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7/7/11

Another fun internet tool: The Political Compass

Are you a liberal or conservative?

Wait, that doesn't make a lot of sense.  Why?  Because there is more to life than wearing a 'D' or an 'R' next to your name.

I would like to use this website and their scale as a perfect example of why a 4-party system would be ideal for this country instead of our traditional "Left or Right" scale we use now.

Folks, take a gander at the Political Compass.  It is a neat little internet tool that not only shows you a 'left or right' scale you can measure yourself with, but an 'up or down' scale as well.

Wait wait... up or down?  Yes!  We're in stunning 2-D now!!! (oooooo....)

On a social scale, there are both Libertarian and Authoritarian ideals.  Authoritarians like to see state-imposed collectivism (i.e. - Government control and regulations) whereas Libertarians prefer a voluntary, regional collectivism (i.e. - States/Counties/Communities making the majority of the decisions).  You have heard of 'liberal vs conservative'... You can think of these as 'big vs small government.'

And yes, there is a Libertarian party, but are they right or left-leaning libertarians?  Hard to tell...

If you want to take the test for yourself, I will provide a link at the bottom of the page.  Please feel free to share your results by leaving a comment, and joining in on the discussion.  But first, where do I rank up??


I have a lot of centric values, so I am close to the middle of the graph.  Officially I belong to the Libertarian Left.  I believe in regional governances (like California passing the 'marijuana is ok' law, and the U.S. letting them do their own thing) and like to see society help their fellow man.  I believe in Medicare, Social Security, and other aid programs, but I would like to see more conservative rules put in place.  To be eligible for welfare and food stamps, you have to pass a drug test.  To be eligible for medicare supplemental insurance, you must show proof that you can't afford to take care of your own medical needs.  And so on.

I also have conservative views on gun rights (right to bear arms, but not AK-47's) and illegal immigration (if you break the law, you need to be held accountable, but work on better-assimilating those already here into citizenship.  No free admissions though...).

I personally have some views in all 4 quadrants, but don't see myself as fitting into any definite category.  Maybe I'm just not as passionate in my politics as someone who would rank higher into the x or y axis?

Where do I rank on the scale?  Well let's compare current political leaders...


As well as famous leaders in history...

G.W. Bush = Margaret Thatcher??  But which one looks better in a dress???
(Note:  If your results put you next to Hitler, try not to read into it too much.  Unless you really really hate the Jews, then meh...)

Now the fun part... where do my peers rank?  I asked bloggers and readers to participate, and received a handful of results.  Here is where YOU rank:

(if your name doesn't appear on the graph, I'm sorry.  There was probably a cluster in your area and I wanted people to see the names)

Melanie:  -6.5, -5.23
Autumnforest:  -4.38, -2.62
D4:  -1.5, 3.85
Mama Still Wears Gucci:  7.12, -0.82
Kev D:  -6.62, -6.97
Simple Dude:  -2.98, -2.79
Squatlo:  -8.21, -6.17
Byakuya:  0, 0 (yes, this dude broke the scale)
Jillsmo:  -7.5, -6.56
Minx:  -3.25, -4.15
Q (closest to mine, my brotha...):  -2.88, -2.67
Anon1 (a Facebook Reader):  -3.75, 2.92

Analyze as you will.  Are my readers more left-leaning than the average blog, or are they the majority that decided to participate?  Most taking this poll landed in the Libertarian half as well.  Is this because of the unhappiness of current government activity over the last 10-20 years, or do I just attract that kind of reader?  Hard to tell.

As you could imagine, those on the ultra-left are going to clash with those on the ultra-right.  Same with authoritarian vs libertarian.  A left-lib is going to approach an issue in a completely different manner than a left-auth.  I mean, look at Ghandi and Stalin.  Two different people, but both on the left...

Because of this, I would like to recommend a structured 4-party system.  Right now it's D vs R, with a little squeak of resistance from those bold enough to call themselves "Independent" or "Green", etc.  Let's turn this into four parties, four primaries, and four major candidates on equal footing.

