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Progressivism or political progressivism is any of several historically related political philosophies or political ideologies. There are also a number of progressive political parties in various countries. Political progressivism per se can not be classified as left or right. But in particular political spectra, current progressive parties in English speaking countries align themselves to the left, meanwhile in other countries, like in Northern Europe, the right. Whether conservative, environmentalist or liberal, progressive parties are generally reformist in favor of democracy.
Progressivism is a stance of active support for moderate political change and especially social change by governmental action.
In the United States, the term progressive has been employed since the 1980s to describe certain leftist views of one form or another. Dennis Kucinich (a Democrat), Ralph Nader (endorsed by the Green Party in 2000) and the Green Party describe themselves as progressive. In addition to progressive third parties like the Greens, there is also a Progressive Caucus in the House of Representatives, made up of Democrats and an independent Congressman.
However, for more historical perspective on progressivism, see the articles on the Progressive Era and Progressive Movement, between 1900 and 1920, and the Progressive Party (which actually refers to several different parties of different periods).
The term progressive is also popular in Australia, since many on the left are not supporters of the (centre-right) Liberal Party of Australia. Progressives usually support either the Labor Party, the Democrats or the Greens.
The term progressive is also popular in Canada, since some on the left do not support the centrist Liberal Party of Canada. They should not, however, be confused with supporters of the old Progressive Conservatives. The New Democratic Party often considers itself progressive, and attempts to appeal to progressive voters.
The Progressive Party of Canada briefly rose to prominence in the 1920s. The Progressive Canadians Party, composed mostly of anti-merger Tories, was formed several months prior to the 2004 general election.
Progressive voters also support the New Zealand Labour Party
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