Idea ganked from elsewhere on the internet (yes, I am on a vacation from being on vacation, why do you ask?) ...
Political positions drift over time, quite dramatically, as the Overton window slides back and forth.
Prior to 1832, in the UK it was a Radical political position to campaign for votes ... for adult Protestant males aged over 21 who weren't land-owners. The campaign for a universal adult male franchise, much less votes for women, was the territory of the radical-radical fringe: the sort of people who were arrested for subversion and sentenced to exile with hard labour.
(Note that the Great Reform Act of 1832 massively extended the male franchise so that almost 15% of the male population could vote.)
Alternatively: do you believe passionately in free trade, and the right of western corporations to hire armies of mercenaries and conquer third world nations in order to make more efficient use of their natural resources and labour? Congratulations! You're a late 18th/early 19th century Liberal (or "Whig" as they were then known—the L-word came later).
Are you an authoritarian militarist who supports a totalitarian leader and is determined to implement universal military service in order to carve out an empire—a place in the sun—around your nation's borders? Then you might be a Conservative! And as such, you're also the fellow who invented social security and the state retirement pension. (Say hello, Prince Otto von Bismarck.)
(I gather in Russia today people who believe Stalin's legacy should be honoured are considered to be Conservatives. Whereas the free market capitalists are the Liberals.)
Finally: left-wing or right-wing? The meaning of the term indicated where you chose to sit in the National Assembly following the French revolution; like-minded representatives sat with like, to the left or right of the President's chair.
The point I am trying to make here should be fairly obvious: today's political labels have a long and interesting history of being applied to bizarrely different (not to mention incompatible) belief systems. The British Conservative party today is very (radically) different in ideology from the Conservative party under Harold Macmillan in the 1950s; meanwhile, if we look to Australia, the main right-wing party are the Liberals and the Labour Party is barely a whisker to their left (indeed, any English-speaking nation that has a Labour Party today has one that is way more committed to doctrinaire corporate capitalism in the American model than its supporters in the 1970s would have imagined possible). The labels remain, but the underlying ideology drifts and mutates surprisingly fast, when viewed over a time scale of decades.
In my next novel (the one I'm going to write for publication in 2014), I'm planning on tackling the future of politics circa 2030-2040. Today's front-rank politicians, aged 45-70 and children of the Boomer generation and their immediate predecessors and successors, will be elderly and retired or dead by that time; the pre-occupations of politics will revolve around the issues and preoccupations of Generation X and Generation Y, those born between 1965-1985, and 1986-2000. Meanwhile, although political allegiances firm up in the late teens to twenties, people seem more inclined to vote as they mature; so those same Gen-Xers are going to be the heaviest-hitting demographic in the voting population in, for example, the USA or the UK. These generations barely remember the Cold War and the bipolar superpower era at the end of the 20th century. Rather, they've grown up surrounded by the wreckage created by the baby boomers.
What are they going to be preoccupied by? And what incongruous labels will they attach to their ideologies?