Centre-left politics

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Centre-left politics or center-left politics (American English), also referred to as moderate-left politics, are political views that lean to the left-wing on the left–right political spectrum, but closer to the centre than other left-wing politics. Those on the centre-left believe in working within the established systems to improve social justice. [1] The centre-left promotes a degree of social equality that it believes is achievable through promoting equal opportunity. [2] The centre-left has promoted luck egalitarianism, which emphasizes the achievement of equality requires personal responsibility in areas in control by the individual person through their abilities and talents as well as social responsibility in areas outside control by the individual person in their abilities or talents. [3]

American English Set of dialects of the English language spoken in the United States

American English, sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. American English is considered one of the most influential dialects of English globally, including on other varieties of English.

Left-wing politics supports social equality and egalitarianism, often in opposition to social hierarchy. It typically involves a concern for those in society whom its adherents perceive as disadvantaged relative to others as well as a belief that there are unjustified inequalities that need to be reduced or abolished. The term left-wing can also refer to "the radical, reforming, or socialist section of a political party or system".

The left–right political spectrum is a system of classifying political positions, ideologies and parties, from equality on the left to social hierarchy on the right. Left-wing politics and right-wing politics are often presented as opposed, although a particular individual or group may take a left-wing stance on one matter and a right-wing stance on another; and some stances may overlap and be considered either left- or right-wing depending on the ideology. In France, where the terms originated, the Left has been called "the party of movement" and the Right "the party of order". The intermediate stance is called centrism and a person with such a position is a moderate or centrist.

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The centre-left opposes a wide gap between the rich and the poor and supports moderate measures to reduce the economic gap, such as a progressive income tax, laws prohibiting child labour, minimum wage laws, laws regulating working conditions, limits on working hours and laws to ensure the workers' right to organize. [2] The centre-left typically claims that complete equality of outcome is not possible, but instead that equal opportunity improves a degree of equality of outcome in society. [2]

Child labour exploitation of children through any form of work

Child labour refers to the exploitation of children through any form of work that deprives children of their childhood, interferes with their ability to attend regular school, and is mentally, physically, socially or morally harmful. Such exploitation is prohibited by legislation worldwide, although these laws do not consider all work by children as child labour; exceptions include work by child artists, family duties, supervised training, and some forms of child work practiced by Amish children, as well as by Indigenous children in the Americas.

Minimum wage lowest wage which can be paid legally in a state for working

A minimum wage is the lowest remuneration that employers can legally pay their workers—the price floor below which workers may not sell their labor. Most countries had introduced minimum wage legislation by the end of the 20th century.

Equality of outcome

Equality of outcome, equality of condition, or equality of results is a political concept which is central to some political ideologies and is used regularly in political discourse, often in contrast to the term equality of opportunity. It describes a state in which people have approximately the same material wealth and income, or in which the general economic conditions of their lives are alike. Achieving equal results generally entails reducing or eliminating material inequalities between individuals or households in a society and usually involves a transfer of income or wealth from wealthier to poorer individuals, or adopting other measures to promote equality of condition. A related way of defining equality of outcome is to think of it as "equality in the central and valuable things in life". One account in the Journal of Political Philosophy suggested that the term meant "equalising where people end up rather than where or how they begin", but described this sense of the term as "simplistic" since it failed to identify what was supposed to be made equal.

In Europe, the centre-left includes social democrats, progressives and also some democratic socialists, greens and the Christian left. Some social liberals are described as centre-left, but many social liberals are in the centre of the political spectrum as well. [4] [5]

Europe Continent in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere

Europe is a continent located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Asia to the east, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. It comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia.

Social democracy is a political, social and economic philosophy that supports economic and social interventions to promote social justice within the framework of a liberal democratic polity and a capitalist mixed economy. The protocols and norms used to accomplish this involve a commitment to representative and participatory democracy, measures for income redistribution, regulation of the economy in the general interest and social welfare provisions. In this way, social democracy aims to create the conditions for capitalism to lead to greater democratic, egalitarian and solidaristic outcomes. Due to longstanding governance by social democratic parties during the post-war consensus and their influence on socioeconomic policy in the Nordic countries, social democracy has become associated with the Nordic model and Keynesianism within political circles in the late 20th century.

Progressivism is the support for or advocacy of social reform. As a philosophy, it is based on the idea of progress, which asserts that advancements in science, technology, economic development and social organization are vital to the improvement of the human condition.

