Slightly OT: Pete Ashdown for Utah Senator in 2006

Josh Coates jcoates at
Mon Jul 11 19:45:08 MDT 2005

>Just head over to and take their test.

michael - thanks for the link and discussion, but it didn't work out for me.
i started to take the test and decided to quit on the 4th page.  imho, this
test is asinine (i mostly just look for excuses to use that word in a
sentence.)  too many of the 'propositions' are too vague and poorly worded
to be useful lead me to believe that the test is more of a toy than anything
else.  however, conceptually, it's fascinating - but i wish i were able to
have more confidence in this particular implementation.  and yes, i read
their faq.

>I have a theory that LDS
>religion and culture actually tends to make one very liberal in
>political views rather than conservative as you'd think, mainly because
>the intense LDS belief in freedom places most mormons more in the
>libertarian area than, say, facism.

this is an interesting idea, but i believe that often times mormons are
confused about the doctrine of agency, and their confusion translates into
misguided political views.

abortion is the classic case.  i've heard many young mormon women say "i'm
pro-choice because i believe in free-agency."  of course, this is silly, as
they might as well say  "i believe in legalizing [child abuse | murder |
crack | prostitution |
anything-else-you-can-think-of-that-you-personally-find-immoral] because i
believe in free-agency."  oh, and i guess i should mention that the term
'free-agency' is sort of redundant and while i'm at it i'll remind everyone
in the mormon audience that 'moisture' is not the same thing as rain.

reminds me of the bumber stickers i'd see in berkeley - one sticker
promoting safe & legal abortion and the other bumber sticker promoting the
abolition of the death penalty, both on the same bumber.  not to open up a
loathsome debate on the two issues, but the irony of a particular common
viewpoint should be self evident.

of course, this whole mormon/political/government discussion gets even more
tricky when you expand the scope of the arena to include various points in
history (eg. 19th century utah), or the future (eg. millenial or
post-millennial government.)  more food for thought.

Josh Coates

-----Original Message-----
From: plug-bounces at [mailto:plug-bounces at]On Behalf Of
Michael Torrie
Sent: Monday, July 11, 2005 7:09 PM
To: Provo Linux Users Group Mailing List
Subject: Re: Slightly OT: Pete Ashdown for Utah Senator in 2006

On Mon, 2005-07-11 at 16:03 -0600, Merrill Oveson wrote:
> Many political science professors at leading universities such as BYU
> will tell you that there is no difference between Republicans and
> Democrats - and that this was intended by the framers of the
> constitution i.e. a two party system caused the electoral college.
> This ensures that in order to get elected you must represent everyone,
> not just one demographic, such as labor, whites, catholics, etc.
> Certainly, a republican candidate in Utah looks and acts much
> differently from a republican candidate from Massachusetts - yet they
> represent the same party.  Aside note, most Americans prefer a
> balanced government, i.e. if the President is Republican then Congress
> is controlled by the Democrats and vice versa.  I believe the State of
> Utah would be better served by more balance.  Remember in a democracy
> arguement is good.  No arguement often means someone's point of view,
> interests or even  rights are being ignored or worse trampled.

While all of this about balance and the difference between the democrats
and republicans is true, I feel that because they are the same, neither
party can represent my political views.  So while you can say that they
represent the majority of the country (ie middle of the road), can we
prove that?  It's like telling someone you can choose any food you want
provided it's broccoli or cauliflower.  I think that if you took the
statistical average across the entire US of the political spectrum, the
average would be, shock, dead-center.  So you'd think that's where the
two parties are centered on.  However you'd be dead-wrong.  Just head
over to and take their test.  After you
find out where you fall in the spectrum, look at where the Democrats and
Republicans fall.  It may surprise you.  I turned out almost exactly
dead center, tending a little bit towards libertarianism.  Bush and
Kerry came out pretty much extreme right-wing, tending towards, yes,
facism, as well as free-market neo-liberalism(yes they are compatible
with each other).

I'd be curious to see where fellow pluggers fall on the scale as
presented by this very interesting web site.  I'm also curious to see
how mainstream LDS thought influences this.  I have a theory that LDS
religion and culture actually tends to make one very liberal in
political views rather than conservative as you'd think, mainly because
the intense LDS belief in freedom places most mormons more in the
libertarian area than, say, facism.

People commented during the election that the almost 50-50 split between
the parties indicated the marked divisions in American society.  I don't
think so.  I think it indicates that both parties are so similar that no
one can tell them apart, so voting comes out statistically split, since
it really doesn't matter which one you vote for.

Anyway, shedding the old, limited view of a simple left-right spectrum
in favor of a more multi-dimensional one is very enlightening.


> .| This has been a P.L.U.G. mailing. |
> |      Don't Fear the Penguin.      |
> |  IRC: #utah at   |
> `
Michael Torrie <torriem at>
| This has been a P.L.U.G. mailing. |
|      Don't Fear the Penguin.      |
|  IRC: #utah at   |

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