Sunday, January 29, 2006

The results of my "Politics Test"

I was surfing (John Atkinson's soldier blog, then his wife's blog) and came across this personality test: The test is supposed to tell where you sit on the political spectrum. Here are my results:

You are a

Social Liberal
(80% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(26% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Strong Democrat

Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

This is anything but a scientific test, of course. There are no control questions. You only have a choice of "strongy disagree", "agree", "disagree", and "strongly disagree", where in many cases I wanted to answer "neutral". It was possible to tell, in every case, how a specific answer would place you (again, see lack of control questions). Some of the questions were poorly worded. (Example: "Do you agree that two consenting adults should be allowed to duel to the death?" You can easily answer "No!" because you don't want the return of "trial by battle" or a country where killing one another is acceptable, but you could otherwise be entirely for presonal liberty. A better question would be, "Do you think it should be legal for consenting adults to commit suicide?")

And, of course, it's biased toward Americans, so non-Americans are going to skew the answers.

The quiz gives you two sets of answers (social and economic), so it understands that people can have different philosophies for economic and social reasons, something neither political party in the U.S., nor all four major parties in Canada, have managed to figure out. However, just like the political parties it lumps your answers into one position on their graphs.

There's also the fact that it tries to plot people onto a two-dimensional political grid. There are many different political grids, as can be seen in the "Political Spectrum" entry on Wikipedia.

For the record, I don't consider myself even a borderline socialist. I don't think socialism works because it only works if people act in the best interest of society. I'm all for the free market system, though I think you need controls over monopolies and cartels, and I think money has too much influence in American politics, but I digress.

That having been said, the quiz is a fun waste of time! Give it a try!

The web site gives you the code to put the above pictures on your blog. There are two other pictures that you get only at the site. I saw what they were using as a background, so here are the other two images they don't give the code for:

This last one is cute, showing someone's guess as to where famous people land on the spectrum. The only person I can't name is the hard-to-see guy in the top, left hand corner Bill O'Reilly. I'm glad to see that I'm closer to Bono and Ghandi than Darth Vader or George Bush!

(Although I'm fairly close to Hillary Clinton. Again, more stereotyping, as you could make a pretty effective case that Bill Clinton — and, by extension, Hillary — were far more fiscally conservative than George "never met a deficit I didn't like" Bush.)

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