Political Spectrum

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Political Spectrum

  1. 1. The Political Spectrum
  2. 2. How Do We Categorize Political Opinion? The political spectrum is the standard way we categorize a person’s or party’s political opinion. Originating with revolutionary France, the spectrum puts all political opinions on a continuum, from right to left.
  3. 3. Benefits of the Spectrum Makes it easy to categorize and describe a person’s political position. Simplifies political debate. Makes comparisons between political parties easier
  4. 4. The Extremes The spectrum is anchored and defined by its extreme ends. Extreme left = communism  Government provides most services for its people  Focus on equality  Example – USSR, China, Cuba Extreme right = fascism  Enforces rules, laws and norms with extreme force.  People live to serve the interests of the state.  Private ownership and property  Example – WWII Germany
  5. 5. The Right Side Conservative policies Smaller, decentralized government. Focus on values, traditional morals. Religion is often highlighted. Responsibility on the individual. Property rights are vital. Law and order.
  6. 6. The Left Side Large, activist government. Non-traditional values. Focus on creating equality and helping the oppressed or under privileged. Collective responsibility. Equal opportunity. Limited property rights.
  7. 7. Problems with the Spectrum Overly simplistic. Not everyone’s opinion on all issues will fit within the same space on the spectrum. Tendency to move towards the centre. Is the spectrum really a loop? Do the extremes meet? Fails to deal with social and economic factors simultaneously

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