In America, the terms Left and Right are applied to (1) economic policy, (2) social policy, and (3) national defense. But even within these areas there is a wide variety of positions. In the GOP, you have a lot of absolutely flaming (heh) liberals on social policy. They're called Libertarians. On national defense, you get more hawks on the right on the left, but there is still a robust debate on the right about our handling of the War on Terror. When it comes to economic policy, there seems to be a lot of argument, but I suspect it's just talk. In fact, there's a broad consensus.
That is, Nixon, Ford and Carter (two R's and a D) supported economic policies that are far to the left of the entire debate between the parties today. That's because our economy has boomed and boomed and boomed for almost 30 years now, under both parties leadership. Only John Edwards among the major candidates seems not to have learned the lesson; yet, in the unlikely event he wins, he probably won't do as much as anyone thinks.
So I guess what I'm getting at -- that is, the really obvious point -- it's really difficult to describe someone accurately using a one-word term like Left or Right. But it probably needs to be said again.
We need something more akin to the Myers-Briggs, but for political types. (BTW, I'm an INTP).