Jan 242007

There’s yet another “Find Your Political Bent” quiz alive and thriving within the OzBlogosphere. It’s living here.

Now, as this blog title infers, Bannerman thinks little of it, other than it’s just another of the endless memes that are spawned by people having access to the internet and bugger all else to do with their time and bandwidth. Having said that, Bannerman took the quiz and came out as he expected to come out. Centre-Left. Bannerman wonders what that says about his surplus time and net access?

Actually, having come out Centre-Left on a political quiz which apparently has the stamp of that much self-vaunted centrist, Ken Parish, as “a fairly respectable effort” by it’s creator, is actually high praise for said creator, given the standard and rationality of the questions. Seriously, reader, some of those questions are radically ‘out there’. Let’s take a gander, shall we?

  1. All third world debt should be cancelled
    • Hmmmm……..wonder who this rather shot-gunnish query is aimed at? Bannerman suspects dreamers and nivanaians. What does it seek to prove? That the person answering is either Left….or blatantly Right. In fact, why ask this question at all> any logical person with a gram of understanding in global politics knows that abolition of all foreign debt is a furphy. Like the magic pudding, it will always be with us.
  2. There is too much nudity and explicit sexual material on television
    • Yes, this one is aimed at the prudes, those who can’t get any, those who want to wait for the right partner (good luck with that one) and probably the exclusive brethren.
  3. Employers need a lot of flexibility when it comes to hiring and firing staff
    • More imagination required. This question clearly panders to the ‘Workchoices Issue’ which has been deliberately re-formed as emotive, and which very few people actually have any understanding of. This is a ‘loaded’ question, which should be re-worded, or deleted.
  4. Government should increase taxes so that it can do more for its citizens
    • A clever query, which actually requires some depth of understanding of government, economics, commerce and politics. Obviously, it panders to those who have little or none of the aforementioned attributes. Requires re-wording.
  5. Abortion is murder (!!!!!)
    • The exclamation marks are, of course, Bannerman’s. This is a beauty! Highly emotive, selectively brief and defined and deliberately aimed at the extremes of the unthinking periphery of the moral and political spectrum. In short, this question is a nonsense and deserves deletion. It’s actually an insult to the creators intelligence.
  6. People who enter Australia illegally and who claim to be a refugee should be detained while their claims are assessed
    • Are these people asylum-seekers, or have they simply decided to set up house down-under? The word ‘detained’ has more emotion attached than any other in the question. This question is valid, but requires a serious re-wording.
  7. The small business sector needs bigger tax breaks and more start-up grants from government
    • Like most of these questions, this one assumes either a bulk understanding of the country’s economy, or preys on a severe lack of understanding. This one…..the latter. Re-word or delete.
  8. The government should pay people to care for their own children and elderly parents
    • Aaaaahhhh…………at last, a question which requires some real grey-matter. Bannerman seriously doubts it’ll receive same, but none the less, it’s a very in-depth query. This query requires people to look at their own situation, that of their forebears and that of their children. Would they like a tax-break for taking a greater responsibility for aged and child care? What’s the requirements? What’s the payback? It’s not a simple ‘yes’ / ‘no’ answer, although Bannerman suspects most will treat it as just that.
  9. We must do more militarily to fight the war on terror
    • Oh dear…….from the heights of the thoughtful, to the depth of the mediocre. Move along…..nothing at all to see here.
  10. If the medical evidence shows something is harmful, the government should regulate it
    • What, precisely? Drinking beer to excess is harmful. Breathing in water while submerged is harmful. Smoking dried sage leaves is harmful. Seriously, quiz creator…..you could do better, y’know.
  11. The government should do more to protect workers from employers
    • Refer Question 3
  12. Assisting the suicide of a terminally ill person who has decided to die is the same as murder
    • Great! We still have smatterings of sociological brilliance. Of all questions in this quiz, this one has the most meat on it.
  13. Governments should do more to help struggling artists, writers and poets
    • Governments should do a lot of things. The electorate needs to ensure that governments and prospective governments understand precisely what it wants. Good question though.
  14. When it comes to illicit drugs, harm reduction measures (such as needle exchanges and safe injecting rooms) send the wrong message to the nation’s children
    • Another interesting query and one well worth inclusion.
  15. The government should negotiate a treaty that enshrines land rights, cultural rights, self-determination, social justice and equity for Indigenous Australians
    • ditto
  16. Australia should stop the export of live animals for human consumption
    • Again, we see a descent into the sillier questions. Yes, wouldn’t it be nice if Australia could sell an equivalent weight of butchered meat to those countries which prefer to slaughter their own? The simple facts are that cultural differences negate that nicety, ergo the live animal export industry. Move along, people. Only silliness here.
