Christian Democratic Party

(redirected from Christian Democratic Parties)
Also found in: Dictionary.
Related to Christian Democratic Parties: CDU

Christian Democratic Party


(CDP; Partido delia Democrazia Christiana), a Catholic political party; the largest bourgeois party in Italy. The CDP was founded in 1943 as the heir of the Popolari (Popular Party). The ideology and programs of the CDP are based on the tenets of the social doctrine of Catholicism. The social composition of the party and its body of supporters is highly varied, although the middle strata predominate.

During the fascist German occupation of Italy from 1943 to 1945, the CDP took part in the resistance movement and collaborated with the Communist and Socialist parties. From 1944 to 1947 it continued to collaborate with these parties in governments. In May 1947, however, it broke the antifascist front and formed a government without the Communists and Socialists. Since then, the CDP has continuously headed the government.

In the 1950’s, the government, under the leadership of the CDP, basically catered to the interests of big capital. In foreign policy, it cooperated with NATO. In domestic policy, it attempted to combine anticommunism with various socioeconomic reforms, including an agrarian reform in 1950; the creation of the Southern Fund in 1950 and 1951 to stimulate economic development in the backward, southern regions; and the development of a state sector in the economy. The reforms were intended to create the machinery for state monopoly regulation of the economy. They were insufficient to solve Italy’s complex social and economic problems, however, and an acute crisis resulted in Italian society and in the CDP at the end of the 1950’s and the beginning of the 1960’s. Right-wing elements in the CDP attempted to consolidate the party’s position by allying the party with the neofascists; the resulting government of F. Tambroni was in power for a period in 1960. The efforts of the right-wing elements, however, ended in failure owing to the strong opposition of the democratic forces.

Under these circumstances, certain elements in the party turned to left-centrism; that is, they sought to form governments with the Socialists and rejected alliances with the right-wing bourgeois Liberal Party. The aim of the maneuver was to strengthen the CDP’s position and to isolate the Communists. Left-center governments were in power from 1962 to 1972 and from 1973 to 1976. Their reforms were limited to the nationalization of the electrical energy industry in 1962 and the creation of regional organs of self-government in 1970. Further reforms were rendered impossible by the constant factional warfare among the parties in the ruling coalition and within the CDP itself.

A number of events were indications of a deep crisis in the CDP. In addition to the formation of G. Andreotti’s government in 1972 with the participation of the Liberals, these events included the CDP’s failure in a referendum in 1974 on the question of divorce and the CDP’s loss of approximately 1 million votes in the municipal elections in 1975.

In the parliamentary elections of 1976, the Communist Party received almost as many votes as the CDP. In 1977 the CDP agreed with six other parties, including the Communist Party, to a program of cooperation in government and in 1978 agreed to form a parliamentary majority (which existed until 1979) represented by the CDP and the Communist Party. In the parliamentary elections of 1979, the CDP received 38.3 percent of the vote.

As of 1980, the CDP had 1.8 million members. The party is organized on a territorial principle. The membership of the leading bodies is divided among the various factions in proportion to the size of the factions (at the Fourteenth Congress of the CDP in February 1980, six factions were represented in the leading bodies). Important party leaders in the 1970’s included G. Andreotti, F. Piccoli, A. Fanfani, and A. Forlani. The president of the CDP is currently A. Forlani, and the secretary is F. Piccoli. The party’s official organ is the newspaper II Popolo.

Christian Democratic Party


(CDP; Chrześcijańska Demokracja; commonly known as Chadecja), a petit bourgeois party that arose in Poland in 1919, one of whose aims was the strengthening of the political and cultural influence of the church. The CDP was formed by the unification of similar regional organizations that had existed from 1902 in the Polish territories under German control, from 1905 in the Kingdom of Poland, and from 1908 in Galicia.

The CDP, which was hostile to the revolutionary working-class movement, advocated “class peace.” The party was heavily influenced by the National Democratic Party of Poland, with which it formed in 1922 the bloc sometimes called the Chjena. From May to December 1923 and in May 1926, members of the bloc were included in the coalition government of W. Witos. In 1929 the CDP joined the Centrolew bloc, which was in opposition to the sanacja regime. In 1937 the party joined with the right-wing National Workers’ Party (founded 1920) to form the Labor Party (Stronnictwo Pracy), which existed until 1950.


Krzywoblocka, B. Chadecja 1918–1937. Warsaw, 1974.
References in periodicals archive ?
Europe's Christian Democratic parties have long used the term "secularly Christian" to describe their distinctive objectives, and only the Dutch CDA has responded to the presence of non-Christian conservative voters by developing an Abrahamic approach, emphasizing the presumed commonality among Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, to the representation of the interests of believers.
As aforementioned, European Christian democratic parties have normally taken positions that do not fit one category on the typical left-right political spectrum.
Three exit polls differed on which of the two main parties - Schroeder's Social Democrats and two Christian Democratic parties led by Stoiber - was ahead.
Using both archival sources and secondary works, Carolyn Warner, a professor of political science at Arizona State University, has written an engaging account of the relationship between the Catholic Church and the post-World War II (1944-58) Christian Democratic parties in Italy, France, and Germany.
Instead, she builds on the work of Stathis Kalyvas, who argues that "the Church acts strategically and that Christian Democratic parties are organizations with interests often distinct from the Church" (27).
Elsewhere in Latin America Christian Democratic parties remained a decisive political force; where they did not triumph, the Catholic Church was solicited to legitimize the electoral results.
And Wilders has already received assurances from the conservative and Christian democratic parties that, in exchange for his support, the burqa will be banned in the Netherlands and immigration curbed.
For example, in Germany, the Social and Christian democratic parties make up the country's centre-left governing coalition.
The failure of European Christian democratic parties to reconcile religion and liberty is a serious problem, but the issue has also been addressed by the Catholic Church's development of social doctrine.
The clear model for a moderately religious party -- one committed to the rules of the democratic game -- are the Christian Democratic parties of Western Europe and, to a lesser extent, Latin America.
Christian Democratic parties first emerged in Belgium and Germany toward the end of the nineteenth century as narrowly focused Catholic interest groups.
The reference to "Christian-democratic" in the subtitle stems from the European experience that saw Christians in several countries establishing Christian democratic parties, of which Kuyper's Anti-Revolutionary Party was the first.

Full browser ?