Political quiz

We have discussed where we stand on the political spectrum before, but now it seems that there is a quiz that tells us where we stand (ht Kiwiblog). Below I will tell you the results of the different authors here:

Matt: National (83%), United (73%), NZF (64%), ACT (63%), Labour (61%), Progressives (50%), Greens (46%)

Matt Comment: Very surprised with my results – I didn’t think that my views were so close to those of other parties. My main focus was on economic/employment issues along with the environment.

Goonix: ACT (82%), National (62%), UF (55%), NZF (48%), Labour and Greens (35%), Progressive (28%).

Goonix Comment: The quiz results are pretty much bang on for me. The high ACT score demonstrates my broad alignment with libertarian principles while at the same time my fundamental distaste for military action (the primary area that I disagree with ACT on). The rest of the order makes sense and I’m very happy that I’m less than half aligned with NZF/Labour/Greens/Progressives. 🙂

Agnitio: National (72%), UF (71%), ACT (69%), NZF (62%), Labour (55%), Progressive (49%), Greens (40%).

Agnitio Comment: I didn’t know United future stood for antyhing so I’m surprised by by 71% rating with them! Other then that no surprises I guess. Interesting thing about the Greens is I agreed with them 92% on environmental issues yet they still come in on 40%, just shows how crazy I obviously think the rest of their policies are! Bring on the Blue-Green party!

Rauparaha: Labour (66%), United Future (65%), National (61%), Greens (60%), ACT(59%), Progressives (58%), NZ First (46%)

Rauparaha Comment: I seem to have a fairly uninformatively narrow spread. Parties are either too socially conservative for me or too economically prescriptive. It’s nice to see that I at least don’t side with Winston on many things.

  • Kimble

    79% – ACT
    73% – UF
    71% – Nat
    64% – NZF
    58% – Lab
    48% – Green
    44% – Prog

    What do you know, I am a centrist with libertarian leanings.

    That said, there are only two parties that I would consider voting for.

  • goonix

    I’m interested in you guys elaborating on your reference to a ‘Blue-Green’ party – what green policies would this party stand for?

  • Now that’s very intersting.

    My results:
    75% – UF
    69% – ACT
    66% – Nat
    66% – Lab
    59% – NZF
    58% – GP
    54% – Prog

    Clearly I am a right-wing centrist, except for the UF bit.

    However, I’m kinda disappointed I’m more Poodle than Green.

  • Interesting results – why is UF doing so poorly if it ranks so highly on all our things? If it the colour scheme of their logo 🙂

    Goonix, I think the Blue-Green party is merely a normal centre-right politicial party who talks about “sustainability” and “managing our scarce environmental capital”.

    Lots of punchy, intelligent sounding, catch phrases. It is a party that will actually sound like it knows what it is doing – relative to the other parties around. Furthermore, the mentioning of “sustainability” will make it popular enough in Thames so that it can win an electorate seat – which seems to be the way parties need to go nowadays before they get a significant party vote.

  • maybe it’s just a principled version of the national party that doesn’t start implementing populist policies to win an election.

    Maybe I should vote for united future…..

  • National is your number 1 though agnitio – even if it is only just 😛

  • goonix

    Given that National subscribe to the ETS and are a centre-right party, how do they not fit into the definition of blue-green?

  • “Given that National subscribe to the ETS and are a centre-right party, how do they not fit into the definition of blue-green?”

    They don’t talk about “sustainability” or “scarce environmental capital” enough.

    Also they like to talk about “gutting the RMA” – a blue-green party would want to “revist” the RMA in order to make sure it takes into account the trade-off between private incentives and “social value” given our nations “scarce environmental capital”.

  • Also note that the whole concept of the “National party” is still loaded with the recession of the early 1990’s. Even though it isn’t the same party and even though it isn’t fair to strictly blame the party for the recession – people do.

    A Blue-Green party is able to capture people that would vote for National if it wasn’t for these negative feelings stemming from the past – combine that with funky “sustainable natural capital” statements and I think we’d have a fully functioning third party.

    Also a Blue-Green party could work with either major party – surely an advantage.

  • “Given that National subscribe to the ETS and are a centre-right party, how do they not fit into the definition of blue-green?”

