Ten questions to decide if you are left, right or center

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Ten questions to decide if you are left, right or center

Postby BigJohn » 19 Apr 2012, 14:07

Hi all,

I am soliciting input here to try and make a short list of questions (maybe around 10) which could help in pigeon-holing someone's left/rightness.

The scale is meant to be roughly universal for the Western world. That is, it is not American or British based but nor would it exclude American or British concepts.Hopefully it would apply to the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the nations of Western Europe.

This particular list is not meant to be focused on social conservatism, i.e. gay marriage, abortion, etc, because I expect that later in this thread people will start to label themselves and each other, and these issues could get too personal and contentious. That does not mean however that one or two insightful questions on such themes, if properly framed, could not be included.

I hope that the list be based more on stuff like fiscal policy, the scale and nature of the role of government in the country - both in general and in terms of specific programs taxes and regulation, the role of religion in society, big business and NGOs, the environmental movement etc, the moral and social philosophy of political conservatism and liberalism, the UN, foreign policy etc.

I am also open to questions on approaches to conservatism / liberalism that I may have missed. The above is a bit general, but adequate I hope to start some brainstorming.

Thanks for any suggestions!
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Re: Ten questions to decide if you are left, right or center

Postby Steviebike » 19 Apr 2012, 14:28

Interesting. It's hard to find a difference at times, you can have liberal right and liberal left, or is liberal right middle?

As a liberal, I still find it necessary to have democracy as do the right. So where would the line be?

I think a good question is; should a government be bottom up or top down?
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Re: Ten questions to decide if you are left, right or center

Postby finley » 19 Apr 2012, 14:37

I don't think you'll get far with that. Political views aren't a one-dimensional continuum. I have absolutely no idea what a "conservative" or a "liberal" is, and those terms probably only have any meaning at all in the context of American politics.

A better approach might be to just formulate a list of politics-related questions and then use factor analysis to tease out some underlying features. You'll probably find there are three or four critical dimensions on which you can measure someone's politics, and you'll be able to see which of your original questions measure the salient characteristics.
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Re: Ten questions to decide if you are left, right or center

Postby Tigerman » 19 Apr 2012, 14:43

BigJohn wrote:I am soliciting input here to try and make a short list of questions (maybe around 10) which could help in pigeon-holing someone's left/rightness.

Thanks for any suggestions!


How 'bout this one:

Q. Do you often criticize behavior of those labeled conservative but remain slient or defend similar behavior when comitted by those labeled liberal?

Of course, this particular question can be turned around.
As it is, we seem to regard it as a positive objection to a reasoner that he has taken one side or the other. We regard it (in other words) as a positive objection to a reasoner that he has contrived to reach the object of his reasoning. We call a man a bigot or a slave of dogma because he is a thinker who has thought thoroughly and to a definite end.

From: All Things Considered - The Error of Impartiality
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Re: Ten questions to decide if you are left, right or center

Postby Jaboney » 19 Apr 2012, 14:57

Tigerman wrote:
BigJohn wrote:I am soliciting input here to try and make a short list of questions (maybe around 10) which could help in pigeon-holing someone's left/rightness.

Thanks for any suggestions!


How 'bout this one:

Q. Do you often criticize behavior of those labeled conservative but remain slient or defend similar behavior when comitted by those labeled liberal?

Of course, this particular question can be turned around.

Q 2. Are you sure about that? *("you" generally, not you tm)
Q 3. How open are you to being convinced by argument?
Q 4. When was the last time you said, "You're right. I was wrong."

Sorry: that's for the Honesty Quiz, not Left/Right.
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Re: Ten questions to decide if you are left, right or center

Postby BigJohn » 19 Apr 2012, 15:57

Tigerman wrote:
BigJohn wrote:I am soliciting input here to try and make a short list of questions (maybe around 10) which could help in pigeon-holing someone's left/rightness.

Thanks for any suggestions!


