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Challenges to Political Parties

Even though political parties are an important part of any democratic structure, there is a deep dissatisfaction among people regarding these parties. This is mainly due to four problem areas in the working of parties:-

Lack of Internal Democracy: There is a tendency for power in a party to be concentrated among the leaders at the top. So a lower level worker does not know what happens within the party. Also, personal loyalty to the leaders becomes more important than loyalty to party principles.

Dynastic Succession: Few opportunities are given to a lower level worker to rise. Most of the top positions of a party are controlled by the members of one family, or people close to the leaders. This is bad because people without sufficient experience or popular support are able to enjoy positions of power.


Money and Muscle Power: Parties are focused on winning elections, and this requires a lot of money. Therefore they tend to nominate candidates who can raise a lot of money, regardless of their other attributes. Also, rich people who donate money to the party can influence the way the party machinery works. Sometimes parties support criminals just because they can win elections.

Lack of Meaningful Choice: Nowadays, there is a convergence of ideologies among the major parties. Therefore, people who want vastly different ideas to come to the forefront have no option open to them.

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