Define political parties and describe any four problem areas in their working that they need to face and overcome.
Points to Remember
Political party - Group of people who come together to contest elections and hold power in the government.
Answer to be written in exam
A political party is a group of people who come together to contest elections and hold power in the government. They agree on some policies & programs for society to promote the collective good.
Problems faced by Political party
The political party faces the following problems:
- Lack of internal democracy within parties - A major challenge is the lack of internal democracy within parties. All over the world, there is a tendency in political parties towards the concentration of power in one or few leaders at the top. Parties do not hold organizational meetings and do not conduct internal elections regularly. So, as a result, a greater leader makes decisions in the name of a party.
- Dynastic succession - Since most political parties do not practice open and transparent procedures for their functioning, there are very few ways for an ordinary worker to rise to the top in a party. In such cases, leaders are in a position of unfair advantage to favor people close to them or even their family members. In many parties, top positions are always controlled by members of one family. This is unfair to the other members of that party.
- Role of money and muscle power in parties - The growing role of money and muscle power in parties, especially during elections posed a serious problem in the functioning of democracy. Since parties are focused only on winning elections, they tend to use shortcuts to win elections and nominate those candidates who have or can raise lots of money. Rich people and companies who give funds to the party tend to have an influence on the policies and decisions of the party.
- Lack of meaningful choice to the voters - Very often parties do not seem to offer a meaningful choice to the voters. In recent years there has been a decline in the ideological differences among parties in the world. For example, Labour party and the Conservative party of Britain focused on the same fundamental aspects.
Political parties need to overcome these problems in order to remain an effective part of democracy.