David Baron's weblog: October 2004

Friends & Colleagues

Saturday 2004-10-02

Political spectra (00:42 -0700)

Since politics is (are?) on my mind lately, I want to point out an interesting site, Political Survey, which I first discovered when Eric Meyer pointed it out back in February.

It's interesting because it uses principal component analysis to derive the axes from the data, rather than trying to pick axes in advance. It's also interesting because the most significant axis it finds is the traditional left/right axis, but the second axis isn't the libertarian/authoritarian axis that some assert should be the second axis–rather, it's a pragmatic/idealistic axis.

I've taken the survey twice, once in February and once today. My results were similar: I was in the left/pragmatic quadrant both times. (In February, I was -4.08 on right/left and +5.17 on pragmatic/idealistic. Today I was -3.63 on right/left and +4.65 on pragmatic/idealistic.)