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M. Grégoire @mpjgregoire

I dislike the term "progressive" in politics, because I don't believe that there history has a path, one in which we either move forward (good) or backwards (bad).

History seems much more to me like a pendulum. At one point in time it tends towards one unhealthy extreme, then there is a correction, then it tends towards a different unhealthy extreme.

Consider alcohol consumption. In my opinion, the ideal is to drink good wine/beer/liquor moderately.

When society is puritanical, then we should defend the joys of a good red wine; when drunkenness is a problem, then we should encourage sobriety.

Policies should be defended based upon whether their consequences will be good or bad in the circumstances. Identifying a historic trend, calling it progress, and then pushing it forward should not be assumed to be good for society.

Democracy is perhaps a more present example.

The general trend over the last century in the West is to have increasing democracy, and that has been mostly to the good. Does it follow then that we should favour lowering the age of voting, proportional representation, more frequent elections, or the use of referenda? Not at all. Some of those policies may be desirable, but they ought to be supported on their merits. It's not enough to say that they are progressive.


Is really used as if history has two directions, forward and backwards?

“We need a strong, progressive government that will unite Canadians and fight climate change, not a progressive opposition”

"The world needs his progressive leadership now"

"A little rain can’t stop us! Port Moody’s ready to ."

france24.com/en/20191021-bland

(Not that one should expect much nuance from slogans or Twitter.)

"The certainty that history was going in one direction, towards the free movement of people and things, that technology would dissolve place and borders in an undifferentiated swirl in which only the individual and Treaty law mattered."

unherd.com/2019/12/all-hail-ki