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Dutch Catholic People's Party, 261
Variables and Codes for 1950-1962
For the concepts and variables below, use these links to Political Parties: A Cross-National Survey:
Governmental Status
Issue Orientation
Goal Orientation
Organizational Complexity
Organizational Power
Organizational Coherence
Membership Involvement
The "ac" code is for "adequacy-confidence"--a data quality measure ranging from 0 (low) to 9 (high)

Institutionalization Variables
, 1.01-1.06
1.01 year of origin and 1.02 name changes
1926, AC5
1, AC9
A Catholic Party was gradually established somewhere between 1883 and 1926. In 1896 the roman Catholic representatives in parliament agreed on a common programme, and in 1904 a roman Catholic union of electoral associations was founded. However, it was only in 1926 (after general suffrage and proportional representation had been adopted in 1918-21) that the Roman Catholic State Party was founded. Shortly after World War Two the Roman Catholic State Party became the Catholic People's Party.
1.03 organizational discontinuity
5, AC9
Although parties formed claiming to represent the Catholic vote (e.g., labor party, Catholic dissidents), it appears that the only party to split from the KVP was the Catholic National Party in 1948. In 1955 the Catholic National Party merged with the KVP.
1.04 leadership competition
11, AC7
There is some ambiguity over the identification of the leader of the KVP. Authors frequently identify the chairman of the second chamber parliamentary group as the "leader of the KVP." For almost all of our time period, that would have been C.P.M. Romme, succeeded by W.L.P.M. de Kort in 1962. But under our conception of "legitimate" leadership of the party, the more appropriate position to consider in our scoring is that of chairman of the party executive outside of the legislature. That position was held by W.J. Andriessen from the beginning of our period until 1954, when he resigned because of bad health. H.W. van Doorn was elected to succeed him and continued in the position throughout our time period.
1.05 legislative instability
Instability is .04, AC9
The KVP was remarkably consistent in its legislative representation during our time period, fluctuating only between 30 and 33 percent of the seats .
1.06 electoral instability
Instability is .04, AC9
Elections were held in 1952, 1956, and 1959. The KVP had 29 percent in the first election and 32 percent in both others.

Governmental Status Variables, 2.01-2.07
2.01 government discrimination
0 for 1950-56, AC8
0 for 1957-62, AC8
There was no discrimination against the KVP by the government during the interval studied. (the KVP was part of the government.)
2.02 governmental leadership
0 out of 7 for 1950-56, AC9
5 out of 6 for 1957-62, AC9
Although the Catholics were represented in every coalition during the interval studied, a Catholic P.M. led the coalition only in 1958 (Louis Beel) and from 1959 to 1963 (Edward de Quay).
2.03 cabinet participation
7 out of 7 for 1950-56, AC9
6 out of 6 for 1957-62, AC9
The Catholic Party was in every government coalition during the period studied.
2.04 national participation
4 for 1950-56, AC6
4 for 1957-62, AC6
The KVP draws its support mostly from the Catholic south (provinces of Brabant and Limburg). Its support is also heavier in rural rather than industrial areas. Nonetheless, the party is national in its character. Based on a 1956 survey with 1200 respondents, the KVP's average deviation of votes from the population distribution is 15.
2.05 legislative strength
Strength is .31 for 1950-56, AC9, and .33 for 1957-62 , AC9
The KVP was remarkably consistent in its legislative representation during our time period, fluctuating only between 30 and 33 percent of the seats .
2.06 electoral strength
Strength is .30 for 1950-56, AC9, and .32 for 1957-62 , AC9
Elections were held in 1952, 1956, and 1959. The KVP had 29 percent in the first election and 32 percent in both others.
2.07 outside origin
4, AC9
I have made a distinction between party formation and organization (from the 1880's to 1926) and founding in 1926. Accordingly, Schaepman was the impetus behind the organization of Catholics within parliament. A loose union of Catholic representatives within parliament occurred shortly after Schaepman's death.

