The last time I did that test I came out at:
Economic Left/Right: 1.88
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -0.41
The thing is, that brings me out as being at pretty much the same location as the Liberal Democrats (if you look at the UK version of the Political Compass), but of all the three main political parties, they are the one that I dislike most. It’s funny, because I would describe myself as a “liberal” (and a “democrat”), but I just seem to take a completely different approach to them on pretty much every issue. I suppose both the Lib Dems and I take what we deem to be a “liberal” approach, but we obviously have a different understanding of what such an approach is. I remember at school there used to be a Liberal Democrat member in our class, and we always used to take the opposite sides in any debate. There are issues that I agree with the Liberal Democrats on (including ID cards), but I think that a Liberal Democrat government would be an absolute disaster for the UK.
I think that I come out in the right segment on the political compass.
I would probably roughly agree with the libertarian score, and I’m happy with it. I think that you need some rules and regulation to maintain the maximum freedom and security for everyone. In an anarchy (where there were no rules at all), nobody would have any freedom, because you would not even have security of your body or property. The law needs to maintain a balance to ensure that there is an environment in which people can genuinely exercise their rights but without unduly restricting or infringing other people’s rights, and to protect minority rights but not to do it at such a cost as to impose an undue burden on the majority.
The same on the economic score. I generally think that we should have a free market, but sometimes to maintain the maximum freedom there has to be regulation, for example in the area of monopolies. Also, there does have to be a degree of responsibility: there is no point in having a free market if it is doing more harm than good. Again therefore I think that there needs to be a reasonable balance to make sure that we can get the maximum out of it.
Overall I think that the score probably pretty accurately reflects my position, but of course the reality is more complex. I am happy to listen to ideas from any area of the political spectrum, and I probably hold views that would fit into any of the four segments of the compass. I could probably find things to agree on and to disagree on with anyone from (almost) any point on the spectrum. I know some people who will not even listen to ideas or views if they feel them to be “left-wing” or “right-wing” (depending on that person’s own political views), or at least will completely refuse to accept them. For me, I don’t mind where on the spectrum a view is perceived to lie or who else holds it or doesn’t hold it - I will assess the arguments on their merits.
Of course, whether you are considered “left” or “right” wing also depends on where you are. In the UK, I don’t think there is much doubt that most people would say I was “right wing”. However, I wonder whether if I was in the US people would consider me as “left wing”. I think perhaps some may well (at least in some parts of the country). I’ve been playing President Forever a bit recently and it’s interesting that views on there that are deemed to be “left wing” would certainly be deemed to be “right wing” here in the UK.