[ politics Category ]
March 09, 2003

What are your coordinates?

The latest meme making the rounds 'mongst warbloggers and other politically-aware escribitionists is the Political Compass. It adds another dimension to the left-right cliché: an authoritarian-libertarian spectrum. Over at MeFi, someone collected all their answers, and plotted it on a graph. There's a definite... trend. And I seem to fit in.

How well does the compass peg you?

Like most polls and tests, there seems to be lots of grey areas (admittedly, perhaps by design). I had a lot of problems with some of the questions. I found myself saying, "Well, it depends on if you mean this, or that." From which perspective you as a test taker are answering — as a citizen, regulator, or something else? Does "can't" mean unwilling, or not allowed by others?

Still, a bit more thought seems to have been put into the test than the "What Buffy Character Are You?" quiz. And I have to say, the other folks in the corner where I fell are folks that my rants have been compared to in the past.

My coordinates:

Economic Left/Right: -3.75
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -4.15

Anyone else dare to post their coordinates? We could make a HawaiiStories graph!

Posted by Prophet Zarquon at March 09, 2003 08:41 PM


Posted by kane on March 10, 2003 1:30 AM:

Interesting quiz.

Economic Left/Right: -5.38
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -5.54

Posted by NemesisVex on March 10, 2003 3:23 AM:

Economic Left/Right: -5.12
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -2.82

I thought I'd have crossed the line over to Authoritarian with the way I answered some questions.

Posted by macpro on March 10, 2003 5:50 AM:

Well here's where I stand:

Economic Left/Right : 5.12
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -0.05

The Libertarian Party has long had a similar test to the one offered here. I always score slightly different on each of their tests depending on the questions asked. It seems that these tests vary according to who's asking the questions. However as a general rule I fall into the more conservative right side al l of the time.

Posted by lisa on March 10, 2003 7:01 AM:

Does this mean I'm an extremist, or somewhat balanced, or both?

Economic Left/Right: -7.12
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -6.92

Maybe it's just me, but it seemed that most of the statements definitely slanted in one direction, because I was "strongly disagree"-ing with a lot. Perhaps alternating the viewpoint would have been better than just approaching from one angle.

Posted by Albert on March 10, 2003 7:05 AM:

Economic Left/Right: -3.12
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -4.00

Posted by Ryan on March 10, 2003 7:09 AM:

I wondered the same thing, Lisa, but I suspected it would seem that way for anyone who's decidedly "off to one side" on either axis.

Obviously, from any subjective point of view, it would be hard for us to easily imagine how someone else couldn't answer the way we did on each question.

So in a way, the fact that macpro was able to come out near the middle on the Authoritarian/Libertarian side and toward the right on the Economic side is actually encouraging. It works, at least better than I would have initially thought.

It's not surprising, but worth seeing in black and white, that I obviously tend to gravitate toward online communities that skew Libertarian Left. ("You mean I'm not always right?") I probably could use a little more diversity in my reading list.

Also, I should have linked the FAQ, which tries to address a lot of the questions the survey generates, such as, "Some of the questions are slanted," and "Respondents are going to feel under pressure to be politically correct."

Posted by lemurs on March 10, 2003 8:10 AM:

Economic Left/Right: -4.50
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -3.74

I'm further off from the middle than I would've thought. Also, did anyone else feel kind of like a hypocrite by answering some similar questions differently on the same page?

Posted by kane on March 10, 2003 10:40 AM:

It would be interesting to see the results of the test if the only options were either to agree or disagree. Apparently, the results magnify if one answers "strongly".

Posted by Beth on March 10, 2003 12:11 PM:

Economic Left/Right: -5.12
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -6.26

Yeah right, I'm in the same quadrant with Gandhi. One of must have lied on this test.

Posted by Albert on March 10, 2003 1:36 PM:

"Apparently, the results magnify if one answers "strongly"."

Hmmmm. I only felt so sure of my answer a very few times to pick the strongly option.

And in some cases, an "unsure" option would have been my choice.

Not sure I should be in the same quadrant as Gandhi, not at all. :)

Posted by Blaine on March 10, 2003 6:48 PM:

I didn't write down my numbers before closing the window, but I remembered the position of the dot. Estimate -5, -5.

Posted by NemesisVex on March 10, 2003 7:23 PM:

I found myself wanting a "no opinion" option, not because I didn't know how to answer but because I indeed straddled the line with an issue. Can't think of a question off the top of my head, but there were some that forced me to take a stand when I could see merits of either answer.

Posted by macpro on March 10, 2003 9:58 PM:

A similar quiz on the Hawaii Libertarian Party website can be taken here.

Posted by ali on March 10, 2003 10:32 PM:

Economic Left/Right: -4.25
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -4.21

Not necessarily a statistically correct measurement device but interesting nonetheless.

Posted by kreeesty on March 11, 2003 11:24 AM:

Econ L/R: -3.88
A/L: -5.69

Sitting right on Ghandi's lap.

I wanted the "no opinion" option too.

Posted by mitchell on March 12, 2003 4:31 PM:

Economic Left/Right: 0.25
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -4.41

This doesn't surprise me at all, not because my views are in the economic middle, but because I am way left on some economic issues and way right on others.

I'm a little surprised my governmental rating didn't swing closer to zero than it did, although I'm glad I'm on the libertarian end. This is because while my views of government are STRONGLY libertarian, my PERSONAL views of morality are quite strongly authoritarian. The truth is, as someone else mentioned, there's a huge difference between what we think about how a person should live his or her life and what we think the government should do about it. I have firm, definite ideas about right and wrong, many of which are not politically (or libertarianally) correct, but that doesn't mean I think it's the government's job to regulate it.

When I wrote for the UH-Hilo newspaper, I wrote a pretty good piece (yes, I'm saying so myself) about the inadequacy of the left-right orientation. I titled my horizontal axis "political" and my vertical axis "social." I consider this a better way to spread out people's views than "economical," because while the two ideas sorta encompass several of the same themes, the implication that everything not political sorta has to do with money grates on me.

Great link!

Posted by vince on March 13, 2003 1:20 PM:

Economic Left/Right: 2.62
Authoritarian/Lib: -.36

Almost smack dab in the middle of the axis....how bland could I possibly be?
I find it somewhat amusing that I'm one of the few to have had an Econ score to the right of zero. It'll be a lonely quadrant of the HawaiiStories graph, indeed...

Posted by Frank on March 14, 2003 11:01 AM:

Economic Left/Right: 0.38
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -4.97

Apparently, I believe in freedom, with a balance between the needs of employers and employees to make the system function.

Posted by Anaiis on March 16, 2003 2:05 PM:

Economic Left/Right: 1.25
Authoratarian/Libertarian: -5.74

Great link.

Posted by Bobby on July 19, 2003 6:40 PM:

Economic Left/Right: 0.56
Authoratarian/Libertarian: 6.44

Is that good or bad news?

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