Political Parties Class 10 Notes Political Science (Civics) Chapter 6

What are Political Parties?

Political party

  • Political party refers to a organisation of people, formed for contesting elections to hold the power in government.
  • It forms policies and programmes for collective welfare of the society.
  • Based on their agendas and policies, political parties try to convince the people that their policies are better than that of other parties and therefore they should vote them in elections.

There are three components of political parties :

  • (a) The leaders
  • (b) The active members
  • (c) The followers.

Functions of political parties

  • Parties choose appropriate candidates for contesting elections. In some countries like the USA, members and supporters of a party choose its candidates, while in countries such as India, top party leaders choose their candidates.
  • Parties present their policies and programmes before the voters on the basis of which the voters choose them.
  • Parties play a significant role in making laws for a country after getting victory in elections.
  • Parties form and run governments.
  • Parties which are not able to win the elections play the role of opposition. They provide different views and criticise for the government’s policies.
  • Parties help in forming public opinion. Sometimes, parties also launch movements for solving problems faced by the people.
  • Parties provide access to government machinery and welfare schemes. The citizens find it easier to approach a local party leader rather than a government officer, even though they don’t fully trust them.

Several challenges in front of political parties

Lack of Internal Democracy : Power is mainly concentrated in the hands of a few top leaders. Moreover, parties do not keep membership registers, internal elections are also not held regularly, and ordinary members lack access to information and have no role in major decisions. Any disagreement with the leaders makes it difficult to continue in the party for the ordinary members.

Dynastic Succession : It refers to offering unfair advantage based on favouritism towards family and friends, while giving them tickets to contest elections. Such a practice shatters the spirit of democracy, as incapable and inexperienced people come into power and the experienced and deserving party members do not get chance to contest elections.

Money and Muscle Power : It is used especially during elections. Those who can raise funds are nominated. Those people who provide funds to parties, influence their policies too.

Parties Fail to Offer Meaningful Choices to Voters : The reason behind this is ideological differences among parties. For example, in Britain two major parties are Labour Party and Consevative Party, they agree on more fundamental aspects but differ only in details how policies to be framed and implemented.

Important Political Parties

National Parties

State/Regional Parties

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  • 1. Partisan: A partisan refers to a person who is strongly committed to a party, group or faction.
  • 2. Partisanship: Partisanship refers to being biased and unable to adopt a balanced view on an issue.
  • 3. Elections: A formal and organised system through which voters choose their representatives.
  • 4. Opposition Party: Opposition parties refer to those parties which are not able to win the elections. They express their views against the policies of the government and often criticise its working and make the public aware regarding the same.
  • 5. One-party System: One-party system refers to a system in which one party controls and runs the government.
  • 6. Two-party System: Two-party system is one in which power shifts between only two major parties.
  • 7. Multi-party System: Multi-party system is a type of
  • system in which more than two parties contest elections and have a chance of winning.
  • 8. Communism: It refers to a system or theory, according to which property is held by the whole community and each person gets his/her share according to his/her own needs and contribute as per his/her requirements.
  • 9. Communist: A person who believes in or support communism. Communism is an ideology, under which idea of common ownership of property and the absence of capital class, money and the state.
  • 10. Defection: Defection refers to shifting loyalty from a party to another from which a person got elected.
  • 11. Ruling party : Ruling party refers to a political party that runs the government and enjoys the power.
  • 12. Affidavit : Affidavit is a signed document submitted to an officer, where a person takes on an oath regarding his/her personal information.