Politics is discussed in newsrooms and dining rooms using the popular left-right model. Left Parties are generally Socialists with liberal view, Centre Left Parties are Moderates with a left-wing bias, Centre Right Parties are again moderates but with a Right Wing Bias and Right Wing Parties are free market oriented with a social conservative message. This unfortunately is incorrect as you can have various combinations to determine your politics. You could be Socialist Leaning with Conservative views a.k.a Reagan Democrats,Most Political Parties in India etc. You could be a free market supporter but completely liberal in relation to your social views.

I have attached an outcome from Politcalcompass which has devised a test which helps you to determine your political views. However please be aware that this has primarily been designed for a Western Audience and as such may not be an appropriate tool for a person from the Non-Western World.

The various parts of the X and Y axes can be defined as:

Left – Socialist/Communist from an economic viewpoint at the extreme with views moderating as you move towards the centre.

Right – Free Market – US Style Capitalism at the extreme with views moderating as you move towards the centre.

Libertarian – Liberal attitude towards life and governance at the furthest point from the centre.

Authoritarianism – More Dictatorial as you move away from the centre.

Thus you could say that Hitlers Nazi’s were a left-wing party due to its economics but completely an authoritarian party due to its governance style. It may be said that Thatcherites are right-wing when it comes to Economics and slightly authoritarian when it came to dealing with Unions, IRA terrorists etc. The Scottish National Party is a Centre Left Party because of its continued commitment to Social Issues,Community etc when taking economic decisions but due its desire for Scottish Independence can slightly lean towards authoritarianism due to its nationalist political view. It could be suggested that the Green Parties in Europe are left-wing when it comes to economics and Liberals when it comes to governance style.

It could be suggested that politicians like the last few US Presidents and British Prime Ministers have decided to make the Centre-Right philosophies the bedrock of their economic policies with different shades of authoritarianism due to the various terror threats and strategic issues faced by their countries. Some readers could say that all Indian political parties including the so-called Right Wing BJP are different shades of Centre Left in terms of Economic Policies due to income inequality in Indian Society and different shades of authoritarianism due to the social conservative and patriarchal nature of Indian Society.

This proves that branding a political party as left, right, centre etc leads to confusion and does not provide a clear picture. I would suggest it would be better for political pundits to discuss the standings of political parties  on important issues without defining it as Left wing, Right wing, Libertarian or Conservative. As such they may not get surprised, at times,  with the results of elections.

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