Christian Democratic Party (Chile)
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|Chief of Deputies||Gabriel Ascencio|
|Chief of Senators||Yasna Provoste|
|Founded||28 July 1957|
|Merger of||Social Christian Conservative Party|
|Headquarters||Av. Libertador Bernardo O'Higgins 1460, Santiago de Chile|
|Student wing||Democracia Cristiana Universitaria|
|Youth wing||Juventud Demócrata Cristiana|
|Membership (2017)||29,719 (7th)|
|Political position||Centre to centre-left|
|National affiliation||Constituent Unity|
|International affiliation||Centrist Democrat International|
|Regional affiliation||Christian Democrat Organization of America|
|Colours||Azure blue (customary)|
|Chamber of Deputies|
14 / 155
6 / 43
44 / 278
55 / 345
388 / 2,224
Customarily, the PDC backs specific initiatives in an effort to bridge socialism and laissez-faire capitalism. This economic system has been called "social capitalism" and is heavily influenced by Catholic social teaching or, more generally, Christian ethics. In addition to this objective, the PDC also supports a strong national government while remaining more conservative on social issues. However, after Pinochet's military regime ended the PDC embraced more classical economic policies compared to before the dictatorship. The current Secretary-General of the PDC is Gonzalo Duarte. In their latest "Ideological Congress", the Christian Democrats criticized Chile's current economic system and called for a shift toward a social market economy (economía social de mercado). The PDC often cooperated with centre-left parties until the collapse of the Nueva Mayoría coalition.
The origins of the party go back to the 1930s, when the Conservative Party became split between traditionalist and social-Christian sectors. In 1935, the social-Christians split from the Conservative Party to form the Falange Nacional (National Phalanx), a more socially oriented and centrist group.
The Falange Nacional showed their centrist policies by supporting leftist Juan Antonio Ríos (Radical Party of Chile) in the 1942 presidential elections but Conservative Eduardo Cruz-Coke in the 1946 elections. Despite the creation of the Falange Nacional, many social-Christians remained in the Conservative Party, which in 1949 split into the Social Christian Conservative Party and the Traditionalist Conservative Party. On July 28, 1957, primarily to back the presidential candidacy of Eduardo Frei Montalva, the Falange Nacional, Social Christian Conservative Party, and other like-minded groups joined to form the Christian Democratic Party. Frei lost the elections, but presented his candidacy again in 1964, this time also supported by the right-wing parties. That year, Frei triumphed with 56% of the vote. Despite right-wing backing for his candidacy, Frei declared his planned social revolution would not be hampered by this support.
In 1970, Radomiro Tomic, leader of the left-wing faction of the party, was nominated to the presidency, but lost to socialist Salvador Allende. The Christian Democrat vote was crucial in the Congressional confirmation of Allende's election, since he had received less than the necessary 50%. Although the Christian Democratic Party voted to confirm Allende's election, they declared themselves as part opposition because of Allende's economic policy. By 1973, Allende has lost the support of most Christian Democrats (except for Tomic's left-wing faction), some of whom even began calling for the military to step in. By the time of Pinochet's coup, most Christian Democrats applauded the military takeover, believing that the government would quickly be turned over to them by the military. Once it became clear that Pinochet had no intention of relinquishing power, the Christian Democrats went into opposition. During the 1981 plebiscite where Chilean voted to extend Pinochet's term for eight more years, Eduardo Frei Montalva led the only authorized opposition rally. When political parties were legalized again, the Christian Democratic Party, together with most left-wing parties, agreed to form the Coalition of Parties for the No, which opposed Pinochet's reelection on the 1988 plebiscite. This coalition later became Coalition of Parties for Democracy once Pinochet stepped down from power.
During the first years of the return to democracy, the Christian Democrats enjoyed wide popular support. Presidents Patricio Aylwin and Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle were both from that party, and it was also the largest party in Congress. However, the Christian Democrat Andrés Zaldívar lost the Coalition of Parties for Democracy 1999 primaries to socialist Ricardo Lagos. In the parliamentary elections of 2005, the Christian Democrats lost eight seats in Congress, and the right-wing Independent Democratic Union became the largest party in the legislative body.
In recent years, the Christian Democrats have favored abortion in three cases (when a pregnancy threatens the mother's life, when the fetus has little chance of survival, and when the pregnancy is a result of rape), but not in any other instances, and opposes on-demand abortion.
