What Are Some Functions of Political Parties?

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Some of the functions played by political parties include pre-selection of candidates for political office, providing organizational support for individual candidates and giving a structured channel to people with similar political ideas that allows them to meet and organize. Ultimately, political parties are responsible for the formation and operations of the government.

Political parties are the primary channel that individuals and groups of people use to participate in political discussion and debate. They provide an avenue through which ordinary people can influence national decision-making processes. Parties also develop policies and articulate philosophies with the twin aims of mobilizing political support and winning power. This process socializes the general public on the political culture of a country and makes it easier for voters to determine the aspirations and capabilities of political parties and electoral candidates.

Political parties are the primary channel through which political power is exercised in practically all democracies throughout the world. The overwhelming majority of elected officials in virtually all democracies belong to political parties. This dichotomy defines political debate in many democracies.

There are several types of political parties. Mass parties are broad based, providing even ordinary members with significant power. Cadre parties recruit from a political elite. Devotee parties are based around charismatic leaders, while brokerage parties seek to draw support by adopting moderate policies. Ideological parties are organized around strict principles, even when the approach limits support.