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Features of Political Parties


Features of Political Parties

Political parties are groups of people who have similar opinions about politics. They often share interests, identity or ideology and work together to achieve their political goals.

People form political parties to:

• Have a louder voice in society

• Make suggestions about what kind of policies the government should make

• Promote their ideas and values to the public

• Support party candidates running in elections

Political parties try to gain political power by having as many party members as possible elected to the legislature and/or executive. They aim to win a majority of seats in the legislature (in parliamentary systems) or win a popular vote for the executive (in presidential systems). If they succeed, they become the ruling party and control the government (either alone or as the largest member of a coalition). Those parties that are not in power, or part of a governing coalition are known as opposition parties.

Organisation of Political Parties

There are three levels to each political party:

1. The members of the party who are trying to become elected to the government (politicians).

2. Full-time or part-time party workers. These people receive a salary from the party and carry out the daily activities of running the party. Some might act as political advisors, spokespersons etc.

3. The party membership. Some might be involved in party organisation; others might volunteer time or donate money to the party.