Maybe then we don't see a 50/50 vote like we did in 2000, or a 53/46/1 vote like we saw in 2008.  In both instances, it left our country divided, and very much polarized.  If we had a four-party system and the result came back as 43/20/12/25, we would have a clear winner.  Yes, 57 percent of the country didn't vote for that person... would that cause MORE turmoil or less?  Maybe have #1 as president and #2 as vice-president?  Imagine GW Bush and Al Gore working TOGETHER....

Please feel free to weigh in on the discussion, as well as take the test yourself on the Political Compass website.  I would love to know where you find yourself on the scale, and what you think would help improve the state of overall government stability (if there can ever be such a thing...).

Thank you, as always, for participating in the discussion.
Please Share it! :)

27 witty retorts:

Matthew MacNish said...

This is fascinating. I'm going to do it.

blorriepoes said...

wow really deep post.
thanks for sharing!
+1

Al Penwasser said...

I'll get to it, but I'm still trying to get my Clean Meter rating up high enough so that my computer catches on fire or an enraged gang of Mormons on bicycles surround my house.
Gotta get those "Crude Anatomical References" up. To say nothing of "References to Deity."
Jumpin' Jesus on his throne, lookit the cans on that broad!

Melanie said...

Pretty cool...very interesting.

Bart said...

didnt i post that girl coming out of that morphsuit during the playoffs... maybe i didnt. i'll see what i can do for ya and politics is boring. i agree with the guy and his sign.

Not the Hero said...

I took the test but forgot to email you my results. They put me right on top of Nelson Mandela, which I thought was pretty cool.

The Simple Dude said...

Four party system.. you're onto something there. Either that or you're on something.

It would have been interesting to take this test in my early to mid 20's. Socially I haven't changed my views much over the years. Now in my late 30's I still lean left there. But economically I have drifted more towards the middle I am sure. Maybe that has something to do with actually HAVING some money now??

SD
www.TheSimpleDude.com

meandmythinkingcap said...

Wow, more complex than my high school integral,vector theory.
Should I really be bothered about D or R? I would pick that placard and stand in picketline.

Gucci Mama said...

I had this excessively brilliant comment all typed out (obviously it was brilliant, considering it came from the lone Conservative on the scale) but blogger was being a dick (I suspect blogger is a loony liberal) and my comment disappeared, never to be heard from again.

But basically what I said was that while the four party system is an interesting idea in theory, it's highly doubtful it'll ever be put into practice here. There's never been a viable third party candidate for high office in this country and I doubt there ever will be.

Surely no one's political philosophy can be summed up entirely by the letter behind his name, yet it does serve to basically define where a person stands and I can say with conviction that I'd never hate myself or my children enough to vote for a D, and since I wouldn't be stupid enough to throw away a vote on a third party, that leaves me with Rs.

It's not a perfect system. Would I like to see it change? For sure. Do I think it will? No way.

Byakuya said...

Crazy that pretty much everyone who blogs is on the left =3

D4 said...

WAY Byakuya!

I think I gave you my wrong numbers or something, I was on that spot but lower, much lower on the green. Oh well. XD

AllenTesch said...

I don't think a 4 party system would work with our current winner take all system. It would take about 5 minutes for one side to realize they can join together and basically get the same results with slight arguments in implementation, thus enjoying 50% of the vote while letting the other two parties fight each other for their 25%.
Thus making one big party and two third parties.
Also having number two serves as the VP wouldn't work. Do you really think Gore would have gone out and promoted W's agenda?
It would fracture the Executive, and honestly, who wouldn't be tempted with "If only we could get Our Guy in the top spot..."
Great post. I wish I could have taken part, I might have evened things out a bit...dun dun dunnnnn

squatlo said...

First of all, the test itself is highly questionable because it lacks the nuance and precision necessary for some of the questions. Not everything can be answered, with Like, Like a Bunch, Really, Really Like, Hated it, Hated it like lima beans, and Gag me with a shit-covered Spoon.
I found myself choosing a multiple choice answer I didn't really like, and often.
But it didn't surprise me to find myself far down in the lower left quadrant, southwest of Gandhi.
It's fun, but it's not definitive, by any means.

SamArmy said...

hmmm seems quite interesting way of showing it generally :)

Cheeseboy said...

Get this... my spot is almost EXACTLY where yours is!

