12.15.2004

political compass

Those of you who don't read the comments are missing lots of interesting Canada Facts, such as population densities, TV shows, correlations between Canadian and US cities, and unhealthy but tasty food, often brought to you by the helpful and friendly Kyle from Ottawa, along with political commentary and random profanity by Redsock, a/k/a Allan.

Kyle, as it turns out, is the only other person I know to mention Political Compass. I've sent the site to many people, but few seem to have heard of it.

I'll let Kyle explain:
It redefines "left-right" as a two dimensional "communist-capitalist/totalitarian-libertarian" spectrum. It placed me as "left-libertarian" which I think is fairly accurate of my political views. They also show current political leaders. Bush scored in the upper right hand corner of the "right-totalitarian" quadrant.
From the site itself:
There's abundant evidence for the need of it. The old one-dimensional categories of 'right' and 'left' , established for the seating arrangement of the French National Assembly of 1789, are overly simplistic for today's complex political landscape. For example, who are the 'conservatives' in today's Russia? Are they the unreconstructed Stalinists, or the reformers who have adopted the right-wing views of conservatives like Margaret Thatcher ?
On the standard left-right scale, how do you distinguish leftists like Stalin and Gandhi? It's not sufficient to say that Stalin was simply more left than Gandhi. There are fundamental political differences between them that the old categories on their own can't explain. Similarly, we generally describe social reactionaries as 'right-wingers', yet that leaves left-wing reactionaries like Robert Mugabe and Pol Pot off the hook.
Try it! It's an interesting exercise.

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