As the election gets closer we will hear more and more phrases such as 'left wing' and 'right wing' but as i seem to get asked more and more exactly what they mean, it is obvious that the terms are much bandied about but not so much understood.
The terms range back to the days of pre-revolutionary France when the Royal chamber was split into two with everyone who wanted to keep things as they were sat to the right of the King and everyone who sat to the left of him wanted to change it.
Of course some would think that if if they were within the vicinity of royalty they would choose the side which provided the best angle to throw rotten fruit at them but the Frenchies Royal Chamber is the basic premise of the 'Left' and the 'Right'.
Adapting it to today, the left basically want what is best for the whole of society while the right want what is best for the individual.
The left include environmentalists, pacifists and Guardian readers. The right have royalists, religionists and Daily Mail readers. Where the left put down the stick and wave around carrots, the right swing the stick and make juice from the carrots.
If you are still unsure about your orientation, science has tried to usher to one side or the other by profiling the typical characteristics of those on the left and right.
Psychologists at New York University conducted a review of 88 prior studies involving 22,000 participants and came up with the following traits regarding political orientation.
If your front room is messy, cluttered, colourful and contains maps or flags, then you are on the left side of the political fence.
If its neat, clean, organised, brightly lit and contains paintings or pictures of buildings you are on the opposite side.
Lefty's have more books, are impulsive, optimistic, more likely to listen to classical music or jazz, enjoy abstract art, like romantic comedies, write in a diary and play musical instruments. They are also more open, inquisitive, excitement-seeking, creative, and travel more.
The right are more likely to be religious, like country music, prefer radio chat shows, are orderly, decisive and more conscientiousness in their duty, and are strict rule followers. They consider the world to be a dangerous place and have a greater fear of death.
Researchers at the University of Nebraska have reported that right-wingers possess a strong 'negativity bias' meaning they are more defencive and reactionary than their left wing cousins.
They also discovered that right wing parents are stricter with their offspring, are more emotionally repressed and are less empathetic but on the flip side are also more polite and strangely own more cleaning supplies than the left so if you ever want a jar opened or your bathroom needs a good clean you would need to ask a right winger.
Finally, if you still unsure if you are left or right or find you have a foot in either camp, their is a quick test to work out your orientation.
Fill in the blanks of these incomplete words: coff__, sk_ll, and _oney.
If you are more likely to vote for the indecisive type with the map of the World on the wall and brightly coloured cushions, you see coffee, skill, and honey.
If you are more inclined to put your cross beside the god bothering candidate with the Dolly Parton CD and sparkling clean bathroom you see coffin, skull, and money.