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In the simplistic left/right divide, I'd call myself

Displaying poll results.
To the far left
  4202 votes / 16%
Moderate, but leaning left
  7115 votes / 27%
Just about (or even smack dab) in the middle
  1626 votes / 6%
Moderate, but leaning right
  3735 votes / 14%
To the far right
  1783 votes / 6%
Floating above, thus transcending this question
  7735 votes / 29%
26196 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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In the simplistic left/right divide, I'd call myself

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  • I'm a (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @08:21AM (#38446900)

    left-leaning Red-Black tree !

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @08:30AM (#38446936)

    The problem with this poll is that the "centre" is different depending on where you live. In the US, the political centre is undoubtedly to the right of centre politics in the UK..

    First (past the) Post!

    • by Tsingi (870990) <> on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @08:44AM (#38447032)

      - This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.

      • by raddan (519638) * on Thursday December 22, 2011 @03:21PM (#38462910)
        On the other hand, if you're going through all that effort to influence a Slashdot poll, you are also insane.
      • by NReitzel (77941) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @04:15PM (#38463804) Homepage

        It simply astounds me how anyone on earth can take something as complex as political leaning, and try to reduce it to a scalar. Politics is a multivariate vector even if simplified. Worse, there seem to be a whole lot of people in the USA that would like to reduce it to a boolean: { republican, democrat }.

        Now comes the complex part, how to vote? Where are the listings for a fiscally conservative socially liberal secularist? Not on my ballot...

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @08:51AM (#38447074)

      The US left is to the right of the Swedish right...

    • by tomhudson (43916) <barbara DOT huds ... a-hudson DOT com> on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @12:09PM (#38449510) Journal
      Which is why if you're not in the US, you have to take the CowboyNeal option. Here in Kanuckistan, even the far right is considered "pinko commies" by the US, just like any country with universal health care ... oops, sorry, let me translate that from English to AmericaSpeek - "socialist death camps".

      And campaign financing limits ... in AmericaSpeak, that comes out as "limiting free speech" (though of course, the problem is that it's not "free", it costs over a $BILLION to win an election nowadays, so (hummed to the tune of "Rawhide")

      lobby lobby lobby,
      money money money,
      keep that pork a-flowing
      though voters disapprovin',
      we OWN those senators voting, Pork Hide!

      Don't try to understand 'em,
      Cheap drugs and booze will grab 'em,
      Soon we'll be living high and wide.
      Boy my heart's calculatin'
      The return on bribes we'll be taking, taking to the end ...

      Move 'em on, vote 'em up,
      Vote 'em up, pass into law
      Count that pork, bribe some more Pork Hide!
      Pay it out, ride 'em in
      Ride 'em in, we own them now
      Cut 'em in, we'll always win Pork Hide.

      Votin' votin' votin'
      Votin' votin' votin'
      Votin' votin' votin'
      Pork Hide!

    • by jedidiah (1196)

      Left Right and Center have also changed over the years.

      If you transplanted a Dem or Rep from another era, they might end up run out on a rail or choose to leave on their own accord.

      This kind of poll needs at least one other axis if not more.

      • by neongrau (1032968)
        IMHO the main problem is that none of the left / center / right sides have REALLY changed. They all seem to have the same views and prejudices like decades ago.
        Being annoyed of hardcore capitalism doesn't mean that one is either communist or socialist. But that's what ppl seem getting accused of all the time. Center/conservative for me has the flavor of being stagnant. The right wing has that stench of chauvinism. And classic left-wingers seem too naive and unrealistic.
        I for example love the "Floating a
      • by jc79 (1683494) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @06:00PM (#38453766)

        This kind of poll needs at least one other axis if not more.

        Like this? []

        There is a left/right axis, and a libertarian/authoritarian axis.

        So you can be left/libertarian (Gandhi), or right/libertarian (Friedman), for example.

        • To contribute to the discussion, I'll share: after taking that test, my scores are

          Economic Left/Right: -3.75 & Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -7.08

  • False dichotomy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Celarent Darii (1561999) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @08:34AM (#38446954)
    The dichotomy of 'left' vs. 'right' is fundamentally a false dichotomy. The world is much too complex to be treated as an either/or proposition, nor even on a scale on one quantitative measure.

