Political parties have a very important role in the operation of democratic governance. These are reflected separately in institutions of any democratic system. A political party is an organized group of people with similar political ideology, who work for the purpose of contesting elections and gaining political power in government. Each political party, keeping in mind the collective of society, sets some of its policies and programs on the basis of which it wants to gain political power through elections by influencing the masses. In other words, a political party is an organized group of like-minded individuals who seek to assert their authority over the governing authority in order to implement their ideas and principles.’
According to Edmund Work, “A political party is a group of people who wish to work in the public interest through their collective efforts on a principle unanimous.”
According to Gilchrist, “Political parties are an organized group of citizens who have similar political views and who act as a political entity and seek to control the government.”
According to Prof. Laski, “By political party, we mean that organized group of citizens who act as an organization.”
The identity of any political party is determined by its leaders and its social base. Leaders, active members, and supporters are the 3 major parts of each political party.
Functions of Political Parties
The major functions of political parties are as follows:
- Political parties participate in elections. For this, they field their candidates from various constituencies.
- The policies and programs of political parties work to make the public aware.
- By debating various social and political issues, political parties play an important role in building good and healthy public opinion.
- Political parties act as a link between the government and the public.
- Opposition political parties establish effective control over the executive.
- Political parties with the most successful candidates in elections form the government. If more than half of the total members of the legislature are not successful in a single political party, sometimes several political parties form a coalition government.
- Performs the task of coordinating and harmonizing the various departments of the government.
- Political parties provide an opportunity for eligible people to participate in governance by winning elections.
- Along with providing support in the formulation of public welfare laws, they also carry out appropriate amendments in the old laws.
- The political parties of the ruling party try to provide good governance to the public because if they do not do so, they are afraid of losing power in the next election.
- The political parties that have defeated the elections, along with criticizing the wrong policies and failures of the government, also place their opinion before the government.
Need for Political Parties
Political parties are the backbone of any democratic system. Each political party has its own policy and programs on the basis of which it determines the development of the country. In the absence of political parties, independent candidates can make a government together, but they do not have any roadmap for the development of the country. Political parties protect democracy from any kind of monopoly. They supervise all decisions of the ruling party in the role of the opposition.