Political Compass (Election Archive 2011)

Many people at doors and on the street ask “what’s your political view?” They want to know where I sit on the normal spectrum of left and right. It’s a difficult question to answer these days, much more than in the past.

Instead of waffling on, I’ll try to use a tool called the “Political Compass” as a guide to the positioning of mine and other people’s political views. Below you can see where the Irish parties map, and where I map.

Now, the left/right posistioning is always an interesting one. On some stuff (taxes, spending, free markets) people might accurately put me well on the right. On other things (no special favours for big over small business, same rules for all, right to universal basic healthcare, equal access to education, etc.,) I am well on the left. On balance, I come out in the middle, apparently. Make of that what you will. Personally I expected to come out further right. Finding myself nominally left of Labour seems odd. Let’s just go with the idea that I’m on the right, but not on the extreme. Out on the canvass I’m likely to be accused of being right wing and have never been called left wing, so again you’ll have to take some guidance from that.

On the authoritarian/libertarian axis, that gets harder to describe in simple terms. Suffice it to say that I believe that the state should be biased towards providing the social infrastructure to let people live their lives rather than imposing social control on exactly how they live their lives.

Hugh's Political Compass

Irish Political Parties' Compasses

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