The Christian Democrats left the Nueva Mayoría coalition on 29 April 2017 and nominated current party president Carolina Goic as their candidate for the 2017 presidential election. The Nueva Mayoria has struggled to remain united as differences have opened up within the coalition over approaches to a government reform drive, including changes to the labour code and attempted reform of Chile’s strict abortion laws. In 2020, all Christian Democrats senators voted in favour of same-sex marriage.
Presidents elected under Christian Democratic PartyEdit
The following is a list of the presidential candidates supported by the Christian Democratic Party. (Information gathered from the Archive of Chilean Elections).
- 1958: Eduardo Frei Montalva (lost)
- 1964: Eduardo Frei Montalva (won)
- 1970: Radomiro Tomic (lost)
- 1988 plebiscite: "No" (won)
- 1989: Patricio Aylwin (won)
- 1993: Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle (won)
- 1999: Ricardo Lagos (won)
- 2005: Michelle Bachelet (won)
- 2009: Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle (lost)
- 2013: Michelle Bachelet (won)
- 2017: Carolina Goic (lost)
23 / 147 (16%)
|N/A||Jorge Alessandri (Ind.)|
82 / 147 (56%)
|+59||Eduardo Frei (PDC)|
|1969||Rafael Agustín Gumucio||716,547||31.05%||
55 / 150 (37%)
|-27||Eduardo Frei Montalva (PDC)|
50 / 150 (33%)
|-5||Confederation of Democracy||Salvador Allende (PS)|
|Congress Suspended (1973-1989)|
38 / 120 (32%)
|N/A||Concertación||Patricio Aylwin (PDC)|
37 / 120 (31%)
|-1||Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle (PDC)|
38 / 120 (32%)
|+1||Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle (PDC)|
23 / 120 (19%)
|-15||Ricardo Lagos (PPD)|
20 / 120 (17%)
|-3||Michelle Bachelet (PS)|
|2009||Juan Carlos Latorre||931,789||14.24%||
19 / 120 (16%)
|-1||Sebastián Piñera (RN)|
22 / 120 (18%)
|+3||New Majority||Michelle Bachelet (PS)|
14 / 155 (9%)
|-8||Democratic Convergence||Sebastian Piñera (Ind.)|
- Pablo Garrido González (December 2012). "Revolución en Libertad, Concepto y programa político de la Democracia cristiana chilena" (PDF). Programa de Historia de Las Ideas Políticas en Chile. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-06-20. Retrieved 2015-06-20.
- Gómez Peralta, Héctor (6 September 2012). "Precisiones conceptuales sobre la democracia cristiana y el neo-liberalismo" [Conceptual details on Christian democracy and neo-liberalism]. Estudios Políticos (in Spanish). 9 (27). doi:10.22201/fcpys.24484903e.2012.27.33124.
- Walker, Ignacio; Jouannet, Andrés (2006). "Democracia Cristiana y Concertación: Los Casos de Chile, Italia y Alemania" [Christian Democracy and Concertation: the Cases of Chile, Italy and Germany]. Revista de ciencia política (Santiago) (in Spanish). 26 (2). doi:10.4067/S0718-090X2006000200004.
- Boyd, Sebastian (15 December 2017). "How Chile's Shifting Politics Baffled Markets". Bloomberg.com.
- Slattery, Gram (11 March 2017). "Chile Christian Democrats pick senator for crowded presidential race". Reuters.
- Navia, Patricio; Osorio, Rodrigo (December 2015). "It's the Christian Democrats' Fault: Declining Political Identification in Chile, 1957–2012". Canadian Journal of Political Science. 48 (4): 815–838. doi:10.1017/S0008423915001067.
- "CIA Paid Chilean Pols". CBS News. 13 November 2000.
- Frei, Eduardo (October 26, 2014). "Eduardo Frei: 'Conozco a la DC y no es un partido de derecha sino que de centroizquierda'" [Eduardo Frei: 'I know the DC and it is not a right-wing party but a center-left party']. El Día (in Spanish). Archived from the original on October 26, 2014.
- C, David Aguayo (20 May 2017). "Carolina Goic por aborto: 'No es un tema para evaluar el voto con la calculadora'" [Carolina Goic for abortion: 'It is not an issue to evaluate the vote with the calculator']. La Tercera (in Spanish).
- "Chile's governing coalition splits ahead of November election". Reuters. 30 April 2017.
- Luna, Juan Pablo; Monestier, Felipe; Rosenblatt, Fernando (2014). Religious parties in Chile: The Christian Democratic Party and the Independent Democratic Union. Religiously Oriented Parties and Democratization. Routledge. pp. 119–137.
Media related to Christian Democrat Party of Chile at Wikimedia Commons