Issue Orientation Variables, 5.01-5.15
5.01 ownership of means of production
3, AC7
Although the KVP rejects nationalization in principle and is quite in favor of private property, the KVP does not object to nationalization in exceptional circumstances. (e.g., after World War Two)
5.02 government role in economic planning
1, AC5
The KVP strongly opposed extensive government intervention in economic planning, but accepted limited government activity in the area. The party apparently acted as a moderating influence on the socialist policies of economic planning during the Drees government. When the more conservative VVD replaced the PVDA in the cabinet coalition, the government withdrew somewhat from the level of economic intervention reached under the Drees government. The KVP seemed to have accepted a level of government activity lower than the one desired by the socialists, but did not wish to withdraw from the sphere as severely as espoused by the VVD.
5.03 redistribution of wealth
0, AC7
The KVP favors a just distribution of incomes, but not a redistribution. Private property should be enjoyed by all. The government's position is equivocal and best summed up in this way--more people ought to be given the opportunity to accumulate private property, especially by means of wage determination. But also, personal property tax, real estate tax, and rental tax should be abolished. Thus, the position favors the status quo, but somehow wants to alter it--the distribution policy levels and unlevels.
5.04 social welfare
3, AC8
Although agreeing with the existing situation, the KVP certainly would like to limit the government's role in these areas.
5.05 secularization of society
3, AC8
The KVP is in practice, though not in party doctrine, a party restricted to Catholics. It strongly supports state subsidies to parochial schools, as well as the existence of sectarian owned radio and newspapers.
5.06 support of the military
There is no available data.
5.07 alignment with east-west blocs
5, AC8
The KVP is a supporter of greater European integration and NATO.
5.08 anti-colonialism
2, AC4
Although the KVP supported granting independence to Indonesia (and was so adamant that it let the KNP break off rather than compromise over the issue), the KVP rejected granting new guinea to Indonesia (in favor of retaining it as a territory) and voted to give up new guinea only after much pressure. Low confidence does not indicate lack of information, rather it reflects an ambiguous party position--the KVP's "dithering stand" and vagueness .
5.09 supranational integration
3, AC5
In its 1952 program, the KVP pronounced itself in favor of a federal united Europe under the conditions that the equality of all participating nations and their national interests be guaranteed.
5.10 national integration
1, AC6
The KVP supports subsidiary--a policy which discourages high organizational bodies from performing tasks which can be performed by lower bodies. This lends itself to policies which avoid the extension of central powers. The KVP also wants to preserve religious, cultural, and social differentiation.
5.11 electoral participation
5, AC6
Since its foundation, the KVP has been in favor of lowering the voting age from 23 to 21 and public office requirements from 30 to 23.
5.12 protection of civil rights
3, AC4
There is no indication of any vigorous stand (or lack thereof) by the KVP. The code is inferred--the KVP favors private initiative and encouragement rather than vigorous government enforcement. At the same time, the party is devoted to the preservation of Catholic rights (who have historically been discriminated against). This devotion has gradually been extended to include other groups.
5.13 interference with civil liberties
1, AC7
The KVP platform advocates "legal guarantees for publicity of political parties and for their proper financing." Their stand to retain private radio communication is largely to preserve the status quo in which the Catholics have a station. (In Holland, the radio stations are state owned and licensed, but privately run.) One source notes that the KVP argued for suppressing communist propaganda, at least in the early 1950s.
5.14 / 5.15 us--soviet experts left-right ratings
US says 2, center
Soviets say 1, it represents the interests of monopolistic circles, the higher Catholic clergy, and major landowners. Its program is based on papal encyclicals and the reactionary philosophy of neo-tomism.

Goal Orientation Variables, 6.01-6.55
6.00 open competition in the electoral process
4, AC7
The KVP relies on open competition in elections to win seats. There is some evidence to suggest that in the 1952 elections (an unusually heated contest) the KVP condoned violence against other parties in the south. This was, however, an exceptional case.
6.10 restricting party competition
0, AC7
There is some evidence to suggest that the KVP would seek to eliminate communist campaigning (would like to restrict newspapers), but besides this the party is dedicated to electoral competition. The KVP sought to conciliate with the KNP but not restrict its activities after the 1952 elections. Ac code is attributed to the possibility that the KVP would like to restrict communist campaigning.
6.20 subverting the political system
0, AC8
The relatively high ac owes to the fact that the party has participated in every government coalition since 1918 with two minor exceptions
(basic variable 2.03)--the party participates in electoral competition. There are no indications to suggest subversion of the political process.
6.30 propagandizing ideas and program
6.31--0, AC3. The KVP occasionally uses the Catholic-operated radio station and newspapers to voice party policy, however it does not operate its own mass media.
6.32--2, AC9. Party school was established in 1950 and is located in Baarn.
6.33--2, AC9. Party employs both platforms and resolutions.
6.34--1 , AC3. There is no information in the literature--intuition tells me that concerning some issues (New Guinea, Indonesia) the KVP published statements. Certainly Professor Romme, both as an individual and a member of his party did so--he published a book.
6.50 providing for welfare of party members
There is no data relating to these variables. Past research would suggest that the KVP would prefer private initiative to governmental activity, therefore being ideologically opposed to most of these activities.

