POLITICS

USA by Mark Rosenfelder, Australia by Chris O'Regan, Austria by Klaus A. Brunner, Brazil by Emilio Neto, Brittany (France) by Damien Erwan Perrotin, Canada & Ontario by Adam Bishop, British Columbia (Canada) by PJ Perdue, Quebec (Canada) by Valerie Bourdeau, China by the English class at the Suzhou branch of Agile Software Co, Colombia by Carlos Thompson Pinzón, England by Graham John Francis de Sales Wheeler, Finland by Johanna Laakso, France by Nicolas Duvernois, Germany by Irgend Jemand, Greece by Chris TDAQ, India by Apurva Mishra, Israel by Robin Alexander, Italy by Riccardo Distasi, Japan by Hirofumi Nagamura, Urban Mexico by Acoyani Garrido Sandoval, The Netherlands by Bas Suverkropp, New Zealand by Gareth Wilson, Nigeria by Didi, Poland by Pawel Stachura, Scotland by Geoff Eddy, South Africa by T'Mar, Sweden by Anders Janson, Turkey by Cyril Alebard, Long Island by Robert Delaney, Southern Louisiana by Andrew Chaney, Texas by Tom Wier, Yorkshire (UK) by Stephanie Bailey, Southcentral Alaska by Cherie Campbell, and the general characteristics of the First Generation Immigrant by John Smith

C

Political parties

Attitude toward Socialism & Communism

Does government listen to you?

Can problems be solved?

If a politician cheats on his wife...

Military involvement with government

Freedom of speech, patriotism, royalty, changing names, misc.

NORTH AMERICA

U
S
A

You find a two-party system natural. You expect the politicians of both parties to be responsive to business, strong on defense, and concerned with the middle class. You find parliamentary systems (such as Italy's) inefficient and comic.

You don't expect to hear socialism seriously defended. Communism, fuhgeddaboudit.

You feel that your kind of people aren't being listened to enough in Washington.

You think most problems could be solved if only people would put aside their prejudices and work together.

If a politican has been cheating on his wife, you would question his ability to govern.

You expect the military to fight wars, not get involved in politics. You may not be able to name the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

You believe deep down in the First Amendment, guaranteed by the government and perhaps by God.

A
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K
A

S
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You find a two-party system natural. You expect the politicians of both parties to be responsive to business, strong on defense, concerned with the middle class, and committed to natural development.

The Republicans are the strongest party here due to their strong affirmation of oil development; the Democrats are a bit of a joke compared to their counterparts Outside. On the other hand, libertarian ideals probably have a stronger hold here than most other states, and there is the (albeit small) Alaska Independence Party, which runs on a platform of secession from the Union.

You likely don't think about parliamentary systems (such as Italy's) much at all, but when you do, you may find them inefficient and comic.

You don't expect to hear socialism seriously defended. Communism, fuhgeddaboudit.

You feel that your kind of people aren't being listened to enough in Juneau, let alone Washington. DC is a joke; they stubbornly refuse to allow drilling in ANWR and keep trying to lock up Tongass National Forest. The federal government already owns over half the state; do they really need to keep blocking more development than they currently are?

Speaking of capital cities: unless you live in the Panhandle, you think it's high time for the capital to be moved from Juneau to Anchorage. Juneau is crowded and off the road system; the legislators have to be flown in. Anchorage is better connected and is the base of most other organizations in Alaska. Even so, bills to move the capital have been voted down several times.

Alaska has dispensed with the (to you) odd and annoying notion of tiny counties. The state is organized into sixteen large Boroughs, which you think makes more sense than the small divisions other states use.

You think most problems could be solved if only people would put aside their prejudices and work together. You wouldn't mind seeing more natural development take place, either.

If a politician has been cheating on his or her spouse, you would question his or her ability to govern.

You expect the military to fight wars, not get involved in politics. You may not be able to name the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Ever since the Second World War, the military has had a large presence in your state. Its location made it a strategic point for the battle against Japan and the Cold War afterwards. Today, many military bases remain and part of the missile defense system is in Alaska.

You believe deep down in the Alaska Permanent Fund and its Dividend, (almost) guaranteed by the government and perhaps by God. Oh, and the First Amendment.

L
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It used to be that LI was the Republican bastion in otherwise Democratic NY; you're glad that the rest of the state is finally coming to its senses. However, some of the people who put Republican campaign signs on their lawns are required to do so in order to keep their jobs. If you're liberal you avoid political topics in public for fear of being discovered, but when you're with your liberal friends you make fun of Republicans. There are also separate Conservative and Liberal Parties. They usually endorse the Republican and Democratic candidates respectively, but occasionally one splits the vote by endorsing someone else.

 

You may not be able to name your House Representative or any member of the state government other than the governor. There are people on the eastern end of Suffolk County who want to form a seperate county because they feel they aren't being listened to enough and even a few folks upstate who want to form a seperate state for the same reason (and annex a little piece of Canada as well).

