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Politics around the World

Below are questions on the politics of eight countries around the world. I give a list of the most significant parties in each country, with a short summary of their nature and ,occasionally, history so you can decide which are the most suited to your views. Please give your own personal choices and explanations in the message area if you feel like it.
UNITED STATES: Politics in the US is unusually bipartisan, with only two parties having any chance representation. The Republican party represents the right in America and is generally more extreme than its European counterparts.The Democratic party represents the left in America, it is generally more moderate than its European counterparts-with the possible exception of Britain- and does not, for example, have socialist origins.The presidency and congress is currently controlled by the Republicans. Who would you vote for?
Republican Party
Democratic Party
Other
MEXICO: Although there are several small parties in Mexico there are three important ones. The oxymoronic Institutinal Revolutionary Party or PRI was in power in Mexico for 70 years until the year 2000, for most of that time as a one-party authoritarian dictatorship. It is occasionally described as "the most corrupt political party in the world" but was backed by American governments, Democratic and Republican, and some credit it with modernizing Mexico. The National Action Party took the presidency from the PRI in 2000 and currently holds it. It is friendly to the US,follows right-wing conservative policies similiar to the Republicans' and has strong links with the Catholic church. The Party of Democratic Revolution is Mexico's main socialist party with its candidate, Andrés López Obrador,a favourite in the 2006 presidential elections. Who would you vote for?
Institutional Revolutionary Party
National Action Party
Party of Democratic Revolution
Other
UNITED KINGDOM: The two largest parties in the UK are the Labour Party and Conservatives.The Labour has been in government since 1997, it traditionally follows leftist policies and represents Britain's mainstream left. However the Blair leadership has sought to move it to the right- adopting Conservative-like agendas like privatisation, welfare reform and support for the war in Iraq. The Conservatives were in power for the 18 years before 1997. They represent the mainstream British right, they are more extreme than other European right-wing parties but not quite as much as the Republicans in America.They are especially eurosceptic.The Liberal Democrats are Britain's third largest party, the only other one to have significant parliamentary representaion. They originally were in the centre of the two other parties, offering a liberal alternative to the socialism and conservativism of the other two. However in recent years they have positioned themselves further to the left- they favour decentralisation,environmental protection, a high tax rate for the rich (though the party is divided over this) and proportional representation and oppose the war in Iraq.The UK Independence Party is a right-wing nationalist party. It has no seats in the British parliamant but does have some in the European parliamant.It opposes immigration and British membership of the EU.The Scottish and Welsh nationalist parties want independence from the UK. Who would you vote for?
Labour Party
Conservative Party
Liberal Democratic Party
UK Independence Party
Scottish/Welsh Nationalists
Other
IRELAND: Party politics in Ireland is unusual as the main divide is not along left-right terms but instead originates in the civil war of 1922-23, fought over the Anglo-Irish peace treaty with the British government. Fianna Fáil was founded by the losing anti-treaty side led by Eamon De Valera, Fine Gael was founded by the winning pro-treaty side originally led by Michael Collins(though Collins died before its formation). This issue is of course now completely irrelivent, but the parties remain the largest in the country. People with both left-wing and right-wing views are in the two parties. Though both parties are often described as centre-right, in truth they vary according to public opinion and their coalition partners.Fianna Fáil is sometimes described as economically more leftist and socially more conservative than Fine Gael. The more normal left-right division is instead represented by the third and fourth largest parties-the Labour Party and the Progressive Democrats. The Labour Party represents Ireland's mainstream left and unlike the UK Labour Party has mostly held on to its social democratic values. The Progressive Democrats are are a right wing libertarian party, favouring privatisation and tax cuts, though also secularism and social freedom. The Greens are pretty self-explanatory, except Ireland's Greens are more eurosceptic than those in other countries. Sinn Féin is the political wing of the IRA. It calls for a united Ireland, is eurosceptic and has far-left economic policies. The government is currently formed by a coalition between Fianna Fáil and the Progressive Democrats. Who would you vote for?
