From Our Own Correspondent
To-day, Friday, May 17, Holland goes to the polls in the first post-war election. The outcome is more in the balance than most Dutch elections are, but the chances of the new Catholic party are good, and that despite the fact that the Catholic vote will be split between the new Catholic People's Party and the new Labour Party, because the lowering of the franchise age from 26 to 23 will, it is thought, favour the former.
The election campaign has been in full swing for the past six weeks. The names and qualifications of the candidates for the Second Charnbei (the Dutch equivalent of the House of Commons, and consisting of 100 members) are splashed on posters all over the country and fat the last month ugly hoardings, put up for the purpose, have disfigured the picturesque bridges across the Amsterdam canals.
Never before have prospects about the results of the election been so uncertain. Will the reborn and renamed Cathqlic Party hold its own or sven gnin ? Will the Communists make big advances ?
The main interest is centred upon the duel between the Catholic People's Party (the old Catholic " Stake Noy " changed its name into Katholieke Volksparty), and the new Labour Party Already before the war the Social Democrats in Holland showed a tendency to break away from the Marxist and materialistic principles on which the party programme was based. After the war they joined hands with the Liberal Democrats and some
srna I ler Christian and hurnanistic groups: their new progressive programme has cut out the purely materialistic and anti-religious foundations of the old party.
A small num let of Catholics have also joined. hoping to influence the political trend of the party by propagating theis social and economic ideas. as laid down in natural law and the papal encyclicals. The party leader is the present Dutch Prime Minister, The great hulk of Catholics will probably support the Catholic Party, as they consider the progressive programme of their party the safest and surest road towardthe realisation of their economic and social desiderata in accordance with Catholic principles. Judging from pre-was polls, both the Catholic Party and the new Labour Party should obtain 32 seats in the Second Chamber.
Large families may turn the balance M favour of the Catholic Party.
e lire lowering of the election age from 26 to 23, and the continuom high birth-rate among the Catholics may