Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The GoToQuiz Political Spectrum Quiz in Full: Part One

So, briefly - I found a site that hosts one of the many quizzes out there that purports to place you on a political spectrum. I've already forgotten where it put me except that it called me 'classically left-wing' (I think), and more centrist on libertarian/authoritarian than I tend to be. Anyway, what I thought I'd do is expand on my answers to each of the 53 questions it asks, providing a bit further discussion. And I'll present them over four parts. So here's part one, the first thirteen questions it asks (verbatim), my answer (from 'Agree strongly' to 'Agree' to 'Neutral' to 'Disagree' to 'Disagree strongly') and a bit of explanation. It also asked you to rank the importance of the issue. I did, but I don't care enough to include that here.

1. Laws should restrict abortion in all or most cases. Disagree strongly: I'm very strongly pro-choice and have nothing really else to add to this. I'm even offended by the idea that a father should have some say in the decision.

2. Unions were indispensible in establishing the middle class. Agree strongly: We owe so much to the unions that it's a crying shame they've been demonised so successfully down the years. I think they'll probably be crushed, more or less, within the next generation.

3. In nearly every instance, the free market allocates resources most efficiently. Disagree: I didn't put 'strongly' because I can concede that at times the free market can do this and certainly that inefficiently run state monopolies in practice frequently don't. But the simple fact remains that when a company's goal is funneling profits to the top in as large a volume as possible, it's quite impossible for the allocation of funds to be described as 'most efficient'.

4. Public radio and television funded by the state provide a valuable service the citizens. Agree strongly: I think this is a great example of where the public and private sectors can 'compete' by not quite stepping on each others' toes. Let the for-profit channels show Simon Cowell programmes, but retain a broadcasting service whose primary goal is something loftier than kowtowing to Kraft and General Motors.

5. Some people should not be allowed to reproduce. Disagree strongly: Eugenics rubbish. I wonder how many people say yes to this.

6. Access to healthcare is a right. Agree strongly: There are few things I'm more passionate about. The idea that society can be comfortable with some citizens not having access to health care boggles my mind.

7. The rich should pay a higher tax rate than the middle class. Agree strongly: I think this is self-evident, really. 20% is much more of a burden for a wage-earner than it is for Mark Zuckerburg. From each according to his abilities to each according to his needs, right?

8. School science classes should teach intelligent design. Disagree strongly: Science classes should teach science. Not rubbish.

9. Marriage must be heralded for the important role it plays in society. Neutral: I don't really even understand this question. What does 'heralded' mean in this context, exactly?

10. Sometimes war is necessary, even if it means you strike first. Disagree: War is one of the main issues I'm most torn on. I fundamentally believe war is wrong and needs to be avoided. But one thing I think I share with people whose views I'm otherwise diametrically opposed to is a sense that right and wrong are not relative - that 'evil' (though I connsider that a meaninglessly loaded word) exists and needs to be prevented. So in practice, while I'm highly uncomfortable with us being at war in Libya, I think walking away and allowing Gadhafi to continue to terrorise his people would also be unconscionable. I think that ultimately what I'm starting to believe is that in lieu of other options, preventative war might be a necessity. But (a) those other options need to be considered as thoroughly as possible, and (b) don't expect me to be holding a gun, whatever the situation.

11. Patriotism is an overrated quality. Agree strongly: I have not a single good thing to say for patriotism. Last refuge of the scoundrel indeed.

12. Radio stations should be required to present balanced news coverage. Agree: I can't say I'm passionate about it enough to put the 'strongly' in there. But we were up against a similar situation in Canada recently, where apropos of nothing the law we currently have was going to be changed to, in effect, allow news sources to lie... er, stretch the truth. Now I think that so far in Canada we've been able to avoid the complete descent into propaganda that has happened in the USA largely because we have stronger laws. But I'm not against a news source having a viewpoint. I merely think they need to report the news factually, and make a clear distinction between when reporting stops and editorialising begins.

13. Government should do something about the increasing violence in video games. Disagree: I could care less about violent video games. It's such a non-issue.

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