Evangelical People's Party (Netherlands)
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
|Evangelical People's Party
|Leader||Cathy Ubels (1982-1989)|
|Dissolved||9 March 1991|
|Split from||Christian Democratic Appeal|
|Politics of Netherlands
The EVP was founded in March 1981 by members of the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA), which were united in the group "Not by Bread Alone" (Niet bij Brood Alleen) and members of the Evangelical Progressive Party, which had previously left the Protestant Anti Revolutionary Party. Both groups were opposed to the formation of the CDA and its conservative course.
After winning one seat in the 1982 general election - it was unable to do so in 1981 - the party joined the opposition. The party became divided between a left wing and a centrist wing. The left wing wanted to co-operate with the Political Party of Radicals (which had split from the Catholic People's Party in 1968) and its left-wing allies, the Pacifist Socialist Party and the destalinized Communist Party of the Netherlands. The EVP was more reserved towards the CPN. The centrist wing wanted to co-operate with the Labour Party and the CDA. Although some members were willing to co-operate, the party congress rejected the co-operation with the CPN, the PSP and the PPR in the 1984 European Parliament elections.
After the party lost its sole seat in the 1986 elections, co-operation with other parties become more important. For the 1989 elections the Political Party of Radicals (PPR), Pacifist Socialist Party (PSP) and the Communist Party of the Netherlands initiated a common list GreenLeft. The EVP hesitated to join, and only after the talks were concluded did it opt to enter. It got one candidate on an ineligible eleventh place. In 1991 the party officially dissolved itself into GreenLeft in the Moses and Aaron Church in Amsterdam. Prominent EVP-members became involved in the Leftwing Cheek, a platform for the New Testament and Politics. This platform still exists, but it is only of limited importance within the party.
Ideology and issues
The party combined left-wing ideas with a green program, inspired by the New Testament. The Sermon on the Mount was an important inspiration for the party. The Sermon was seen as an evangelical imperative to create a society where justice, peace and solidarity would rule. Important issues for the party were:
- A pacifist foreign policy, especially opposition to the placement of nuclear weapons.
- It sought to formulate an alternative to both capitalism and communism. It proposed the economy of enough, in which incomes would be redistributed, people would get more rest (for instance by a government-financed sabbatical for all) and damage to the environment would be limited.
- The party was progressive on ethical issues, such as gay rights and abortion, which is unusual for a Christian party.
This table the EVP's results in elections to the House of Representatives, as well as the party's political leadership: the fractievoorzitter is the chair of the parliamentary party and the lijsttrekker is the party's top candidate in the general election; these posts are normally taken by the party leader.
|1982||1||Cathy Ubels||Cathy Ubels|
|1983||1||Cathy Ubels||no elections|
|1984||1||Cathy Ubels||no elections|
|1985||1||Cathy Ubels||no elections|
The EVP's small electorate consisted out of left-wing Protestants, mostly former adherents of the Anti Revolutionary Party, for whom opposition to the placement of nuclear weapons was an important issue. The party was open to non-religious persons.
The EVP published a periodical called "EVP info", which was continued after 1990 as "The Leftwing Cheek" within GreenLeft. Its scientific institute was Foundation for Formation and Education, which published "Schering en Inslag"
Relationships to other parties
The party had good relations with the Political Party of Radicals (PPR), which also had its roots in Christian democracy and emphasised green ideals. It also had good relations with the social-democratic Labour Party and the Pacifist Socialist Party (PSP). In 1989 it chose for the PPR and the PSP and merged into the GreenLeft, together with the Communist Party of the Netherlands, a party towards which the EVP was more reserved, because of its atheism, alignment with communist dictatorships and centralised organization.
Internationally the party is comparable to other small parties which combine left-wing politics with religious inspiration, for instance the Swiss Christian Social Party.