    I would even go so far as to say that in today's politics the whole notion of 'conservative' and 'liberal' no longer exists - there is no more a 'conservation' of an old order (as it is long gone), nor is there anything like the 'liberalization' of political structures that happened in the 19th century. Politics in America have turned more into a moralization of party aims, labeling them as 'conservative' or 'liberal' according to what demographic they are preaching to. There is no longer any discussion on the relative merits or cost analysis of any legislation, merely the selling of the legislation to the demographic.
    • Re:False dichotomy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by alta (1263) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @08:39AM (#38446986) Homepage Journal

      Well then... I guess we'll rename them the moral party and the immoral party.

    • While by no means perfect, I at least prefer the granularity of having another axis.

      The the political compass [] test and see how it goes. I'm moderately left with a libertarian bent.
      • Re:False dichotomy (Score:5, Interesting)

        by ChrisMaple (607946) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @04:42PM (#38452780)
        Interesting quiz, but there are serious problems. I am deeply right-libertarian, but the results showed me as a smidgen into the left-authoritarian range. There are too many false assumptions and false alternatives: How can I answer about the goals of globalization when globalization is, or should be, a thing without goals? How can I answer a question about allowing marriage without concern about sex when I consider marriage to not be in the proper domain of government? How can I respond to the question about the superiority of some race or another when I know that there are some characteristic differences between races, some of which are advantages, some of which are disadvantages, and some of which can be either depending upon the situation (and what does that have to do with politics?) I'd say about 3/4 of the questions were seriously flawed.
    • Re:False dichotomy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by RogerWilco (99615) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @11:40AM (#38449058) Homepage Journal

      I'd even go so far as to say that it's a myth perpetuated by the politicians themselves, even more in traditional two-party systems like the USA and UK.

      Over here in the Netherlands, where we have a lot of small political parties, each occupying their own niche on multiple political axes. There are at least clear distinctions on the Liberal-Conservative, Capitalist-Socialist, Confessional-Atheist and Industrialist-Ecologist lines of thinking.

      It's hard to come up with a left-right narrative in such a diverse landscape, even though still some do try, in general you see shifting alliances along all the lines I have identified above.

      And those are only the parties big enough to get at least one seat in parliament.

    • Re:False dichotomy (Score:5, Interesting)

      by wytcld (179112) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @12:07PM (#38449480) Homepage

      Agreed it's a false dichotomy, or anyway too simplified as a single, straight-line continuum. Still, there's this to account for: While there are sociopathic liars and paranoid fools distributed across the whole spectrum - left-right, up-down, and front-to-back - it's not an even distribution. If you hold your opinions honestly, and not as a matter of expediency, and are open to contrary evidence and argument, and able to weigh somewhat accurately whether the contrary arguments are themselves honestly presented, then your attitude is roughly-speaking scientific. It is a sociological fact that scientists are, on average, less conventionally religious than most of the population, as most religions somewhat discourage the scientific attitude. It is a political fact that the party on the "right" in America is largely anti-science and pro-religion. The party on the "left" is more of a muddle on both, but is much friendlier to science - often ignoring it but rarely outright condemning it as the "right" party does.

      You might argue that the position of the "right" doesn't really exist. It's a mass of convenient but in the end incoherent arguments that are expeditious for gaining and holding power. None-the-less people sign up for that position, and work very hard through a network of blogs, publications, and "news" casts to form those signed up for it into a unified mass. The discipline within the group, the punishment of those whose thoughts stray from the day's orthodoxy, is amazingly effective. So when someone says they're "on the right" it's usually easy to predict their position on every issue of the day.

      When someone says they're "on the left" though it's much less definite where they'll be on any issue. There are plenty of doctrinaire leftists, but there are also plenty on the left who are much less vessels of received opinion, and more people making their own sense of the world, with their own instincts for justice and compassion rather than merely going with a tribe's hatred of others and love of itself. The "conservative" attitude is basically a reverence for received opinion, the tribe's love of itself, and hatred of others.

      However that's different from being a Burkean conservative. Edmund Burke was best friends with Tom Paine, who - despite claims by the right recently - was about as far to the left as a radical can go. Burke was a bit less radical. His argument was that societies best develop organically, rather than by having rational-seeming new innovations suddenly imposed on them. He and Paine differed on the French Revolution. So a Burkean conservative believes it's better to evolve the institutions we have than suddenly replace them with an engineered new design - no matter what the principles of engineering applied, they doubt that we so well understand our societies as to invent new designs superior to those which have evolved over centuries.

