Every time elections roll round again I struggle to decide whom to vote for. I’ve been a member of a couple of different parties, but never wholeheartedly, and never for more than a couple of years at most. One party has never, ever been under consideration, though. FrP is never getting my vote, even by proxy, which means any party that seriously considers long-term cooperation with FrP is also out of the question (what with having a multi-party system we usually have coalition governments nowadays). I normally land squarely to the left of center whatever I decide, though, so mostly just that issue hasn’t been a problem for me, however some of my friends are facing just that problem at the moment as it is rumored that Venstre might just possibly decide to, well, consider being in a coalition with FrP. Kristine at Haustljos is facing precisely that, and in that context decided to go looking for an answer to “What now?”. The particular test she found was a US based one (as far as we can gather) which yields some interesting results, though perhaps not very helpful ones in a Norwegian context. As Kristine says:
Testen eg tok var i overkant amerikansk, og skulle kartlegge kor rasistisk, homofob, kulturelt amøbe og gunhappy eg var.
Det viste seg at eg var hakket kvassare enn Gandhi.
Well, I was curious, so I took it too. I’m even worse:
Uhm. A little to the left and a little libertarian. Just a wee bit. So, if we’re “sharper than Gandhi”, where’s Gandhi?
Wheee. This is fun. So, since the election everyone’s talking about at the moment is the US primaries, let’s see who I should aim to vote for, were I a US citizen:
Or perhaps I should say Washington. Anyway, I guess it’s just as well I don’t have to decide which of the US candidates to vote for.
And, oh, those of you that claim Obama is a socialist? I think I can say with some authority: He ain’t. Mind you, according to this it seems Stalin wasn’t either. I mean, I’m in favour of the state having some control, and of essential public services being state owned rather than privatised, but I’m not against free trade as such. Well, ok, perhaps I am, since I’m in favour of regulating free trade, so let’s call it “freeish trade” shall we? Anyway, I’m not against private initiative, which I sort of thought the Soviets were. I may have misunderstood something here.
The overview of EU governments in 2008 is illuminating, too:
Norway, I suspect, world be just to the left of that middle axis, we’re pretty similar to Sweden, but the poor Swedes have had a right-wing government for a few years now. Not that the difference seems particularly glaring (nowhere near as glaring as it ought by rights to be), so not much further to the left. Nowhere near enough to make me happy.
The FAQ is interesting, and contains a point worth quoting under the heading “You can’t be libertarian and left wing”:
The assumption that economic deregulation inevitably delivers more social freedom is flawed. The welfare states of, for example, the Nordic region, abolished capital punishment decades ago and are at the forefront of progressive legislation for women, gays and ethnic minorities – not to mention anti-censorship. Such established high-tax social democracies consistently score highest in the widely respected Freedom House annual survey on democratic rank eg Denmark ranks 2, Sweden 3 and Norway 7, while comparatively free markets such as the US, Singapore and China rate 15,74 and 121 respectively (this detailed checklist can be viewed at http://www.worldaudit.org/civillibs.htm).