Sunday, August 30, 2009

New axes in political spectrum?

In a very interesting interview with Le Monde, the secretary general of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Pascal Lamy, talks about the global problems of social democracy. He says that social democracy has to renew its criticism of the capitalist market in order to reach the citizens again.
Over an entire page in the French daily, the former director of the European Commission lays down his visions for a new social democracy in Europe. It could start with a reinforced Party of European Socialists (PES) which allows direct membership, says Lamy.

What I found particularly interesting is his assumption that the old political spectrum left-right (i.e. equalitarian vs. libertarian) has been joined by two new political axes. The first one is the axis expensive-free. The discussion about free access to newspaper articles, books and entertainment facilities play exactly into this axis. They have led to severe discussions on the restriction of the internet in France, Germany, Sweden and other countries and led to the emergence of the pirate party at the European elections.
The second axis that Pascal Lamy sees is consumerism-anthropology (he says "economy-anthropology"), namely the question if money is really the ultimate donor of happiness.

I'm not sure if I'm following him in this analysis. But yet, I tried to graph it. And you will notice that I added two other axes that I find important: pro-European/anti-European and pro-immigrant/anti-immgrant. I would invite you to copy and modify this graph and to imagine further axes which are important to citizens today. Maybe, in a joint effort, we can find out how citizens "function" today, and what aspects are important to them in an election.

Simple bitmap-file. The font is Georgia, 8 pt.

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