      In that sense, the current American "right" is truly radical on many issues, willing to dismiss the Constitution where it doesn't suit them. Witness for instance Newt's stated policy that a president should ignore the courts if they disagree with him. It can also be argued that at this point in our history respect for science is the conservative position. Certainly the desire to remake America as a theocracy isn't conservative, as that's never been our historical form.

      • by Artifakt (700173)

        To be precise, Paine differed more from Burk before he was imprisoned by the French revolutionary movement. After his fortunate release, Paine seems to have shifted to a more "Burke-like" position (I base this on his last book, "Agrarian Justice", penned a year after he got out of prison, as he didn't live long enough to write much more). In a book that was intended as a rebuttal to the argument that rich and poor are divinely ordained differences, Paine obviously takes what was then a radical anti-clerical

      • Re:False dichotomy (Score:5, Interesting)

        by ElectricTurtle (1171201) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @01:47PM (#38450754)
        It's rather disingenuous to say that the right has no coherent position, and it rather clearly delineates your own bias. Both sides are quite schizophrenic and are willing to pillory each other for wiping their asses with the Constitution one minute, and then they try to do it themselves when any legislation that fits their wish list criteria comes up.

        I also have to say that referencing Burke is rather ridiculous. Of course he was a 'reformer' and not a revolutionary like Paine... he was a member of parliament for chrissake! What was he going to do, overthrow himself? ("l'état, c'est moi...") Nevertheless, the Burke/Paine dichotomy, insofar as there is any, does not inform American politics or its political tradition. Thomas Paine was quickly marginalized politically and his lasting legacy is solely for his propaganda (which is unfortunate because the man had a lot more to offer, but the fact that he hated Christianity makes him toxic to study in depth by people who ironically hold him in high regard out of their ignorance of that aspect), and Edmund Burke was never considered by the American body politic at large. That's like saying Atticus had a big effect on Roman politics because he frequently corresponded with Cicero.

        Suffice to say there are a lot more useful archetypes to American political development, Hamiltonian federalists, Jeffersonian "libertarians" (anti-federalist just doesn't resonate anymore), Jacksonian populists (hey, I have a great idea, let's get a lot of guaranteed votes by enfranchising people who were left out of the system for a reason!), etc.
  • How to tell (Score:5, Informative)

    by lga (172042) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @08:43AM (#38447018) Homepage Journal

    The Political Compass [] is a really useful guide to political left-right but works out your position on both an economic scale (left-right) and a social scale. (Authoritarian-libertarian.) It does seem a little biased towards the left-wing but I think much of that is people having different views to the views they think they have.

  • by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmh AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @08:46AM (#38447040) Journal

    I'm moderate-left by international standards, but that's far-left by US standards. I voted using international standards.

  • by OzPeter (195038) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @08:53AM (#38447082)

    The whole left/right thing forces people into a false choice - that you are defined by a single point on a linear spectrum. But politics are multi dimensional, with as many dimensions as there are topics for debate. If anything you are defined by the relationship of your grouping of points to that of the main political philosophies (and note I did not say parties)

    2D examples of this are the World's Smallest Political Quiz [] or the Nolan Chart []

  • by BeardedChimp (1416531) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @09:00AM (#38447138)
    Since slashdot is an American site but I'm Northern Irish I'm going to go with far left. Comparative to the UK/rest of Europe what you americans call socialists/communists are still seen as being quite right wing over here.

    So by your standings I'm definately a loony lefty with parents who were both members of Militant Tendency [] and a grandfather who was a member of the communist party [].

    • by Chrisq (894406)

      Since slashdot is an American site but I'm Northern Irish I'm going to go with far left. Comparative to the UK/rest of Europe what you americans call socialists/communists are still seen as being quite right wing over here.

      So by your standings I'm definately a loony lefty with parents who were both members of Militant Tendency [] and a grandfather who was a member of the communist party [].

      If you follow in your ancestors politics I think that most Europeans would also see you as extreme left!

      • by dejanc (1528235)

        If you follow in your ancestors politics I think that most Europeans would also see you as extreme left!

        Hardly - there were times in Europe when Marxism was pretty mainstream. My grandparents were members of the communist party, and three of them joined communist resistance movement []. My parents were members of the Youth Communist League []. Pretty mainstream at the time, but I can see how an American reading this paragraph could think of it as extreme, with McCarthyism, Glenn Beckism and such skewing the view on such things...

        P.S. I am another one of those who are considered to be very right on the economy issue

  • by realsilly (186931) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @09:01AM (#38447150)

    I'm not sure how to answer this question you insensitive clod.

