The Character Assassin: Harry Potter

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So I’ve come up with a semi-regular feature for my, and hopefully your, amusement. I will take random fictional characters and do an analysis of their political leanings to determine which Canadian political party they secretly support. For no good reason, I’m calling the feature The Character Assassin. Let’s start big.

Harry Potter

Bespectacled Teenage Wizard

Bespectacled Teenage Wizard

Star Of: His self titled book series and numerous film adaptations.
First Appearance: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Novel)
Likes: Red-heads, Quidditch, jumping to conclusions
Dislikes: Dementors, potions class, Lord Voldemort
Bio: Young, British child-wizard Harry Potter grows up over several years spent at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, experiences angst, and then saves the world from a lich.

1. Human Rights
Harry is a half-blooded wizard, and the implication is that the Potters are a noteworthy wizarding line. His mother, however, was muggle-born – as was one of his best friends. Harry likes slumming around with fellow Gryffindor Hermione Granger who’s parents are muggle dentists. It’s noteworthy that you never actually see the Grangers – muggles are obviously not meant to be seen or heard. Do they even know what they’re daughter is up to at Hogwarts?

But that’s off topic.

The point is, Harry is all for muggle-born wizards to get the same treatment as any pure- or half-blood wizard. He is a firm believer in equality.

2. Race Relations
If Harry feels that second-class citizens like muggle-born wizards should be given equal rights, one can presume that he feels the same about the other races.

Granted, Harry was a reluctant champion of the House Elf issue, mainly becaming involved in S.P.E.W (the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare) though that pushy muggle-born Granger. Still, he earnestly felt that Elves were being mistreated and deserved better.

Of course, no one bothered to ask the Elves what they thought about their condition, but really, who cares what House Elves think.

In the course of his adventures, Harry also deals with Goblins, Centaurs and Giants – and it’s made very clear they are considered second-class citizens, beasts and monsters respectively. It can easily be assumed that Harry would be inclined to give them the same respect becoming of a wizard, despite his somewhat racist society.

3. Anti-Terrorism
The last two points were definitely fairly left leaning, but Harry has some political beliefs that are a little more right leaning as well.

Harry’s greatest desire in the later books is to finish his schooling in such a way as to become an Auror – a magical internal police with broad powers to investigate and neutralize magical threats. This includes emergency use of Unforgivable Curses, which means they can torture and kill in the name of justice.

So just how much do the ends justify the means, Mr. Potter? Admittedly, he sees the Aurors as shining knights, willing to fight the good fight; but the fact is in the wizard world, these guys are above the law they serve.

I don’t think a liberal would readily support a national police force with little public scrutiny and broad legal powers to investigate as they see fit.

Oh wait...

Oh wait...

4. Good Government
Throughout his Hogwarts stay, Harry is a flagrant rule-breaker. Whether it be visiting the forbidden wing of the castle, or breaking into the Ministry of Magic, Harry is constantly getting himself and his friends into trouble (strange, considering his fondest wish is to become a law-enforcer.)

Harry is also mistrustful and disrespectful of authority figures, and is naturally suspicious of the Ministry of Magic that lords over his life. He constantly tries to shirk their control, and often stands for what he believes is right in stark defiance of the wishes of the establishment. Again, strange for someone who eventually wants to champion his society – but he does see the innate corruption at the heart of his government, and wants to see it changed.

5. The Economy
Harry is a very wealthy young man, having come into money through the trust-fund set up by his parents. Even after this windfall, Harry eventually inherits further wealth from a dead godparent.

Why is this all pertinent? Well, because Harry’s best friend is lovable ginger-kid Ron Weasley, who is also, basically, poor. The Weasley’s live in a hovel (lovingly called “The Burrow”), wear patched-up hand-me-downs, and scrape by on Mr. Weasley’s dead-end government job.

And yet does Harry use his considerable wealth to help out his friend and his family? The answer is seemingly “no.”

Granted, it may be that it never crosses his mind. It could also be that the Weasley’s, who still have their pride, simply refused to take any assistance.

Ultimately, this is the only major look into Harry’s economic leanings, and it isn’t very deep because it’s so superfluous to the plot. On the surface, it certainly looks as though Harry’s not big on charity, even if it helps out his best friend.


Liberal Party

Harry Potter’s political leanings are mainly toward the left, especially socially. He’s an egalitarian, and believes in fair treatment for all people, while simultaneously being pro-nanny-state and anti-government corruption. His economic leanings do suggest a slightly more conservative view, and he is a strong proponent of a police force with few restraints on them, but it’s not enough to tip him into the blue. In the end, Harry Potter would likely vote red and complain about the taxes.

If you have an idea for a fictional victim for The Character Assassin, e-mail Scott, or send him a tweet with your suggestion.

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One Response to “The Character Assassin: Harry Potter”

  1. bingofuel
    November 26, 2009 at 7:12 pm #

    The real question, though, is was Voldemort a fascist, or just a misunderstood lil’ wiz whose mother didn’t love him?