 

 

 

The Suffolk County legislature will often be the first in the country to regulate something (such as environmental protection or banning cell phones while driving), and other local governments will use it as a model. But they can also pass silly regulations that tend to discredit the good ones.

L
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U
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A

You find a two-party political system normal. If you knew what Italy's parliament was like you'd find it comic, but you probably don't know much about Italy's government.

You don't expect communism or socialism to be seriously defended.

 

You think most problems could be solved if people would just put aside their differences and work together.

Having a public official arrested is not unusual. The idea that your governer might have mafia connections makes a lot of sense. Chiefs of Police are occasionally arrested for drug trafficking.

 

You believe deeply in the First Amendment and probably the Second Amendment too.

T
E
X
A
S

U
S
A

You think a political system dominated by two parties is only natural. If you're a Republican, there is a very good chance you are the first generation in your family. If you lean towards (what in America makes for) liberal ideologies, you probably live in a city and might have immigrated from some other state.

You might be a little shocked and disturbed to find that there are people who really do believe in leftist ideologies like socialism.

Not only do you think that the bureaucrats in Washington are pernicious and generally not to be trusted, but that much fuss could be avoided were most of that authority to be delegated to the State government, or better, to individual local governments. You would not mind the concomitant responsibility that would require of you, especially when it comes to schooling.

 

 

 

On July 4th, you might find yourself in public parades and events, and singing patriotic songs like "Texas, our Texas". If you are of Hispanic descent, similar events may occur on May 5th (which, Hispanic or not, you would call by its Spanish name, Cinco de Mayo).

C
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D
A

You find a two-party system odd, and think it's perfectly fine to have 4 or 5 major parties (including one whose main platform is independence for Quebec). Your vote is probably influenced by what part of the country you live in. You know that the Parliamentary system is a lot like the British system and that America has something totally different. You know that the Queen of England is the official head of state, but you may not be able to explain why. You probably know that the Prime Minister is whoever leads the party with the most seats in the House of Commons, but are probably confused by other aspects of the Canadian electoral process.

You may know that Canada is somewhat "socialist" but you don't think that is the same as communism.

You feel that your kind of people aren't being listened to enough in Ottawa, especially if you live outside of Ontario.

You think most problems could be solved if only people would put aside their prejudices and work together.

If a politican has been cheating on his wife, there would probably be a small American-style uproar, but the general population, like you, would not really care. You care more about whether or not your political leaders can speak both English and French.

You expect the military to be involved in peacekeeping missions, and possibly fight wars, but not get involved in politics. Besides, you know the present-day Canadian military is kind of embarrassing and you don't like to talk about it.

You probably think you have some American-style rights that you don't really have. You aren't overly passionate about your flag (and if you are older than about 40, you might not like the "new" flag at all), and probably don't know the words to O Canada (especially not the French words). You would not really act up in public as much as Americans would (not as many protests or riots), since you believe in "peace, order, and good government" rather than "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

B
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C
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B
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A

You’re comfortable with the parliamentary system of government even if you can’t keep track of the number of main political parties, or the frequency with which they change their names. You expect the politicians you vote for to be dishonest (though fairly harmless), and assume they’re in politics only for the generous pension. When there is a social problem, you still turn to your government to fix it, instead of telling them to stay out of it.

 

 

 

If a politican has been cheating on his wife (or on her husband), you would assume it doesn't affect their ability to govern, but you probably wouldn't vote them back into office.

 

You know about the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, guaranteed by the government, but deep down you’re not sure if it would hold up in court. You know that Canada Day is July 1st.

O
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A two-party system is odd, and in Ontario there are usually three major parties, Conservatives, Liberals, and NDP. The Alliance (formerly Reform) has made an attempt at provincial politics here, but you are very openly amused by this - only people in Western Canada vote for those lunatics. Recent politics have been dominated by the NDP and the Conservatives, which have had clear majorities, but you complained about both very passionately. You would never admit to voting for the party currently in power, whatever it may happen to be. All three provincial parties are absolutely useless, so you vote for the one you think will do the least damage. If you have children that are school-aged you think the Conservatives have ruined the education system. You also think they ruined health care, although when the NDP were in charge they ruined everything too, so you don't really expect anything else. You expect politicians to be dishonest, and probably lawyers or some kind of sneaky businessmen. But you do expect the government to step in where there is a social problem. The Queen is represented by the Lieutenant-Governor but this position is even more pointless than the Federal Governor-General. Toronto municipal politics are amusing especially if you don't live there - there is a crazy, senile mayor who also runs a furniture store.

 

You think Queen's Park cares about you less and less the further away you are from Toronto. The provincial government always has annoying propaganda-like commercials on TV trying to convince you that they care what you think.

 

 

You expect the military stationed in Ontario to keep out of sight, except for occasionally driving around on the highways looking useful. They may also help clean up snow in Toronto (if Toronto whines loudly enough).

 

Q
U
E
B
E
C

C
A
N

There are two levels of government that matters: provincial and federal. Both follow the Westminster (British) model of government. It's a multi-party systems on every level, but only the major parties (Liberal, Conservative, NDP, Bloc Québécois) ever get elected. At the head is the Prime Minister of Canada, and there is a prime minister for each province.

