Left- or right-wing, socialist, liberal or conservative – it seems everyone who talks about politics has to neatly fit into one of these categories. According to the Political Spectrum Quiz, I am pretty much a centrist, as well as being moderately libertarian (a “centrist moderate social libertarian” in their words).
This sounds about right, but I have to admit (and my Twitter followers will have found out) that I do find myself sympathising quite a lot more with right-wing people, groups and ideas than left-wing ones. I suppose, though, it is an American website, from a country where our Conservative Party – not that I support them – wouldn’t really be seen as right-wing (although we forget that the Americans have a media and a Congress that is a lot more diverse than what we have), a bit like how my views would probably be considered far-right in countries like Sweden.
Taking all these quizzes can be an interesting exercise (well, sometimes) but I do think people put a bit too much value on ideology. It’s good to have principles, and I do like to think of myself as an all-round (or “classical”) liberal – despite being rather conservative on immigration etc. But what works, and what really does change people’s lives for the better, is the most important thing.
Someone the other day said they couldn’t work out whether I was left-wing or right-wing. I take that as a compliment. I don’t have any loyalty to either. In practice I may be slightly right-leaning, but – no matter what the ideology attatched – if something maximizes and balances everyone’s liberty, is fair and is democratic, I will support it.