Re: Impulsive voting
That is the meaning I intended --- no so much a mix of right and left leading to a "centrist" position, as John Sager suggested, but a scenario where one does not really define one's views by picking part of this 'left-right spectrum'. For instance, I'm a pretty committed environmentalist but despite (actually I would say because of) that, I am extremely pro-nuclear. I'm probably left-of-centre regarding healthcare availibility and educational opportunities, but in other respects I could be considered a right-wing small-state libertarian. I'm also an ardent supporter of British armed forces and believe the UK should project its military power overseas whenever it is justified (not too many of my Guardian reading friends would agree, I suspect).
In the article, Tim is separating the big-state/small-state argument from the austerity/stimulus argument, and this is an approach I find extremely encouraging: having a situation where you can evaluate evidence and engage in constructive and considered debate without the "All of those people just want to destroy our country" vs "All of those people just want to kill the poor" shouting which just generates a lot more heat than light.