23. Most governments and political figures are plotted on the right. Doesn't that mean that your centre is misplaced ?
The Political Compass chart represents the whole spectrum of political opinion, not simply the range within a particular nation or region. The timeless universal centre should not be confused with merely the present national average.
The former is far more meaningful and informative. Where, for example, would the centre be within the political confines of Hitler's Germany, apartheid South Africa or the Soviet Union ? By showing the whole spectrum of political thought, we can indicate the width or narrowness of prevailing mainstream politics within any particular country. It also enables us to chart the drifts one way or another of various parties, governments and individuals.
Twenty-five years ago, social democracy was riding high in western Europe. A chart at that time would have shown a number of EU governments to the left of the centre. In our globalised age, however, the shift has been rightward, which accounts for the altogether different cluster that the contemporary chart depicts. In other words most democracies, either reluctantly or enthusiastically, have embraced neoliberalism (ie a right leaning economy) to a greater or lesser extent.
Curbs on civil liberties, rationalised by issues such as illegal immigration and terrorist threats, accounts for the concurrent drift upwards on the social scale.