I recently found this website, www.politicalcompass.org/questionnaire, which proved to be very interesting. After answering a few questions, you can pin point where you are on a political graph (see image above). Not only does the scale tell you where you in the "old" terms of Left/Right, it also shows where you sit in terms of the Authoritarian/Libertarian scale. The rationale behind having a graph, instead of a straight-line scale makes sense. The traditional Left/Right line fails to take into account that we someone may have traditional left-leaning views when it comes to social liberty, for example, but still support a free market and a capitalist economy. And we can't put Stalin and Mandela in the same "Left" basket without acknowledging the massive differences between the two, namely Stalin was Authoritarian Left and Mandela Libertarian Left. Out of interest, when I did mine, I was right on Mandela's pin point.
Where our current crop of leaders falls is interesting. That George W Bush is way out there in "right field" shouldn't surprise anyone, but what did startle me was how many of our leaders are up in the Authoritarian Right (including our PM). Does this, I wonder, have any correlation to the fact we're all so gung-ho at the moment? That we've now engaged in another never-ending war?
I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.