Shadow Footprints

Wanderings in Virtu and Verity.

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Political Tests

Chris Lightfoot has attempted to improve on The Political Compass test by making his own test.

I disagree with his methodology as it ties, what I see as, opposed results on the same axis. For example supporting the death penalty is the most extreme right-wing value, and total opposition to abortion in all circumstances is also right-wing. It also includes that there is a place for organised religion in government and that religious faith should be based on the literal word of God. With these extremes I'm glad it puts me as left-wing, but I agree with Companies should be free to pay their executives any salary, however large.

It includes National law should always override international agreements as right-wing, but I say don't be party to an international agreement if you are not going to follow it. Why does signing an agreement you are not intending to keep make you right-wing?

By combining economic issues with social and moral issues the left/right axis fails. These would be better graphed separately. (But hey, maybe I'm more immoral than I am economically right-wing.)

The survey says the other axis is much less important than the first. It represents a combination of philosophies you could call "pragmatism", "utilitarianism" and so forth, mixing social, religious and economic issues It includes statements such as Shared religious belief isn't an important part of our society, which I disagreed with. It asked if it is, not if it should be. At times the statement is worded ambiguously, There is no place for organised religion in government, which I saw as saying if there should be no place, rather than saying that government currently excludes organised religion.

For the record my results were left/right -3.8398 (-0.2311) and pragmatism +4.6241 (+0.2783)
The variation in the data on the "left/right" axis is much greater than the variation on the "pragmatism" axis. The most extreme values on on either axis are 16.6132. The table shows your position in both "raw" and normalised (between -1 and 1) coordinates.