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Nolan Chart for the GLA candidates

November 29th, 2010 Posted in Uncategorized by

Many people have been introduced to libertarianism through the Nolan Chart
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nolan_chart). What few may be aware of is that David Nolan died on 20th November 2010. David Nolan was a founder of the US libertarian party and a noted geolibertarian, ie one of the types of libertarian found in the Liberal Democrat Party. In honour of David Nolan I have produced a Nolan chart based on my interpretation of the views of candidates. This gives a timely reminder of how this chart can be used to inform discussions about libertarianism.

Overview
This matrix was created to try to interpret the political positions of the candidates for the Lib Dem GLA list. I believe that this is important because it allows us to determine the type of Lib Dems being elected. We need to bear in mind that the GLA is a scrutiny committee and that the party has determined policy. None the less the political positions of the candidates are, in my experience, of interest to voters and are not necessarily made obvious by candidates. This is the first time that this exercise has been attempted to my knowledge. There are bound to be discrepancies so voters should not use this to cast their vote. It is intended to inform communications between voters and candidates who can state their own positions.

Methodology
The information used to create this matrix comes from the candidates directly, the internet, the Manifesto Booklet and from general knowledge of the candidates. Some candidates seem to have a long term history of not being involved in campaigns that reveal their political ideology or have chosen not to in this campaign. I am also less sure of the political positions of Russell and Pidgeon than the rest.

Commentary
This election is marked by a low number of candidates from the right wing of the party.The Orange Book concept of a right wing leaning libertarian view does not seem particularly evident. All candidates have avoided taking left/right labels in this election, and none have explicitly defined themselves as libertarians. Masroor is an imam (1) but it is not clear how that influences his political positions. Emerson has commented that she seeks to “increase foreign direct investment” (2), and appears to be the most right leaning of the candidates. In general the candidates appear to take more left leaning positions with there being an emphasis on government intervention in the housing sector. The candidates therefore seem to be representative of our councillor base rather than the parliamentary party.

Comments should be sent to edwardtjoyce@gmail .com

(1) http://youelect.org.uk/constituency/bethnal-green-and-bow/news/19th-april-hustings-event-with-abjol-miah-ajmal-masroor-rushnara-ali–zakir-khan
(2) Manifesto Booklet

Nolan Chart GLA

Nolan Chart GLA

7 Responses to “Nolan Chart for the GLA candidates”

  1. Angela Harbutt Says:

    I was a long time resident of Fulham and Hammersmith and have met and talked to Merlene (Emerson) a number of times.

    Whilst we never got into the details of politcs I will say that she always struck me as a liberal – with a clear head regarding the local economy.

    Her website is more “Lib Dem traditional” than our conversations suggested – but that might just be her local party/agent. She is sassy, smart and does not need the “F” for female or “*” for ethnic minority…. that she gets on most Lib Dem sites. She always struck me as straight talking no-nonsense, uber bright all the way. She got my vote first and foremost.

    I hope she gets elected and then lets her true liberal colours fly high and wide. If she does it surely cant belong before she is noticed in the upper echelons of the party.


  2. Ed Joyce Says:

    As with almost all the candidates Merlene Emerson is ‘seasoned, passionate, and energetic’. What makes her different is that she is the only candidate that I can place in the libertarian right. Whether this is accurate remains to be seen, but that is my interpretation based on indications from a few quarters.


  3. Yellow Bird Says:

    This chart is very helpful


  4. Ed Joyce Says:

    That’s good to hear Yellow Bird. Do you find it accuate ?


  5. Liberal Neil Says:

    What evidence is this chart based on?

    Or is it your subjective viewpoint?


  6. Ed Joyce Says:

    Only what is in the post but a lot of people have looked at this now and it has stood up to scrutiny. Given the number of people who have looked at it and spoken to me personally about it it is notable that nobody has stated that any of the relative positions are incorrect – although this may well be the case.

    This is absolutely not an academic piece – it is my personal view.


  7. Ed Joyce Says:

    Following the conclusion of the GLA elections a number of valid criticisms were made of this chart. These were

    1. General objections to political compass. These specifically revolved around the fact that the Lib Dems were listed as on a libertarian/authoritarian scale at -1 which some felt was insufficiently libertarian to reflect the views of the party.

    2. At least two people queried the relative positions saying that from what they knew of the positions of the candidates that the positions were inaccurate.

    3. The third query raised was about the methodology, which was based on the manifestos. The query was that insufficient detail was given about how the positions were drawn out of the policy documents.

    In response to these

    1. Anyone not happy with political compass should discount this chart. It is only of any benefit to those happy with political compass.

    2. Regarding the position of the candidates these were my personal opinion at the time however the election is now over and politicians move their positions. Any former candidate could simply declare their current position which could well be different from the position at the time.

    3. Regarding the detail on the methodology there is some information here. It based the results on my personal interpretations of their statements. I have had conversations with many of these candidates and numerous contacts at other times as have people that I know.

    This is a subjective viewpoint from an activist and should be criticised in that light.


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