How 'bout this one:

Q. Do you often criticize behavior of those labeled conservative but remain slient or defend similar behavior when comitted by those labeled liberal?

Of course, this particular question can be turned around.


Good question, thanks.
Define "often", and BTW I am not restricting this to so-called "Flob reality", although it will be doubtless be brought back to that once we / I have our question set.
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Re: Ten questions to decide if you are left, right or center

Postby BigJohn » 19 Apr 2012, 16:00

Jaboney wrote:
Tigerman wrote:
BigJohn wrote:I am soliciting input here to try and make a short list of questions (maybe around 10) which could help in pigeon-holing someone's left/rightness.

Thanks for any suggestions!


How 'bout this one:

Q. Do you often criticize behavior of those labeled conservative but remain slient or defend similar behavior when comitted by those labeled liberal?

Of course, this particular question can be turned around.

Q 2. Are you sure about that? *("you" generally, not you tm)
Q 3. How open are you to being convinced by argument?
Q 4. When was the last time you said, "You're right. I was wrong."

Sorry: that's for the Honesty Quiz, not Left/Right.


Guys, point of order, and I am asking a favor.
Can we please wait till we get our list compiled before we start applying that to each other? Twould be good.

I know that defining left and right is a challenge, since we are not French Revolution politicians or McCarthyite / Marxist political hacks. But I think it is a valid or at least interesting attempt.
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Re: Ten questions to decide if you are left, right or center

Postby BigJohn » 19 Apr 2012, 16:14

finley wrote:I don't think you'll get far with that. Political views aren't a one-dimensional continuum. I have absolutely no idea what a "conservative" or a "liberal" is, and those terms probably only have any meaning at all in the context of American politics.

A better approach might be to just formulate a list of politics-related questions and then use factor analysis to tease out some underlying features. You'll probably find there are three or four critical dimensions on which you can measure someone's politics, and you'll be able to see which of your original questions measure the salient characteristics.


Let's start with a modest system at first, but yes other axes can be included.

A1: Fiscal policy (neo-liberal / hybrid Keynesian / pure Keynesian / Austrian / etc ....others?

A2: Regulation and governance (prefer minimal / small / moderate / serious / aggressive gov regulation of business OR government welfare and income redistribution) Others?

A3: Political philosophy (right authoritarian e.g. Franco / paleocon (LBJ, FDR) / neocon (Reagan) / libertarian /social democrat (Blair) /socialist (Chavez) / communist (Castro) Others? These categories do overlap to some extent, of course.

A4: Behavior: statements, voting patterns, financial or other contributions to candidates

Please! These are suggested axes only. Please chime in if I have made an error or you have a suggestion, questions or comment.
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Re: Ten questions to decide if you are left, right or center

Postby zender » 19 Apr 2012, 16:20

Maybe you could use some of these.
-------------------------------------------------------
Was Ronald Reagan a good or great president?
Would Al Gore have been a better president than GWBush?
Is Afirmative Action no longer necessary?
Did the Tea Party have a lot of good points?
Does OWS have a lot of good points?
Should we spend significantly more money on addressing climate change?
If someone earns over US$1,000,000, should they pay a minimum of 30 percent income tax?
Almost half of all American's don't pay any tax. Do you agree with this statement?
Is National Health Care a good thing?
Should we drill more now, so we aren't as dependent on the Middle East for oil?
Would you like to live in Austin, Texas?
Do you prefer hunting to organic farming?
Do you believe the quality of life in Scandinavia is better than that in America?
Does Tainan Cowboy know what he's talkin' about?
Does Chris tell it like it is?
Is Chewdawg too hard on Canadians or English teachers?
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Re: Ten questions to decide if you are left, right or center

Postby sulavaca » 19 Apr 2012, 16:31

In order to respond to such a line of thought, then one would have to forst concede that there was such a thing as left, or right. I do not.
I consider humans to all have special, unique qualities, and consider no two humans alike. I believe that there is no "them and us", or left and right, and that the divide and conquer technique and mentality is of old and serves no positive function.
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