|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
A testimonial party (Dutch: beginselpartij/getuigenispartij) is a political party that focuses on its principles, instead of adapting them to local or temporal issues in the pursuit of coalition government participation. It is a specific phenomenon in the Netherlands, because of the Dutch system of proportional representation, in which any party which has over 0.66% of the vote can enter parliament, resulting in a large number of relatively small political parties, none of which are able to obtain a majority in the house of representatives. As a result, Dutch political parties will negotiate and compromise to form a coalition government. Testimonial parties will not compromise, and combined with the fact that they are usually small parties, participation in a coalition government is extremely unlikely. Examples of parties that have referred to themselves as "testimonial" include the orthodox Protestant Reformed Political Party (SGP) and the animal rights advocating Party for the Animals. In contrast, the term program party is used for parties oriented at coalition participation.
In other countries
In New Zealand, Christian Heritage Party of New Zealand may have been an exported version of a 'testimonial party' to a foreign national context, whose mixed member proportional representation electoral system discouraged the success of such small fundamentalist-based political parties.
- Protest party
- compare to extra-parliamentary opposition, which refuses to organizationally back candidates for political office.
- single-issue politics