Lesbian couples should have a right to state-supported artificial insemination?
January 21, 2008 6:36 AM   Subscribe

A year from yesterday, George W. Bush will no longer be President. So here's yet another online quiz to help you "Test your party preference". But the policy questions in contention in this quiz may seem surprising to many Americans.
posted by orthogonality (75 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
The libertarian in me wants to turn down the volume state-sponsorship of Norwegian death metal.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:47 AM on January 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


49% The Liberal Party: One of Norway's more right-leaning "center" parties that supports tax relief but also a strong public sector, liberalized immigration and environmental protection measures.

Yet, for the most part, that ... sort of describes me.

With a four-way (39-43%) tie for second, between the Socialist Left, Center Party, Reds, and Christian Democrats.

Should I read anything into the diversity of Norse political thought here?
posted by The Giant Squid at 6:48 AM on January 21, 2008


Blazecock: Strangely, the only people I know who listen to Norwegian death metal are libertarians.
posted by The Giant Squid at 6:48 AM on January 21, 2008


Any resources for the shameful few of us who don't know anything about Norway's current oil revenue spending policies/tax rates/education system? Call me crazy, but I'd like to know a little more before clicking a radio button out of a kneejerk reaction to a single-sentence summary.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 6:53 AM on January 21, 2008


Online surveys are all about the knee jerk reactions to a single sentance summary. Just like voting.
posted by jb at 6:55 AM on January 21, 2008


53% Socialist left party.

The Giant Squid- I do not think Norway has that many parties, or at least the number is nowhere as high as other european nations.
posted by francesca too at 6:56 AM on January 21, 2008


Do heterosexual couples incapable of conceiving have a right to state-supported fertility treatments? If they do, then lesbian couples should have the right to state-supported artificial insemination, but for the life of me I can't come up with a single good reason why public funds should be used to promote reproduction for anybody.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:59 AM on January 21, 2008


Faint of Butt: Should public funds be used to promote accessibility? Isn't an inability to conceive a kind of disability?
posted by Baby_Balrog at 7:00 AM on January 21, 2008


Technically, it's a year from today, what with the leap year and all. I only point that out because every fucking second counts here.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:01 AM on January 21, 2008 [16 favorites]


The Giant Squid: Should I read anything into the diversity of Norse political thought here?

Yes: the superiority of eliminating winner-take-all political races. If we did that here in the US, we would benefit our political system greatly.

It would be fantastic if minorities could have some representation. In almost every nation in Europe, people are represented in roughly the same proportion as they vote; if 30% of people vote Christian Democrat, then 30% of the representatives that go to Parliament are Christian Democrats; if 75% of people vote Socialist Left (as this quiz says I should) then 75% of the representation in Parliament is Socialist Left. Here in the US, however, the majority wins all, and the minority wins no representation whatsoever, creating a system that can only sustain two parties that both combine utter divisiveness with general mediocrity in an attempt to catch interest while pleasing everybody.
posted by koeselitz at 7:01 AM on January 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


Also - Apparently I'm solidly Socialist-Left. What does this mean? Do they hold many seats in the Norwegian Parliament?

Are many Norwegians Socialist-Left? I always end up siding with wonky little parties that nobody's every heard of. It'd be kind of refreshing to be mainstream for once in my life.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 7:02 AM on January 21, 2008


Alvy Ampersand writes "Call me crazy, but I'd like to know a little more before clicking a radio button out of a kneejerk reaction to a single-sentence summary."

Sorry, maybe someone else can help you. My point was to succinctly illustrate that Europe's center -- the areas of contention -- is over what most American would consider distinctions between the left and the the far left (or even Communist). Conversely, Americans "argue" within a such small compass, that in Europe would be arguments within one, or among a few, right-of-center parties.
posted by orthogonality at 7:02 AM on January 21, 2008


As a man I will be immediately be applying for disability benefits.
posted by XMLicious at 7:02 AM on January 21, 2008


Liberal party. But I also went middle-of-the-road on most issues as I just don't know what they mean, a la Alvy's response.
posted by maxwelton at 7:03 AM on January 21, 2008


Oops, that was referring to Baby_Balrog's comment.
posted by XMLicious at 7:03 AM on January 21, 2008


Faint of Butt: ...for the life of me I can't come up with a single good reason why public funds should be used to promote reproduction for anybody.

From The Washington Post:

"...falling birthrates threaten to undermine economies and social stability across much of an aging Europe...

