• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What is the role of political parties in a democratic political community?

Extracts from this document...


James Rees What is the role of political parties in a democratic political community? Political parties are made up of groups of people, who sometimes share similar ideologies and aims, who come together with the objective of obtaining political power and using this power to have influence on the government of a state. The role of the political party has changed immensely over the years and political parties have adapted to this. British political parties have often been identified as being representative of certain social class groups. The fundamental basis of the Labour party was supporting the rights of workers and its major support base was working class. The Conservative party on the other hand has traditionally been identified as being the party, which is favoured by the middle and upper classes, focusing on their interests. In seeking to obtain political office, political parties are giving elections greater importance because they are providing voters with a clear vision and manifesto of ideas they will introduce if elected into office. Political parties offer choice to the electorate. In a country such as the United Kingdom, the British people have an immense wealth of political parties to choose from, representing just about any political ideology imaginable ranging from support for protection of the environment to those that favour the introduction of a Marxist style government. ...read more.


Political parties also have a very important job of maintaining discipline within the party and ensuring that members of the political party vote as a whole and don't stray from the party line. It is important for political parties to vote together because deviation from the party line could bring down the government and the greater the majority a ruling political party has, the more likely it is able to do as it wishes. Members of Parliament are an important asset to their political party because they are able to relay back to party headquarters the issues and concerns of the people in their local areas. This can help influence a change in a political parties policy direction, which could help increase their chances of being re-elected. Another important function of the political party is to elect a leader. The Conservative and Labour party leader is voted for by members of the political party, therefore when they vote, these members are aware that they might be voting for the individual who might become the next Prime Minister. In the United States it is the political party who decides which individual becomes their candidate to run for President. Once elected, it is the President who decides who is added to the Supreme Court, America's most powerful and prestigious justice court. ...read more.


In the United Kingdom, the aims of the Conservative Party, the present party in opposition is to constructively criticise the government's policy and legislation. Another function of the political parties in opposition is to seek changes to government bills where it wants and also propose it's own policies of dealing with the country's problems or major issues to enable them to attract greater public support and with that a greater chance of them gaining office. Modern political parties wish to appeal to as many people as is possible. Although there likely there is some basis for agreement between the members of a political party for it to work in the first place, it would be unrealistic to think that one party could totally represent all the ideas and beliefs of all its members. It is necessary for a political party to appeal to as many people as possible in order to reap as much support as possible to maximize its chances of being elected into office. Another important role of political parties is to foster good relations with organisations, which represent large amounts of society. An example of this is the Labour party's close relationship with the Trades Union Congress (TUC), which represents trade unions across Britain, representing more than 7 million people. In conclusion, it is clearly evident that political parties in democracies have many essential functions and roles to play in society. FOOTNOTES 1]http://www.oas.org/OASNews/2002/English/Jan_Feb/art9. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Politics essays

  1. "Critically evaluate the relationship between Members of Parliament, political parties and pressure groups in ...

    If the house agrees it will get its first reading, if not then the bill cannot be introduced. Members of parliament have a lot of control when drafting private members bills. It is a good way for them to get their views across especially when using the ten minute rule.

  2. Minority Rights, Identity Politics and Gender in Bangladesh: Current Problems and Issues

    But added dimensions to welfare concerns related to women have been the result of systematic analyses of women's health in the face of traumatic situations. This has implications for physical, mental, and situational aspects of health. Feminist scholars have emphasized the longer lasting effects of the psychological dimensions of rape

  1. The development of nationalist movements in Southeast Asia

    It became a very effective organisation with the help of Russian and Chinese communists and Ho Chi Minh himself was a first-class political agitator and organiser. He launched the ICP in 1930 and it aims were to gain independence for Vietnam in two stages; to set up a democratic government

  2. This assignment identifies and discusses the major social and political trends expected to affect ...

    skills will have to be retained and the disease has to be managed effectively in order for workers to remain productive for as long as possible. As one of the largest employers in South Africa the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the region holds serious implications for the productivity, sustainability and expansion of Transnet.

  1. How important are political parties to the decision-making process involved in Congress and what ...

    He also believes that the party's strength is conditional. Where Cox and McCubbins argue that the majority party is always in control (of the agenda, procedures, etc), Rohde extends this argument by stating that a party is only as strong as it proportionate membership in Congress and on its homogeneity of ideologies within its own party.

  2. Political parties and representation

    Thus, representation is filtered through parties, and becomes quite indirect. Thus, it is argued that voters vote for a party to give it a general mandate to govern rather than a mandate for specific policies - especially because it's often impossible to foresee what issues (especially in foreign policy, etc)

  1. Russia - political past, present and future

    Russia also did not put much effort in developing the law system. While the United States had already an established constitution and more or less developed law and judiciary systems, and Britain Crown had almost no power, the Czar in Russia was the constitution, the law, and together with the church held enormous amount of unquestionable authority.

  2. How has the role and impact of military rulers and civilian politicians differed in ...

    Unfortunately Benazir failed in getting the desired results. Benazir was basically a split personality person. On one side she was projecting cosmopolitan and worldly experience; on the other hand she was revealing her narrowly defined restricted life ways. It was the latter personality that influenced her behaviour as Prime Minister.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work