Talk:Left-right political spectrum

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Widely accepted definition

In the comment for revision #13007 of Left-right political spectrum, User:Dr. Edmonds claims "Added a reference to the most widely accepted definition of the distinction of left and right". The book referenced is A Conflict of Visions by Thomas Sowell (

). It would appear to me (based on a cursory skimming of Wikipedia) that George Lakoff's Moral Politics provides a more prominent treatment of the subject (at least in the United States). A Conflict of Visions doesn't seem to merit inclusion in the Wikipedia article about the "Left-right political spectrum". User:Dr. Edmonds, can you back up your bold assertion that Sowell provides the most widely accepted definition? -- RobLa (talk) 04:47, 9 October 2020 (UTC)

I am a little confused about your complaint. You do not seem to disagree with the inclusion of the link but only the summary of the update? I do not think it is much of an overstatement if at all. I have seen Pinker refer to it as such and while that is not proof it sure adds evidence. George Lakoff's Moral Politics does have some distinct concepts but it was much later and all the texts I have heard on the matter discuss both. Lakoff gets into the morals more while Sowell is more broad. Lakoff's work is extended by Haidt in "The Righteous Mind" where he links it back to Sowell. I had considered adding all three as references. Maybe I should have phrased the summary better. I will update it if possible. For a full understanding of this topic all three books should be read. --Dr. Edmonds (talk) 05:06, 9 October 2020 (UTC)

Left, Center, Right merge

I'd like to suggest we merge Left-right political spectrum with Left, Center, Right. English Wikipedia refers to it as "Left-right political spectrum", which seems ike a sensible title for the merged article. Thoughts? -- RobLa (talk) 07:02, 15 March 2022 (UTC)

I think they're distinct things. The LCR example is a specific election example that demonstrates center squeeze in methods that are biased away from the center, while the left-right political spectrum is a more broad concept. If the left and right wings are sufficiently weak, even IRV will elect the center, for instance. But it might be useful to make it more clear that LCR is meant to be a somewhat realistic example of what could happen in left-right politics with three strong parties (one at each wing and one at the center). So perhaps not an outright merge, but some referencing to either article in the other. Kristomun (talk) 09:36, 15 March 2022 (UTC)
Yeah, they're distinct things, but there's no reason why Left, Center, Right can't be a section of the larger "Left-right political spectrum" article, is there? If you were new to electoral reform, how would you tell which article to refer to? It seems to me that we don't need an article for every molecule in the universe, even if those molecules are distinct things, do we? -- RobLa (talk) 00:47, 16 March 2022 (UTC)
Let me rephrase: Let's say that we have a technical aspect and a political aspect to voting methods. Then it seems to me that the LCR example (as example) is more about the technical aspect than the political aspect. The example exercises a certain type of failure in methods that have this failure (namely center squeeze), and also demonstrates why it's not possible to both have good consensus representation and proportional results at once (the house monotonicity part). These failures have political implications, it's true, but to me it seems like this article is more about how a partisan one-dimensional politics behaves - e.g. what's considered left-wing, right-wing, and how polarization can lead to problems when the wings become less interested in compromise.
If we're to merge LCR, then as a technical thing, I think it would fit more with Center squeeze than Left-right political spectrum, perhaps with a section here about how methods that are biased either towards or away from the wings can distort partisan politics, with center squeeze in general and LCR in particular being a good example. But that would also kind of obscure the house monotonicity part of LCR.
If you think it's possible to integrate the technical part of LCR into this article without the result turning into too much of a mess, then I'll try to do so. Kristomun (talk) 15:26, 19 March 2022 (UTC)