Generally: Europe is facing the highest amount of immigration it's ever faced, combined with the lowest rates of reproduction it's ever had. Lots of people in Europe, especially those conservatives who tend to worry about the native population sustaining itself and staying vital during this influx of new populations, are concerned about this. Oddly enough, it seems to me that having the state support artificial insemnation, even for lesbian couples, might be the conservative thing to do.

But then, I don't know much about how the political climate in Europe really feels on the ground.
posted by koeselitz at 7:10 AM on January 21, 2008


The conservative edges out the liberal, by a nose, or is it just a contrarian response to some of the questions?

That was fun. (If anyone came here looking for one on the US you can find it here btw.)
posted by caddis at 7:17 AM on January 21, 2008


They're as great as Canada is: I got the "Liberal" party, a "more right-leaning 'centre' party". Because when I hear the word "Liberal", I think centre-right.
posted by GuyZero at 7:18 AM on January 21, 2008


My point was to succinctly illustrate that Europe's center -- the areas of contention -- is over what most American would consider distinctions between the left and the the far left (or even Communist). Conversely, Americans "argue" within a such small compass, that in Europe would be arguments within one, or among a few, right-of-center parties.

True. In Denmark (close to Norway, both geographically and mentally) most of the US Democratic Party would be somewhere right of center on most issues. You have no idea how far out most europeans find the GOP.
posted by Eirixon at 7:20 AM on January 21, 2008


As a lesbian, I totally think we should have state-supported artificial insemination (I admit, however, I may be a bit biased). The government would have to do something comparable for the gay men, though, too. State-sponsored surrogacy? Force the male and female homos to team up and give each other babies? ew...
posted by arcticwoman at 7:23 AM on January 21, 2008


The six hour workweek sounds good, until you remember it's six hours in the freezing noontime dark filleting herring so Danes can feast on roll mops while they drink cheaper beer and tut-tut about Norwegian suicide rates.
posted by Rumple at 7:26 AM on January 21, 2008 [10 favorites]


It called me center-right. I think that I want to weep for joy that such a place exists.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 7:31 AM on January 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


The six hour workweek sounds good, until you remember it's six hours in the freezing noontime dark filleting herring so Danes can feast on roll mops while they drink cheaper beer and tut-tut about Norwegian suicide rates.

Still, better than eight hours.
posted by arcticwoman at 7:33 AM on January 21, 2008


What does this have to do with George Bush?
posted by sfts2 at 7:34 AM on January 21, 2008


I came out as a Christian Democrat. God, I would kill for a socially conservative but economically liberal party in the US. That would be so freaking awesome.
posted by oddman at 7:37 AM on January 21, 2008


What does this have to do with George Bush?

You dream he's a dead viking in a flaming longboat?
posted by Rumple at 7:37 AM on January 21, 2008


The six hour workweek sounds good, until you remember it's six hours in the freezing noontime dark filleting herring so Danes can feast on roll mops while they drink cheaper beer and tut-tut about Norwegian suicide rates.

Wouldn't that be Finnish suicide rates? I've always heard it was much higher than in practically all other countries.

Also I'm all in favor of a shorter workweek, but 6 hours seems a wee bit short.
posted by clevershark at 7:39 AM on January 21, 2008


Suicide rates by country. The Scandinavians aren't as high up as is widely thought, though that won't stop me wearing one of my favorite tees.
posted by Wolfdog at 7:42 AM on January 21, 2008


sfts2 writes "What does this have to do with George Bush?"

Everything, when you consider the woman who is the odds-on favorite to replace him has only a handful of real policy differences with him, and shares with Bush essentially the same universe of wealthy corporate supporters.
posted by orthogonality at 7:47 AM on January 21, 2008 [4 favorites]


Part of the reason the issues are so small-bore is that test was made for the 2007 county and municipal elections. The next parliamentary election isn't until 2009.
posted by Kattullus at 7:52 AM on January 21, 2008


(Here we go...)
posted by Dizzy at 7:53 AM on January 21, 2008


It called me center-right. I think that I want to weep for joy that such a place exists.

That's what struck me most about the test: how most of these questions would be absurd to American voters. I mean, there's your standard 'lower taxes' question, but they pay stay at home parents! Reducing pay differences? Man, I wish the US government would do something about that.

Carbon emissions? The candidates have positions about the government's emissions? Several of our candidates don't even admit that global warming is a problem.
posted by graventy at 8:03 AM on January 21, 2008


Apparently I want a bigger piece of someone else's pie and I want everyone to make their life choices the way I do.

