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Does the world lean left or right? A 10 year NeoGAF experiment.

JordanN

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Update: First map showing Left Vs Right differences in the year 2020 is now complete.

Criteria:
-Is based on the current sitting President/Prime Minister/Head of State. That means someone could have been elected but for reasons such as sitting down/death/replacement, the successor will represent the nation's politics.
-Colonies will be not be counted. So Puerto Rico still falls under the USA's head of state. Sorry. 🤷‍♀️
-To simplify it, I'm using 3 spectrums: Left, Right & Neither.
-It's a work in progress. I'll make yearly updates tracking which direction countries lean.
-10 year experiment. So from 2020 to 2029.



As of January 17th, 2020: The World leans Neither.
 
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Zefah

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If climate change really kicks off and mass migration events accelerate as so many predict they will this decade, I think you're going to start seeing just about every country swing right pretty fast.
 

Afro Republican

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This would mean if a country is right but circumstances (or cheating) put in a Left head of state the country would still be counted as left leaning which doesn't make sense.

Then you have countries that are unhappy and may change from left to right leaning based on the current heads performance but will still be considered left leaning even if the people elect tons of local right politicians across the board as retaliation, just because the head is still left.
 

JordanN

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This would mean if a country is right but circumstances (or cheating) put in a Left head of state the country would still be counted as left leaning which doesn't make sense.

Then you have countries that are unhappy and may change from left to right leaning based on the current heads performance but will still be considered left leaning even if the people elect tons of local right politicians across the board as retaliation, just because the head is still left.
I'm aware, but for consistency reasons, I prefer to track the current head of state's politics instead of who the people voted for.

For example, Bolivia technically voted left-wing last election, but Evo Morales stepped down and his replacement is considered right-wing.

Unless the people actually revolt, then her politics represents her nation.
 
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SpartanN92

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Those colors threw me. I’d reverse the Red/Blue (Purely based off of Republican/Democrat colors, just an initial gut reaction.)
 
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Afro Republican

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I'm aware, but for consistency reasons, I prefer to track the current head of state's politics instead of who the people voted for.

For example, Bolivia technically voted left-wing last election, but Evo Morales stepped down and his replacement is considered right-wing.

Unless the people actually revolt, then her politics represents her nation.
Then you add a new problem because if the surrounding politicians around the head are a different direction than the head, then you can't say the nations politics is based on the head if they can't pass any policies and the majority of the other top politicians block or disagree and move in the opposite direction.
 

SKM1

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Those colors threw me. I’d reverse the Red/Blue (Purely based off of Republican/Democrat colors, just an initial gut reaction.)
I think this is the coloring used in the UK? Maybe use altogether different neutral colors such as purple and orange.

On the other hand, since the data is available, this could be tracked back in time, say 10 years also.

I do remember watching a video where it was suggested that the world historically becomes more left-leaning, as in left wing 100 years ago would be right wing today. Given the unique makeup of todays society and accelerating technological advances I don't think this can be consistently extrapolated..
 

HE1NZ

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I think this is the coloring used in the UK? Maybe use altogether different neutral colors such as purple and orange.

On the other hand, since the data is available, this could be tracked back in time, say 10 years also.

I do remember watching a video where it was suggested that the world historically becomes more left-leaning, as in left wing 100 years ago would be right wing today. Given the unique makeup of todays society and accelerating technological advances I don't think this can be consistently extrapolated..
Didn't media switched colors around late 90s to disassociate dems from communists?
 
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SpartanN92

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Didn't media switched colors around late 90s to disassociate dems from communists?
I think you might be right! I vaguely remember seeing an old electoral map from Reagan’s first term and I think the colors were flipped.
 

JordanN

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Ok, I added more countries. I ditched the "center/independent" label in favor of neither, since there are clear countries like Saudi Arabia that are Monarchist which is neither a left or right proposition.

Countries that are considered left clearly vote for a political party that is in favor of public welfare and social equality.
Countries that are considered right clearly vote for a political party that is the opposite.

I'll also have a detailed list of each country up soon.
 
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Gashtronomy

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Cool idea, though i would argue (poorly) that the west is economically right and socially left.

The UK has a conservative 'right' government, that still believe (hopefully) in the NHS and social(ist) care systems
 

JordanN

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Cool idea but hard to compare apples with apples. The “right” party in many European countries is probably further left than the (traditional moderate) Democrats in the US.
Usually, there is still at least one party that is against increasing public spending or repealing conservative beliefs like religion.

The left is clearly about trying to make all things equal whereas the right is maintaining a status quo.

Even if you look at European politics, I don't think Britain nearly electing a guy who addresses himself by "pronouns" really represents traditional Britain. That's still leftism operating under the banner of "social progressiveness".
 
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JordanN

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Alright, I'm done counting Asia and Europe. And wow, Left & Right are almost neck and neck. Right now, there's just 1 more left-leaning country.

All that's left is to count Africa and we'll know if Colbert was right: Does reality have a left-wing bias?
 

Bogey

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Great idea, but there may be some issues.

