Early voting, and the Political Compass

vote in “off-year” elections

Lots of people don’t vote in “off-year” elections, but I always do, because Math. In a local race, my ballot has a much greater impact in a smaller geography, with lesser participation. It’s diminished in a statewide race, such as for governor, US Senator or President, which of course, is a bunch of state races.

For the first time, there is early voting in New York State this year. Here are the times and places in Albany County, and the rest of the state, starting October 26.

Left? Right?

In a conversation about politics on Facebook, someone wondered if I had taken the Political Compass test, or something like it. “I’m referring to ones that compare results to party; or comparable ideology. I’m curious what a guy like you gets from it.”

I’ve certainly taken a similar test, maybe even this very one. As the folks behind it note: “Our weakest point is commercialism, so it was always inevitable that others with those skills would tinker a little around the edges of our basic concept — and even our name — and repackage it as a national issues-based tool for commercial sponsorship for a few weeks during national elections.”

After all, “The Political Compass has been on the internet since 2001… Our essential point is that Left and Right, although far from obsolete, are essentially a measure of economics.

“As political establishments adopt either enthusiastically or reluctantly the prevailing economic orthodoxy — the neo-liberal strain of capitalism — the Left-Right division between mainstream parties becomes increasingly blurred. Instead, party differences tend to be more about identity issues. In the narrowing debate, our social scale is more crucial than ever.

“We believe that, in an age of diminishing ideology, The Political Compass helps a new generation in particular to get a better idea of where they stand politically — and the sort of political company they keep.”

Take the test if you want; it appears to be anonymous, and the responses are not logged. Check out the other pages as well.