarchosocialists.

  • Top right: Huge government power in the service of an economic elite. Most third world dictators.

  • Middle right: About the same government power and personal freedom as now (in the west), but used to serve property. Capitalists.

  • Bottom right: No government, very unequal distribution of power. Economic libertarians, aka. laissez-faire capitalists.

    I don't see a problem with these dimensions, other than that actual political parties are not equally scattered. In particular, parties tend to cluster on the middle right, while middle left is underrepresented.

    Pavlos (-7.14, -7.59)

    [ Parent ]

  • My scores (none / 0) (#32)
    by strlen on Fri Jun 08, 2001 at 10:27:14 PM EST

    Economic Left/Right: -5.31 Authoritarian/Libertarian: -7.59

    [T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
    We can't possibly be this narrow a sample (3.00 / 1) (#37)
    by ZanThrax on Sat Jun 09, 2001 at 05:22:27 PM EST

    Did no one get a positive score on either axis? Surely there must be some here who didn't get rated as libertarian left?

    There is no them. There is only us. We are them.

    Me (none / 0) (#38)
    by StrontiumDog on Sat Jun 09, 2001 at 05:31:03 PM EST

    StrontiumDog got rated as libertarian right. This unexpected revelation shocked his liberal pinko soul.

    [ Parent ]
    Me (none / 0) (#42)
    by NotZen on Mon Jun 11, 2001 at 04:16:24 AM EST

    I got Libertarian Right. Well, 67% Libertarian, 14% right, which sounds about right.

    [ Parent ]
    +1, Funny (none / 0) (#40)
    by moshez on Sun Jun 10, 2001 at 06:16:14 AM EST

    Why do anarchists drink herbal tea?

    Because proper tea is theft

    [T]he k5 troll HOWTO has been updated ... This update is dedicated to moshez, and other bitter anti-trolls.

    Political Compass | 43 comments (35 topical, 8 editorial, 0 hidden)
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