Fianna Fáil
Fine Gael
Labour Party
Progressive Democrats
Green Party
Sinn Féin
Other
GERMANY: There are currently five parties in the German parliament, two main ones and three smaller ones. The Christian Democrats represent the mainstream German right. They are traditionally quite moderate, though they have moved to the right under Angela Merkel, calling for weakening of trades unions and tax cuts for the rich. They originally supported the war in Iraq, but have softened their stance in the face of public opinion and oppose extraordinary rendition and US activities Guantanamo Bay. The Social Democrats represent the mainstream German left. Under Gerhard Schroeder they strongly opposed the war in Iraq. They more or less support the maintenance of Germany's current economic system, but moderated somewhat while in power and brought in some welfare and labour-market reforms. The Free Democrats have libertarian policies, they are economically the most right-wing party and call for greater privatization and tax cuts and are friendly with business.The Greens again are largely self-explanatory, it is arguable whether they are more left-wing than the social democrats, they take a pro EU stance. The Left Party was founded less than a year ago by an alliance between old East German communists and disaffected Social Democrats. It has more traditional socialist policies and opposes any dismantliing of Germany's social contract. Since November the government has been formed by an awkward "Grand coalition" of necessity between the Christian Democrats and Social Democrats. Before that it was formed by a coalition between the Social Democrats and Greens. Who would you vote for?
Christian Democrats
Social Democrats
Free Democrats
Greens
Left Party
Other
SWEDEN: There are currently seven parties in the Swedish parliament. The Social Democrats are always the largest party in Sweden and since 1932 they have been in government for all but nine years. It is this long period of rule that allowed them to establish Sweden's legendary welfare state. The Left Party was originally communist and favour further nationalisation. They also place particular emphasis on environmentalism. The Greens are again quite self-explanatroy, Sweden's Greens are quite eurosceptic. Sweden's centre right is represented by three different parties-the Moderates, the Liberals and the Christian Democrats. The Moderates are the second largest party in Sweden. They favour privatisation and a more free market economy, though they have recently moved further to the centre. The Liberals have centre-right, libertarian ideology, but are unually pro-immigration. The Christian Democrats are the most socially consevative party in Sweden. The Centre party is socially liberal and strongly connected with agriculture and rural issues. It generally allies itself with the centre-right parties. A minority Social Democratic government currently holds power with the supprot of the Greens and Left Party.Who would you vote for?
Social Democrats
Moderate Party
Liberal Party
Christian Democrats
Left Party
Centre Party
Greens
Other
INDIA: Due to its federal structure party politics in India verges on the insane ,with 38 parties plus independetns holding seats in parliament. But there are only six national parties, parties recognized in four or more states. The two largest are the Indian National Congress (INC) and Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP). The INC is the oldest party in India and is the party of Mohandis Gandhi and the Nehru-Gandhi family. It is traditionally centre-left and secular, but it played a part in establishing India's free market economic system. The BJP is nationalist Hindu party with conservative free market policies, it is often seen as Islamophobic. The Communists in India are split up into various disparate parties, two which are national parties. The Marxist Communist Party was founded by the left of the main Communist Party in the 1960s over the party's support for India in the Sino-Indian war, whereas they believed support should be given to the communist nation. The Bharatiya Samaj party represents the lower and untouchable castes in India. The Nationalist Congress party split from the INC in 1999 because they opposed the right of foreign born Sonia Gandhi, leader of the INC, to become prime minister. It has centre-left and secular policies. The government currently formed by a multi-party Congress led coalition, including the Nationist Congress party and supported from outside by the communists. Who would you vote for?
Indian National Congress
Bharatiya Janata Party
Marxist Communist Part
Communist Party
Bharatiya Samaj Party
Nationalist Congress Party
Other
JAPAN: The Liberal Democrats are a conservative party and has the most right-wing policies of all parties. Since 1955 it has been in power for all but one year. The Democratic Party is a leftist liberal party, founded in the nineties and is now Japan's main oppositioni. The New Komeito Party campaigns for clean government, devolution of power, reduction in bureaucracy and transparency in pubic authority. On other issues it is largely centre-right. Though Japan Communists generally follow traditional Leninist policies,it campaigns for "democratic revolution" and opposes militarism and nuclear power. It proposes a neutral Japan and strong UN. The Social Democrats were once Japan's main opposition party, but most of its members left to form the new Democratic party and is now quite small. It favours the establishment of a European-type social democratic Japan. The Liberal Democrats currently have and absolute majority in parliament. Who would you vote for?
Liberal Democratic Party
Democratic Party
New Komeito Party
Communist Party
Social Democratic Party
Other
This poll was created on 2006-02-10 20:54:04 by proud lefty