Along with an attempt to ensure political and municipal accountability in my town, my goal has been to educate my readers regards politics and social issues. Democracy (or any system for that matter) is impossible without an educated electorate.
Many would be surprised to know that both the ANC and the DA fall into the same political spectrum i.e. left-wing. What we are led to believe in the media is not necessarily true. Political bullshit draws lines of Us and Them when, in the case of the DA and the ANC, their constitutions are similar which makes me draw the conclusion that politicians are far too often betraying their founding documents, opting instead for self-enrichment through power and economics) instead of fulfilling their duty to us, their electorate.
What you can do is at least find out who you are as a voter. What you stand for should be of particular relevance to yourself, especially before choosing who to vote for. Even more so to us South Africans whose general elections is set for this Wednesday, May 7 2014.
Now that you’ve taken the News 24 Test which i shared with you in ‘What Political Party Represents Your Beliefs?’, the Wikipedia definitions further below will grant you a better framework for your beliefs.
Before we get there (and before i’m asked), i share with you my results:
Social liberalism seeks to balance individual liberty and social justice. It endorses a market economy and the expansion of civil and political rights and liberties, believing that the legitimate role of the government includes addressing economic and social issues such as poverty, health care and education. Under social liberalism, the good of the community is viewed as harmonious with the freedom of the individual. Social liberal policies have been widely adopted in much of the capitalist world, particularly following World War II when the ideal of the self-made individual, who through hard work and talent could make his or her place in the world, seemed increasingly implausible. Social liberal ideas and parties tend to be considered centrist or centre-left.
[Note: Neoliberalism was a reaction against social liberalism which led to monetarist economic policies and a reduction in government provision of services – neoliberalism led to the financial crash and could be said to be the hidden heart of most modern governments in the West no matter the community services they provide ]
Social conservatism is a political ideology that focuses on the preservation of what are seen as traditional values. The accepted goals and ideologies related to preserving traditions and morality often vary from group to group within social conservatism. Thus, there are really no policies or positions that could be considered universal among social conservatives. There are, however, a number of general principles to which at least a majority of social conservatives adhere, such as support for traditional family values.
Social conservatism is often associated with the position that the government should have a greater role in the social affairs of its citizens, generally supporting whatever it sees as morally correct choices and discouraging or outright forbidding those it considers morally wrong ones.
Social conservatives emphasize traditional views of social units such as the family, church, or locale. Social conservatives would typically define family in terms of local histories and tastes. Social conservatism may entail support for defining marriage as between a man and a woman (thereby banning same-sex marriage) and laws placing restrictions on abortion.
Now that we’ve determined the hemispheres (north and south) of that graph, let’s head from left to right (note that there’s no exact definition but it does offer a guideline):
The far left seeks equality of outcome and the dismantlement of all forms of social stratification. Far leftists seek to abolish all forms of hierarchy, particularly the inequitable distribution of wealth and power. The far left seeks a society in which everyone is provided equal economic and social opportunities, and no one has excessive wealth or power over others.
Left-wing politics accept or support social equality. It typically involves a concern for those in society who are perceived as disadvantaged relative to others and an assumption that there are unjustified inequalities that need to be reduced or abolished. Leftist economic beliefs range widely from Keynesian economics and the welfare state through industrial democracy and the social market to nationalization of the economy and central planning. During the industrial revolution, left-wingers supported trade unions. In the early twentieth century, the Left were associated with policies advocating extensive government intervention in the economy. There has been a resurgence of this after the 2008 stock market crash. Leftists continue to criticize what they perceive as the exploitative nature of globalization, the race to the bottom and unjust lay-offs.
Centre leftists, such as social democrats or social liberals, believe in working within the established systems to improve social justice. The centre-left promotes a degree of social equality that it believes is achievable through promoting equal opportunity. The centre-left has promoted luck egalitarianism that emphasizes that the achievement of equality requires personal responsibility in areas in control by the individual person through their abilities and talents, and social responsibility in areas outside of control by the individual person in their abilities or talents. The centre-left opposes a wide gap between the rich and the poor and supports moderate measures to reduce the gap, such as a progressive income tax, laws prohibiting child labour, minimum wage laws, laws regulating working conditions, limits on working hours, laws to ensure workers’ right to organize. The centre-left, unlike the far-left, typically claims that complete equality of outcome is not possible (sometimes not even desirable), but that equal opportunity improves a degree of equality of outcome in society. Centre-left groups generally support a mixed economy consisting of both private enterprise and publicly owned or subsidised programmes of education, universal health care, child care and related social services for all citizens.
The centre-right are also referred to as the moderate right. From the 1780s to the 1880s, there was a shift in the Western world of social class structure and the economy, moving away from the nobility towards capitalism. This general economic shift towards capitalism affected centre-right movements such as the British Conservative Party that responded by becoming supportive of capitalism. Right-wing parties include conservatives, Christian democrats, classical liberals and nationalists.They are tolerant of change, provided it is gradual, and accepts some aspects of liberalism, including the rule of law and capitalism, although it sees individualism as harmful to society. Often it promotes nationalism and social welfare policies. Thatcherism is a prime example. The ‘extreme right’ has four traits according to Roger Eatwell: “1) anti-democracy; 2) nationalism; 3) racism; 4) the strong state”.
The ‘New Right’ consists of the liberal conservatives, who stress small government, free markets, and individual initiative.
Right-wing politics are political positions or activities that accept or support social inequality, considering it as either inevitable, natural, normal, or desirable, typically justifying this position on the basis of natural law or tradition. In the United States, the political language of the Right includes: anti-statism involving a general mistrust of government, individualism, support of equality of opportunity while rejecting equality of outcome, and populism.
The term ‘right-wing’ has been used to describe neo-conservatives, nationalists, racial supremacists, Christian democrats, religious fundamentalists and classical liberals.
Right-wing politics that are considered to be further to the right of those of the mainstream centre-right on the traditional left-right spectrum. They usually involve support for social inequality and social hierarchy, elements of social conservatism, and opposition to most forms of liberalism and socialism. Both terms are commonly used to describe fascist, neo-fascist or other ideologies and organizations that feature extreme nationalist, chauvinist, xenophobic, racist, or reactionary views.
As stated, there’s no 100% definition of who you are within the political spectrum. Looking at my results, they make me more DA than not but i’m more leftist than them, wanting limitations on big business (including globalisation) and, particularly, the influence it has on our politicians.
What are you?