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Why do we need Political Parties?

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In a democracy, political parties are one of the most important institutions. For most people, democracy is synonymous with political parties. It is critical to understand the nature and operation of political parties. If we visit rural and distant places and conduct a survey, their understanding of the constitution may be minimal, but they will undoubtedly be aware of political parties. 

However, knowledge of political parties does not always imply favourable attitudes toward them among the general public a result, the topic of whether political parties are essential in a democracy naturally arises in people’s minds. One of the most visible institutions in a democracy is political parties. To form a government, political parties are required. Candidates from several political parties compete in elections at the federal, state, and local levels. Political parties use internal methods to choose the candidates who will run in elections. Political parties develop policies and programmes and influence public opinion. After political parties win elections, they form governments and execute policies based on the manifestos of the winning parties. If political parties lose elections, they sit in opposition in Parliament or the state legislature, observing or criticizing the government’s policies and activities. 

Meaning of Political Parties

A political party is a collection of people who band together to run for office and control the government. All political parties have policies and programmes aimed at promoting the common good in society. They attempt to persuade individuals that their policies are superior to those of others. They hope to put their policies into effect by garnering popular support in elections. Political parties reflect a society’s underlying political divisions. All of the parties favour a particular segment of society, resulting in a partnership. 

The part a party represents, the policies it supports, and the interests it defends define it. Three elements make up a political party

  • The decision-makers
  • Active participants
  • The adherents 

Functions of Political Parties

Political parties have the following responsibilities:

  1. They nominate candidates for election campaigns. Candidates can be selected by the party’s top leaders or by party members. In some nations, such as the United States, a political party’s nominee is chosen by its members and supporters. Top party leaders in India select candidates to run in elections.
  2. Parties provide their policies and programmes to voters for consideration. 
  3. Political parties play a significant influence in enacting legislation in the United States. A bill cannot become law unless it has the support of a majority of parties. The Legislature is where laws are debated and passed.
  4. Governments are formed and managed by political parties. Political parties influence major policy decisions made by the political executive. Parties select, train, and appoint leaders as ministers. 
  5. Parties that lose elections serve as opponents to the ruling party. They criticize the government for its bad policies and mobilize resistance to them. 

 Need for Political Parties

Political parties are required to fulfil a range of functions. Political parties are essential to modern democracies. Without parties, the following scenarios may arise:

  1. Each election candidate will be independent.No one will be allowed to make any substantial policy changes or pledges to the public.
  2. Although the government will be created, its functionality will remain in question. Elected officials will be held accountable to their constituents for their actions in the community. However, no one will be in charge of how the country will run. 
  3. In numerous Indian states, non-party-based Panchayat elections are held. The parties do not formally compete here. It is common knowledge that the hamlet is divided into several groups, each of which nominates a slate of candidates. This makes the political party necessary.
  4. The growth of representative democracies is inextricably tied to the rise of political parties. As communities grew larger and more complex, they required a body to collect and present numerous points of view on various subjects to the government. 
  5. Society needs a system to support or constrain the government, as well as to formulate, justify, and reject policies. Every representative government’s needs are met by political parties. 

For example, These groupings are considered basic elements for the arrangement and functioning of public power in today’s vote-based nations. Obviously, governments without parties exist in places like Libya, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. There are no elections in these countries, and political groups are limited. As a result, public opinion is stifled. When a political party leads from the front, this does not happen. They listen to the public’s voices and opinions and endeavour to improve the country. In such case, there would be no groups: every up-and-comer in political decision-making would be a free competitor. Nobody will be responsible for how the country is managed if any particular rival does not have the productivity to promise any meaningful policy change to the people. 

FAQs on Need for Political Parties

Question 1: Describe the many roles that political parties play in a democracy.


Political parties provide the following functions:

  • They run for office.
  • They implement numerous policies and programmes for the general public.
  • They play a crucial role in legislating and enforcing laws.
  • When these parties win elections, they establish and administer the government.
  • If these parties lose, they will become opposition parties and will criticize the administration.
  • The parties shape public opinion on a variety of subjects. They can both assist people in forming an opinion and influence them to change it.
  • These organizations assist citizens in understanding government policies and actions. 

Question 2: What are the different obstacles that political parties face?


Political parties must tackle the following challenges:

  1. Lack of internal democracy – When a party’s power is concentrated in the hands of one or a few ministers, it creates scope for internal disagreements.
  2. Dynastic succession has existed in political parties from the dawn of mankind. The party’s head establishes a lineage, and a dynastic succession follows, affecting the prospects of other ministers in the party gaining an effective position within the party. 
  3. Money and muscle power – Due to the growing dominance of muscle and money power, smaller regional parties are less likely to participate. These powers are especially visible during election seasons, when wealthy candidates can use both to obtain more votes. 

Question 3: What distinguishes a political party from others?


The following are the features of the political party:

  • They have members who have similar policy and Programme interests.
  • They want to implement policies that are beneficial to citizens.
  • Leader, active members, and followers are the three components. 

Question 4: Suggestions for improvements to enhance political parties so that they can better perform their functions?


A political party can implement the following reforms:

  • Internal conflict resolution provision inside a political party.
  • Women candidates should be allocated 1/3 of the party’s representation.
  • Candidates with criminal backgrounds should not be promoted by political parties.
  • During elections, state funding should be advocated so that candidates from low-income backgrounds have an equal chance of winning. 

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Last Updated : 13 Mar, 2023
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