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Political Compass Test

23 June 2010

For those who haven’t yet heard of it, The Political Compass is a neat little test that can show you what part of the spectrum you occupy and how that position relates to politicians and parties.  The old left-right system that most people still refer to when talking politics is woefully inaccurate and long-overdue to be replaced by a system that separates economic and social issues.  The compass’s creators suggest taking the test before reading a more detailed analysis of it on the site, so I won’t get into it further.

If that’s been done, I’d recommend the page on the UK 2010 elections.  Not terribly surprising where the parties with the most power are located.  At the bottom of the page is a particularly depressing tracking of the big three from 1972 to 2008.  New Labour, you make me wanna yak.


Jeff had the idea of retaking the test (it’s been a year or two) and posting our scores, so here we go!



The most fun part about the Compass Test is sending it to people who completely miscalculate beforehand where they’re going to end up.  Three lifelong US Republican voters in my family took it and they all fell in the lower-left quadrant (albeit in a fairly moderate position).  I think it can be valuable to share the test and your results with people who only ever learned the left-right system and therefore don’t Get that wanting free education doesn’t mean your skull is secretly hosting Joseph Stalin’s reanimated brain.  It’s not likely to make folks agree on issues they don’t already agree on, of course, but it might reveal some common ground where none would be allowed to exist within the traditional model.

And most importantly, of course, it reveals that every politician you don’t like is not, in fact, Hitler.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. 23 June 2010 01:52

    Thatcher and Reagan actually were Hitler, though. True story.

    • 23 June 2010 02:01

      This might not be exactly what you’re looking for, but have you considered Ira Levin’s The Boys from Brazil?

  2. Matthijs Krul permalink
    22 July 2010 01:11

    I wish Stalin’s reanimated brain actually did reside in my skull though!

    • 25 July 2010 05:37

      Instead of or in addition to the current brain?

      …this is important!

  3. 27 January 2011 06:54

    This test seems to skew everyone to the libertarian left. But it could be that most people are actually more libertarian-left than politicians tell them they are.

    • 27 January 2011 18:22

      I think that’s generally the case (people being lower-left than their politicians*). Rephrasing some of the loaded language that the MSM/politicians use can definitely affect people’s answers. And let’s be real, most of the scary buzzwords are coming from the right. Jeff probably addressed some of that in his follow-up post.

      Another reason why party affiliation and actual convictions may not line up is that many people will continue voting for the party they’ve always voted for, even though that party has shifted significantly (to the upper-right in the US) over the course of their lives. Some voters aren’t interested enough in political discourse to have noticed the shift, either.

      *Especially considering that part of politicians’ upper-rightness is linked to a world of corporate interests that us sweltering masses of common folk couldn’t possibly be part of.

      Edit: I can type, really.

    • 27 January 2011 21:09

      I don’t think I’d say it’s skewed to the left, but rather it’s more of your second idea there. Poll after poll done in the US shows that the people are far to the left of the ruling class, but the ruling class here is extremely adept at getting the proletariat to argue amongst themselves and see themselves as diametrically opposed to one another’s agenda.

      As an experiment, I took the quiz again acting as if I were a hardcore free market capitalist, who also happens to be in favor of government control of every aspect of the people’s lives (and more than a bit racist, too). I came out in the upper right corner at 10.00, 9.49. It’s not hard to place yourself there, but I can’t imagine holding those opinions in real life. You have to be a truly stupid, ignorant, hateful, broken human being. Like Thatcher!


  1. political compass test, part the second « The Fivefold Path

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