You don't consider yourself a socialist, and definitely not a communist, however you enjoy socialized health care despite all the problems inherent in the system.

 

 

 

 

You know the words to the national anthem in French because they teach it in school, but you don't find yourself singing it very often unless you're a sports fan. You might know some of the words in English too.

You really don't care about the queen, and don't consider her relevant, unless you were alive when she was crowned in which case you might feel a twinge of vague loyalty.

You have a firm opinion on the sovereignty debate, reduced to Oui and Non camps (the question is "Do you want to separate from Canada?"). You like to discuss it at great length. Regardless of where you stand, you probably agree that Québec is a distinct society that deserves protection from assimilation. You may have some hostility towards Anglos, but most likely it is more out of concern for your own interests than out of real resentment, despite inflammatory rhetoric from both sides of the issue. You follow the debate closely, especially around referendum time.

LATIN AMERICA

B
R
A
Z
I
L

There are dozens of political parties and you can't tell one from the other. You vote according to personalities, not ideology. You believe in a strong Executive, despise the Legislative and despair of the Judiciary. You expect the politicians to do lots of public works so you can see where your tax money goes.

You have a skeptical view of the great political events of Brazilian history (Independence, Republic, sundry constitutional changes). Them old-time politicians were probably not much different from the current lot.

If you have been to college, chances are you were exposed to Marxism. Apart from that, almost all political currents claim to be Socialist, Social-Democratic or at least left-of-center. Nobody cares much about that anymore.

You feel that your kind of people aren't listened to in Brasilia. You cannot imagine how it could be otherwise.

You don't think most big problems could be really solved. You try to find a way around problems (jeito) instead of actually solving them.

If a politician has been cheating on his wife, it is not your business.

You want the military to stay put, behave themselves and not get involved in politics (except when you are very mad at some particular civilian politician). You think they blew it during the only time they ruled Brazil (1964-85), and do not deserve, or wish for that matter, a second chance. You are not able to name the top military commanders.

You believe in personal freedom in an individualistic way. You don't see any connection between this and politics.

C
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L
O
M
B
I
A

A two-party system was natural, but there seems that there are no parties any more. You hope the politicians of either party to be responsive to business, solve the guerrilla problem, and concerned with the middle and poor classes. You don't actually know how parliamentary systems work.

Socialism is still seriously defended, but Communism is usually not. You have better chances, however, to meet someone defending Communism than Neo-Liberalism (free markets, privatization, etc.).

You feel that your kind of people aren't being listened at all in Bogotá.

You think most problems could be solved if only people would put aside their prejudices and work together.

If a politician has been cheating on his wife, what has that to do with his ability to govern?

You expect the military to fight wars, not get involved in politics. You expect the military to fight the Guerrillas and other internal threats, but you won't call it involvement in politics. If you're used to reading the papers, you will surely know the name of the General Commander of the Armed Forces (Gen. Tapias).

You believe in personal freedom in an individualistic way. You don't see any connection between this and politics.

M
E
X
I
C
O

U
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B
A
N

There are LOTS of parties in the government, but you most often vote for just three: the PAN, the PRI and the PRD. You think of politicians as very lazy people who create disagreement in the Chamber and corruption in the government, and thus leave Mexico as it is right now.

Your president. Vicente Fox Quesada, does everything possible to keep his popularity; saying, for example, that a huge budget cut is just an "austerity year".

You don't hear socialism seriously defended. If you're an university student, though, you probably know people who speak well of communism. But because we're just south of the USA, it'll never go anywhere.

You feel that your kind of people aren't being listened to enough by your Mayor.

You think most problems could be solved if people stop sleeping in their beds and start working.

If a politician cheats on his wife, his ability to govern is questioned.

You don't expect the military to engage on wars. Instead, you expect the military to eradicate drug crops, labs and dealing zones.

 

EUROPE

A
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T
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A

You think a two-party system is just a special case of single-party dictatorship. You expect to have about four major parties to choose from, and you're used to two parties forming the national government. Lately, you've been thinking that they're looking all the same, and you wouldn't mind another, completely different party. You complain a lot about the government.

A mild form of socialism ("Sozialdemokratie") is the norm. You're definitely not interested in communism, unless you're a student perhaps.

 

You think most problems could be solved if only people would put aside their prejudices, stop complaining, and work together.

If a politican has been cheating on his wife, you don't really care much unless you're a publisher of junk magazines. If you're a man, you might even silently admire him.

You expect the military to shut up, go on UN peacekeeping missions and don't have any influence on politics. You think that there is no such thing as an underfunded military as long as every soldier has a solid club to defend himself. If you're male, you have to join the ranks for at least eight months or do alternative service for a year, and you complain about it for the following ten to fifteen years. If you're female, you keep telling males that they shouldn't complain, and that you wouldn't mind going to the military, what with all the sports and fresh air and the nice people to meet. When challenged to actually do it, you evade the question and talk about the horrors of nine months of pregnancy, birth pain, and changing nappies.