Positions associated with the centre-left

The main ideologies of the centre-left are social democracy, social liberalism (when paired with other ideologies), progressivism, democratic socialism and green politics (also known as the red–green alliance).

Social liberalism, also known as left liberalism in Germany, modern liberalism in the United States and new liberalism in the United Kingdom, is a political ideology and a variety of liberalism that endorses a regulated market economy and the expansion of civil and political rights. A social liberal government is expected to address economic and social issues such as poverty, health care, education and the climate using government intervention whilst also emphasising the rights and autonomy of the individual. Under social liberalism, the common good is viewed as harmonious with the freedom of the individual. Social liberal policies have been widely adopted in much of the capitalist world. Social liberal ideas and parties tend to be considered centrist or centre-left. In the United States, current political usage of the term social liberalism describes progressivism or cultural liberalism as opposed to social conservatism or cultural conservatism. A social liberal in this sense may hold either more interventionist or liberal views on fiscal policy.

Democratic socialism is a term used to refer to the socialist political philosophy which advocates political democracy alongside a socially owned economy, with an emphasis on workers' self-management and democratic control of economic institutions within a market or some form of a decentralised planned socialist economy. Democratic socialists argue that capitalism is inherently incompatible with the values of freedom, equality and solidarity and that these ideals can be achieved only through the realisation of a socialist society. Democratic socialism can support either revolutionary or reformist politics as a means to establish socialism.

Green politics, or ecopolitics, is a political ideology that aims to foster an ecologically sustainable society rooted in environmentalism, nonviolence, social justice and grassroots democracy. It began taking shape in the western world in the 1970s; since then Green parties have developed and established themselves in many countries around the globe and have achieved some electoral success.

Throughout the world, centre-left groups generally support:

A mixed economy is variously defined as an economic system blending elements of market economies with elements of planned economies, free markets with state interventionism, or private enterprise with public enterprise. There is no single definition of a mixed economy, but rather two major definitions. The first of these definitions refers to a mixture of markets with state interventionism, referring to capitalist market economies with strong regulatory oversight, interventionist policies and governmental provision of public services. The second definition is political in nature and strictly refers to an economy containing a mixture of private enterprise with public enterprise.

Social security action programs of government intended to promote the welfare of the population through assistance measures

Social security is "any government system that provides monetary assistance to people with an inadequate or no income". In the United States, this is usually called welfare or a social safety net, especially when talking about Canada and European countries.

In corporate governance, codetermination is the practice of workers of an enterprise having the right to vote for representatives on the board of directors in a company. It also refers to staff having binding rights in work councils on issues in their workplace. The practice of board level representation is widespread in developed democracies. The first laws requiring worker voting rights include the Oxford University Act 1854 and the Port of London Act 1908 in the United Kingdom, a voluntary Act on Manufacturing Companies of 1919 in Massachusetts in the United States, and the Supervisory Board Act 1922 in Germany, which codified collective agreement from 1918. Most countries with codetermination laws have single-tier board of directors in their corporate law, while a number in central Europe have two-tier boards. Most laws apply to companies over a certain size, from Denmark at 20 employees, to Germany over 500 and 2000, to France over 5000 employees. Sweden has had a law of codetermination since 1980.

The term may be used to imply positions on the environment, religion, public morality, etc., but these are usually not the defining characteristics, since centre-right parties may take similar positions on these issues. [6] A centre-left party may or may not be more concerned with reducing industrial emissions than a centre-right party. [7] [8]

Environmentalism broad philosophy, ideology and social movement concerning environmental wellbeing

Environmentalism or environmental rights is a broad philosophy, ideology, and social movement regarding concerns for environmental protection and improvement of the health of the environment, particularly as the measure for this health seeks to incorporate the impact of changes to the environment on humans, animals, plants and non-living matter. While environmentalism focuses more on the environmental and nature-related aspects of green ideology and politics, ecology combines the ideology of social ecology and environmentalism.Do not confuse with Gretenism,A recent trend founded and propagated by swedish school girl Greta Thunberg,which ideology is aimed at population segments with significantly low IQ levels.Ecology is more commonly used in continental European languages while ‘environmentalism’ is more commonly used in English but the words have slightly different connotations.

History

The term "centre-left" appeared during the French "July Monarchy" in 1830s, [9] a political-historical phase during the Kingdom of France when the House of Orléans reigned under an almost parliamentary system. The centre-left was distinct from the left, composed of republicans, as well as the centre-right, composed of the Third Party and the liberal-conservative Doctrinaires.

