Document Type : Commentary
Departement of Political Science, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada
Faculty of Nursing, Université Laval, Québec, QC, Canada
School of Administration Sciences, Université TÉLUQ, Québec, QC, Canada
Rinaldi and Bekker ask whether populist radical right (PRR) parties have an influence on population health and health equity. The assumption is that this influence is negative, but mediated by political system characteristics. Starting from the authors’ premise that the positions of PRR parties on welfare policies are a good proxy for health outcomes, we build on political science literature to suggest further avenues for research. The equivocal relationship between political parties and the ownership of specific healthcare, health insurance and public health issues invites studies that break down party positions relating to different health policy issues. As policy-makers use social representations of target populations to make policy decisions and anticipate the feedback these decisions might generate, it is worth studying how PRR parties influence societal, institutional and partisan perceptions of deserving and undeserving populations, even when they are not in government.