You probably have serious trouble recalling the lyrics of the national anthem.

F
I
N
L
A
N
D

It seems natural to you that there are many political parties, although the differences between them are mainly ideological cosmetics -- in practice, most of them seem to follow a consensus based on the idea that there is only one feasible alternative.

It seems natural to you that there are people who (still) believe in socialism or (a kind of) communism, although you know that the Soviet Union even at its best was an underdeveloped oligarchy. If you belong to those who revolted against their parents in the 1960's and 70's by singing praises to the Soviet Union, you make public apologies now.

 

You think most problems could be solved if only people would work hard enough.

If a politician has been cheating on his wife, serious journalists seldom bother with it.

 

 

F
R
A
N
C
E

There are 6 main political parties in France, and that's a good thing (with plenty of variety among parties, it's easier to find one that reflects your beliefs), even if you don't care for the FN (which receives 15% of the votes, unfortunately). You probably consider that this small world is mostly rotten, and that all politicians quickly forget the separation between the executive and the judicial power (especially as, due to the organization of the French government, ministers can easily intervene to heat up or cool down an investigation into government misconduct).

With a certain nostalgia for the '60s, you think that intellectuals should have an important place in public life (in fact, it's pretty much the only justification for their existence). Intellectuals act as the mirror of their society.

You find it very strange that the USA doesn't have any left party. Socialism is a serious opinion, even if it tends more and more to social-democracy. As concerns communism, if you consider that it is no longer acceptable and if you are politically left-oriented, you are likely to have a certain feeling of nostalgia for the time when communism was an acceptable utopian dream.

You feel that your kind of people aren't being listened to enough in the government and the National Assembly.

You think most problems could be solved if only people would put aside their prejudices and work together.

If a politician has been cheating on his wife, that's his private life. In fact, journalists should not bother with it. It doesn't speak of very good personal morals, but if he is a good politician, his career should continue.

 

 

B
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I
T
T
A
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Y

F
R

You find a multi-party system natural, and can hardly imagine another fair way to run a country. You have four major parties and a number of smaller ones. You don't expect politicians to be particularly efficient, but it is clear they are not in politics to become rich. They will tend to set aside party issues when the country's good is at stake (what usually makes parisian parties quite upset)

Socialism is a serious opinion, even if it it tends towards social-democracy. Communism is an old dream which turned wrong. There is a number of towns (and villages) ruled by communists, but that's more a matter of person than of ideas. Anyway, the communist party is no longer truely communist. If you are really communist you are more likely to vote for Lutte Ouvrière (a revolutionnary troskist party)

You feel that the government is a bit out of touch with the citizens, sometimes. Erika is not a girl but an oil tanker, and you have a lot of bad feelings about it. You are generally environmentally sensitive and think you should be allowed oil free beaches. You think that the French government was very bad at handling the last tanker wreckage.

You think most problems could be solved if only people would put aside their prejudices and work together.

If a politician has been cheating on his wife, that's his own business

You expect the military to make war, not get involved in politics. Having successfully led a military operation is not an advantage in a political career, on the contrary : a high ranking officer is always suspected by a sizeable part of the population to be some kind of nationalist rightist, not very scrupulous about human rights, not the kind of guy you would put at the head of a state. You used to have conscription, but now it's an all-volunteer force. You have never heard of the names of the heads of the services.

Changing your name is very difficult. It takes a lot of paperwork, you need to convince the authorities that you have a good reason to change your name.

You think human rights should be most important in foreign aid decisions.

G
E
R
M
A
N
Y

You find a parliamentary system with two main and some smaller parties natural. Politicians of all parties talk a lot about how to fight unemployment. Defense is a controversial topic, but unless you're a pacifist or work for the military (both rather small groups), you don't care too much about it. If you don't have a special interest in political systems, you don't understand how another kind of democracy could work.

If you're from the west, socialism and communism have been passé since the mid-eighties. If you're from the east, you had real live communism until 1989. Perhaps you're one of those who think it wasn't that bad, especially when talking to someone from the west, but you probably wouldn't want it back. However, the renamed eastern state party is a strong political force in these regions.

You feel that your kind of people aren't being listened to enough in Bonn-- oops, it's Berlin now. Your favorite saying on that topic is "Die da oben machen eh' nur, was sie wollen (Those up there always just do what they want). You see government officials as lazy idiots who get money and privileges for doing no useful work, and always have to follow their stupid bureaucratic rules that regulate everything.

You think most problems could be solved if only people would put aside their prejudices and work together.

If a politican has been cheating on his wife, you really don't care about it. Your chancellor is happily married for the fourth time and your foreign minister married a former intern of his. You might not like these people's politics, but you probably don't have a problem with their private life. Like everyone else, you laughed your ass off when these crazy Americans impeached their president because he had gotten some blow jobs.

You expect the military to fight wars, not get involved in politics. You don't even have former war heroes or high-ranking officers dabbling in politics. You may not know the name or even the title of the highest military commanding officer.

