Make a Flow chart of Functions of political party and challenges of political party.

The functions of political parties are:
1) Candidates are put forward by parties to contest in elections. These candidates may be chosen by the members of the party or by the leaders of the party.
2) Parties put forward different policies and programmes and the voters choose from them.
3) Parties play an important role in making laws for a country. Laws are usually debated and passed in the legislature.
4) Parties form and run governments. They recruit leaders and train them to be ministers and run the government in the way they want it.
5) Parties that lose the election form the opposition. The opposition voices different views and criticize the failures of the government.
6) 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.
7) Parties provide the common man access to government machinery and welfare schemes. It is easier for a person to meet a local party leader than a government official.

  • The first challenge is 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.
  • The second challenge of dynastic succession is related to the first one. 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
  • The third challenge is about the growing role of money and muscle power in parties, especially during elections. Since parties are focussed only on winning elections, they tend to use short-cuts to win elections
  • The fourth challenge is that very often parties do not seem to offer a meaningful choice to the voters.

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Functions of political parties in a democracy or part played by political parties in a democracy

A political party is a group of people who aim to attain power in the government through the elections. They have their own ideology and vision for society. They formulate various policies and programs for society. They work for the collective public interest. Let us learn about the functions of political parties.

Functions Of Political Parties:

1. Contest Elections. Political parties contest elections to win the majority and form the government. They choose their candidates who fight for the party in the elections. Those candidates are chosen who can either raise a lot of money or are sure to win the elections.

Popular personalities are also chosen to represent the political party. The candidates are chosen either by all the members of the party or only by the top leaders of the party.

2. Policies and Programmes: The political parties talk about policies in the public. They try to convince the public that the policies of their party are better. They organize demonstrations, public meetings, and speeches to discuss the policies that they would take. They discuss the problems facing the country and the policies that, they would adopt once elected. They try to gain the support of the public through such measures.

3. Law-making: Political parties play a very important role in making the laws for the country. Any proposed law is first called the bill. The bill is debated in the legislature and if it gets a majority it is considered to be passed. Such a bill then becomes law for the country.

4. Form and Run the Government

The political party that wins the majority in the elections forms the government. Such a party is called the ruling party. It forms and then runs the government. It takes all the important decisions. Trained and experienced members are made the ministers who implement the politicizing of the government.

5. Role of the Oppositions: The political party that loses the elections forms the opposition party. It keeps a check on the ruling party. Opposition parties criticize the ruling government if it implements a policy that is not in favor of the masses. They also ensure that the ruling party does not misuse its power.

6. Form the Public Opinion: Political parties discuss various issues facing the country, discuss their policies and form public opinion on it. The pressure groups associated with parties inform the public about various matters. They launch movements for the problems of the country and mobilize mass support for various issues.

7. Access to Government Machinery Welfare Schemes: The political parties form an important link between the public and the] government. The leaders are answerable to the people for the policies followed by their party. It is easy for the public to approach the local leaders to raise their demands. The leaders cannot ignore their concerns as the public might not vote for them in the next elections.

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  • Across the globe, one can see that there is a growing concentration of power in the hands of few or just one leader
  • Decisions are taken in the name of the party, by leaders having more power.
  • Since too much of power is wielded by few leaders in the party, those who disagree with the leadership are unable to continue working in the party.
  • The third challenge is during elections there is a rising role of muscle power and money power in political parties.
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Functions of political parties in a democracy or part played by political parties in a democracy
1. Contest Elections.
2. Policies and Programmes
3. Law-making

4. Form and Run the Government
5. Role of the Oppositions
6. Form the Public Opinion

7. Access to Government Machinery Welfare Schemes

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