Economic Left/Right: -5.12
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -3.90

Interesting. There are a few of us Ghandi type Mormons around. Clearly, not enough though.

Lost.in.Idaho said...

I love your comment, AllenTesch, but by clearly defining 4 parties instead of 2, it would keep people from forming alliances. I'm registered D, and I can vote in R primaries. I'm registered I, and can't vote for either R or D. And so on.

With the W/Gore example, no. I don't think Gore would follow W's agenda, but that's part of the point. Maybe give the VP a little more executive leeway, so there has to be some cooperation? When we have had all Democrat or all Republican in the Executive and Legislative, the minority cries foul as the majority passes every partisan law they can think of. This could help curb that level of silliness.

@Gucci. You're way to the right. And you get me. And I get you. Want to know what we have that the politicians don't? Listening skills. I hear what you have to say, you hear what I have to say. We agree and disagree on some points, but if push came to shove, you and I could work together to make good things happen. With that said, WHY THE FUCK CAN'T POLITICIANS PUT THEIR OWN AGENDAS ASIDE AND START PLAYING NICE?

*breathes*

ok, I think I'm done with my rant.

Jazz bazooka said...

wow.. just wow...

The Onion Gypsy said...

amazing, great post!

Silver Strands said...

Just found you through cheeseboy ... I'll be back!

Mama Spaghetti said...

I totally laughed at the thought of GW Bush and Al Gore working together.

This is a pretty neat tool! Thanks for sharing. It's interesting to see where people fall.

I also wanted to say thank you so much for your support with Blogger Idol. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. For me, blogging is all about community, and I'm really glad to have found great friends like you.

Zombie said...

That is a nifty little chart! :)

THE SNEE said...

A brand new classification tool! I'm guessing that I'm somewhere to the left. Will I lean more to the libertarian side, or the authoritarian side? I'll let you know. I liked this post. It is good food for thought, and entertaining at the same time.

Gucci Mama said...

The left and right will not come together until they stop squabbling about social issues that will never be resolved. Conservatives will always hate tearing babies limb from limb in the womb and liberals will always salivate to play fetus football, for example. There's little common ground with heavy hitters like abortion and gun control and the death penalty, etc.

Probably we should get started on a Gucci/Idaho 2016 ticket. You can be my VP. ;-)

Kelly said...

I probably lean more to Libertarian-ism than anything else. I'll take the test but I can pretty much guess the outcome.

Thought-provoking post.

You've been busy busy busy, Brandon. I wish I had more time to comment on all of the posts I've missed but I can't. Take care.

DIYgamer said...

This is very interesting to say the least!

jillsmo said...

What??? Somebody is farther left than me??

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Thank, Q said...

Not to start a comment war or offend, but here goes: The people will never know if there is viable 3rd party candidate in each election because 3rd partiers never get a fair shake. It's hard to even be seen as a viable candidate when you don't have the money to be heard. Even if you are rich, it's also virtually impossible to be heard when the "news" stations only favor the left or right.

I also think the main problem with this country is that people only vote for one party regardless if the candidate is an idiot, druggie, sex fiend or criminal. If he/she has a (D) or (R) beside their name, they get the vote. Because an idiot from MY party is still better than a savant from THEIR party, right?

There's no way one party can always be right. No way. I remember when a public official in my state, Amy Tuck, changed from (D) to (R) in the middle of her term and people went nuts! People questioned how someone who was against abortion joined the D's in the 1st place. Instead of her using her opinions to be a voice of compromise for anti-abortion with the D's, she gravitated back to the party that shared her opinion. At that point, she was just "preaching to the choir" and not accomplishing anything.

Having someone different in your group is what makes that group better. It helps bring compromise to problems that aren't black and white. It could go a long way from to returning to the "United States" instead of what we are currently: "The Divided States."

Brandon, sorry to blog in the comment section. LOL! I get upset when it comes to politics because people make things harder than what they actually are. I do think a four party system would be better than what we have (so would the flip of a coin for that matter). And it wouldn't be impossible to install if this country weren't filled with people who always think their way is correct. I wish people would use their heads instead of their hearts when it came to voting. This isn't American Idol we're talking about. We're talking about people's lives.

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