The general consensus among political scientists is that "left wing" includes liberals, progressives, socialists and communists, and the "right wing" includes conservatives, traditionalists, reactionaries and fascists. Political parties can be described as moderate, center-right, center-left, far-right and far-left to more accurately express nuances on the left-right spectrum.Know More
The left-right political spectrum was born during the French Revolution of 1789. In the French National Assembly, supporters of the king sat on the president's right while supporters of the revolution sat on his left. In 1791, the National Assembly was replaced by the Legislative Assembly, and the seating arrangement continued — this time with moderates occupying the center seats. By the early 20th century, the terms left and right were associated with specific political ideologies.
In the United States, the Democratic Party is generally identified as being on the left, and the Republican Party is generally identified as being on the right. The left-right spectrum has been criticized for being too narrow, as it is possible for a member of a political party to hold positions on the opposite side of the spectrum. For example, the pro-life and pro-choice causes are identified with the right and left respectively, but there are pro-life Democrats and pro-choice Republicans.Learn More
Republican and Democratic philosophies differ on controversial topics such as the role of the military, gun laws, gay and lesbian rights, health care, social welfare programs, tax policy, environmental and energy issues and free trade. Republicans also believe that the government should adopt a "less is more" approach when passing legislation whereas Democrats believe that a strong central government is important to maintaining a stable and inclusive society.Full Answer >
The differences between a democracy and a republic include the constraints placed on government and the sovereignty held by the people. In a democracy, the majority may impose its will on the minority, whereas in a republic the majority is unable to take away inalienable rights. Unlike a republic, a democracy is ruled by the majority and contains no protection for the minority against the power of the majority.Full Answer >
According to The Political Compass, the left-right political spectrum generally implies a collectivist versus libertarian view of economic policy, respectively. However, it is also suggested that the left-right political spectrum doesn't adequately describe social politics, which would more accurately fall on an authoritarian versus libertarian political spectrum.Full Answer >
Belgium is a federal monarchy and does not have a president. As of 2014, King Philippe is the head of the state, while Elio Di Rupo is the prime minister and the head of the House of Representatives.Full Answer >