Reformed Political League

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
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".)
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
the Netherlands

The Reformed Political League[1] (GPV; Gereformeerd Politiek Verbond ) was a Dutch orthodox Protestant political party. The GPV is one of the predecessors of the ChristenUnie. The party was a testimonial party.

History[edit]

1948-1963[edit]

The GPV was founded in 1948 as the result of a theological conflict within the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands, which led to the creation of the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands (Liberated). In 1944 a group of orthodox Protestants left the Reformed Church, because they disagreed with Abraham Kuyper's view that God had created multiple branches of Christianity (Catholicism, Protestantism etc.), each with their own sphere.

In 1948 adherents of the Reformed Church in the Netherlands (Liberated) left the Anti Revolutionary Party, the party linked to the Reformed Church in the Netherlands. On April 1, 1948 they founded the GPV during a congress Amersfoort. Former ARP MP Albertus Zijlstra chaired the congress, and also led the party in its early years.

The party was specifically linked to the liberated Reformed Church. Membership of the church was a pre-requisite for membership of the party. This dogmatic position isolated the party.

The party participated, without success in the 1948, 1952 and 1956 elections. After the 1956 elections the number of seats in parliament was extended, therefore the number of votes needed to obtain a seat was decreased from one percent of vote to two-thirds of one percent of vote. In the 1959 elections it appeared that the GPV had won a seat. Its sole MP, Laning, was asked to visit the queen to advise her on the formation of a new cabinet. After the results were calculated exactly it became clear that the GPV had obtained too few votes for a seat.

1963-2003[edit]

In 1963 the party participated in the elections again and it obtained one seat. It was taken by Pieter Jongeling, who was made top candidate on advice of prominent professor of theology J. Kamphuis. In the 1967 elections they were able to retain their one seat. During the early 1970s a group called Nationaal Evanglisch Verbond (NEV) had left the ARP because they thought the party's alliance with the Catholic People's Party was wrong. They asked the board of the GPV whether they could join their party. This was rejected by the board of the GPV, who said that the party was open only to members of the liberated Reformed Church. This group would later become the Reformatory Political Federation (RPF). In the 1971 election the party was able to obtain a second seat, which they were able to retain 1972. In 1977 Jongeling was replaced by Verbrugh and the party lost one seat. Before the 1981 election Verbrugh was replaced by Schutte, who would lead the party until 2001. He was able to retain the one seat in 1981, 1982 and 1986, and he won a second seat in 1989. In the 1994 elections the party retained its two seats. In 1993 the GPV officially opened itself to non-liberated members. This started a slow process of cooperation between the GPV and the RPF, another orthodox Protestant party. From 1998 the two parliamentary parties began to cooperate, holding common meanings and appointing common spokespersons. The fact that the GPV had only two seats and the RPF three inhibited the cooperation. In 1999 their parliamentary parties in the Senate officially merged, forming one parliamentary party. In 2001 the same happened in the House of Representatives. In 2002 they presented a common list of candidates for the House of Representatives, entering the elections as ChristenUnie: they obtained four seats. In 2003 the GPV officially disbanded, making its fusion into the ChristenUnie final.

Name[edit]

The GPV chose for the name Gereformeerd Politiek Verbond (Reformed Political Alliance), because it wanted to convey that it was a reformed party, and that its organization was decentralized: the GPV was primarily an alliance of local branches.

Ideology and issues[edit]

In its first years the GPV did not have a separate election manifesto or manifesto of principles. Instead it claimed to base its policy directly on the bible. In 1967 the first manifesto of principles was published, in which the party again stressed that the Bible was the basis of their policy. The party saw the Netherlands as a Protestant nation, which should be defended.

In practice this meant that the GPV took the following stances:

Leadership and support[edit]

This table shows the GPV's results in elections to the House of Representatives, Senate and European Parliament, 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's leader. The membership of the GPV is also represented.