Anyone with me?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 8:06 AM on January 21, 2008


Oh my god, I'm a norwegian communist.
posted by spec80 at 8:16 AM on January 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


Huh. It still has me voting for Ron Raul.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:21 AM on January 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Baby Balrog: Should public funds be used to promote accessibility? Isn't an inability to conceive a kind of disability?

Should public funds be used to promote the provision of beautiful women? Isn't an inability to attract beautiful women a kind of disability?
posted by Horken Bazooka at 8:31 AM on January 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


A couple of quick links for Alvy Ampersand on the subject of Norwegian oil revenues. Basically, they're squirreling lots of it away into big government savings accounts, unlike, say, the British, who blew most of their oil money in the 1980s paying for unemployment benefit, given manufacturing industry collapsed, and tax cuts for the rich, because, er, Thatcher liked the rich. Not that I'm bitter, oh no.

As to tax rates and the education system, you're on your own, but I'd take a wild guess that Norwegian income tax rates would make most Americans wince.
posted by blech at 8:39 AM on January 21, 2008


ZenMasterThis writes "Apparently I want a bigger piece of someone else's pie and I want everyone to make their life choices the way I do. "Anyone with me?"

Rudy Giuliani.
posted by orthogonality at 8:58 AM on January 21, 2008


#6. We should be able to spend more of Norway's oil revenues.
As an American, I strongly agree that we should be able to spend more of Norway's oil revenues.
posted by gilgamix at 8:59 AM on January 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


That was enjoyable, thanks!
posted by languagehat at 9:18 AM on January 21, 2008


As an American, I strongly agree that we should be able to spend more of Norway's oil revenues.

First we have to add Norway to our "Axis of Evil" list.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 9:37 AM on January 21, 2008


At first I was relieved to see that Norwegian political discourse uses useful and appropriate definitions of words like "liberal", but then I saw this:

The Progress Party: Norway's most conservative party

And now I'm a bit confused.
posted by stammer at 9:50 AM on January 21, 2008


"God, I would kill for a socially conservative but economically liberal party in the US. That would be so freaking awesome."

I don't believe that conservative and liberal mean what you think they mean, as the Republicans are the "socially conservative" and "economically liberal" party.

For me:
61 % | Liberal Party
59 % | The Labour Party
58 % | The Socialist Left Party

So, I guess Liberal, but the Socialist Left candidates are so dreamy…
posted by klangklangston at 9:55 AM on January 21, 2008


The Socialist Left Party 45%

Damn Straight ;)
posted by panamax at 9:57 AM on January 21, 2008


"Lesbian couples should have a right to state-supported artificial insemination"

I disagree, but the question doesn't allow me my complete opinion. I don't think anyone has a right to state-supported artificial insemination. If you want a kid? ADOPT! There's children already alive who need your love and support and wisdom. I think it is so awesome cool when two people who love each other very much want to build a support structure for younger people and help them grow up and become productive members of society. I don't care what sexual preclusions they have - so long as they build a happy home for someone who doesn't have one.

Why bring more kids into this world when we still have orphans? I think governments should find ways to make it easier for families to be invented, using building blocks that already exist, but people expecting the State to support their artificial insemination? I don't care if you're asexual. That's not a right. That's not even a priviledge at this point. It's just recently stopped being an experiment. Maybe 'novelty' would be the appropriate descriptor?

And that's just one question. All these questions are like this. I don't care about day care centers in Norway, but that's cuz I don't live in Norway. It doesn't affect my taxes. The wording of the questions is highly suspect. I hate these kinds of multiple choice tests that pretend to know where I fit on any kind of political spectrum.
posted by ZachsMind at 10:05 AM on January 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


As an American, I strongly agree that we should be able to spend more of Norway's oil revenues.

First we have to add Norway to our "Axis of Evil" list.


Having read this, millions of Norwegians sigh, then start pulling the horned helmets and enormous blood-covered axes out of their hall closets.
posted by Mitrovarr at 10:21 AM on January 21, 2008 [8 favorites]


Apparently, I still like Kucinich, even in Norway.