You think it's you're right to say your opinion. You may also think that others have the same right. You probably think the national flag and the national anthem are something for public buildings, international sport events and travellers abroad; not something to decorate everything in sight. Perhaps you don't even think they are necessary at all.

G
R
E
E
C
E

We invented democracy; doesn't mean we're good at it. There are a gazillion political parties in your country, but you'll still vote for one of the two major parties: PASOK (the socialists) or ND (the conservatives). You have difficulty finding decent politicians to vote for. You know that politicians from any party are all concerned with the same thing: filling their own pockets. You know that politicians will always foul things up no matter what their orientations. You are sick and tired of politicians buying your vote in exchange for a rousfeti-- a special favor, like appointing you or your child to some public office, etc.

You may vote for the PASOK (the socialists), a major party.

You feel that your kind of people aren't being listened to enough in Athens.

You think most problems could be solved if only people would put aside their prejudices and agree with you.

If a politician has been cheating on his wife, you would question his ability to govern.

You expect the military to defend peace, not get involved in politics (as it did back in 1967). You aren't able to name even one of the chiefs of staff. Mandatory military service still exists and lasts 12 months. But the proportion of volunteers and professionals is growing fast.

You know about the concept of freedom of speech but you think it applies only to yourself.

You have to obtain an ID card sometime between the 16th and 18th year of age.

I
T
A
L
Y

You find a two-party system unnatural and restrictive, although some say it's the only way to go. The electoral law was supposed to turn your political system into a two-party competition, but you split your votes wisely in order to preserve an interesting multitude of parties or "party currents." Democracy is about representation, after all, and you'd like to be represented with some degree of precision.

Most artists, film directors, intellectuals, scientists, magistrates and pop stars are sympathetic with the left wing. Most merchants, small and big entrepreneurs, self-employed people and convicted former or present politicians have a soft spot for the right wing. Young kids, they mostly haven't got a clue.

Socialism used to be respectable, when the Socialist party was run by anti-fascist heroes rather than a bunch of thieves. Now there are representatives calling themselves "Socialists" and sitting with the right-wing filo-fascist party. Communists still exist and represent more or less 10% of the electorate, but sometimes you think they're slightly out of touch with reality.

You feel that your kind of people aren't being listened to enough in Rome. If you are from the North and run your own business, you probably think Rome has way too much power.

You think most problems could be solved if only people would put aside their prejudices and work together.

Politicians aren't usually found cheating on their spouses. If it happens, you probably wouldn't care at all. In most cases, you don't even care if they are caught stealing public money.

You expect the military to defend peace, not get involved in politics. You aren't able to name one of the capi di Stato Maggiore (Heads of service). Military conscription is a thing of the past: the army is now a force of volunteer men and women.

Changing your name is very difficult. It takes a lot of paperwork, as you need to convince the authorities that you have a good reason to change your name.

N
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T
H
E
R
L
A
N
D
S

You find a multi-party system natural, and can hardly imagine another fair way to run a country. You expect your country to be ruled by a coalition of two or three major parties, not by a single party. It would scare you to give one point of view so much power. You think consensus is more important in politics than rhetoric. You expect politicians to be inefficient at times, and sometimes stupid, but you don't expect them to get into politics for self-enrichment. (A minister recently resigned because of faulty declarations made back when he was a city mayor.) You find two-party systems (like the UK's or the USA's) unfair and restricting.

Socialism is OK, if not taken to extremes. Undiluted capitalism scares you-- you expect the government to protect you from corporate greed. Communists are 1) students in the sixties who wanted to change the world; 2) some old farmers in the north of your country who still vote for the minuscule communist party; 3) tough guys who did their patriotic duty against the Germans during the occupation.

You feel that the government is a bit out of touch with the citizens, sometimes.

You think most problems could be solved if only people would put aside their prejudices and work together. You also think that the Dutch people are better at this than other people.

If a politician has been cheating on his wife, you consider this bad form, but no reason for him to resign, unless he's from some conservative religious party. For a politician to show off his wife or kids during an election campaign is ridiculous, since you don't understand what do they have to do with his work. You don't even know whetehr most party leaders are married, divorced, single or whatever.

You expect the military to contribute to peacekeeping operations, not get involved in politics. Having successfully led a military operation is not an advantage in a political career. You used to have conscription, but now it's an all-volunteer force. You have never heard of the names of the heads of the services.

Having a Royal House and a Queen is a Good Thing. Why, you're not sure. You see no contradiction in having both a democratic government and a queen who is head of state.

Changing your name is very difficult. It takes a lot of paperwork, you need to convince the authorities that you have a good reason to change your name, and you need the Queen's permission (yes, really!)

You think human rights should be most important in foreign aid decisions.

P
O
L
A
N
D

You find a parliament with many political parties natural. There are many small parties which form short-lived alliances. The only big one is the ex-communist party. You are extremely disillusioned with all politicians. You find the parliamentary system inefficient and comic, but you still remember how bad it was when it was not here. Politicians will squander any money you give them.

You can sometimes hear socialism seriously defended. Communism, no way. (Few people could explain the difference in theory But communism is about food shortages and oppression; socialism is about social benefits.)

