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Political Parties


Main Topics
 Meaning of Political Party

 Components of Political Party
 Functions of the Political Party  Necessary of a Political Party  Different Party System- Uni, Two and Multiple Party  Kishenji and his idea about alternative politics  Different types of Political Parties

National Parties State Parties  Challenges to political party  Formation of a Political Party

What is a political party (meaning)
A party is a group of people who come together to contest elections and hold power in the government. The political parties are easily one of the most visible institution in democracy. They agree on some policies and programmes for the society. They form the public opinion by talking about their policies. They are convince the people that their policies are better than other’s policies. They aim to win the support of the people in the elections and form the government. They work for the collective interest of the society and not for a particular section of the society.

Components of a Political Party
A political party has three components 1. The Leaders 2. The Active Members 3. The Followers

Who is a Partisan
A person who is strongly committed to a party, group or faction. The Partisanship is marked by a tendency to take a side and inability to take a balanced view on an issue

Various Functions of a political party What do the political parties do? (Or) Political Parties play a major role in democracy- Justify this statement
A political party is a group of people who aim to attain the power in the government through the election. They play a major role in democracy. They perform various functions in a democracy Contest Elections, Policies and Programmes, Law Making, Form and Run the Government, Role of Opposition, Form the Public Opinion, Access to Government machinery and welfare schemes.

Contest Elections: In most democracies, elections are fought mainly among the candidates put up by political parties. Parties select their candidate in different ways. In USA, the members and supporters of a party choose it candidates. Most of the countries following this method. In India the top leaders choose the candidate for the election. 2. Policies and Programmes: The political parties talk about their policies in public. They try to convince the public that the policies of their party better. They organise demonstrations. Public meeting and speeches to discuss the policies that they would take. They discuss the problems facing the country and the policies to the people. They try to gain support of the public through such measures

3. Law Making: Political parties play a very important role in making the law for the country. Any proposed law is first called the bill. The bill is debated in the legislature and if it gets majority, it is considered to be passed. Such a bill then become the law of the country 4. Form and Run the Government: The political party that wins majority in the election forms the government. Such a party called the ruling party. It forms, then runs the government. It takes all the important all decisions. Trained and experienced members are made the ministers who implement the policies of the government.

5. Role of the Opposition: The political part that lose the election forms the opposition party. It keeps a check on the ruling party. Opposition party criticize the ruling government if it implements a policy that is not in favour of the masses. They also ensure that the ruling party does not misuse the power. 6. Form the Public Opinion: Political parties discuss various issues facing the country. They discuss the policies and form the government. They launch the movements for the problems facing the country and mobilize mass support for various issues.

7. Access the Government Machinery and Welfare Schemes: The political parties form the link between the public and 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.

Why modern democracies cannot exist without the political parties? What is the need of a political party
A political party is an organised group of people who aim to control power in the government. They have their own policies and programmes for the society. The political parties are very needed in society. 1. Let’s think of a situation where we do not have political parties in the system. Every candidate would contest the election independently. There would be no organized groups to take the important decision for the country. The decision of a single person only the government would be very uncertain in such issues. The election process become

much more complicated and numerous candidates in the election. There would be a confusion among the voters. 2. Political parties have their own policies and programmes for the society. They talk about them to the public and form the public opinion. They discuss the various issues facing the country to the public. 3. They inform the people about the working of the ruling party. They keep the people about the political activity. They talk about the problems of the state, the working of the government and the failure of the ruling party and suggestions for the upliftment

4. Political parties maintain their contact with the common people. They act as a link between the government and the masses. They present the demands and the interest of the people to the government. They also present to the people what government has done to fulfill those demands.

What are the important difference between UniParty, Two- Party and Multi- Party System (Or) To prepare a note about Different Party System

Uni- Party System
In Uni- Party system, there is only one political party in the country. There is no competition in this system and people have no choice in the elections. Legally speaking, people are free to form political parties, it does not happen because the electoral system does not permit free competition for power. Eg: Communist Party in China, North Kotea and Cuba

Two Party System
In the two party system, there are two major parties in the political sphere. There are smaller parties also but they become partners with the major parties. To win the elections, the winning party has to get the maximum votes Eg: USA, Canada and UK

Multi- Party System
This is the most common type of the party system. In this system there are three or more parties. Every party has the capacity to win the election and form the government. Each party competes and contests the elections. Some time no party gets the majority and several parties join together to form the government it is called Coalition government

