Thursday 3 June 2010

Left of centre

In August 1991 hard-line members of the Soviet communist party staged a coup d'├ętat, arresting Mikhail Gorbachev in a futile attempt to roll back the years. The BBC at the time rather bizarrely described these usurpers as right-wing or Conservative - well it was the BBC. I only mention this because for a bit of fun at lunchtime I decided to find out where I could be found on the political compass - it being more exciting than reading this weeks' Packaging News - and was surprised to discover I'm left of centre. Beyond wondering whether this is how others see me it is a reminder that such dubious exercises leave more questions than answers, or at least I hope they do. I could have just said they're false, that whilst generalisations help in providing context we should forego the label. Though it does explain the behaviour of some student friends, one might describe them as left-of-centre, who possessed of a core conviction branded themselves appropriately and then 'discovered' what else they believed in.


  1. I tried to tell you, but no. . .


    I like the new look around here.

  2. Have you tried the Centre for a Stateless Society's "Find You Political Philosophy Quiz". Somewhat on the long side but an interesting analysis. My results are in this post.

  3. Yikes, that's almost exactly the same point I come out at!

    However, I don't think it's accurate to automatically describe a position on the compass "left of centre". The centre-ground implies that you take the median position on most issues, where half of people agree with you and half disagree. The centre-ground on this compass implies your views place you on the origin of the plot. Unless the test was designed to give median opinion of a representative sample of the public the co-ordinates (0,0) these definitions of centre-ground are two different things. Indeed the centre would probably shift about as attitudes change over time.