    On that type of argument we don’t need the green party since we have Labour.

    Lol at “funky sustainable natural capital”.

  • I wonder whether UF does not do so well in national polling because it (deliberately?) aims it message slightly higher than the average punter.

    As Winston Churchill said: “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”

    I can imagine a whole new branch of working papers on “What is the funky sustainable natural capital growth rate?”

  • goonix

    agnitio – I’m trying to determine exactly what is a blue-green party. With the explanations I’ve been given so far, I can’t say I’m surprised one doesn’t exist. 😉

  • “I wonder whether UF does not do so well in national polling because it (deliberately?) aims it message slightly higher than the average punter”

    Really – I didn’t know that UF actually had “a message” 😛

    “I can imagine a whole new branch of working papers on “What is the funky sustainable natural capital growth rate?””

    And they would be very awesome 🙂

    “With the explanations I’ve been given so far, I can’t say I’m surprised one doesn’t exist”

    Why? There are a bunch of people out there who don’t want to vote for Labour or National but don’t think that they have a good third alternative. Agnitio and me think that a party that talks about “sustainability” and the such without also demanding mass redistribution to the poor could pick up a lot of these votes.

    I think one of the main reasons a party like this doesn’t exist is because political parties function on the basis of ideology and self-interested politicians – not good economic management 🙁

  • goonix

    “Agnitio and me think that a party that talks about “sustainability” and the such without also demanding mass redistribution to the poor could pick up a lot of these votes.”

    Labour: “Our aim, quite simply, is to build a sustainable economy and society”

    National: “For 10 years now the Bluegreens have argued that environmental issues should not be monopolised by those on the left of the political spectrum. Our policy is underpinned by five Bluegreen principles: 1. Resource use must be based on sustainability.”

    Interesting that you’re using the same name as National’s “green” wing for your party.

  • “Interesting that you’re using the same name as National’s “green” wing for your party.”

    Indeed – because it is exactly the same sort of thing, just without the bias that surrounds voting for “Labour” or “National”.

    Of course another main difference would be that the party would stick to their fundamental principles – unlike Labour or National

  • goonix

    OK – so the issue is not that National/Labour have poor policies on the environment, as such, it’s that they’re fundamentally unprincipled. And the use of the “green” tag is more of a vote-gatherer for your party than anything else?

  • “OK – so the issue is not that National/Labour have poor policies on the environment, as such, it’s that they’re fundamentally unprincipled. And the use of the “green” tag is more of a vote-gatherer for your party than anything else?”

    I would say that the median policy by both the parties is ok – but the variance around these policies (and the outcomes of policies once the parties are in power) is huge – this is the lack of principle 😛

    A third party should be there to keep the main party on the straight and narrow – the same thing UF “wants” to do.

    The Green tag is definitely an advertising mechanism, but aren’t all names? It indicates a willingness to take into account the scarce nature of resources – an issue I think people can relate to.

  • I can’t help but feel that with National and Labour the adoption of environmental policies is more of a political response then an indication that they actually care about the environment.

  • Maybe we should do the US version of that quiz and see how we stack up for presidential preferences?

  • “Maybe we should do the US version of that quiz and see how we stack up for presidential preferences?”

    Do a post with the link and I will tag my stuff onto it – like this post 😉

  • goonix

    I’m closest to Bob Barr, the anti-choice ‘libertarian’ lol.

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  • “I can’t help but feel that with National and Labour the adoption of environmental policies is more of a political response then an indication that they actually care about the environment.”

    Isn’t that a good thing? Rather than having to vote for people who actually agree with me I can trust them to alter their policies to better represent electoral preferences. I thought democracies were meant to work that way???

  • “Rather than having to vote for people who actually agree with me I can trust them to alter their policies to better represent electoral preferences”

    But thats the question – they are voted into power based on social preferences and the information they reveal about themselves. Then they change tack.

    Isn’t there an asymmetric information problem here which prevents peoples votes actually leading to the efficient outcome?

  • StephenR

    On ‘Blue-Greens’ – there was a party called the Progressive Greens a while back.

  • I agree with Matt on the asymmetric information issue.