  • See how the Democrats could guarantee victory? From the above results its obvious; introduce electronic voting machines so complicated that only techies could vote. I would suggest having to enter a number for your candidate in binary with a manually calculated check-sum. If you get it wrong the vote is rejected.
  • by gestalt_n_pepper (991155) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @09:20AM (#38447296)

    The fact is, extreme positions usually indicate what I politely call a "non-reality" orientation. What works in the real world rarely satisfies anyone's ideology. Moreover, examples of what happens in the real world when you take ideology to logical conclusions are consistently ignored by those with extremist positions. Hate government intervention? Well, Somalia waits for you! Love collectivist communism? Visit lovely North Korea! Want a country where God is revered? Iran!

    In reality land, you need a balance of things like free market capitalism (but not too free) and government intervention (but not too much) and religious tolerance (within limits - murder and ritual genital mutilation being sorta frowned upon). The difficulty of course, is getting a sensible consensus on the limits to everything from a polity that would rather watch "dancing with the stars" than think about their political environment.

  • by Ktistec Machine (159201) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @09:33AM (#38447416)

    I consider myself a conservative. I believe in the rule of law. I believe in the constitution. I believe in helping others. I believe in respecting others. I believe in shared sacrifice for the common good. I believe in all of those conservative values exemplified by "the greatest generation".

    All of which puts me on the far left of the current political spectrum.

    • Yeah, actually it makes you sound kinda socialist. :)

    • Re:I'm conservative (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Tom (822) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @03:03PM (#38451582) Homepage Journal

      Why was this modded "funny"?

      There a horrible truth there. Left and right have long since stopped having much of a meaning in most western countries. Here in Germany we've seen the "left" major party passing massively pro-corporate and anti-labour laws, the "left" green party voting for a war, the "right" party declaring the end of nuclear power, both parties trying to tie down the Internet in legal nonsense and basically, you can take any speech by any politician, replace the image with one from the other party and put it on television - and most people wouldn't notice the difference.

  • In which country? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dingen (958134) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @09:51AM (#38447586)
    In my own country, I would consider myself to be around the middle of the political spectrum. In the US however, I would be as far left as you can get.
  • by neurovish (315867) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @11:04AM (#38448532)

    I am probably a right-leaning moderate in Europe, so adjusted to the prejudices of the US, I responded with far left.

  • how I got here (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tverbeek (457094) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @11:10AM (#38448614) Homepage

    I'm an American who took one Sociology class at a British university my 4th year of college, where I learned more about the social ramifications of economic policies than in my previous 16 years of education. Not that it was the only influence, but I came out of it a fiscal liberal.

    I've been a social liberal ever since I figured out that I didn't want to marry a girl.

  • by unity100 (970058) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @12:03PM (#38449422) Homepage Journal
    What passes as 'left' in north america, is so far to the right that it would be considered center right in rest of the world. american political spectrum is swayed way too much to the right. its either far right, or, center right there. center right being democrats, and far right being, you know, the usual suspects.

    so i dont think this poll would represent anything pertaining to left/right (as taken from global political jargon viewpoint) but, instead to right/far right.
  • by Serk (17156) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @02:28PM (#38451194) Homepage

    I'm a libertarian, so I'm so far to the right, I'm actually on the left.

    (or so far to the left, I'm actually on the right, if you prefer.)

  • by Above (100351) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @03:27PM (#38451834)

    There are plenty of folks who are socially liberal and financially conservative, or vice versa. Most people are not a pure liberal or pure conservative across all issues.

    That is in fact one of the largest problems with US politics, with a two party system you have to pick the one that agrees with you on the issues you care most about, and the rest come along as baggage. In other, multi-party states you can have parties focused on single issues, or parties that take liberal stance on some and conservative stance on others providing more accurate representation.

    I found a quick list of issues with some google, it's fun to read and see if you're more liberal or conservative:

  • by ackthpt (218170) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @03:40PM (#38452008) Homepage Journal

    Too Complex for such a simplistic definition.

    How many axes to the most definitive Moral Compass?

    Subject to change with out notice.

  • missing option.... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @09:07AM (#38458442) Homepage

    Was moderate with a little lean to the left, but the current congress and crop of complete moron Republicans is making me lean so hard left that I make Al Gore look like he is a Conservative Right winger.

    It's like all of the republicans were transported here from the 1920's when racism was trendy, and hating the poor was a sport.

The decision doesn't have to be logical; it was unanimous.


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