You feel that your kind of people aren't being listened to enough in Warsaw.

You think most problems could be solved if only people would put aside their prejudices and work together. But even then there will always be a conspiracy to spoil it.

If a politician has been cheating on his wife, you would not question his ability to govern. Surprisingly, the same applies to most misdemeanors, including bribery and fraud.

You expect the military to fight wars, not get involved in politics. You may not be able to name the head of the General Staff. But you will know the Minister of National Defense. He is always a civilian.

You believe deep down in the freedom of speech, public assembly, habeas corpus, because it was fought for and won after years of oppression. The same applies to Polish independence.

S
W
E
D
E
N

You find a two-party system strange. You expect only the politicians of right wing parties to be responsive to business, strong on defense, and concerned with the middle class. You find parliamentary systems with an entire left to right scale of parties normal. All of them are really out to woo the middle class these days and no big party is overly extreme.

You will sometimes hear socialism seriously defended. Communism still exists in the minds of some people.

You feel that your kind of people are not being listened to enough in Stockholm.

You think most problems could be solved if only people would put aside their prejudices and work together.

If a politican has been cheating on his wife, you would probably question his ability to govern, which is a bit silly. His general dishonesty is, however, a proven certainty in this case.

You expect the military to do UN peacekeeping, not get involved in politics. You may be able to name the Commander in Chief, (General Hederstedt) because he is on the news now and then announcing that he is disbanding some regiment or other. The armed forces are conscripted but the whole class/year group, is not drafted and trained these days. Soon I expect it will be entirely voluntary.

Changing your name is not too difficult, from what I have heard. It takes a bit of paperwork on the part of the authorities, so it costs you about 120 euro for a new surname. One first name can be adjusted gratis. You would need to prove your right to claim a family name that is already taken. If you are fabricating a new name, it must not be so linguistically silly, or so obscene, that it would not be fit to bear. You will be advised in the matter.

E
N
G
L
A
N
D

U
K

You find a three-party system natural. You think that the Conservatives are too weak and divided to vote for. You vote Labour, either because (if middle-class) they've moved far enough to the right to be safe; or because (if working-class) your parents did and you somehow feel that you ought to. If you're middle-class, you may vote for the Liberal Democrats if you think of yourself as socially concerned.

You don't expect to hear socialism seriously defended, except by ageing eccentrics like Arthur Scargill and Tony Benn. You can't think of any British Communists off hand (except Philby and the other MI5 spies).

You feel that your kind of people aren't being listened to enough in Westminster (where Parliament sits) or Whitehall (where the Civil Service works).

You think most problems could be solved if only people would put aside their prejudices, work together and (if foreign) know their place.

If a politican has been cheating on his wife, you would be overcome with a mixture of horror and glee. You would probably expect a British minister to 'do the decent thing' and resign, but you thought that the Yanks went a bit over the top on Clinton.

You expect the military to fight wars, not get involved in politics. You couldn't name any serving soldier, sailor or airman (except Andy McNab, the SAS men who started the flood of army books, and Gulf veteran Sir Peter de la Billiere).

You're not a card-carrying republican. You may or may not particularly like the present Royal Family, but you're dimly aware that the royals have always been there and probably always will.

Y
O
R
K
S
H
I
R
E

U
K

You find a parliamentary system natural, though you distrust all politicians, feeling they are not responsive to the needs of the working classes or the North. You are likely to welcome regional devolution. Trade Unions are more or less active and your family are likely to be lifelong Labour Party voters. You may have secretly started to vote Lib Dem, as you feel Labour are now too much like 'them other buggers'(Conservative party).

You are likely to hear socialism seriously defended.

You feel that your kind of people aren't being listened to enough in Westminster (where Parliament sits) or Whitehall (where the Civil Service works).

You think most problems could be solved if only people would put aside their prejudices and work together. However, you are still the one in the right.

If a politican has been cheating on his wife, you would be overcome with a mixture of horror and glee. You would probably expect a British minister to 'do the decent thing' and resign, but you thought that the Yanks went a bit over the top on Clinton.

You expect the military to fight wars, not get involved in politics. You couldn't name any serving soldier, sailor or airman (except Andy McNab, the SAS men who started the flood of army books, and Gulf veteran Sir Peter de la Billiere).

 

S
C
O
T
L
A
N
D

U
K

You are used to two large political parties (Labour and the Tories), two small ones (SNP and the LibDems), and some tiny ones (including the Greens and the SSP) but the main battle is between Labour and the SNP. You probably think that the SNP speaks best for Scotland and are unlikely to take the Tories seriously, especially since the poll tax debacle. This system is much better than, for example, the American system, which consists of two identical parties.

You probably voted "Yes, Yes" in the Referendum, but like to complain about the results as though it were all someone else's fault which you had no part in.

Socialism is a fine and noble political theory with a long Scottish tradition, although since John Smith died the only proper socialist party is now Tommy Sheridan's SSP. Communism is taking it a bit far though.