    I thought the point of democracy would be to vote people in who believe what you do and thus electoral preferences are reflected in the make up of the government?

    I’m again being reminded of Paul Henry calling the Greens the only principled party in parliament.

    I’m fairly disillusioned with national at the moment, they’ve resorted to populist policies to get votes even when it’s obvious that it goes against what they believe in

  • goonix

    ACT and the Greens are the only principled parties in parliament.

  • interesting, I see they stood in the 1996 election and now are effectively the environmental task force for the national party.

    I think 1996 was too early for a Green party, back then the Greens were still part of the Alliance weren’t they?

    I think people are a lot more aware that we live in a carbon constrained world and thus a blue-green party would be “sustainable” 🙂

  • “On ‘Blue-Greens’ – there was a party called the Progressive Greens a while back.”

    I remember reading about that back in the day – definitely very interesting. I think thats where I got the name from now that I come to think of it 🙂

    “I think 1996 was too early for a Green party, back then the Greens were still part of the Alliance weren’t they?”

    I agree – there wasn’t such a clear vision surround the scarcity of environmental capital 😉

  • goonix

    Yeah the Greens were part of the unfortunately titled “Alliance”.

  • goonix

    *in 1996

  • goonix

    I think it’s odd that you think that 1996 was “too early for a Green party” though. New Zealand had the Values Party in the 1970s which polled well (although under FPP of course).

  • StephenR

    Also, the Greens even had a former MP (Ian Ewen-Street) defect to National in 2006. I notice that he is no longer on the party list though.

  • “I think it’s odd that you think that 1996 was “too early for a Green party” though. New Zealand had the Values Party in the 1970s which polled well”

    Two things:

    First you are right about the “too early” – it was just a poor time, given that we were coming out of a long recession and people were relatively uninterested in evironmental issues.

    Secondly, the too early was about a green-blue party, not a green party persee. The value party is like an extreme version of the current Green party which is both more prescriptive and has a different definition of “substainabilty” than a green-blue party.

  • The primary economic policy conflict between the groups would be:

    A conflict between “self-sufficiently” and “sustainability”

  • “they are voted into power based on social preferences and the information they reveal about themselves. Then they change tack.”

    But if they promise to do one thing and do another then their future promises are less credible, which harms their future electoral prospects. If that weren’t the case then the accusation of flip-flopping wouldn’t be so politically damaging. So surely there’s an incentive to keep at least the majority of one’s promises.

  • “But if they promise to do one thing and do another then their future promises are less credible, which harms their future electoral prospects”

    But with MMP it is a group of parties determining policies – as a result the hit to one parties credibility is lower as they could say they had to change tack.

    Furthermore, if all parties have broken promises (which is the case with National and Labour) neither has much credibility and so people still have to run with the party that “sounds like” its doing what they want. For promises what matters is “relative” credibility – and National and Labour seem to have found a collusive eqm where neither of them have any 🙂

  • ACT and the Greens are the only two parties that can afford to stick to their principles because they will never have to shift from them in order to garner the mrginal votes that push them into the main party of a coalition.

    Even under a FPP system one would get this problem of policy time inconsistency. Suppose there are only two parties, A and B, with opposing ideological platforms. Polling before the election shows the two parties have 40% support each with 20% undecided. There is a strong incentive for both parties to begin shifting their policies to capture at least 10% of the undecided voters, while hoping they do not alienate thir “core”.

    Is it about credibility in the conventional economic sense? Politicians apparently do fewer backflips than we the proletariat seem to believe. http://www.posc.canterbury.ac.nz/research/postgradconfabstracts/abstractmmccluskey.shtml

    I would posit that politicians make rather vague promises that can be interpreted a number of ways (we will get tough on crime) thus not tying them down but also likely to disappoint at least some part of the electorate.

    I would also suggest that credibility is less important given that significant policy decisions seem to be ad hoc. They are not well signalled beforehand and sometimes may be triggereed by unexpected events (e.g. the deposit guarantee, interest-free student loans). It may well be that the electorate has come to expect this type of behaviiour and thus do not believe that promises will actually be the major policy initiatives over the lifetime of a government.

  • Very interesting Dismal,

    Of course this raises the question – how do people decide who to vote for then?

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