The history of the largest Portuguese political party

Discover the history of the Social Democratic Party.

The founders

Founded on May 6, 1974, by Francisco Sá Carneiro, Francisco Pinto Balsemão and Joaquim Magalhães Mota. The Popular Democratic Party (PPD) was legalized on January 25, 1975, changing its name to October 3, 1976, the Social Democratic Party (PSD).

Francisco Manuel Lumbrales de Sá Carneiro

19 de Julho de 1934 – 4 de Dezembro de 1980

Francisco José Pereira Pinto Balsemão

1 de Setembro de 1937

Joaquim Jorge Magalhães Mota

17 de Novembro de 1935 – 26 de Setembro de 2007

The Party was created based on three distinct but complementary lines of thought. A Catholic-Social line, born between 55 and
65 as a reaction against state corporatism; a Social-Liberal line, linked to Social-Democracy defending the democratization of the Estado Novo and ideologically linked to the ‘liberal wing’ and, finally, a Technocratic-Social line, with concerns more linked to economic development, privileging social and cultural changes as a means determinant of promoting and extending democracy.

The name PPD was suggested by the writer Rúben Andresen Leitão when he recalled that many center and Social-Christian parties, before the 2nd Great War, were called Populares.

The color orange is adopted at the suggestion of Conceição Monteiro, a warm and mobilizing color, different from red, ideologically connotated
with the PCP and PS.

The symbol is created in July, and its authorship supposedly belongs to Augusto Cid. The three arrows represent the fundamental values of social democracy: freedom, equality and social justice, and finally, solidarity. The origin of the arrows and their symbolism have been described extensively in a text published in the Free People, the official organ of the Party.

The PSD affirms in its Program the adherence to a set of fundamental values ​​and options, the consecration and respect of which it considers indispensable for the construction and consolidation of a more just and freer society. These values, which simultaneously reflect his vision of human freedom, society, political activity and the State, are as follows:

Principle of the Rule of Law, respecting the eminent dignity of the human person – the foundation of the entire legal order based on our conviction that the State should be at the service of the person and not the person at the service of the State;
The Rights, Freedoms and Guarantees of the Portuguese and their groups, an indispensable element for the preservation of personal autonomy, as well as for political and civic participation;
The pluralism of ideas and political currents, whose guarantee of free expression is an indispensable condition for the enjoyment of the fundamental rights and freedoms of every citizen;
The democratic principle, as a guarantee of equal participation of all citizens in the organization and in the choice of the objectives of power in society;
The principle of the affirmation of civil society. The State should not call to itself what individuals are inclined to do – or what they can do – thus guaranteeing a wide space of freedom for the initiative and creativity of civil society organizations;
Dialogue and consultation, as forms of understanding and approximation between free men, based on tolerance and aiming at the search for an active agreement between divergent interests;
Justice and social solidarity, permanent concerns in building a more free, just and humane society, associated with overcoming inequalities of opportunities and imbalances at a personal and regional level and guaranteeing economic, social and cultural rights;
The right to difference, as a condition inherent to human nature and indispensable for the integral affirmation of the personality of each individual; this right the more effective the greater the equal opportunities in the Community;
Valuing peace as an essential objective of political action. For the PSD, building a just peace between peoples must be one of the fundamental objectives of the political action of States.

The PSD assumes the specificities that characterize it as a party with a predominantly Portuguese root, as well as what distinguishes it from European socialist or social democratic parties of socialist inspiration. Such specificities and differences are rooted in the fact that it is:

A personalist party, for which the beginning and the end of politics resides in the human person;
A party with a strong national inclination;
A party with clear values ​​and principles, permeable to creativity and imagination, open to innovation and change;
A party that, being a social democrat, values ​​political liberalism and the free initiative that characterizes an open market economy;
A party that is dialoguing, open to plurality of opinions, and to civil society, defender of moderation and peaceful coexistence between men of different creeds and races, heir to the Portuguese universalist tradition that is structurally averse to any type of xenophobia;
A party committed to European construction, defender of national identity and national values ​​that gave shape to the Portuguese Nation, heir to an Atlantic sense and a deep alliance with Portuguese-speaking peoples;
A party that, betting on effectiveness, values ​​humanism, as well as the great principles of justice, freedom and solidarity;
A non-denominational party, but respectful of the axiological and religious principles of the Portuguese people, identified with Christian humanism;
An interclassist party, dedicated to representing the different categories of the Portuguese population, and committed to the defense of cooperation between social classes as the most appropriate way to obtain the common good and collective progress;
A party that bets on the recognition of merit and the capacity for personal and social affirmation, which are increasingly necessary in a society where the space for the realization of individual capacities grows, and where it is important to distinguish the personal talents that contribute to the common good and to the country’s progress.

The PSD, throughout its history, has adopted operating rules enshrined in the Statutes and Regulations, texts that integrate a set of rules, norms and precepts to be followed by all, leaders and activists.