  17. A political party should refine its policy position on the basis of opinion polls to ensure it is responsive to what the public wants
    • You mean, creator, they don’t??!!!!!
  18. Marijuana should be sold in licensed establishments
    • Another worthwhile query.
  19. A high rate of inflation is a more serious economic problem than a high rate of unemployment
    • Refer question four
  20. Tariff barriers are necessary to protect the jobs of Australian workers
    • ditto
  21. The government should legislate for gay marriages or civil unions
    • Meaty, Beaty, Big and Bouncy
  22. It is too easy to get a divorce in Australia
    • Another serving for the sharply defined, religious, moralistic side of Australian society. Or perhaps even for Bannerman’s Mum.
  23. Unions are the democratic voice of working people
    • Refer question 21
  24. The government should set quotas and fine large companies that do not employ a sufficient proportion of people with a disability or women in senior management positions
    • Oh dear……
  25. As a general principle, school teachers should be paid bonuses and promoted on the basis of their students’ performance
    • Hmmmm……..merit in this one.
  26. Protecting the environment is more important than providing social welfare services to people in need
    • Now seriously, creator, just what were you attempting to divine from this mish-mash of ideology? Re-word or re-construct the thing, for goodness sake!
  27. The lack of personal responsibility is a more important cause of crime than poverty and alienation
    • Bannerman likes this one.
  28. Australia should commit itself to international free trade
    • A question four scenario again.
  29. The government should actively support multiculturalism
    • It already does, and so did it’s predecessors. No government worth it’s election would reject the premise. Idiotic question at best.
  30. It should be easier for law abiding citizens to own a gun
    • A good one, and well worth inclusion.
  31. Australia should tax the rich more
    • And pigs should be permitted to spread their wings as decreed by legislation…….really creator, you could have done better.
  32. The Medicare scheme should be restricted to people on low incomes
    • Good one……a divisive issue.
  33. All genetically modified foodstuffs should be banned
    • ditto
  34. Unemployed people should work for the dole
    • Again….ditto
  35. The government should establish a national filtering scheme to protect children from pornography on the Internet
    • Aimed directly at the ill-informed, un-involved and narrow-minded. An interesting query, but poorly chosen.
  36. Australia needs a Bill of Rights
    • Blunt, pertinent and timely.
  37. Banks should be required to provide customers with basic fee-free accounts
    • Much similar to Q.35 and some others in this list. A bit silly and non-pertinent to politics, sociology or morals.
  38. Governments should spend no more than they raise in taxes
    • Another of the Q.4 genre.
  39. Voting at elections should be compulsory
    • Clever. Requires a deep understanding of why Australia has compulsory voting and why other nations don’t.
  40. Homosexual couples should be able to adopt children
    • Stupid question aimed at the nutbag fringe. Unrepresentative of the majority.
  41. Australia has gone too far in building relations with Asia
    • Good one!
  42. The government does too much to help new migrants to Australia
    • A converse selection to the one before. Nice juxtaposition.
  43. Indigenous Australians should not receive any special assistance — they should be treated exactly the same as other Australians in similar circumstances
    • Yes, you sometimes strike the chords well, creator.
  44. Islamic children in government schools should not wear hijabs (traditional Islamic head scarves)
    • Oooooh, Bannerman likes this one. Nice choice and  well worded.
  45. Private schools offer a better education than government schools
    • *YAWN*
  46. The freer the market the freer the people
    • Question four requirements range strong here. It’ll miss most.
  47. Social justice should be the foundation of any economic system
    • Yes…..nice one. Requires thought and understanding. Bet it never receives either.
  48. Migrants and refugees should only come to Australia if they are fluent in English
    • Ho-Hum.
  49. High schools should provide students with condom vending machines and syringe disposal points
    • Clearly, creator, you were running dry on ideas for questions by this stage.
  50. If an older person can afford it, they (rather than the government) should pay for their care in a nursing home
    • Yes, interesting sociological query. Requires re-wording to extract a more definitive response.

There you have it, reader. Bannerman’s assessment, which undoubtedly doesn’t mean diddly-squat, but might just provoke some discussion with those who choose to promote, and more to the point praise, such nonsense. It will, however, provoke some angst from those who see the worth of such mindless entertainment on the web, especially from the viewpoint of being able to categorise and pidgeon-hole ideological opponents.
Mind you, if a reasonably qualified psychologist steeped in political lore ever decided to create a meme along similar lines, Bannerman would be most interested to see of he still comes out as centre-left.


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