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Populist Political Movement Sme rodina – Boris Kollár

Populist Political Movement Sme rodina – Boris Kollár
(We Are a Family – Boris Kollár)

Andrej Školkay, Viera Žúborová

Abstract: This is an exploratory study of populist political movement Sme rodina – Boris Kollár (We Are a Family – Boris Kollár, since November 2019 only Sme rodina). The paper first locates this movement into a lose concept/sui generis family of political parties (the niche party), arguing in contrast to some typologies that this is primarily protest populist party presenting some niche issues, and only secondarily, an entrepreneurial party. The paper also answers the question why this party is considered as being populist by many political and non-political actors and analysts. The paper also suggests that there is actually non-existent, but assumed direct correlation between the support for this party and the decline in the standard of living, as sometimes presented in public discourse. In contrast, it is suggested here that there may be stronger links between relative poverty, feeling of being abandoned by political elites/parties, and low educational levels. Moreover, there played an important role previous knowledge (celebrity status) of the party leader who was often presented and discussed in tabloid media. For this reason, many young females voted for this party. The party also managed to raise a widely perceived problematic issue that was seen as not tackled sufficiently or at all by the previous governments and other competing political parties (the niche or salient issue).

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 822590 (DEMOS Project)