Merits and Demerits of One Party System

One Party Systems

There are many countries in the world with one-party system. The formation of other parties is banned there. For example, Soviet Union, China, Bulgaria, Rumania, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Finland are Communist countries and there is only one Communist Party.

The Communists are of the view that the opposition is needed only in capitalist countries because of the existence of diverse interests there. In order to represent those diverse interests, different parties are formed and organised. But in the countries where capitalism has been abolished, and where only labour class exists, there is no need for different parties and only the Communist Party is sufficient to look after the interests of the workers.

During Hitler’s regime in Germany, and during Mussolini’s regime in Italy, there was only one party. Hitler’s party was Nazi Party and Mussolini named his party, the Fascist Party. Both Hitler and Mussolini crushed all opposition parties. In Spain and Portugal, too, there was only one party at that time.

Merits of One Party System

  1. It helps in the establishment of stable administration which further helps in the progress of the country. The progress of the Soviet Union is a glaring example in this regard.
  2. In this system, formation and execution of long-term planning is possible.
  3. The country achieves remarkable economic progress as the Government ends the conflicts among all the classes and it devotes its entire energy, towards the increase of production in the country.
  4. The administration becomes efficient because all the powers are concentrated in the hands of one leader and there favouritism, nepotism and black-marketing are banished altogether.
  5. There is a unity and discipline in the country.
  6. Time is not wasted in unnecessary criticism and propaganda.

Demerits of One Party System

  1. Since there is only one party in this system, there is no freedom of expression.
  2. Democracy is eroded and dictatorship emerges.
  3. There is no regard for the views of different classes and interests.
  4. The Government becomes absolute and the administration becomes irresponsible.
  5. The development of the personality is hindered because all social freedoms are crushed.
  6. In this system there is an overbearing influence of terrorism, and the opponents are crushed with a heavy hand.
  7. The dictators make enormous military preparations for maintaining their honor and position, and they adopt the policy of war and victory which is quite harmful for the country.

Summary of Uni-Party Systems

In one-party systems, one political party is legally allowed to hold effective power. Although minor parties may sometimes be allowed, they are legally required to accept the leadership of the dominant party. This party may not always be identical to the government, although sometimes positions within the party may in fact be more important than positions within the government. North Korea and China are examples; others can be found in Fascist states, such as Nazi Germany between 1934 and 1945. The one-party system is thus often equated with dictatorships and tyranny.

In dominant-party systems, opposition parties are allowed, and there may be even a deeply established democratic tradition, but other parties are widely considered to have no real chance of gaining power. Sometimes, political, social and economic circumstances, and public opinion are the reason for others parties’ failure. Sometimes, typically in countries with less of an established democratic tradition, it is possible the dominant party will remain in power by using patronage and sometimes by voting fraud. In the latter case, the definition between dominant and one-party system becomes rather blurred.

Examples of dominant party systems include the People’s Action Party in Singapore, the African National Congress in South Africa, the Cambodian People’s Party in Cambodia, the Liberal Democratic Party in Japan, and the National Liberation Front in Algeria. One-party dominant system also existed in Mexico with the Institutional Revolutionary Party until the 1990s, in the southern United States with the Democratic Party from the late 19th century until the 1970s, in Indonesia with the Golkar from the early 1970s until 1998.

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