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Debates Forum

  1. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    28 Jun '09 17:34 / 1 edit
    As I posted on another thread, at the suggestion of KN and Generalissimo, I took this political compass test. I was a bit confused by the results, as it put me well to the left of almost every mainstream American Democratic politician.

    Obviously, that's not inherently meaningful regarding the test itself. But, I did think the questions were worded in a manner that makes the "left" side sound more reasonable and the "right" side sound more extreme. The way they rank politicians is obviously not from test results, because I'm sure politicians rarely take the test. They take the candidate's positions and loosely use them to answer the questions.

    So, to test the test so to speak, I propose discussing each question, one at a time. I'll keep an informal survey of how the forum in general responds to each question. I'm curious to see if even the "right wingers" on this forum end up looking like centrists based on the test. If so, it's probably an issue with the test. If not, then I'm really much more liberal than I think I am.

    Each question has 4 choices:

    Strongly disagree
    Disagree
    Agree
    Strongly Agree

    First question

    "If economic globalisation is inevitable, it should primarily serve humanity rather than the interests of trans-national corporations."

    My answer: Agree

    I think this is the first of many loaded questions. The policy at issue is really whether corporations should be forced by governments to sacrifice profits for the government-determined best interest of society. Hence, although ideally the interest of humanity should be served by globalization, of course, I cannot say that I "strongly agree."

    Frankly, I think the question should have been worded something like:

    "If economic globalisation is inevitable, governments should impose comprehensive regulations on trans-national corporations to put the over-all interests of humanity over the interests of the individual corporations."

    If the question were worded like that, I'd be ambivalent about what to answer, but I'd lean towards "Disagree."
  2. 28 Jun '09 17:47 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sh76
    As I posted on another thread, at the suggestion of KN and Generalissimo, I took this political compass test. I was a bit confused by the results, as it put me well to the left of almost every mainstream American Democratic politician.

    Obviously, that's not inherently meaningful regarding the test itself. But, I did think the questions were worded in a manne I'd be ambivalent about what to answer, but I'd lean towards "Disagree."
    You raised some interesting points.

    I think its worth pointing out, that not only the majority of questions (if not all) have a tilt (to the left) but are also limited to left-right position, no matter how ambiguous the question is.

    For example, "I'd always support my country, whether it was right or wrong", if you say you strongly agree you're hard right, and if you say strongly disagree you're hard left. I wonder, are left-wingers incapable of supporting their country? are right-wingers blind patriots? No, to both questions. So I think that's one of the survey's problems.
  3. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    28 Jun '09 17:51
    Originally posted by generalissimo
    You raised some interesting points.

    I think its worth pointing out, that not only the majority of questions (if not all) have a tilt (to the left) but are also limited to left-right position, no matter how ambiguous the question is.

    For example, "I'd always support my country, whether it was right or wrong", if you say you strongly agree you're ...[text shortened]... rs blind patriots? No, to both questions. So I think that's one of the survey's problems.
    Well, that's why they have the "middle" positions; so I don't have a problem with that aspect of the test.

    A fifth choice "Ambivalent" might help though.
  4. 28 Jun '09 17:54 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sh76
    Well, that's why they have the "middle" positions; so I don't have a problem with that aspect of the test.

    A fifth choice "Ambivalent" might help though.
    Yes, but my point was that the question is locked in a left-right result , a left-winger is not necessarialy non-patriotic, and a right-winger is not necessarialy patriotic.

    the same goes for the question about religious values, and sex-related questions.
  5. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    28 Jun '09 18:41
    Originally posted by generalissimo
    my point was that the question is locked in a left-right result , a left-winger is not necessarialy non-patriotic, and a right-winger is not necessarialy patriotic.
    How is this an example of "left tilt"?
  6. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    28 Jun '09 18:58 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by FMF
    How is this an example of "left tilt"?
    I think that's part of generalissimo's point:

    He's saying that this isn't really a "left-right" question and yet the test still uses the takers answer to place him to the right or left of the spectrum.

