Political Compass

I’ve retested myself on the Political Compass – I’m in similar position to last time.

My Political Views
I am a center-left moderate social libertarian
Left: 2.17, Libertarian: 1.17

Political Spectrum Quiz

This similar to where I was last time, and very close to the world and the New Zealand averages which doesn’t surprise me.

I’ve tried to give honest and accurate responses but it’s not perfect. It’s more of a theoretical measure that doesn’t take into account local conditions and whether you support pragmatic politics (I do) or are more of a stickler for ideology.

My Foreign Policy Views
Score: -1.53

Political Spectrum Quiz

On the left side are pacifists and anti-war activists. On the right side are those who want a strong military that intervenes around the world. I scored: -1.53

My Culture War Stance
Score: -4.6

Political Spectrum Quiz

Where are you in the culture war? On the liberal side, or the conservative side? This scale may apply more to the US than other countries. I scored: -4.6

Compared to the New Zealand and world averages:

Political compass

My Views
 All Quiz-Takers (1,415,713)
 New Zealand (7,115)

New Zealand Political Parties 2011

Political compass parties 2011I definitely don’t share NZ Green Party political ideals despite being closest to them on the compass. I share some environmental ideals but not their socialist interventionist proposals.

Perhaps I have similar ideals but different ideas on how to achieve those ideals.

Leave a comment


  1. Brown

     /  3rd January 2014

    Looking at where the Greens sit shows this is bollocks and believing in its relevance makes you a slowly cooking frog. In my view all parties in NZ are in the top left corner – real freedom of thought, action and expression is an illusion unless you want to insult our Christian traditions, apologise for being white middle class without a criminal record or endorse gay marriage and hero parades. The Greens stand out particularly as they particularly, being Marxists, would have us micro managed to achieve their social and envionmental goals yet they get a bottom left spot.

    Happy new year anyway.

  2. This particular Political Compass is obviously useless – it places parties supported by over 85% of voters unambiguously on the right. Empirical test of any NZ political compass is that any even split must not exceed 53/47%. Otherwise both the compass and it author are warped.

    • I’m not sure if it’s the Compass to blame or whoever answered the questionnaire on behalf of the parties. I strongly suspect the latter. Over the last few days I’ve seen a lot of a total inability to assess politics in people with differing views.

      Martyn Bradbury has placed Guyon Espiner on the extreme right.

      And just this morning someone said “Pete, I also regard you as far right.” His reasons where flawed, being based on gross inaccuracies.


      They make things up based on preconceived conclusions.

  3. GregM

     /  7th January 2014

    Very interesting Pete. I ended up on the first square up, and to the right. Pretty much what I expected. Very surprised to see UF more “authoritarian” than National or ACT.

    • As Peter Dunne had commented and I believe he’s right that chart is bizarrely inaccurate

      • Yes, the positioning of UF looks very strange. It looks like the chart was done by someone who doesn’t know UF policies well, or wanted to mislead.

        • Peter Matthewson

           /  8th January 2014

          How could anyone know UF policies well as there are none stated on their website.

          • Until recently (and through the last election campaign) UF had extensive policies on their website. The new website says that policies are currently being reviewed. Seems reasonable coming up to another election.

  4. Peter Matthewson

     /  8th January 2014

    The spread depicted in the graph demonstrates that the entire political spectrum in the Western world has moved to the right in the last 30 years, as in Rogernomics here. Labour and other so called “left” parties have actually been a kind of neo-Liberal lite. Indeed their graph for the Australian 2010 election comments that Labor occupied a space to the right of the 1980s Liberals. The last left wing Prime Minister we had here was Robert Muldoon.

    • GregM

       /  9th January 2014

      I disagree Peter. According to the chart above, I am more left than the Labour party, when I consider myself to be slightly right of centre. I think it is more a reflection of the majority of polling companies having a left wing bias.
      Move all markers five boxes to the left, and five boxes down would appear to be a far more accurate representation in my humble opinion.
      United Future need to start campaigning NOW, get some policy out to the public.
      Regards, Greg.

      • I agree with Greg. The Compass places me beside Greens and I have quite different political positions to the current Green Party. It could be argues that they should be far further left. They try to mask the degree of their socialist intent, they fudge it in written policy but statements from Norman and Turei suggest radical intent to have Government impose “equality”.

        I agree with Green ideals of protecting the environment better, closing income gaps and especially improving the bottom end but I disagree with how they want to achieve these things, I think their plans are impractical and will cause more problems than they solve.

        • While I found the survey useful I believe it’s deeply flawed BUT should only be used as a guide to where we’re we are at. It gave me food for thought.

  5. Peter Matthewson

     /  10th January 2014

    Well GregM those on the right believe that that the media/pollsters/etc are biased towards the left, while those on the left believe that the media/pollsters/etc are biased towards the right. Part of our problem is that there is no definitively accepted measure or scale of leftness-rightness. We all have general ideas that the right stands for ideas like free markets, personal responsibility, small government (except when it comes to the military) and the left is more inclined to favour some government intervention in the economy, more generous health and welfare provisions etc. Both positions involve somewhat complex packages of policies which may not be consistent, eg the US Tea Party, being “pro-life” in the sense of anti-abortion is totally inconsistent with being anti health care, anti-welfare, anti gun restrictions, pro the death penalty and pro nuclear weapons. Even more significantly, individuals and parties may well be left on some issues and right on others.

    So it is all rather complex. We’re talking about ideas, and idea’s don’t easily translate into numbers (25% left or something) or positions on a scale. What seems to be happening in this discussion is that people have some idea about where they fit in the spectrum, perhaps based on not much more than where they’d like to see themselves fitting, and then compare others and political parties they either agree or disagree with with that. The Wikipedia article on left and right comments “Whether something is considered to be Left or Right depends on one’s point of view. According to liberal commentator David Sirota, writing in Salon.com, “On economic issues, we are often told that right is center, center is left, and left is fringe.””. Particularly relevant to the US at the moment where the Tea Party etc are describing a health care system based on treatment from private providers funded by private insurance as “left wing socialism”!!

    So, the point is there is no definitive left right scale. In fact if you Google left-right scale the Political Compass is pretty much what you get. (For a bit of a laugh there is this one, http://games.usvsth3m.com/how-leftie-are-you/ , it’s quite fun being Che Guevara!) So if you say it is flawed, Quentin, what are you measuring that against?? It is an attempt to measure the inherently unmeasurable, and as such it is probably as good as you are going to get. It’s strength it that it is based on detailed international and historical analysis. The other major point is they recognise that politics is a lot more complex than a simplistic left-right scale, and attempt to measure this with their authoritarian libertarian axis. Their positioning of parties etc is done with pretty thorough analysis of their stated policies and their actual actions, policies and laws actually enacted and implemented in power. They may not get them all right. They do make some comments in the FAQs on finding yourself positioned near some party you don’t agree with.

    I think that historical and international perspective is important. For example what Americans would call left wing we would probably call centrist. And I stand by my previous statement that the whole spectrum of parties has moved right-wards since the 1980s, again referring to the UK they say New Labour is to the right of pre-Thatcher Conservative, and I would say similarly even the Clark Labour govt was to the right of National in the 60s and 70s. So GregM you could well be right of centre and still left of Labour, although who knows where Cunliffe will go. I would still say the last truly left wing Prime Minister we had was Muldoon, although he would have been way up the top on the Authoritarian scale.


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