Did you ever wonder what is the purpose of political parties? Or when they first emerged, and what defines them? Lastly, what do political parties have in common? We will try to explain in brief, as always.
In summary, political parties are groups of people with similar beliefs. The groups plan to compete in elections and gain power. Besides, a person should only be a member of a party voluntarily.
Political parties emerged in the 19th century. They appeared hand in hand with modern democracies and republics. The reason for that is simple. Then, for the first time in centuries, people had the chance to take part in politics. Thus, they needed to create organizations based on their ideas.
Types of political parties
Political parties are crucial for democracies. They compete in elections. When they gain power, they must work to represent their voters. Otherwise, their votes would leave them. However, authoritarian and totalitarian often try to take control through a revolution.
The parties have some structure. They have some central ideology. For example, some may be conservative, liberal, socialist, nationalist, and so on. They also have different ideas about the economy (left and right) and the form of government and its size. Of course, a blend of related ideas is natural.
In addition, many parties have several currents inside them. Hence, there is a debate inside the party. Besides, there are several types of political parties.
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Elite parties make up of the social elite. Thus, it is a smaller group of personalities that coordinates their approach. In contrast, a mass party aims to have a broad membership base.
Catch-all parties aim at as many voters as possible. Thus, they present their opinions in a very subtle way. Entrepreneurial parties revolve around one person. This person manages the party as a company and uses it for personal gain. Finally, there are also single-issue parties.
Significant is the party system of the state. It defines how many relevant parties are there, stability, or mechanisms. Finally, the voting system and suffrage also play a crucial role.