    Then again, maybe that question only is used for the y-axis of the spectrum (the authoritarian-libertarian axis) determination. I guess you can argue more supporting one's country means more authoritarian and less libertarian. Maybe that answers your question, Generalissimo?
  7. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    28 Jun '09 19:04 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sh76
    I think that's part of generalissimo's point:

    He's saying that this isn't really a "left-right" question and yet the test still uses the takers answer to place him to the right or left of the spectrum.
    So why is that a tilt to the left? Why isn't it simply seen as an oversimplification or an error? What's "leftist" about the built in place-on -the-axis assumption? You've got hard left nationalists on one had, and hard left workers of the world unite anti-nationalists on the other. So if what you say about the axis thing is true it seems in 'error'. But what's "leftist" about the 'error' you have identified?
  8. 28 Jun '09 20:11
    The first question is indeed biased left. Interests should benefit humanit? duh, but how do you achieve any tough call on which rules and do you tax and regulate businesses heavily or lightly to achieve that...

    patriotism is indeed a questionable measure of the things the test claims to measure.
  9. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    28 Jun '09 22:51
    Originally posted by sh76
    As I posted on another thread, at the suggestion of KN and Generalissimo, I took this political compass test. I was a bit confused by the results, as it put me well to the left of almost every mainstream American Democratic politician.

    Obviously, that's not inherently meaningful regarding the test itself. But, I did think the questions were worded in a manne ...[text shortened]... I'd be ambivalent about what to answer, but I'd lean towards "Disagree."
    My answer is still 'strongly agree.' Nothing has changed.
  10. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    29 Jun '09 01:15
    Originally posted by rwingett
    My answer is still 'strongly agree.' Nothing has changed.
    Okay; so you truly do have the liberal position on this issue. But I think that for people on the fence, the wording of the question pushes people towards the "liberal" position.
  11. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    29 Jun '09 01:26
    Originally posted by sh76
    Okay; so you truly do have the liberal position on this issue. But I think that for people on the fence, the wording of the question pushes people towards the "liberal" position.
    Something that pushes people toward a liberal position is unquestionably a good thing. The test, therefore, becomes a tool of social progress. If anything, it should be skewed even more to push people into becoming positive left wingers. Maybe something like this:

    "If the scourge of economic globalisation is inevitable, it should primarily serve humanity rather than the interests of mercenary robber barons."
  12. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    29 Jun '09 01:29
    Originally posted by rwingett
    If the scourge of economic globalisation is inevitable
    I don't think that being against economic globalisation is necessarily a liberal position.
  13. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    29 Jun '09 01:31 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sh76
    I don't think that being against economic globalisation is necessarily a liberal position.
    Being against economic globalisation is a liberal position when it is evident that its implementation is serving the interests of mercenary robber barons rather than humanity as a whole.
  14. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    29 Jun '09 01:37
    Originally posted by sh76
    I don't think that being against economic globalisation is necessarily a liberal position.
    I guess it depends on what you mean by 'liberal.' The term 'neoliberalism' is actually an embodiment of globalism, privatization, "free" trade, and "free" markets. Something that most people (in the US at least) would characterize as being conservative, not liberal.
  15. 29 Jun '09 01:37
    Originally posted by sh76
    As I posted on another thread, at the suggestion of KN and Generalissimo, I took this political compass test. I was a bit confused by the results, as it put me well to the left of almost every mainstream American Democratic politician.

    Obviously, that's not inherently meaningful regarding the test itself. But, I did think the questions were worded in a manne ...[text shortened]... I'd be ambivalent about what to answer, but I'd lean towards "Disagree."
    I took the test and I was exactly where Ghandi was. I know little about him other than I totally disagree whith his definition of terrorism. -1.9 on one scale and -4. something on the other. I didn't write them down before closing the site. I think there is a good chance the test is biased somewhat.