Autonomy Variables, 7.01-7.05
7.01 sources of funds
7, AC6
The KVP apparently gets most of its money from party membership dues.
7.02 source of members
5, AC6
The KVP's membership is predominately Catholic. Owing to the church's pleas for Catholic unity and denial of holy sacrament for members of the socialist party, it could almost be said that membership in the KVP is dependent upon being a member of the church. But, membership is not obligatory .
7.03 sources of leaders
1 (sector 06), AC5
All of the leaders of the KVP have been Catholic and largely university professors (e.g., Beel, de Quay, Romme). The only qualification for lesser leaders is to belong to a Catholic organization--farm associations, labor union, Catholic management, radio association, or newspaper .
7.04 relations with domestic parties
4, AC6
The adequacy confidence code is indicative of the failure of the KVP to fit neatly within a category. Dutch politics is such that no government can be formed without a coalition. These coalitions cannot be formed without the KVP, but the KVP is not dominant in them as far as platform and leadership are concerned.
7.05 relations with foreign organizations
3, AC6
The KVP belongs to the Nouvelle Equipes Internationale and abides by their rules and decisions which promote international harmony.

Organizational Complexity Variables, 8.01-8.07
8.01 structural articulation
11, AC8
The KVP has a highly structured party organization, each party organ having clearly defined responsibilities. Among the most important national organs are the general council, the executive council, the executive committee, and the secretariat. Others include the parliamentary groups, party congress, the youth council, the propaganda council, and various permanent committees. Selection procedures are also defined which involve the participation of local party organs (the election council has, for all practical purposes, the final say however.)
8.02 intensiveness of organization
4, AC8
The KVP on the local level is organized into sections. They number up to 5000 people and have two delegates to the general council. An additional delegate is allowed for every additional 5000 people or fraction thereof. Sections are grouped into 18 districts corresponding to Dutch electoral administration districts.
8.03 extensiveness of organization
6, AC5
The KVP is organized into 1200 sections, having local organizations which appear to be spread throughout the Netherlands.
8.04 frequency of local meetings
Our information is not sufficient to permit coding.
8.05 frequency of national meetings
2, AC8
The general council meets annually.
8.06 maintaining records
16, AC6
The ac reflects lack of information as to membership lists--it was inferred that a well maintained list exists because of frequent references in the literature to number of party members and the fact that members pay dues. The KVP has a highly organized publishing network including a sympathetic newspaper (Devolkskrant), and monthly and bi-monthly journals. The party receives advice from the research institute and center for political studies ( neither are party organs, but both are financed by the KVP.) The party also has a central propaganda council which could be considered a research division.
8.07 pervasiveness of organization
7, AC6
The KVP has a youth organization, has frequently been supported by church edicts, and has the Catholic labor union as an ally. Devolkskrant, a KAB paper, has sometimes been referred to as the official KVP paper.

