Recall that a political party is an organization or group of people bound together by the same political ideals. It’s usually a cooperation of like-minded people who work together to achieve their political goals. It may be to gain control over the government, compete in elections, promote their political ideas, etc. Members of the same party should share a common goal.
The winning party in the parliament runs the parliament. At the same time, the party which did not manage to gain enough votes to become the dominant party in the parliament is called the opposition. This party closely watches the government and ruling party.
Roles of Political Parties in Democracy
One of the main roles for any political party in a democratic country is to provide freedom of rights. A country should offer its citizens the ability to vote or be voted for. Another exclusive role for a political party is to be a representative for the citizens. Any political party is managed according to the demands of the country’s citizens.
The importance of a political party in any country can’t be underestimated. They are the force of movements behind any political decision of the country. If there is a party in the country, then it implies the elective nature of the government.
Any party system is based on the assumption that people are rational beings and they are able to exercise their wishes and demands through the political parties. Keep in mind that political parties in a country should be the face of people who are represented by these parties. Otherwise, it is just a form of dictatorship.
A lot of countries in the world have a multiple-party system, where there can be more than one party. And there are countries with a two or one-party system. However, no matter how many parties exist in a country, they have to perform their main functions.
Functions of Political Parties
There is no democratic government that can exist in the world without political parties. Nigeria is one of the newest democratic nations in the world. It only got its independence in the 20th century. However, a political party is still a part of our policy process as Nigerians. Let’s take a look at the major functions of a political party in Nigeria:
1. They assist the parliament:
Any parliament in any country consists of representatives of the people. The political parties are organized to be the representatives of the people. The electorate chooses the representatives of the parties to be their voice in the parliament. The party which gets the majority of the votes gets the ruling position in the parliament. The party that did not win becomes the opposition. The opposition makes sure the party is dedicated to the national and international activity of the government. There shouldn’t be any abuse of power by the majority if the democratic system works correctly.
2. Formation of public policies:
Every party in the world fights for the adoption of its political principles. Therefore, if people choose a party to be represented in the parliament, they also choose the party`s principles to be presented in the country. As a result, the political policies implemented by the party should have the best interest of the people who elected this party. The policies should be aimed at improving the condition of the country.
3. Education function:
Political parties should educate the people. the citizens must understand ideas of the political party and the government. Any political party should also provide increase the political consciousness of the people. This is one of the main functions of political parties in democracy. If the political party has a desire to become closer to the people – they should provide information and educate people about the goals of the party.
4. Stability function:
Political parties unite people in the country. They promote the main principles of patriotism and unity within the country. The political parties unify everyone interests. People in a country can be divided by religion, regional or national matters. So, any political party should deal with the differences between the people and foster unity.
5. Recruitment of leaders:
Another great advantage of any political party is the recruitment of leaders. They look for active citizens who are interested in the fate of their country. They find leaders among this people and give them a voice. The recruitment of political leaders is one the main functions of political party in Nigeria.