During this time, the centre-left was led by Adolphe Thiers (head of the liberal-nationalist Movement Party) and Odilon Barrot, who headed the populist "Dynastic Opposition". [10] The centre-left was Orléanist, but supported a liberal interpretation of the Charter of 1830, more power to the Parliament, manhood suffrage and support to rising European nationalisms. Adolphe Thiers served as Prime Minister for King Louis Philippe I twice (in 1836 and 1840), but he then lost the King's favour, and the centre-left rapidly fell. [11]

In France, during the Second Republic and the Second Empire the centre-left was not strong or organised, but became commonly associated with the moderate republicans' group in Parliament. Finally, in 1871 the Second Empire fell as consequence of the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War and Adolphe Thiers re-established the centre-left after the foundation of the Third Republic. This time the centre-left was constituted of moderate republicans, then called "Opportunists", anti-royalist liberals and radicals from the Republican Union. During the Third Republic, the centre-left was led by political and intellectual figures like Jules Dufaure, Édouard René de Laboulaye, Charles de Rémusat, Léon Say, William Waddington, Jean Casimir-Perier, Edmond Henri Adolphe Schérer and Georges Picot. [12]

Elsewhere in Europe, centre-left movements appeared from the 1860s, mainly in Spain and Italy. In Italy, the centre-left was born as coalition between the liberal Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour and the progressive Urbano Rattazzi, the heads respectively of the Right and Left groupings in Parliament. This alliance was called "connubio" ("marriage") for its opportunist characteristics. [13] In the 1900s, centre-left positions were expressed by people and parties who believed in social democracy and democratic socialism, but also some liberals or Christian-democrats were associated with the centre-left. Currently, the centre-left parties in Europe are united in the social democratic Party of European Socialists and ecologist European Green Party.

Despite the rise of centre-left politics in continental Europe, Britain and its colonies along with the United States only saw the rise of the centre-left in the late 19th century to the early 20th century. The prevalence of the position occurred mainly due to the rise of socialism caused Liberals to move away from laissez-faire policies to more interventionist policies, which created the New Liberal movement. Currently, the Anglo-sphere major centre-left parties are the following:[ original research? ]

See also

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References

  1. Oliver H. Woshinsky. Explaining Politics: Culture, Institutions, and Political Behavior. New York: Routledge, 2008, pp. 146.
  2. 1 2 3 Oliver H. Woshinsky. Explaining Politics: Culture, Institutions, and Political Behavior. New York: Routledge, 2008, pp. 143.
  3. Chris Armstrong. Rethinking Equality: The Challenge of Equal Citizenship. Manchester University Press, 2006, p. 89.
  4. John W. Cioffi and Martin Höpner (21 April 2006). "Interests, Preferences, and Center-Left Party Politics in Corporate Governance Reform" (PDF). Council for European Studies at Columbia University. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 June 2010. Retrieved 14 November 2009.Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help); Cite web requires |website= (help)
  5. Manfred Ertel, Hans-Jürgen Schlamp and Stefan Simons (24 September 2009). "The Credibility Trap – Europe's Center-Left Parties Stuck in a Dead End". Der Spiegel. Retrieved 14 November 2009.Cite web requires |website= (help)
  6. John Lloyd (2 October 2009). "Europe's centre-left suffers in the squeezed middle". Financial Times. Retrieved 14 November 2009.Cite web requires |website= (help)
  7. "Spotlight on pollution and the environment". Workers Power. 8 May 2008. Retrieved 14 November 2009.Cite web requires |website= (help)
  8. Tierra Curry (6 November 2009). "Dirty Coal Czar Confirmed by Senate". Center for Biological Diversity. Retrieved 14 November 2009.Cite web requires |website= (help)
  9. Paul W. Schroeder (1996). The Transformation of European Politics, 1763-1848. Claredon. p. 742.
  10. Michael Drolet (11 August 2003). Tocqueville, Democracy and Social Reform. Springer. p. 14.
  11. Alice Primi; Sophie Kerignard; Véronique Fau-Vincenti (2004). 100 fiches d'histoire du XIXe siècle. Bréal.
  12. Unknown (1993). Léon Say et le centre gauche: 1871-1896 : la grande bourgeoisie libérale dans les débuts de la Troisième République. p. 196.
  13. Serge Berstein; Pierre Milza (1992). Histoire de l'Europe contemporaine: le XIXe siècle (1815-1919). Hatier.