Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:

What does a political party do? Basically, political parties fill political offices and exercise political power. Parties do so by performing a series of functions:

  1. Parties contest elections. In most democracies, elections are fought mainly among the candidates put up by political parties. Parties select their candidates in different ways. In some countries, such as the USA, members and supporters of a party choose its candidates. Now more and more countries are following this method. In other countries like India, top party leaders choose candidates for contesting elections.

  2. Parties put forward different policies and programmes and the voters choose from them. Each of us may have different opinions and views on what policies are suitable for the society. But no government can handle such a large variety of views. In a democracy, a large number of similar opinions have to be grouped together to provide a direction in which policies can be formulated by the governments. This is what the parties do. A party reduces a vast multitude of opinions into a few basic positions which it supports. A government is expected to base its policies on the line taken by the ruling party.

  3. Parties play a decisive role in making laws for a country. Formally, laws are debated and passed in the legislature. But since most of the members belong to a party, they go by the direction of the party leadership, irrespective of their personal opinions.

  4. Parties form and run governments. As we noted last year, the big policy decisions are taken by political executive that comes from the political parties. Parties recruit leaders, train them and then make them ministers to run the government in the way they want.

  5. Those parties that lose in the elections play the role of opposition to the parties in power, by voicing different views and criticising government for its failures or wrong policies. Opposition parties also mobilise opposition to the government.

  6. Parties shape public opinion. They raise and highlight issues. Parties have lakhs of members and activists spread all over the country. Many of the pressure groups are the extensions of political parties among different sections of society. Parties sometimes also launch movements for the resolution of problems faced by people. Often opinions in the society crystallise on the lines parties take. Parties provide people access to government machinery and welfare schemes implemented by governments. For an ordinary citizen it is easy to approach a local party leader than a government officer. That is why, they feel close to parties even when they do not fully trust them. Parties have to be responsive to people’s needs and demands. Otherwise people can reject those parties in the next elections.

 

Question (i)

Who chooses candidates in countries like U.S.A.?

 

Answer:

From the paragraph

  1. Parties contest elections. In most democracies,  elections are fought mainly among the candidates put up by political parties. Parties select their candidates in different ways. In some countries,  such as the USA, members and supporters of a  party choose its candidates. Now more and more countries are following this method. In other countries like India, top party leaders choose candidates for contesting elections.
  • In countries like the U.S.A., members and supporters of a party choose its candidates.

Question (ii)

How do parties form and run government?

 

Answer:

From the paragraph

  1. Parties form and run governments. As we noted last year, the big policy decisions are taken by a political executive that comes from the political parties. Parties recruit leaders, train them and then make them ministers to run the government in the way they want. 
  • In any party, the big policy decisions are taken by a political executive that comes from the political party. Parties recruit leaders, train them and then make them ministers to run the government in the way they want.  This is how parties form and run the government.

Question (iii)

What is the role of opposition parties in a democracy?

 

Answer:

From the paragraph

  1. Those parties that lose in the elections play the role of opposition to the parties in power, by voicing different views and criticizing the government for its failures or wrong policies. Opposition parties also mobilize opposition to the government. 
    Parties shape public opinion. They raise and highlight issues. Parties have lakhs of members and activists spread all over the country.
  • Role of opposition: Those parties that lose in the elections play the role of opposition to the parties in power, by voicing different views and criticizing the government for its failures or wrong policies.
Ask a doubt
Davneet Singh's photo - Co-founder, Teachoo

Made by

Davneet Singh

Davneet Singh has done his B.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. He has been teaching from the past 14 years. He provides courses for Maths, Science, Social Science, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science at Teachoo.