Year HoR S EP Lijsttrekker Fractievoorzitter membership
1948 0 0 n/a did not participate none unknown
1949 0 0 n/a no elections none unknown
1950 0 0 n/a no elections none 1,200
1951 0 0 n/a no elections none 2,250
1952 0 0 n/a Albertus Zijlstra none 3,300
1953 0 0 n/a no elections none unknown
1954 0 0 n/a no elections none 5,100
1955 0 0 n/a no elections none 5,600
1956 0 0 n/a L.P. Laning none 5,400
1957 0 0 n/a no elections none 5,820
1958 0 0 n/a no elections none 6,400
1959 0 0 n/a L.P. Laning none 6,500
1960 0 0 n/a no elections none 6,311
1961 0 0 n/a no elections none 6,223
1962 0 0 n/a no elections none 6,608
1963 1 0 n/a Piet Jongeling Piet Jongeling 7,039
1964 1 0 n/a no elections Piet Jongeling 7,146
1965 1 0 n/a no elections Piet Jongeling 7,200
1966 1 0 n/a no elections Piet Jongeling 8,005
1967 1 0 n/a Piet Jongeling Piet Jongeling 8,355
1968 1 0 n/a no elections Piet Jongeling 8,028
1969 1 0 n/a no elections Piet Jongeling 7,823
1970 1 0 n/a no elections Piet Jongeling 8,702
1971 2 0 n/a Piet Jongeling Piet Jongeling 8,973
1972 2 0 n/a Piet Jongeling Piet Jongeling 9,491
1973 2 0 n/a no elections Piet Jongeling 9,836
1974 2 0 n/a no elections Piet Jongeling 10,498
1975 2 0 n/a no elections Piet Jongeling 10,728
1976 2 0 n/a no elections Piet Jongeling 11,371
1977 1 1 n/a Bart Verbrugh Bart Verbrugh 12,000
1978 1 1 n/a no elections Bart Verbrugh 12,463
1979 1 1 0 no elections Bart Verbrugh 12,700
1980 1 1 0 no elections Bart Verbrugh 12,922
1981 1 0 0 Gert Schutte Gert Schutte 13,181
1982 1 0 0 Gert Schutte Gert Schutte 13,114
1983 1 1 0 no elections Gert Schutte 13,181
1984 1 1 0 no elections Gert Schutte 12,909
1985 1 1 0 no elections Gert Schutte 13,044
1986 1 1 0 Gert Schutte Gert Schutte 13,365
1987 1 1 0 no elections Gert Schutte 13,554
1988 1 1 0 no elections Gert Schutte 12,639
1989 2 1 0 Gert Schutte Gert Schutte 13,015
1990 2 1 0 no elections Gert Schutte 12,917
1991 2 1 0 no elections Gert Schutte 14,276
1992 2 1 0 no elections Gert Schutte 14,358
1993 2 1 0 no elections Gert Schutte 14,179
1994 2 1 1** Gert Schutte Gert Schutte 14,269
1995 2 1 1** no elections Gert Schutte 14,650
1996 2 1 1** no elections Gert Schutte 14,535
1997 2 1 1** no elections Gert Schutte 14,366
1998 2 1 1** Gert Schutte Gert Schutte 14,121
1999 2 2* 1** no elections Gert Schutte 13,687
2000 2 2* 1** no elections Gert Schutte 12,940
2001 2 2* 1** no elections Eimert van Middelkoop unknown

*: in a combined parliamentary party with the RPF; **: in a combined parliamentary party with the Reformatory Political Federation and the Political Reformed Party.

Municipal and provincial government[edit]

The party had some representatives in the provincial legislatives of Gelderland, Utrecht and South Holland, which form part of the Dutch Bible belt it also held some representation in Groningen. It never cooperated in any provincial executives.

The party had several mayors in small municipalities in the Dutch Bible belt. In the same region the party cooperated in local executives.

Electorate[edit]

The GPV's electorate was almost entirely made up out of members of the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands (Liberated). These were concentrated in Gelderland, Utrecht and South Holland, which form part of the Dutch Bible belt, and Groningen

Organization[edit]

Organizational structure[edit]

The highest organ of the GPV was the congres, it is formed by delegates from the municipal branches. It convenes once every year. It appoints the party board and decides the order of candidates on electoral lists for the Senate, House of Representatives and European Parliament, and has the last word on the party program. The party secretariat was located in Dordrecht and later in Amersfoort.

Linked organisations[edit]

The party published Ons Politeuma ("Our citizenship"). It scientific institute was the Groen van Prinsterer Stichting ("Groen van Prinsterer Foundation") and its education institute was Mandaat - Gereformeerd Politiek Vormingswerk ("Mandate, Reformed Political Education work"). Its youth organization was the Gereformeerde Politieke Jongeren Club ("Reformed Political Youth Club"), which published Plein ("Square") and Stand-By.

Pillarized organisations[edit]

The party had a small liberated Reformed pillar around, consisting out of like minded organizations. Most prominent was the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands (Liberated). The paper Nederlands Dagblad was closely linked to the GPV, until 1974 Pieter Jongeling, who also led the parliamentary party, led the paper. The Kampen Theological University of the Reformed Church (Liberated) was also linked to the liberated Reformed Church.

Relationships to other parties[edit]

Before 1981 the party was very isolated, this was caused by their own dogmatic position on non-liberated Christians. Nonetheless the knowledge and conscience of its MPs was respected throughout parliament.

After 1981 the party began to cooperate with more with other parties, especially with the orthodox Protestant Political Reformed Party (SGP) and Reformatory Political Federation (RPF). In 1981 the GPV allowed municipal branches to cooperate with branches of other parties, this led to the formation of several combined lists with either the SGP or RPF or both. In 1984 the party entered in the European elections with a combined list the RPF and SGP. It won only one seat. In 1994 they were more successful and won two seats, one of which was taken by the GPV.

In 1993 the party allowed non-liberated to become member of the party, this started a slow cooperation process with the RPF which resulted in the fusion in the ChristenUnie in 2003.

International Comparison[edit]

Internationally the party was comparable to the American Christian Right and the small Protestant parties of Scandinavia, such as the Christian Democratic Party of Norway, the Swedish and Danish Christian Democrats. The party has never been in a government coalition however, instead it has chosen to voice its concerns with government policy, while acknowledging that they are not big enough to force their opinion upon others.

Literature[edit]

  • Klei, E.H., 'Klein maar krachtig, dat maakt ons uniek'. Een geschiedenis van het GPV, 1948-2003 (Amsterdam 2011).

References[edit]

  1. ^ Translation used by Andeweg and Irwin in Governance and Politics of the Netherlands (2002:45)