You feel that your kind of people aren't being listened to enough in Westminster -- or Holyrood.

You think most problems could be solved if only people would put aside their prejudices and work together.

If a politican has been cheating on his wife, you would question his ability to govern.

You expect the army to fight wars, not get involved in politics.

 

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

A
U
S
T
R
A
L
I
A

You find a two-party system (or at least, an ALP vs. Coalition system) natural-- although parties such as the Democrats and some independents are important in the Senate. As for Hanson- well, she's not gone yet... Labor is supposed to stand up for the workers, the Liberals (i.e. the conservatives) for business, and the National Party for farmers-- but you know this doesn't happen in practice. God alone knows what One Nation stands for. You don't really understand how the preferential system works, but you don't particularly care-- you can just vote along party lines.

You are deeply cynical towards politicians and the political process in general. No one seems to be able to "keep the bastards honest".

Socialism and unionism have gone out of fashion, and you don't expect to hear them seriously defended any more. All the same, you're uneasy with economic rationalism ...

You feel that your kind of people aren't being listened to enough in Canberra.

You think most problems could be solved if everyone else put aside their prejudices and came to see it from your point of view.

If a politician cheats on his wife (e.g. Bob Hawke), it has no bearing whatsoever on his ability to govern. After all, your nation was founded by criminals rather than Puritans.

You expect the military to fight wars, not get involved in politics. In fact, you may not count on them for the former.

You think Australia should be a republic, probably with a popularly elected president. You know hardly anything about the Constitution and what it actually contains. Before the whole republic thing, you may not have even known it existed. Voting in Federal and State elections is compulsory.

You can't remember past the second line of your national anthem, let alone the second verse ...

N
E
W

Z
E
A
L
A
N
D

You probably find a two-party system natural, and think of the recent change to proportional representation as giving too much power to flakey minor parties, even though you may have voted for it.

You don't expect to hear socialism seriously defended. Plenty of people hate capitalism but they never give any coherent alternative.

You feel ordinary people aren't being listened to up in Wellington (or down in Wellington, depending on where you are). You count as "ordinary people", of course.

You think most problems could be solved if only people would put aside their prejudices and work together.

If a politician has been cheating on his wife, you'd lose a lot of respect for him but wouldn't necessarily expect him to resign. The slightest hint of anything illegal, though, and you'd expect him to be sacked immediately.

You used to hear about the military only when the wings fell off their planes or the Army couldn't shoot a wild dog. Now you get touching images of peacekeepers in a place you couldn't find on the map. You can't name any New Zealand military figure (except for WWII hero Charles Upham and Private Leonard Manning, who was shot dead by militia in East Timor). You don't expect the military to get involved in politics.

You're not a republican. You only notice the Royal family when one of their scandals hits the covers of the women's magazines, or when one of them pays a visit.

ASIA

I
N
D
I
A

You find a multiple-party system natural. You expect politicians of all parties to be corrupt and inefficient.

Socialism used to be taken seriously till around 1985.

You feel that your kind of people aren't being listened to enough in New Delhi.

You think most problems could be solved if only people would be decent.

The nature of Indian conservatism being what it is, no Indian politican has ever cheated on his wife.

You expect the military to fight wars, not get involved in politics.

Freedom of speech generally exists, but is not guaranteed.

C
H
I
N
A

You find a one-party system natural. You expect the Chinese Communist Party to be responsive to business, strong on defense, and concerned with the poor. You find the People's Congress Systems efficient.

You don't expect to hear socialism, Communism and such boring things discussed.

You feel that you aren't considered as important as the people living in Beijing.

You think most problems could be solved if only people would work hard together.

If a politician has been cheating on his wife, you would never know unless he told you in person.

 

 

J
A
P
A
N

You find a multi-party parliamentary system natural. Unfortunately this system hasn't been functioning very well-- if you think Italian politics is bad, think again. You're totally confused with how all the various parties have been splitting and merging in the past few years, resulting in a heap of undistinguishable parties with names like (from Right to Left) the Liberals, the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats, the Democrats, the Social Democrats, etc. Needless to say, you have a deep mistrust of politicians.

Socialism is a word that brings back memories of the 1950s and 60s. You're more realistic now, but in those days socialism didn't seem quite so bad. As for the Communist Party -- the oldest existing political party, and not quite small enough to be irrelevant -- either you fear and loathe them, or you have mixed feelings: you value them as a counterweight to the conservatives, and might even vote for them, but you surely wouldn't want them to actually take power.

You feel that your kind of people aren't being listened to enough in Tokyo.

You think a lot of problems could be solved if only people would put aside their prejudices and work together.

If a politican has been cheating on his wife, you might question his ability to govern.

On paper, Japan doesn't have a military. The current constitution (drafted by the Americans during the post-war reconstruction) doesn't allow Japan to have one. In reality, the Self Defense Forces (created at the behest of the Americans just before the Korean War) is one of the most powerful military forces in Asia. This is a huge legal headache. Changing the constitution to accommodate the status quo would meet fierce opposition from the left. You wish the military would somehow disappear, not fight wars. Its getting involved in politics is completely out of the question.

