Having different political parties is advantageous in that it makes it possible for people with common ideas to join together and advocate for the rights and interests of the citizens they represent. Also, opposing political parties exert pressure on the leadership of a country to make laws and policies that benefit citizens. Different political parties, however, can cause divisions in a country by triggering disputes between special interest groups.
Political parties are the backbone of democracy. They train leaders and provide a platform upon which preferred candidates can contest for public office, thus enhancing political participation. Their control of and influence on government policies provide a link between different institutions of the government and stakeholders across the economic, ethnic, religious and cultural divides.
Ideological differences between political parties provide a space for debate, which is essential for successful democratic processes. Debate generates exchanges that can lead to a better understanding of issues at hand along with solutions or compromises. The parties also provide the public with options when choosing their leaders.
Stubborn differences between political parties and the government may hurt the economy, such as when the opposition declines to increase the debt ceiling so that a government may borrow needed funds.