Why was the question https://politics.stackexchange.com/questions/4949/are-there-any-countries-that-are-progressive-in-most-if-not-all-aspects closed as "Primarily Opinion-based"?

Based on the comments, the question seemed to have mainly annoyed people who are politically conservative. But I don't see why asking a question about non-conservative countries (or to be less imprecise, whether certain policies are correlated with other policies) would annoy them. If someone had asked "Which parts of Indonesia are most based on Sharia law?", I would have happily answered that question even though I'm not a big fan of Sharia.

Is the term "Progressive" really too biased?

2 Answers 2


One of the comment pointed out that the word progressive was not defined. That could be a problem. It is a progression toward what ?

Most progressive countries are often on the left political spectrum such as Sweden, Denmark and Finland. These countries have high tax rates, good wealth redistribution and offer good social security. They often labels themselves as social-democrat. But everyone knows that the word they want to use is socialist. They are socialist but the word has a bad meaning for a lot of people. They seek greater equality, and that is why the are called progressive. Originally, the communist and socialists had the same goal. Where the communists wanted to change everything with a revolution, the socialist wanted to do it in a democratic way. They chose the slow way to change their country, instead of the highway. So, this is the generally accepted meaning but progress can go in any direction.

We have to be careful in politics when we use words like liberals, conservative or progressive. In the US, you are progressive (on the left) if you vote for the democrats. If Sweden had the same democrat party, it would be a right, or a center-right party and the party would probably not be considered progressive.

Ok so my advice would be to repost the question and replace the word progressive with social-democrat or socialism and give a definition of what is it.

And lastly, to answer your question : Are there any countries that are progressive in most if not all aspects?

the question is vague. You want to know if a country can be 100% progressive? a good books about the different types of welfare states : http://www.amazon.com/The-Three-Worlds-Welfare-Capitalism/dp/0691028575

  • 1
    I don't think that the bolded advice will be close to enough. Not only does "Progressive" have a debated meaning, but so does "Conservative", and "Liberal" and even more straight forward ideologies like "Libertarian" can have debated meaning Oct 12, 2014 at 16:58
  • And yes, it is also vague. You'll have a hard time enumerating the "aspects" which you expect to be progressive, and even if you do have an enumeration, it will likely be very incomplete. Oct 12, 2014 at 17:01
  • I think you definitely have to be very careful when using a broad term to define what you mean by it. I had a lot of problems with my first question and had to clarify the word conservative. politics.stackexchange.com/questions/3166/…
    – lazarusL
    Oct 13, 2014 at 18:08

I generally agree with Vincent's answer (+1) but also, even if you could MAGICALLY define what "progressive" means (by listing every policy you care about that you personally consider "progressive"), you would still have a bad question because most countries are NOT neatly divided into buckets.

  • Cuba fits "progressive" on many economic criteria, but put homosexual in labor camps (following the lead of USSR).

  • Israel is extremely LGBT-friendly (more so than most European states, especially if you stick to Tel Aviv area and avoid hareidi enclaves) and mid-range on economics (started out near communist, moved rightward lately). Most hard left would not call it "Progressive" with a gun to their head.

  • North Korea is pretty "progressive" both economically and not that bad even socially. At least on paper. Don't see any progressives rushing to claim them as an ur-example.

To top that off, yes, as anti-socialist (much as you want you can't really lump me under "conservative"), I am ALSO ticked off by the completely biased assumption inherent in the term you used implying that your prefered policies are "progress". Some are progress. Some are localized progress leading to long term disaster. Some aren't progress at all. if you merely LISTED your prefered policies and outcomes, you'd have been MUCH more likely to get an upvote and not a CV from me.

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