Thursday, July 7, 2011

The GoToQuiz Political Spectrum Quiz in Full: Part Three

And here's part three. Once you get me started, I never shut up.

27. People with a criminal history should not be able to vote. Disagree: Seems there are people out there all too willing to take away other people's right to vote. Either voting is something that every adult citizen can do or your country is not a democracy. Besides, where do you draw the line? A lot of people are arrested for minor infractions, or for laws that are later overturned. If a governmnet has introduced an unjust law, shouldn't people be allowed to penalise that governmnet by voting them out of office? WHat if that government just arrested all its opponents?

28. Marijuana should be legal. Agree: A lot of people get really passionate about this. I find that I don't. On the question itself, I am pro-legalisation, but I don't really worry that much about it at all.

29. The state should fine television stations for broadcasting offensive language. Disagree strongly: I could care less about so-called 'four letter words', if that's what this refers to. If it's about hate speech, that's different.

30. It does not make sense to understand the motivations of terrorists because they are self-evidently evil. Disagree strongly: Denying yourself a valuable tool in dealing with terrorists just seems almost comically counterproductive. Plus, terrorist actions are evil, but on the level of 'justification' you can often find hard truths worth confronting.

31. The lower the taxes, the better off we all are. Disagree strongly: There are no limits to the good we can do if we all work together, through the agency of the government.

32. Minority groups that have faced discrimination should receive help from the state to get on an equal footing. Agree: This seems like an obvious one to me. It's merely a question of righting historic wrongs. No point in saying, 'get over it', if the previous discrimination has been so thorough that it's left people severely disadvantages. See, for example, on-reservation Native Canadians.

33. It is wrong to question a leader in wartime. Disagree strongly: Ridiculous. Sometimes I wonder about the mindsets of some people, like who would even entertain agreeing with this.

34. Tighter regulation would have prevented the collapse of the lending industry. Neutral: I don't really know enough to say either way. My gut tells me probably 'yes', but I don't actually know, so on the fence I remain.

35. It makes sense and is fair that some people make much more money than others. Disagree strongly: To a certain extent, I realise I probably have to come to terms with accepting that economic imbalance is perhaps to a certain degree inevitable. But to call it fair is no more than a malicious distortion of the word 'fair'.

36. Toppling enemy regimes to spread democracy will make the world a safer place. Agree: Probably the biggest dilemma for me. I do believe that the people of the world have a right to good governance, and that an African grappling with corrupt government is no less of a tragedy than a European doing the same. And I don't fall for the trap of moral relativism, the 'who's to say democracy is any better?' cop-out. I do believe that right is right, and that tyranny is wrong. But the idea of interventionism makes me uncomfortable, and I retain a knee-jerk opposition to war. I also think 'enemy' is a stupid word here, and that we have a horrible habit in the west of using tactics so heavy-handed that any sense of 'liberation' is lost and the end result is more destructive than allowing the tyrant to remain. Still, though... I wish people didn't have to deal with megalomaniacs, and since this is a question about our opinions, there's my answer. Equivocal though it may be.

37. The state has no business regulating alcohol and tobacco products. Disagree strongly: Does anyone really believe that?

38. If an unwed teen becomes pregnant, abortion may be a responsible choice. Agree strongly: This is a loaded question, taking the issue from choice to merely choosing. But being pro-choice means acknowledging that abortion is a legitimate choice for some women, and if you're pro-choice but somehow uncomfortable about the actual reality of abortions, then you have a dichotomy that needs resolving.

39. International trade agreements should require environmental protections and workers' rights. (meaning: no free trade with countries that lack pollution controls or labor protections) Agree: This is not exactly easy. I think that the anti-globalisation tendencies that exist on the left, sometimes not far from protectionism really, are based on the notion that such caveats are impossible to get or maintain, and as such shouldn't even be bothered with. Realistically, there's probably a reason why our trade treaties are so excessively laissez-faire. But the idea of tied trade, where the tie is noble in intent, is a good one. And again fears of 'interventionism' can be cast aside in favour of 'improving the lot in life of people abroad' - which has to be a noble goal, however troublesome the process of attaining it might be.

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