political party

Group of persons organized to acquire and exercise political power. Formal political parties originated in their modern form in Europe and the U.S. in the 19th century. Whereas mass-based parties appeal for support to the whole electorate, cadre parties aim at attracting only an active elite; most parties have features of both types. All parties develop a political program that defines their ideology and sets out the agenda they would pursue should they win elective office or gain power through extraparliamentary means. Most countries have single-party, two-party, or multiparty systems (see party system). In the U.S., party candidates are usually selected through primary elections at the state level.

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German political party of National Socialism. Founded in 1919 as the German Workers' Party, it changed its name to the National Socialist German Workers' Party when Adolf Hitler became leader (1920–21). The nickname Nazi was taken from the first word of its full name, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter-Partei. The party grew from its home base in Bavaria and attracted members from disaffected elements throughout Germany. It organized strong-arm groups (later the SA) to protect its rallies. Though the failed Beer Hall Putsch diminished the party's influence, the effects of the Great Depression brought millions of new members, and in 1932 the party became the largest bloc in the Reichstag. After Hitler was named chancellor in 1933, he obtained passage of the Enabling Act, and his government declared the Nazi party to be the only political party in Germany and required bureaucrats to become members. The party controlled virtually all activities in Germany until Germany's defeat in World War II (1945), after which the party was banned.

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or Kuomintang or Guomindang

Political party that governed all or part of mainland China from 1928 to 1949 and subsequently ruled Taiwan. Founded by Song Jiaoren (1882–1913) and led by Sun Yat-sen, it evolved from a revolutionary league working to overthrow the Qing dynasty into a political party. In the early 1920s the party received guidance from the Soviet Bolshevik party; until 1927 it collaborated with the Chinese Communist Party. Sun's program, which stressed nationalism, democracy, and people's livelihood, was ineffectively implemented by his successor, Chiang Kai-shek, who became increasingly conservative and dictatorial. During World War II, Chiang focused on suppressing the Chinese communists at the expense of defending the country from the Japanese; in 1949 the Nationalists were driven from the mainland to Taiwan. There they maintained a monopoly on political power until 1989, when the first legal opposition party won seats in the legislature. The first non-Nationalist president was elected in 2000. Seealso Wang Jingwei.

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British political party that emerged in the mid-19th century as the successor to the Whigs. It was the major party in opposition to the Conservative Party until 1918, after which it was supplanted by the Labour Party. It was initially supported by the middle class that was enfranchised by the Reform Bill of 1832. Earl Russell's administration in 1846 is sometimes regarded as the first Liberal government, but the first unequivocally Liberal government was formed in 1868 by William E. Gladstone. Under Gladstone, until 1894, the party's hallmark was reform; after 1884 it espoused Irish Home Rule. It championed individualism, private enterprise, human rights, and promotion of social justice; wary of imperial expansion, it was pacific and internationalist. During World War I it split into two camps, centred on H.H. Asquith and David Lloyd George. It continued as a minor party until 1988, when it merged with the Social Democratic Party to form the Liberal Democratic Party.

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Political party that dominated Mexico's political life for most of the time since its founding in 1929. It was established as a result of a shift of power from political-military chieftains to state party units following the Mexican Revolution (1910–20). Until the late 1990s, nomination to public office by the PRI virtually guaranteed election, but in 1997 Mexico City elected its first non-PRI mayor. At the national level, the president, as leader of the party, typically selected the party's next presidential candidate—thus effectively choosing his own successor. Pres. Ernesto Zedillo broke from that tradition in 1999, and the following year opposition candidate Vicente Fox won the presidency, although the PRI maintained control of several state governments.

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Incident on Dec. 16, 1773, in which American patriots dressed as Indians threw 342 chests of tea from three British ships into Boston Harbour. Their leader was Samuel Adams. The action was taken to prevent the payment of a British-imposed tax on tea and to protest the British monopoly of the colonial tea trade authorized by the Tea Act. In retaliation, Parliament passed the punitive Intolerable Acts, which further united the colonies in their opposition to the British.

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Sikh political party in India. The term Akali was first applied to suicide squads that appeared in the Sikh armies circa 1690 in response to Mughal persecution. The Akali name was revived in the 1920s during the gurdwara reform movement to refer to a semimilitary corps of volunteers opposed to British rule. Akalis took the lead in agitation for a Punjabi-speaking Sikh-majority state, a goal achieved in 1966 with the establishment of the Indian state of Punjab. The modern Akali Party participates in national elections but is mainly concerned with the status of the Sikhs in Punjab.

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Party-list proportional representation systems are a family of voting systems used in multiple-winner elections (e.g. elections to parliament), emphasizing proportional representation (PR). They can also be used as part of mixed additional member systems.

In these systems, parties make lists of candidates to be elected, and seats get allocated to each party in proportion to the number of votes the party receives. Voters may vote directly for the party, as in Hong Kong and Israel, or they may vote for candidates and that vote will pool to the party, as in Turkey and Finland.

There are two major and important variations of Party List systems, usually defined as closed list and open list elections: i.e. the order in which the party's list candidates get elected may be pre-determined by some method internal to the party (a closed list system) or they may be determined by the voters at large (an open list system).

There are many variations on seat allocation within party-list proportional representation. The three most common are:

List PR may also be combined in various hybrids (e.g. using the Additional member system).

The unmodified Sainte-Laguë method and the LR-Hare method rank as the most proportional followed by LR-Droop; single transferable vote; modified Sainte-Laguë, D'Hondt and largest remainder Imperiali. While the allocation formula is important, equally important is the district magnitude (number of seats in a constituency). The higher the district magnitude, the more proportional an electoral system becomes.

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