Eg: India, France and Denmark

What do you meant by Alliance/ Front
In the Multi Party system, there are three or more political parties in the system. Each party has the capacity to win the elections and form the government. When several parties in a multi- party system join hands for the purpose of contesting elections and winning power, it is called an Alliance or a Front. Eg: In 2004 parliamentary election the different political parties has formed the alliance National Democratic Alliance (NDA), The United Progressive Alliances (UPA) and Left Front

What do you meant by Coalition Government
In the Multi Party System, the government is formed by various parties coming together in a coalition this is called Coalition government. Eg: UPA government in Lok Sabha

How the Party systems were originated in the Democratic System
 Party system is not something any country can choose

 It evolves over a long time, depending on the nature of

the society, its social and regional divisions, history of politics and its system of election.  These cannot change very quickly  Each country has developed a party system that is conditioned by its special Circumstance.  In India, the multi system has evolved the multi party system because the social and geographical diversity in such a large country is not easily absorbed by two or even three parties

Various kinds of Political Parties in Democratic government (Or) Difference between- National Party and State Party
Democracies that follow a federal system all over the world: the party that are represent only one federal units and parties that represent in several or all units of the federation. There are some countries the wide parties, which are called national parties. These parties have units in various states. But all units follow the same policies; programmes and strategy that is decided at the national level.

National Party
A political party that wins at least six percent of the votes in the Lok Sabha elections or assembly elections in four states and wins at least four seats in the Lok Sabha, it recognised as a national party. These parties are given a unique symbol- only the official candidates of the party can use that election symbols. These parties they were enjoying lot of other privileges and special facilities so that’s why this is otherwise known as Recognised Parties In 2006, in India we have six recognised national parties

Indian National Congress (INC)
 Popularly known as Congress Party.  One of the oldest parties of the world.  Founded in 1885, experienced many splits.  Played a dominant role in national and state level after

the independence. Under Jawaharlal Nehru, the party build a modern secular democratic republic in India. Till to 1977, and then 1980-89 ruled the country. After 1989, its support declined A centrist party (neither rights nor leftist) in its ideological orientation, the party espouses secularism and welfare of the sections and minorities

 1n 2004,145 members in Lok Sabha

 Currently leads the ruling United Progressive Alliance

(UPA) coalition government at the centre.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
 Founded in 1980 by reviving the erstwhile Bharatiya Jana   

 

Sangh. Inspiration from ancient Indian culture and values. Cultural Nationalism (Hindutva) is an important element Wants full territorial and political integration of Jammu and Kashmir with India and a introduce a uniform civil code irrespective of religion, and ban religious conversions. Earlier limited only North, West and Urban areas then expended the support in the south, north east and rural areas Came in to power in 2004 election and the leader of national Democratic Alliance (NDA) including several state and regional parties. Lost in 2004 election, and became the opposition party in the Lok Sabha.

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)
 Formed in 1984- under the leadership of kanshi Ram  Seeks to represent and secure power for the bahujan samaj

which includes- dalits, adivasis, OBC and religious minorities. Inspiration from the ideas and teachings of- sahu Maharaj, mahatma Phule, Periyar Ramaswami naicker and babasaheb Ambedkar. Standing for the welfare and interest of the dalits and oppressed class Main base- UP, MP, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Delhi and Punjab Formed government in UP several times along with the help of other parties. In 2004 Lok Sabha election- 6 per cent of vote polled and 19 seats in Lok Sabha

Communist Party of India- Marxist (CPI-M)
 Founded in 1964  Believes in Marxism and Leninism  Supports- Socialism, Secularism and democracy and oppose  

 

imperialism and Communalism Objective- Socio Economic Justice in India Support in West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura, especially among the poor, factory workers, farmers, agricultural labourers and intelligentsia. Critical of the new economic policies that allow free flow of foreign capital and goods in to the country. Power in West Bengal without break for 30 years. In 2004, 6 per cent of votes and 43 seats in Lok Sabha Currently supports the UPA government from outside, without joining the government

Communist Party of India (CPI)
 Formed in 1925  Believes in Marxism, Lenisism, Secularism and democracy  Accepts the parliamentary democracy as a means of

promoting the interests of the working class, farmers and the poor In 1964, party has divided in to two led the formation of CPIM. Kerala, West Bengal, Punjab, andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu In 2004, 14 per cent vote and 10 seats in the Lok sabha election Currently supporting UPA government from outside.

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)
 Formed in 1999, as a result of the split in the    

congress party. Democracy, Gandhian Secularism, Equity, Social Justice and federalism- Ideology Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Manipur and Assam A coalition partner in Maharashtra in alliance with the Congress. Since 2004, a member of the United Progressive Alliance.

