Kilroy Was Here
January 27, 2003
Why I Am A Liberal: Part 2 - The Political Compass
The Blahblogger recommended to me that I take a look at a website called The Political Compass. This website invites you to rate how you feel about certain propositions in order to see where you fit on 2 dimensional grid mapping out differing political positions. Interestingly enough, I took this test and found myself to be far down in the Libertarian Left quadrant.
Good for me, because out of all the people on the axis to the right here, I like Ghandi the best.
However, it's interesting that the US Congress has tended to remain polarized along one axis. Consider the following from Dr. Kenneth Poole of the University of Houston:
From the end of Reconstruction until the late 1930s congressional voting was essentially one dimensional. Beginning in the 1930s an important 2nd dimension appeared that picked up the division within the Democratic party over Civil Rights for Blacks. The clear division of the Democrats into Northern and Southern parties can be seen in the spatial separation of the "S" and "D" tokens. After the mid-1970s this division gradually disappears and voting is once again one dimensional.
Perhaps this means that American government is relatively stable along the Authoritarian axis, but moves quite dramatically along the Economic axis. Also, perhaps race is a third dimension in this particular analysis.
I wonder if the Political Compass group can include some questions to measure the tolerance for diversity vs. overt racism in their analysis.
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