Germany, for example, is listed as right leaning in your map.
I"d argue that"s not the case at all. It's just that the ruling party was founded as a center-right party, but has moved significantly to the left in the past 10 years or so. Their immigration stance is an obvious example, but they pursue plenty of generally left leaning policies.
I"d argue, the party is actually more left leaning than e.g. Democrats in America. I"d figure you'd have similar issues with many especially Northern and Western European countries.

Meaning, the standards for left and right might not be very comparable across the world.
 

JordanN

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Great idea, but there may be some issues.

Germany, for example, is listed as right leaning in your map.
I"d argue that"s not the case at all. It's just that the ruling party was founded as a center-right party, but has moved significantly to the left in the past 10 years or so. Their immigration stance is an obvious example, but they pursue plenty of generally left leaning policies.
I"d argue, the party is actually more left leaning than e.g. Democrats in America. I"d figure you'd have similar issues with many especially Northern and Western European countries.

Meaning, the standards for left and right might not be very comparable across the world.
When it wasn't obvious, I just left them as grey. For example, I saw plenty of parties that identify as liberal-conservative. In which case, I didn't want to pick a side.

Other times, I did see political parties that were very blatant. For example, Nepal elected straight up Communists and Serbia has National Conservatives. In which case, there's no doubt where they lean.
 

Stilton Disco

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Those colors threw me. I’d reverse the Red/Blue (Purely based off of Republican/Democrat colors, just an initial gut reaction.)
It's because he is Canadian and the Libs are red and Conservatives are blue.
Isn't it only the US that has left as blue and right as red, and even then only relatively recently at that?

I swear I watched a documentary once that mentioned that the colours were swapped by a news network one election, so as not to associate Democrats with Communists, and it just stuck.
 

recma12

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I guess the main flaw of that map is that "one country, one seat" formula.
Let's face it, USA, Russia, China, UK, Germany, France, Japan and a few others basically run this world. It's not like Poland, Ghana or Thailand have much input on global politics.


Great idea, but there may be some issues.

Germany, for example, is listed as right leaning in your map.
I"d argue that"s not the case at all. It's just that the ruling party was founded as a center-right party, but has moved significantly to the left in the past 10 years or so. Their immigration stance is an obvious example, but they pursue plenty of generally left leaning policies.

I"d argue, the party is actually more left leaning than e.g. Democrats in America. I"d figure you'd have similar issues with many especially Northern and Western European countries.

Meaning, the standards for left and right might not be very comparable across the world.
Exactly.
Merkel's CDU party is arguably more left leaning than the US Democrats.
From a EU viewpoint, the US Dems would be considered a right wing party.
 

JordanN

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Exactly.
Merkel's CDU party is arguably more left leaning than the US Democrats.
From a EU viewpoint, the US Dems would be considered a right wing party.
Do you really think someone like Marion Le Pen or Viktor Orbin or Matteo Salvini could ever run as U.S Democrats?

Lol, all of them would be called Nazis and get booted out, if not straight up killed by the SJW's during the process.

In fact, what thing I've found so far in my research is that European parties still express some form of nationalism. Whenever Trump tries to do the same with his country, he gets completely eviscerated.
 
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DunDunDunpachi

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Yesterday the earth was right leaning. Today it is left leaning. I expect the definitions of left and right and the arguments as to whether a country qualifies as left or right will continue for the full duration of the 10 year experiment, resulting in a data set that will be highly subjective.
 
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Krappadizzle

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Cool idea but hard to compare apples with apples. The “right” party in many European countries is probably further left than the (traditional moderate) Democrats in the US.
This is very very true.

I'd say this would be nearly impossible to measure as with so many different cultures across the world our understanding of a left/right politician can differ greatly. The world can't even agree on a common system of measurement, no way we can agree on what a lefty/righty is.
 
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Teslerum

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Criteria:
-Is based on the current sitting President/Prime Minister/Head of State. That means someone could have been elected but for reasons such as sitting down/death/replacement, the successor will represent the nation's politics.
Ehhhhh

This doesn't really work for Switzerland. At all.

We don't have a classic *Prime Minister* to begin with, since that position is essentially just the representative of a group of people that forms our executive branch. That branch is currently made up of 2 SP members (Left) 2 CVP (Slightly Left), 2 FDP (Slightly Right) and 2 SVP members (Right). That is our composition. The position gets handed around between all of them periodically.

So really, its neither. (Also, yes. Left, Middle and right are near equally strong in our country, so you see a bit of everything (atm at least, I have fears of a shift to the extremes)
 
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JordanN

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Ehhhhh

This doesn't really work for Switzerland. At all.

We don't have a classic *Prime Minister* to begin with, since that position is essentially just the representative of a group of people that forms our executive branch. That branch is currently made up of 2 SP members (Left) 2 CVP (Slightly Left), 2 FDP (Slightly Right) and 2 SVP members (Right). That is our composition. The position gets handed around between all of them periodically.

So really, its neither. (Also, yes. Left, Middle and right are near equally strong in our country, so you see a bit of everything (atm at least, I have fears of a shift to the extremes)
Thanks for the info. I updated my map.