Socialist Left, 64%, followed by Liberal and Labour at 59% each.
posted by rtha at 10:31 AM on January 21, 2008


It claimed I'm with "The Socialist Left Party: More left-leaning than Labour, the Socialist Left supports high taxes and fees to finance a vast array of social services." but that's NOT what I said. I was making choices that would lower taxes and lessen gov't influence. I cry foul on this test. I think the test itself is skewing responses.
posted by ZachsMind at 10:34 AM on January 21, 2008


Despite knowing next to nothing about Norway, I ended up with the liberals and Christian democrats. Which describes me pretty well.
posted by nanojath at 10:45 AM on January 21, 2008


Ah.. the numerical breakdown. The devil's always in the details.

SLParty is only 54%. Liberal Party is 50%. Reds is 44%. Christian Democrats, Conservative, and Center Party is 32% each. So essentially, this test doesn't know where to put me, but Socialist Left inched out over just plain Liberal. I guess it's a fair cop. My political views are a little bit of everything, but mostly I'm left of center.

The thing I find frustrating is that I totally disagree with socialism. However, my opinions on indivdual issues tend to mesh with what socialism claims to offer. I believe there must be other ways to accomplish these goals without resorting to socialism, which I find no better a solution than fascism.

For example, liking some aspects of socialized medicine does not make one ipso facto a socialist. However, a test of this nature paints with too broad a brush. ...OR it just makes everything look grey.
posted by ZachsMind at 10:46 AM on January 21, 2008


The thing I find frustrating is that I totally disagree with socialism.

It seems that what you actually disagree with is the populist caricature that passes for socialism in the United States.
posted by clevershark at 10:54 AM on January 21, 2008 [7 favorites]


stammer: The Progress Party: Norway's most conservative party

And now I'm a bit confused.


The Progress Party is a pro-business, anti-welfare, law and order, lower taxes, anti-immigration party. It's in some ways not all that dissimilar to the Republicans.
posted by Kattullus at 10:58 AM on January 21, 2008


I ended up answering the questions pretending that "Norway" meant "America" in order to purposefully attempt skewing the results more ethnocentrically.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:02 AM on January 21, 2008


Great, I've got Labour and Socialist Left in pretty much a tie (62% to 60%). I better figure out where my loyalties lie before the Storting elections...
posted by jtron at 11:03 AM on January 21, 2008


Now I'm imagining a death metal singer in full corpse paint and a lab coat artificially inseminating lesbians with oil.

I could vote for that.
posted by louche mustachio at 11:29 AM on January 21, 2008


Blech:
As to tax rates and the education system, you're on your own, but I'd take a wild guess that Norwegian income tax rates would make most Americans wince.


The income tax by itself is not huge, for most people 30-something percent, I think. But on top of this is an "employer tax" of 15%, and most goods and services are taxed rather heavily with 25% VAT. A lot of "luxury" goods are also taxed; the price of fuel is about 75% taxes, and a new car with a big engine can easily incur more taxes than the cost of the car by itself.

As you have guessed, Norwegian politics is a bit to the left of American. Most of the bigger parties are, in a global perspective, some type of social democrats. Even the "right-wing" parties do not advocate abolishing socialised healthcare, for example.

Big issues these days are economic policy and different environmental issues. Global warming and CO2 emissions are popular with politicians, but I don't know how much the average voter really cares. Next year's election will probably tell.

Maybe more illuminating for you yanks are what are not big issues: There is no abortion debate any more; most people accept same-sex civil unions (but the state church are not really happy about maybe having to marry gays) and the whole evolution/intelligent design thing in the US is just cause for occasional mirth in the "Weird news" section of the newspapers.

/Norwegian
posted by Harald74 at 11:31 AM on January 21, 2008


Kattullus: The Progress Party is a pro-business, anti-welfare, law and order, lower taxes, anti-immigration party. It's in some ways not all that dissimilar to the Republicans.

The Progress Party is not really anti-welfare. One of their big causes is better care for the elderly. They do favour contracting welfare services out to the private sector, which is under debate over here.
posted by Harald74 at 11:33 AM on January 21, 2008


I love that there is a party called "The Reds." But apparently they are not red enough for me. Socialist Left Party 73%; The Reds 64%; The Centre; 40%.

I am a commie pinko Canadian, though, so I'm not surprised.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:36 AM on January 21, 2008


CleverShark: "It seems that what you actually disagree with is the populist caricature that passes for socialism in the United States."

I believe that with minimal guidance, the majority of needs and wants in a society can be fulfilled by a combination of capitalism and philanthropy. Both fascism and socialism come at it from different angles, but the end result is the same: freedoms cashed in for an illusion of security. Government should be a failsafe; not a crutch. Do I still sound like a socialist to you?
posted by ZachsMind at 11:41 AM on January 21, 2008


CleverShark: "It seems that what you actually disagree with is the populist caricature that passes for socialism in the United States."

