League of Christian Socialists

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Azure, billetty Or a lion with a coronet Or armed and langued Gules holding in his dexter paw a sword Argent hilted Or and in the sinister paw seven arrows Argent pointed and bound together Or. [The seven arrows stand for the seven provinces of the Union of Utrecht.] The shield is crowned with the (Dutch) royal crown and supported by two lions Or armed and langued gules. They stand on a scroll Azure with the text (Or) "Je Maintiendrai" (French for "I will maintain".)
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The League of Christian Socialists (in Dutch: Bond Christen-Socialisten, BCS) was a Dutch Christian socialist political party. The BCS is historically linked to the Dutch Labour Party and GreenLeft.

Party History[edit]

The BCS was founded in 1907.[1] In the 1918 elections, the first election with a system of proportional representation and male universal suffrage the threshold for the House of Representatives was relatively low, at just over half of 1% of the vote. Consequently the BCS was elected with only 8000 votes (that is 0.6% of vote).

In parliament the party worked together with Socialist Party and the Social Democrat Party (later Communist Party Holland) in the revolutionary parliamentary party. In 1919 the SP MP had left the parliamentary party, disaffected with the cooperation. The BCS representative however embraced the cooperation and left his own party with to join the Communist Party Holland. Some members joined him, while others joined the social-democratic SDAP, a third group continued separately and founded the Christian Democratic Union with the Christian Social Party and the Christian Democratic Party in 1926.

Ideology & Issues[edit]

The BCS was both a Marxist and a Christian party. In its manifesto of principles called "God, Thyself, Thy neighbour", the BCS took the second commandment of Christ from the Gospel of Matthew, "Thou shall love thy neighbour like thyself", as its leading principle.

The party had a traditional socialist program, including the abolition of monarchy and the Senate, equal rights for men and women, free education, the implementation of better labour laws, a minimum wage and social security, disarmament, legalisation of conscientious objection against military service and independence of the Dutch Indies.[1]

Representation[edit]

This table shows the BCS's results in elections to the House of Representatives and Senate, as well as the party's political leadership: the fractievoorzitter, the chair of the parliamentary party and the lijsttrekker, the party's top candidate in the general election, these posts are normally taken by the party's leader.

Year HoR S Lijsttrekker Fractievoorzitter
1918 1 0 Willy Kruyt Willy Kruyt

Electorate[edit]

The BCS had only limited support, which it drew primarily from lower-class Protestants.

International comparison[edit]

The BCS was a Christian socialist party comparable to the members of the International League of Religious Socialists.

References[edit]