Organizational Power Variables, 9.01-9.08
9.01 nationalization of structure
6, AC8
There exists a tight hierarchical control of all levels of the KVP emanating directly from the top--the executive committee, which exercises control by determining who shall run for office.
9.02 selecting the national leader
Although the literature is voluminous, there is no relevant information.
9.03 selecting parliamentary candidates
7, AC9
Local sections propose lists of candidates to a district advisory commission which submits its recommendation to the election council. The election council draws up a final list and submits it for ratification by the party members.
9.04 allocating funds
2, AC3
There is some evidence that party dues are paid on the local level. No mention is made of distribution. I would suggest that it is probably the case that funds are funneled upward, owing to the general inactivity of local sections (variable 8.04) and the oligarchical nature of the party (variable 9.03).
9.05 formulating policy
6, AC5
KVP programs are drafted by the general council, a committee of not less than 7 members nominated by the executive committee. The general council holds meetings with parliamentary leaders, sections, districts, and extra- parliamentary groups. All data indicate that consultation before policy making insures ratification of policies after they are made. (i.e., the general council adopts the policy finally agreed upon by the executive, sections, and districts.)
9.06 controlling communications
0, AC6
Although there exist Catholic newspapers which are influential, there is no daily press publication which can be considered a direct organ of the KVP . The situation is similar regarding radio, where the KRO is Catholic but independent of the KVP. There do exist party publications, but these do not appear to be widely circulated.
9.07 administering discipline
0, AC8
While in the Netherlands the right to recall is nonexistent and the only sanction a party has is not to nominate an obstinate member, the KVP maintains rather tight control over its members. KVP nominating procedures are the main means of party discipline. This is further reinforced by church appeals for unity. In cases where renomination is not important to the party member (i.e., he can be elected without the party) sanctions are nonexistent (e .g., Dr. Welter).
9.08 leadership concentration
3, AC5
The executive committee seems to ultimately be responsible for decisions and policy making, although the leaders in the first and second chambers of parliament are the visible party leaders. This group leads the party and selects or appoints members to groups responsible for party policy and nominations.

Coherence Variables, 10.01-10.06
10.01 legislative cohesion
1.0, AC5
There is ample evidence to suggest that the KVP in the second chamber during the period was quite a cohesive group. Even during politically tense questions, such as the Indonesian issue, the KVP presented a united front in its voting.
10.02 ideological factionalism
4, AC6
At various times within the period studied, the KVP has been plagued with ideological factionalism between its right and left wings. Professor Duynstee suggested that a separate political structure representing the right be created within the KVP. This idea was abandoned. Later Steenberghe agitated for the rightist cause. Dr. Welter broke away over nonrepresentation of rightist views. The relatively low ac reflects lack of data concerning the formal organization of right and left wing factions.
10.03 issue factionalism
4, AC5
There was only one instance of party factionalism over an issue (Indonesia). It does not seem to be the case, however, that this is at all common (this is inferred from a conspicuous lack of discussion). Perhaps KVP policy formation procedures discourage issue factionalism.
10.04 leadership factionalism
3, AC5
During the period studied, there have been two instances where party leadership was challenged within the party. Professor Duynstee's suggestion for a formal right wing faction within the KVP was interpreted by the "Economist" as a direct challenge to authority and Professor Steenberghe's representation of the rightist's cause (it was said that Steenberghe did not have a specific following). Low ac reflects confusion over whether code 2 or 3 is best applicable.
10.05 strategic or tactical factionalism
There is simply not enough relevant literature to even make an inference.
10.06 party purges
0 for 1st half, AC9
0 for 2nd half, AC9
There have been no purges during our time period.

Involvement Variables, 11.01-11.06
11.01 membership requirements
3, AC8
KVP membership is open to all Dutch citizens over 18 who agree on the aims of the party. Members are required to pay dues and there exist accurate counts of membership size (from which it is inferred that members register).
11.02 membership participation
0, AC6
The data suggest that participation in party affairs is the exception, at least on the local level. In Sassenheim, where 36 percent of the voters belonged either to the KVP or KNP (this is higher than the national average), the following characterized politics--political meetings are poorly attended, even when well-known speakers are hired, and meetings dealing with more technical party matters are even less atttion for the selection of a party leader, which permitted the Venizelos/Pap andreou leadership struggle to continue without resolution. The choice of Gondicas as a compromise leader in 1958 only produced three factions rather than two and allowed the power struggle to continue. \par \par (53) 9.03 Selecting Parliamentary Candidates \par \par 9, ac6 \par \par The file contains no information on the selection of parliamentary candidates, but our consultant reports that the candidates were usuallydata, however, to even faintly suggest a proportion who belong to the KVP for this reason.
11.04 purposive incentives
No data.
11.05 doctrinism
2, AC9
The KVP is guided by principles of Christian morality. Each platform observed in the data had some reference to the KVP as a champion of Christian principles. For example, the general political programme stated that the KVP is guided by "the principle of moral law and divine revelation, and respect for the pronouncements of the teachings of the church." Our consultant advises that the party accepts these pronouncements.
11.06 personalism
0, 3
In the absence of evidence suggesting charismatic qualities for any party leader, it is assumed there is little personalism motivating party militants.