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The centre-left also referred to as the moderate left, describes adherence to views leaning to the left but closer to the centre on the left-right political spectrum than other left-wing variants. Centre leftists, such as social democrats or social liberals, believe in working within the established systems to improve social justice. The centre-left promotes a degree of social equality that it believes is achievable through promoting equal opportunity. The centre-left has promoted luck egalitarianism that emphasizes that the achievement of equality requires personal responsibility in areas in control by the individual person through their abilities and talents and social responsibility in areas outside of control by the individual person in their abilities or talents.
The centre-left opposes a wide gap between the rich and the poor and supports moderate measures to reduce the gap, such as a progressive income tax, laws prohibiting child labour, minimum wage laws, laws regulating working conditions, limits on working hours, laws to ensure workers' right to organize. The centre-left, unlike the far-left, typically claims that equality of outcome is not possible (sometimes not even desirable), but that equal opportunity improves social equality in society.
In Europe, the centre-left includes social democrats, social liberals, greens, progressives and also some democratic socialists. Some social liberals are described as centre-left, but also a lot of social liberals are in the centre of the political spectrum.
Ideologies associated with centre-left
Throughout the world, centre-left groups generally support:
- A mixed economy consisting of both private enterprise and publicly owned or subsidised programmes of education, universal health care, child care and related social services for all citizens.
- An extensive system of social security, with the stated goal of counteracting the effects of poverty and insuring the general public against loss of income following illness, unemployment or retirement (National Insurance contributions)
- Equal rights and opportunity.
- Government bodies that regulate private enterprise in the interests of workers and consumers by ensuring labour rights (i.e. supporting worker access to trade unions), consumer protections, and fair market competition.
- A value-added tax and/or progressive taxation system to fund government expenditures.
The term may be used to imply positions on the environment, religion, public morality and so on, but these are usually not the defining characteristics, since centre-right parties may take similar positions on these issues. A centre-left party may or may not be more concerned with reducing industrial emissions than a centre-right party.
- Oliver H. Woshinsky. Explaining Politics: Culture, Institutions, and Political Behavior. Oxon, England, UK; New York, New York, USA: Routledge, 2008. Pp. 146.
- Oliver H. Woshinsky. Explaining Politics: Culture, Institutions, and Political Behavior. Oxon, England, UK; New York, New York, USA: Routledge, 2008. Pp. 143.
- Dr. Chris Armstrong. Rethinking Equality: The Challenge of Equal Citizenship. Manchester, England, UK: Manchester University Press, 2006. P. 89.
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