State Parties
 The state parties commonly referred as Regional Parties

 These parties need not be regional in their ideology or
 

outlook Some parties are all India parties – Samajwadi Party, Samata Party and Rashtriya Janata Dal. But some parties like Biju Janata Dal, Sikkim Democratic Front and Mizo national Front are conscious about their state identity Last three decades the number and strength of the stste parties has increased. As a result the parliament of India politically more diverse

 The National party can’t get the majority in Lok

Sabha, so they form the alliance with state parties.  This has strengthened the federalism and democracy in country.

What are the various challenges of the Political party
The political parties are very important in democracy. They are the link between the government and the masses. People blame the parties for any thing wrong in the working of the democracy
There are four main challenges facing by a political party

1. Lack of Internal Democracy
 Democracy means every member takes part in the

decision making process.  Lack of internal democracy in a political party happens when every member is not consulted before taking the decisions for the party. Generally the real power in a party is with a few leaders at the top positions. They take all the decisions for the party. The ordinary members have no information about the internal working of the party.

2.Dynastic Succession
 The real power in any party is with a few leaders at

the top positions.  They are generally occupied by the members of a family.  Thus a party is nearly ruled by a family only. People close to the family get advantage in getting the top positions in the party. Ordinary members find it difficult to rise to the top positions. People from socially weaker sections of the society, who do not have close contacts with the ruling family, find it hard to influence the decision of the party.

3. Money and Muscle Power
 Various political parties compete in the elections to     

win the support of the public. There is competition among the political parties to win the elections and form the government. A lot of money needed at the time of the election. Parties need money for to organise demonstrations, meetings and speeches to talk about their policies. Parties choose those candidates who can raise money for the party. Party choose either the rich candidates or those who can raise the money from rich people and big companies

4. No Meaningful Choice to the Voters
 Political parties discuss the problems facing the

 

country and the policies that they would adopt for them. They try to convince the public that the policies of their party are better. But these days most of the party agree on the fundamental issues facing the country. They differ only in the preference and priorities for such issues. There is no clear difference between the different parties in the elections and the voters do not have a meaningful choice among the parties.

Discuss the Political Parties and the reformation they need (Or) Suggest some reforms to strengthen parties so that they perform their function well.
The political parties need to reform their working to face the challenges facing them in in a better way. There is lack of internal democracy in the parties where all the members are not given the same importance. Candidates are chosen on the basis of their ability to raise money for the party The political parties need to reform themselves to face these challenges in a better way. Some of such efforts to reform the political party are the following

The constitution of the country was amended to prevent the elected MPs and MLAs from changing their parties. It is called defection, when elected candidate change their parties for personal benefits. But now according to the law, the elected candidate would lose his seat in the legislature if he indulges in defection. This also means that the members of a party cannot disagree with the party. They have to agree as they cannot leave the party. 2. The contesting candidates have to file an affidavit stating their personal property and the criminal cases against them. This helps in giving information to the public about the monetary and criminal activities of the candidates. This would help the voters in making better decisions regarding their vote.

3. The election commission has made it compulsory for the political parties to hold elections within the party. This will ensure internal democracy in the party. They are also required to file their income tax returns.

Apart from the measures taken by the Supreme Court and the Election Commission. There are a few other suggestions to reform the political parties. They are…

A law needs to be made that makes it compulsory for every party to have a proper list of all its members. There is also a need to hold elections within the party for the top positions. It is to ensure that every member has same importance in the party and the party is not being ruled by one family in the real terms. 2. A minimum seats needs to be reserved for women and members of socially weaker sections of the society. This is needed so that every social group gets represented in a political party 3. The different parties should get money from the state government for election purposes. It is important as it will check the total money that gets spent at the time of the elections. It will also reduce the role of money in the election process.

Short Notes
Defection Changing party allegiance from the party on which a person got elected (to a legislative body) to a different Affidavit A signed document submitted to an officer, where a person makes a sworn statement regarding his/her personal information.

Characteristics of a Political Party
A certain Organisation: Every party has a certain structure. The group of people is organised in a proper way. Every member is aware of his role and responsibilities. 2. Unity of Purpose: All the members agree on some policies and programmes for the society. The party has its own vision and ideology. Every member works in accordance with the goals and objectives of the party. 3. Commitment to Adhere to Constitutional means: All the political parties agree that the competition at the time of election should be free and fair. They would contest the elections and agree to the results of the voting system

4. Adhere to its policies when voted to power: all the parties have the characteristic that they will adhere to the declared policies when voted to power. They cannot implement completely different policies after coming to power.