I’ve argued that political philosophies differ in what role they see emotions playing in public life. While I suspect these differences spill over from (or into?) private life emotional styles to some extent, overall I would expect more emotional overlap in private than public.
While it’s not direct evidence, I thought a recent survey by Essential Research on qualities people seek in a partner by political affiliation was interesting. Out of 13 possible qualities respondents were asked to select the three they saw as most important (table under the fold).
With differences in order and rating, the Coalition, Labor and Green supporters all seek the same top five qualities: honesty and integrity, kind and considerate, sense of humour, similar interests, and caring friend.
The most surprising difference between them is that Greens (66%) are much less likely than Coalition (81%) or Labor (79%) supporters to put ‘honesty and integrity’ in their top three. The most sanctimonious group in public life is the most forgiving of moral failure in private life. Or perhaps Green supporters are just on average younger, and less likely to have felt the sting of romantic betrayal.
The Greens are significantly more likely than supporters of other parties to value a partner who has a sense of humour, is intellectually stimulating and is adventurous and challenging. Labor voters are more likely than Liberals or Greens to look for someone who is a good lover, and perhaps as a logical consequence are also more likely to want someone who would be a good parent (especially compared to Greens, though probably an age thing again).
(sorry the image is blurred – try this)
In another blow to the argument that people are too obsessed with money, none of the groups is much concerned with financial security.
And though Labor voters are more interested in good lovers than others, across the whole sample neither looks (15%) nor sex (16%) rate that highly.
Perhaps we are not as superficial as social critics suppose.