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Need for Political Parties

A political party is a group of people who come together to contest elections and hold power in the government. Once they are in power, they try to enact laws and start programmes that promote the well being of all its citizens. Every party has like minded individuals who agree that certain policies are better for the people than other policies. The parties try to persuade people that their policies are better than others.

Parties reflect fundamental political divisions in society. They involve partisanship.

Partisanship is a tendency to take a side and the inability to take a balanced view on an issue.

A political party has three major components:

  • The leaders
  • The active members
  • The followers


Election campaign in a democracy

Functions of a Political Party

  • Candidates put forward by parties contest elections. These candidates may be chosen by the members of the party or by the leaders of the party. 
  • Parties put forward different policies and programmes and the voters choose from them. In a democracy, a large number of similar opinions have to be grouped together to give some direction to the government. This is what political parties do. A government's policies usually follow the line of the ruling party. 
  • Parties play an important role in making laws for a country. Laws are usually debated and passed in the legislature. Since most of the members belong to a party, they accept the direction of the party leadership, irrespective of their personal opinions. 
  • Parties form and run governments. They recruit leaders and train them to be ministers and run the government in the way they want it. 
  • Parties that lose the election form the opposition. They voice different views and criticize the failures of the government. 
  • Parties shape public opinion. They have lakhs of members all over the country, and they play a great role in influencing the way people think. 
  • Parties provide access to government machinery and welfare schemes. It is easier for a person to meet a local party leader than a government official.

Necessity of a Political party :-
Without parties candidates would have to stand for elections individually. No promises can be made. No one will be responsible for how the government is run.

Political parties are a direct result of representative democracy. They provide a means of bringing together representatives with similar ideas and putting them across to the government. They provide a mechanism to support or restrain a government, to justify or oppose the government's policies.

In panchayat elections, parties do not participate formally. A faction of villagers with similar ideas and goals put forward a panel of candidates to represent them in the local government.

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