CHRISTEN DEMOCRATISCH APPEL

CDA; CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATIC APPEAL
   This political party emerged in 1973–1980 as a fusion of the traditional Roman Catholicparty Katholieke Volkspartij (KVP) and the two major orthodox Protestant parties: the Antirevolutionaire Partij(ARP)and the Christelijk-Historische Unie (CHU), founded by Alexanderde Savornin Lohman in 1908. The Catholic economist Petrus Antonius Josephus Maria (“Piet”) Steenkamp (1925– ) was one of its major architects. Because of the process of secularization in Dutch society, the share of the electorate that voted for religious parties had diminished dramatically during the 1950s and 1960s. However, as a new party, the CDAproved to be attractive to many people, not only to Christians. Because the party operates in the political center, it is a suitable coalition partner for Liberalsand Socialistsas well. Only during the period 1994–2002 after a great loss of votes in the 1994 elections—did the CDAnot par ticipate in the government. In 2002, the CDA became the biggest party in the Parliament again. This position was continued after the November 2006 elections, although the number of seats decreased from 44 to 41 (out of 150). Some well-known CDAleaders have in cluded Dries van Agt, Ruud Lubbers, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, and Jan PeterBalkenende. In the European Parliament (EP), the CDA participates in the European People’s Party.

Historical Dictionary of the Netherlands. . 2012.

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