• 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. In What Ways Do Political Parties Promote Democracy?

    This is a command, a mandate for the implementation of the manifesto and a legitimisation of power. Society gets a say in which political party they would like to see in power (the main three in the UK being: Labour, Conservative and Lib Dems).

  2. What role do political parties play in a representative democracy, and how effectively are ...

    However this point must be taken with a degree of leniency, parties such as the BNP will never really achieve governmental power so why do they stand for election, the answer is that they aren't really a thoroughbred political party, their main aim is in fact to raise awareness of

  1. Government and Politics - Political Parties

    The party accepted a lot of the Thatcher and Major government policies which he spoke in favour of, It has redefined the electoral market by appealing to all the people not least the middle class voters, There was criticism over the policies and theories were leading of the marginalisaition to the left and that the Blair leadership was authoritarian.

  2. What are the roles of political parties and how effectively do they carry this ...

    In 'safe' constituencies the public vote for the same party each general election such as Kensington. Despite this there has been doubt over how effectively parties actually perform this role. Although parties give the electorate someone to vote for none of the three main parties are good at appealing to minorities such as women or the black and Asian community.

  1. Analysing The British Political System.

    The work of OPSR is underpinned by the Prime Minister's 4 Principles of public services reform. The purpose of these principles is to deliver public services designed around the needs of their customers. They are: 1. Standards and accountability - a national framework of standards and accountability.

  2. In this essay I will explain the distinctive features of the Scottish political system, ...

    The Presiding Officer chairs meetings of the Parliament and maintains a stance of political neutrality. The Scottish Parliament is staffed by public servants who serve the Parliament as a whole. Like the Presiding Officer, they must also remain neutral. After devolution in 1999 the powers and duties exercised by Ministers

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

    The Ten Minute Rule These are not always serious attempts at legislation. This path is used much more as a means of making a point that the law needs to be changed in a particular field. The ten minute rule allows a brief speech in favour of the bill by the member that introduced it.

  2. With reference to any material you have studied explain the approach of the Democratic ...

    During the period between the signing of the GFA and actual decommission (November 2001) the positions Of the DUP and SF had shifted. Both parties had entered the devolved institutions under different pretexts: for the DUP, it was to destroy the institutions from within, while for SF, it was to

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