Though I started off as a lefty a few years back, since leaving the near-extinct Democrats in 2003 I've been sitting firmly on the left-right fence, with the pickets occasionally doing damage to my sensitive regions. On economic and foreign policy, I'm on the right with the free marketeers and the less nutty neo-cons. On social policy, I'm lining up with the vegetarian gay whales in defending their right to euthenise their IVF babies in privacy.After bringing up this Big Question, the comments section quickly led to a discussion of the Political Compass, a useful online tool which uses a series of simple moral, social and economic questions to determine one's political ideology - both on an economic scale from left to right, and a social scale ranging from authoritarian to libertarian.
So here, for the first time since I last did it, is my result:
Economic Left/Right: 4.00
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -3.64
So I guess that means I have the economic free marketeerism of Jacques Chirac and the respect for liberty of the Nelson Mandela. I can live with that.
(Alas, if only I had the fashion sense of Nelson and the expressive forehead of Jacques...)
True, there are limitations in the survey method - a small collection of questions, often with loaded wording, with a small number of possible answers. Even with these limitations, it's a useful way to help clarify where you stand politically. It also deserves plenty of credit for differentiating lib/auth from the left/right divide, in a way that much better reflects ideological positions than did previous representations.
So jump to the survey, find out where you stand, and tell the world.