What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of politics or government? For many people it’s Democrats and Republicans, donkeys and elephants. They don’t see the big picture; they only see the liberal and conservative parties. What about third parties such as the Green Party or the Libertarian Party?
I recently completed a project about political parties and the political spectrum. As part of that project, I took “the world’s smallest political quiz”. This test is composed of 10 opinion-based statements (so there is no right or wrong answer). You must say agree, neutral, or disagree as your answer. The statements are separated into two groups. Five are about personal issues and the other five are about money issues. If you score high on personal freedom and low on economic freedom, you are a democrat. If you score low on personal freedom and high on economic freedom, you are a republican. If you score low on personal freedom and low on economic freedom, you are a statist. If you score high on personal freedom and high on economic freedom, you are a libertarian. If you score lots of neutrals or balance out agrees with disagrees, you are a centrist. If you want to see where you are, I encourage you to visit theadvocates.org. I scored in the liberal area, closer to the center near the center and statist.
The presidential election is coming soon, and I definitely want to know who’s going to face President Obama in the election. Personally, I don’t want someone like Rick Perry or Rick Santorum to become president, because I think they lean all the way on the conservative edge of the Nolan Chart (the closer you score to the edges, the less open to other views and opinions you are). I actually want Obama to win because of how he wants to provide jobs and healthcare to the people of America. If he doesn’t win, then I want someone who’s closer to a centrist to become president, such as Mitt Romney. When people vote, I really hope they vote based on the person’s promises, claims, what he/she believes is right, and personality, not the party he/she is in.
Back in December, prior to Christmas break, two visitors came to our classroom, Tom Tiffany and Jim Holperin. State Representative Tom Tiffany (Republican) visited the school first. He talked about the mining legislation, about his job and what he does. One of the things Rep. Tiffany told us is that he is a “Constitutional Conservative”. He supports the idea of businesses being able to safely move ferrous mining projects forward. This is why he’s co-sponsoring changing Wisconsin’s mining laws. My conclusions about Rep. Tiffany were that he’s very open to other opinions and views; he respects Democrats and other people who disagree with him.
Sen. Jim Holperin (Democrat) was very similar to Rep. Tiffany, they both see a need to change mining laws to separate ferrous and non-ferrous types of mining, but their opinions are slightly different. Sen. Holperin said iron mining has a history in Wisconsin, and would pump a large amount of money into Wisconsin’s economy. I don’t support mining because I don’t like the idea of a massive hole being dug up to strip the earth of its natural resources. But I completely understand Sen. Holperin’s views on why he supports ferrous mining. My conclusions about Sen. Holperin were that he’s also open to ideas and other beliefs; and he appreciates people with opposite views.
I’ve come to better understand the political spectrum, but still see myself leaning towards the liberal side. Where are you?
Editor’s note: The views expressed in this column reflect the opinion of the author. They are not necessarily the views of his instructors, Northwoods Community Secondary School, the School District of Rhinelander or this newspaper.