4 Comments

Political Charts

Who doesn’t want to see how political parties compare across the world? So, I thought, let’s try to match that demand by presenting some political charts. Don’t expect scientific material, as I’m just guesstimating from my own experience and knowledge. I welcome comments and I am willing to accept suggestions on how to improve them.

Here’s how it’ll work: I am following the simple two-axis model from “Political Compass“, which is very similar to other two-axis models like the Nolan Chart or the Pournelle Chart. The horizontal axis represents economic policies and the vertical axis social policies, e.g. LBGT, religion, or how to fight terrorism. I understand that these charts are far from perfect. All I’m trying is giving you an idea on how I perceive differences in politics across different countries, which is IMHO also a very interesting guide to cultural differences.

Making the charts I recognized one big problem: how to visualize both size and diversity of the voter base. I stick to the following solution: The more diverse a party’s voter base is, the larger is the diameter of its circle. The transparency of the color of the circle represents the strength of a party. The thicker the color, the more voter it has. I know that this may be confusing, but I prefer emphasizing the diversity over showing the strength of a party.

So, let’s start…

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4 comments on “Political Charts

  1. Oh please! The Demon Rats belong deep into the upper left quadrant. Their economic and social authoritarianism is contained only by the visceral contractions of support when their ideology seeps past their propaganda. A socialist is a liberal who has achieved a strong political victory. A communist is a socialist who has achieved military superiority. A “new Democrat” or a “progressive” is a liberal who has been embarrassed by revealing too much of what they really believe. If there were no bounds, most liberals would be communist. If there were no bounds, few Republicans would become fascists.

    Republicans look about right but should be a little lower if they lived by their principles, right where the independents are.

    • HA! “Demonrats”, never heard that term before. I admit that I’m not very happy with this two-axes model. Of course, lefties are authoritarian in many way (not only in economics), but, to the naive observer, they (sometimes) seem to pursue (some) goals that are otherwise associated with libertarianism, like LBGT, seperation of church and state, free immigration, or anti-Big-Brother-policies. I admit that I pretty much focused on the first two issues because those are the only ones where Left and Right can be clearly differentiated in most countries.

      Regarding the Democratic stance on economic policies, do you really think that they are as left as the German SPD? That would mean that they are for a completely socialized health care system. I realize that the current political trend in the US will lead them to such a system in the long-run, but that’s still some decades away. Further, are they for completely free university education? What is their stance on private pensions? The German SPD vilifies them.

      But you may be right that the differences aren’t so big after all. I’ll consider moving the American and German parties closer together.

  2. On the political compass I came out 5.25 on Economics and -0.21 Social, so I was right in the “independent” sphere.

    Some of the questions were too absolute and didn’t permit different interpretations or conditions. I’m more libertarian than that test suggests although most libertarians I know would disagree. I’m more of a Constitutionalist. As an economist, I generally believe in free markets but I understand and accept the concept of market failures and a very limited role of government in addressing them, but only when specifically authorized.

    • I got a very similar result (a little bit more social libertarian). You’re right, the questions often are too simple. The last time I took the test has been quite a long time ago, and now I realize the shortcomings of the test. Nevertheless, I’ve done several political quizzes in the last years and they all seem to deliver almost identical results. If you “understand” the question and how they want you to answer, you can choose an answer that expresses your personal stance almost optimally. Therefore, even if the questions are not very good, you can still get a realistic result.

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