You don't know the Emperor's name. Custom dictates that you refer to the reigning emperor simply as tennô hęka (His Majesty the Emperor), and his name (yes, his; only men can inherit the throne) is never mentioned in the media. Deceased emperors are referred to by their okurina, special names given after death.

AFRICA AND THE MIDDLE EAST

N
I
G
E
R
I
A

There are 1000 political parties, all promising to change your country for the better, but the masses normally know that politics is a profit oriented business as is religion. You believe all laws are made NOT to be obeyed.

 

 

You think most problems are solved with your fists.

You EXPECT a politician to cheat on his wife.

You expect the military to play an active role in ruling the country. You anticipate being woken up by the news of a coup each time you go to bed.

There are some Nigerians who feel the need to gloss over the harsh realities in order to make Nigeria look good internationally, but others believe that change can only come about when you acknowledge that there is indeed something that needs to be changed.

S
O
U
T
H

A
F
R
I
C
A

It seems natural to you to have more than one political party, but it's only in recent years that you've been able to boast about democracy. You know someone who has met Nelson Mandela.

You don't trust communists, but you understand why people fall for the idea. You probably don't even realise that there are many socialist institutions already functioning in your country (what do you think trade unions are, anyway?) but you're in favour of privatising State assets.

 

You know from recent experience that problems can be solved when people work together.

If a politician has been cheating on his wife, the media will mention it but you won't care. If a politician has been embezzling money or receiving kickbacks, no one seems to care, and this annoys you.

 

You can sing your national anthem in four languages, and are inordinately proud of this fact. The amount of freedom you had prior to 1994 is debatable, and some people would argue it still is. Changing your name requires a bit of paperwork but it's not that hard.

You have no Royal Family of your own if you're white, Indian or Coloured. If you're black you might have. It doesn't matter what colour you are, you know who the Zulu king is (Goodwill Zwelithini). You're impressed that the African monarchs in your country are seldom in the papers. You think the doings of the British Royal Family are better than a soap opera.

I
S
R
A
E
L

The paliamentary system of multi-parties is chaotic, and you take it for granted that politicians are corrupt. However, the chaos does ensure that elections are held relatively frequently, and the elections do seem to be valid and democratic.

Socialism seems to be more the way of the past, and capitalism the wave of the future. However, you are concerned that poor children and elderly people seem to be losing their government safety nets.

 

You despair that certain problems, like the Arab-Israeli conflict, will never be solved.

If a politican has been cheating on his wife, you would not relate it to his ability to govern.

You think of the army as all-powerful and deserving of respect.

You believe in the Law of Return (the right of Jews to immigrate to Israel), but not because "God gave us the land." (unless you're very religious). You simply feel Jews should have a country to call their own, like every other people.

T
U
R
K
E
Y

You don't understand how Americans can keep things running with only two parties. There are a gazillion political parties in your country, but you'll still have difficulty finding decent politicians to vote for. You know that politicians from any party are all concerned with the same thing: filling their own pockets. To you "Socialist," "democratic," "nationalist," "republican," "populist," "leftist," "rightist," are just vague words for doing approximately the same thing. You know that politicians will always foul things up not matter what their orientations.

However, you see "Communism" as an evil.

 

You think that the situation of the country is hopeless, that none of the problems will ever be solved. You are still hopelessly waiting for that political Godot who will save the country's economy.

If a politician has not been cheating on his wife, you would question his ability to govern.

 

You know about the concept of freedom of speech but you wouldn't dare talk about it too much.

SUBCULTURES

1
S
T

G
E
N

I
M
M
I
G
R
A
N
T

You find a multi-party parliamentary system a dream come true, albeit a somewhat abstract concept as far as you are concerned since you cannot vote. Your experience is most probably limited to a single party oligarchy (dictator to son), and any system that allows you to earn a decent (if not honest) crust can only be better. Needless to say, you have a deep mistrust of politicians.

Socialism (in all its flavours) leaves a bitter taste in your mouth. You probably come from a quasi-socialist country and know full well that socialists / communists / fellow travellers and their ilk are all just packs of ravenous, lying, self-seeking jackals who use twisted messages to get into power and pillage the 'pleb' yet again. (However, the others are not much better). You want to work and get on, and can see that liberal, free-market policies are the only ones that work and that have made the developed, magnet world rich and ... well, developed.

You feel that your kind of people aren't being listened to enough, but then ... you never were, so nothing has changed. Furthermore, since you don't have the vote, why worry!

You think a lot of problems could be solved if only people would put aside their prejudices and allow you to work.

If a politican has been cheating on his wife, you probably feel jealous! How come he can have 2+ women when you don't even have one? But, what's all the fuss for? It's common knowledge within the f-g migrant community that the politicians at home not only have several wives, but also practiced 'Lords' privileges' (droit de seigneur - droit de cuissage) on any unwary ladies who happened to catch their eye.

You've either done your military service in your home country (if such existed), but are anyway exempt from service in the magnet country since you are not a citizen.

 

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