I believe that with minimal guidance, the majority of needs and wants in a society can be fulfilled by a combination of capitalism and philanthropy. Both fascism and socialism come at it from different angles, but the end result is the same: freedoms cashed in for an illusion of security. Government should be a failsafe; not a crutch. Do I still sound like a socialist to you?


It seems that what you actually disagree with is the populist caricature that passes for socialism in the United States. And that you believe a lot of things without much evidence. But hey, you also think Letterman's a scab.
posted by klangklangston at 12:04 PM on January 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Maybe more illuminating for you yanks are what are not big issues: There is no abortion debate any more; most people accept same-sex civil unions (but the state church are not really happy about maybe having to marry gays) and the whole evolution/intelligent design thing in the US is just cause for occasional mirth in the "Weird news" section of the newspapers.

Can we have some of your utopia?
posted by Avenger at 12:29 PM on January 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


There seems to be some confusion here: Sweden has the death metal scene. The Norwegian genre of choice is black metal. You do not want to confuse Mayhem for Entombed -- the Norwegians will butcher your dog and burn your house down, and the Swedes might look at you funny.
posted by nicepersonality at 12:39 PM on January 21, 2008


>>A year from yesterday, George W. Bush will no longer be President.

Assuming, of course, there's no "9/11 2: Electric Boogaloo" near election time.

Just sayin'.

Of course, they'd probably then change the position's title and all. So maybe you're right.
posted by SaintCynr at 12:41 PM on January 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


klangklangston, so the proper term for the economic policy of the conservative (i.e. right wing) party in the U.S. is "economic liberalism?'" (Wikipedia backs you up.) I didn't know that, thanks.


Now I have the urge to ask Republican presidential nominees for their views on economic liberalism just to see what happens.
posted by oddman at 1:10 PM on January 21, 2008


KlangKlangston: "And that you believe a lot of things without much evidence..."

Hey! I don't believe the town of Stephenville Texas got flashed by aliens earlier this month! That's gotta count for something!
posted by ZachsMind at 1:15 PM on January 21, 2008


I love Norway. Ever since I visited a few years ago I've been trying to convince everyone I know that we should move there. Everyone looks at me as though I've lost my mind. This could have something to do with the fact that I pull out sweaters if it gets below 80 degrees. Bit of a hothouse southern flower, I.

That said, I had a 4 way tie in the 52-54% region with: The Liberal Party, The Socialist Left Party, The Reds, and The Center Party. With the Christian Democrats with an almost equally strong showing. Huh, me...a leftist? Who'd a thunk it.
posted by dejah420 at 1:44 PM on January 21, 2008


Ειναι ολα τα ελληνικα σε εμενα.
posted by not_on_display at 1:48 PM on January 21, 2008


Awesome. In Norway, I'm a right-leaning centrist. In the US, I'm a pinko socialist. In Denmark, I'd probably be a paleo-regressive right winger.
posted by rusty at 2:26 PM on January 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ειναι ολα τα ελληνικα σε εμενα.

Είναι όλα ελληνικά για μένα. quick fix
posted by ersatz at 2:41 PM on January 21, 2008


Apparently, if I move to Norway, I'll become a fascist.
posted by Dasein at 4:59 PM on January 21, 2008


spec80, me too (73%). I mean I knew I was waaaaaay out in left field for the U.S., but when even the Europeans acknowledge that you're a commie, you know you got it bad. (I was of couse, raised by godless communists, the source of all my troubles. I guess it stuck.)

Anyway. Fun post. thanks.
posted by nax at 6:02 PM on January 21, 2008


56% Reds. 52% Socialist Left.
No surprises here. I'm a balancer. American politics have driven me left.
posted by Goofyy at 10:31 PM on January 21, 2008


I would kill for a socially conservative but economically liberal party in the US.

Yes, but who would you kill?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:56 PM on January 21, 2008


Good question, stavros. Any suggestions?
posted by oddman at 5:58 AM on January 22, 2008


Wow. All the commie parties topped out my list. How will I explain this to my Dad? What could have happened? Do I listen to too much Red Army Choir? Did I watch Enemy at the Gates one too many times? Was I rooting for the wrong guy during Rocky IV's training montage? Crap.
posted by EatTheWeak at 4:23 AM on January 23, 2008


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