I've also finally added in Africa. It was actually very tricky to count. It's either a lot of dictatorships still existing from the Cold War days, or it's rampant corruption with artificial term limits. Some of these "neither" countries could pass for Left or Right-wing, but I tried looking up the platforms for each country, but barely any info for them exists.

Edit: My mistake, if the world was one government, most seats would be held by "Neither", followed by Left-Wing and then Right-Wing.
 
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appaws

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I guess this can be interesting, but not very useful. There is too much nuance in real life, and too many cultural differences for this to produce any information of any importance.
 

JordanN

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I guess this can be interesting, but not very useful. There is too much nuance in real life, and too many cultural differences for this to produce any information of any importance.
The Cold War had a lot more obvious differences.

For example, the Middle East was definitely more "Socialist" or allied with the Soviets. But after the wars with Israel and the collapse of the USSR, many of these secular dictatorships fell and are now ruled by Monarchs, Islamic Nationalists or simply have no allegiance to anyone but themselves.

There's still a lot of other "Socialist" countries in the running. China, Cuba, Vietnam, the lower half of Sub Saharan Africa, all still maintain Marxist-Leninist Parties. These where the easiest to label as left-wing.

And just because a country leans right or left, doesn't mean there still isn't a healthy amount of opposition. In Canada, the Conservative Party won the majority vote but commands less seat in the country. In the U.S, Republicans command the Electoral College, but are losing the popular vote.
 
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Bladed Thesis

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Didn't media switched colors around late 90s to disassociate dems from communists?
It was right around when the parties decided to switch.

They met in the middle of the Congress and the murderous conservatives said they didn't want to be democrats but republicans and the saintly progressives said they didn't want to be republicans but democrats. They shook hands as they formed neat, tidy lines and that's what happened.
 
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Trojita

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This is really poorly thought out. It's basically useless. This does not account for the state of a nation's social, economic, or defense policies.

Didn't media switched colors around late 90s to disassociate dems from communists?
Yes, during Reagan era they still used blue for reps and red for dems, but during the 90s for some """reason""" they started switching colors
Misinformation to allude to something nefarious.

There's no long term history of color coding the states based on political party for televised broadcast because the color TV didn't start to become a thing in households till the second half of the 60's. Color coding the map proved popular during introduction in the second half of the 70's, but the colors each network chose for the political parties were different. NBC would use Blue for Democrats and Red for Republicans. CBS would use Red for Democrats and Blue for Republicans. Some even alternated the colors every major election year. You can even read that in the wikipedia article you submitted.

NBC said in 1996 they chose blue for the incumbent parties (the only time this was different was the first time they ever actually did this with Carter vs. Ford). If anything probably caused "Blue State" and "Red State" to be in popular jargon as well as political analysis was the 2000 election. Because of the fuckery that happened during that election with Florida, that map was on every TV screen and News screen far longer than any election before it. You can also add the newly born internet to those piles of screens people looked at. You can directly trace the utterance of the words "Red State" and Blue State" starting in the year 2000. It became so engraved in the public's mind that it became standard among elections from then on. That election year set a standard.
 
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Teslerum

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I just wanted to make sure that the internment of the Uyghurs, removal of religion, information suppression and a self imposed dictator are progressive liberal ideologies.
None of these things you mentioned have anything to do with being left or right and can happen on both sides. (and did in the last century if you recall correctly)

If anything removal of religion is something you would associate more with progressive endgame values than other as well.
 
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JordanN

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I just wanted to make sure that the internment of the Uyghurs, removal of religion, information suppression and a self imposed dictator are progressive liberal ideologies.
Marxism was the first to push that "religion is the opiate of the masses". They see religion as being counter-revolutionary and at odds against the working class.

Suppressing information goes back to the same "destroying class warfare". In fact, SJW's living in the West practice their own form of information suppression.

Think "micro aggressions" "safe spaces" "hate speech" all these measures put in place are meant to make minorities feel good. And dictators are the natural dead-end of all socialist ideologies. When you try and make everyone equal, guess what happens when one person says he wants more? The answer? A dictator now controls 99% of the population.

Otherwise, I would never categorize China as being right-wing.
 
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matt404au

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Marxism was the first to push that "religion is the opiate of the masses". They see religion as being counter-revolutionary and at odds against the working class.

Suppressing information goes back to the same "destroying class warfare". In fact, SJW's living in the West practice their own form of information suppression.

Think "micro aggressions" "safe spaces" "hate speech" all these measures put in place are meant to make minorities feel good. And dictators are the natural dead-end of all socialist ideologies. When you try and make everyone equal, guess what happens when one person says he wants more? The answer? A dictator now controls 99% of the population.

Otherwise, I would never categorize China as being right-wing.
They're right; it is the opiate of the masses. However, over the last few years I’ve come to the realisation that the masses need their opiate. Too many participation degrees are allowing people who don’t belong in academia to masquerade the as intelligentsia and tinker with truth and reality itself.
 
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