If you haven’t tried the political compass I strongly recommend giving it a go. Make sure you visit the political compass homepage first.

I am aware that this is not a new thing, but was having a go at it myself for the first time since the 2015 general election and thought it was an interesting talking point.

Particularly interesting about the political compass is the wider spectrum it looks at than just ‘left wing and right wing’. It takes in to consideration ‘authoritarian and libertarian’ too. This is an important dynamic to consider after the last week in which we saw the death of the Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Castro’s death has led people to divide themselves in two camps of either those who respect him as a hero and those who condemn him as a tyrant.

I suppose in world in which the right wing dominates there are few leaders for the left to look up to. The right will simply condemn anything that opposes their ideology. So how do you pick apart who is correct about what Castro was?

The political compass gives an opportunity to consider this in a different way because it takes us away from the false binary aspect of left or right. With regards to Castro those on the left can look at him and perhaps consider and appreciate the left wing economic ideas that he had, whilst condemning the authoritarian manner by which he implemented them.

My political compass

No major surprises for me, but this might be a useful insight to anyone reading my blog who wants to know what position I come from; smack bang next to Noam Chomsky apparently (you could ask for worse company I think!)

Me compared to party political positions in 2015 general election

Since the 2015 election there has been one considerable change to the above chart which is important to me; the Labour Party have elected a leader who also sits within the libertarian-left quadrant. Interestingly this is the opposite quadrant to where Labour sat previously (pretty darn close to the Tories) and helps shed a little light on what’s been happening to the Labour identity over the past year.

EU referendum

Particularly interesting is the political compass’s overview of positions on the EU referendum. For me, this overview helps to explain why I ultimately voted to Remain, despite the disadvantages to the economic policies of the EU. This analysis demonstrates why a Brexit led by the Tories could never produce a positive result for the left and why there was no “Lexit”. The Tories defend the economic policies of the EU and reject the very positive social policies of the EU, which is completely the wrong way around;

Like The Political Compass itself, the EU comprises a social dimension and an economic dimension.

Remain voters were themselves divided between:

  1. Those enthusiastically embracing the EU’s prevailing economics (neoliberal/free trade) but unhappy with the Social Charter and Chapter — especially on migration. This is a position held by many Conservatives.
  2. Those happy with both the economic and social provisions, which includes many people on the centre/right of the Labour Party, almost all Lib Dems and some wet Tories
  3. Those enthused by at least most of the EU’s social provisions, but rejecting corporate values and neoliberal economics (left-of-centre social liberals eg Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn).

Brexit voters were similarly divided between:

  1. Those rejecting the EU’s prevailing economics but accepting, at least to some extent, the social dimension (many Laboure supporters)
  2. Those rejecting both (quintessentially UKIP)
  3. Those comfortable with many of the EU’s economic provisions, if only they could easily exit the Social Chapter (Conservative)

The attitudes of C and D, and also those of A and F, are similar; though because of contrasting degrees of feeling they resulted in a different vote.