The politics of parties
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Ideology is generally used in its neutral sense to refer to a distinctive set of ideas of any group or class (as discussed in Chapter 6). At first glance it would appear easy to place the ideology of health promotion and public health practice within traditional ‘left-wing’ party political values. Seminal publications such as the WHO Ottawa Charter (1986) are explicit as to their underpinning values and strategies which involve: equity, inter-sectoral collaboration, peace, building a stable eco-system, social justice, building healthy public policy, creating supportive environments for health, strengthening community action, and developing personal skills. Left-wing governments have traditionally been distinguished by (often imperfectly defined) ideological or value differences relating to freedom, equality, fraternity, rights, progress, reform, and internationalism. Right-wing governments in turn are traditionally attached to ideas such as authority, hierarchy, order, duty, tradition, reaction, and nationalism (Heywood 2000).