By the Herald editorial staff
We are a label-loving society in this country.
If you're not sure, politically speaking, we have a little test for you. It's a strictly private test, between you and your computer -- but we wouldn't mind if you shared with us how it worked out for you.
We'll tell you how to take the World's Smallest Political Quiz (it isn't ours) at the end of this editorial.
The members of the Herald Editorial Board took it, and they were all over the place.
This part of Eastern Washington votes largely but not exclusively Republican. It's a phenomenon that developed mostly after 1994's Contract With America saw Republicans surge back to national prominence in Congress. It is now fairly well established.
But while many Tri-City voters go GOP on most races, they are at the same time jealous of their independence. We have the uproar over the loss of our open primaries because of the machinations of the Democratic and Republican parties to prove that.
Nothing rejuvenates Americans like a robust election campaign.
Most of the races to be decided in November are nonpartisan, so political labels aren't much use on the political campaign signs sprouting at just about every intersection in the Tri-Cities these days.
Next year will be different, with one Washington U.S. Senate seat, every U.S. House seat, about half the state Senate seats and all the state House seats up for election.
And all with political labels prominently attached.
If you are one of those folks who says you're independent but leaning one way or the other, try the test. It's just for fun, but it has very substantial recommendations -- and some doubters.
Here's the web address: www.theadvocates.org/quizp/index.html.
If you read through the supporting materials at the site, you'll find that the test is sponsored by Libertarians. They admit it would be great if it attracted some new members for their party, but they say, and others agree, they have not "loaded" the quiz to favor their party.
As proof, they report that national results of those taking the quiz (13.6 million so far) are a close match for other polls and election outcomes.
"The Quiz has gained respect as a valid measure of a person's political leanings," says The Washington Post.
There are just 10 questions with only three possible answers to each -- Agree, Maybe and Disagree.
Then your political inclinations will appear instantly as a red dot on a map.
It's quick and painless.
If you'd like to share your own outcome, and any thoughts you might have about the test, go to tricityherald.com and open the opinion tab, then editorials.
Comment at the bottom of the editorial after you've logged on.
If you're not yet registered, it's a snap.