Power Elite, Bureaucracy, Pressure groups, and Political Parties | UPSC Notes

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Power Elite, Bureaucracy, Pressure groups, and Political Parties

Power elite:

I have Discussed in the chapter of Sociological Theories of Power


I have Talked about it in the Thinker’s Section

Pressure groups:

Theoretically, a pressure group could be any association, organisation, or group that tries to change public policy and choices at the local, national, or international level through a variety of means, usually (but not always) within a very small area. We should also keep in mind that many pressure groups may sometimes try to protect the rights of their members or move their cause forward by going to court.

1. A pressure group is any group that tries to change the laws or the way the government works to help its own interests or the interests of a bigger group that it represents. These are the groups that try to get the government to do what they want without actually being in politics.

2. Pressure groups have a small but indirect effect on politics. Members of society form pressure groups to try to change the policies and plans of the government. Ethnic, racial, religious, and linguistic minorities all work together to try to change how the government makes choices. In this way, these kinds of groups are called “pressure groups.”

3. Pressure groups are groups of people with the same interests who work to protect and advance those interests. It is not a political group that wants to take over the government, but it may have a political personality of its own. In other words, a pressure group is a group of people with similar goals who work together to try to change how the government makes decisions. These groups, which are also called “pressure groups” or “interest groups,” try to get their political goals done by lobbying. Lobbying is when people and groups talk to public officials to try to change what the government does. They also hand out persuasive writing and start public campaigns to get people on the ground to back their political goals.

4. Pressure groups work behind the scenes to make it look like they are not trying to take over. They back their candidate or party in an election and make sure that the winner will support their needs and interests in related groups. Pressure groups speak for the group as a whole and make sure that the group’s demands are met. They change their political views quickly based on what’s going on in their lives.

5. Anthony Giddens says that pressure groups are what keep democracy going. As industrialization grew, so did the division of work, and different groups with specialised interests began to form. But modern democracy requires that people’s interests be in sync, which means that the interests of minorities or certain groups tend to be forgotten. This interest is represented by pressure groups.

6. Its existence shows that pluralism exists, which means that power is spread out and not centralised in the political structure.

7. Pressure groups also gather and voice people’s interests, which lets the government know what the public thinks and wants so it can work for them. Indirectly, all parts of society can take part in government. Pressure groups can work without being seen by the public. So they can avoid being shamed by the people. They may use imitative, educational, and informal means to protect and promote their interests.

8. Functionalists say that these kinds of groups can help make good decisions. They make sure that people can take part in politics in a peaceful way. In the theory of democratic pluralism, states are thought to be neutral arbiters or fair referees who judge the claims of a large number of possible competing social groups based on what is best for the country as a whole. People think that states try to serve the interests of society as a whole, not just the interests of a certain class or ruling elite. In this kind of circumstances, it is said that pressure groups play an important role in the democratic process.

9. So, while political parties represent the general interests of voters on a wide range of issues, pressure groups represent the views of citizens on specific issues related to their own personal well-being, as in the case of sectional groups, or to their particular concerns, as in the case of promotional or interest groups.

10. Because they have more means, pressure groups can represent people better than they could on their own. This may be especially true for people who are poor, disabled, or part of a minority group like immigrants.

11. It’s possible that pressure groups can take on difficult issues that political parties might try to avoid at first. It’s also likely that as new issues come up on the political agenda, new pressure groups will be formed to deal with them.

12. Between general elections, pressure groups allow their members and supporters to be more involved in the political process. This is likely to improve political understanding and, in turn, increase support for the liberal democratic system as a whole.

13. Pressure groups that support or oppose things like using more nuclear power, making abortion easier, or going to war in Iraq will help make sure that both sides of these difficult issues can be fully discussed.

14. Pressure groups may also be able to give governments important information that they wouldn’t have otherwise. This could help the government make better decisions. For example, the Indian Association and the different teacher unions can give the government information that can help them make decisions about health or education.

15. Once a policy has been made, pressure groups may also try to get their members to follow it. They may also keep an eye on how the government is doing to see if policies are being carried out well.

16. By giving people ways to get involved in politics through “the normal channels,” pressure groups may indirectly help to make sure that people don’t use more extreme methods to put pressure on the government. Pressure groups are seen as a safety valve that prevents opposition to the government from making things worse, which increases the legitimacy of the liberal democratic political system as a whole.

In short, interest groups can help the government work better by starting debates, giving useful information, helping put policies into action, and keeping an eye on how the government is doing.

1. The goal of pressure groups is to educate and inform both their members and the general public about political problems.

2. They give people a way to get involved in politics and try to change the policies of local government, devolved assemblies, national government, European political institutions, and foreign institutions like the UN in a structured way. Pressure groups are also trying to change what multinational businesses do more and more.

3. Pressure groups can represent people’s views on specific problems, like animal rights or poverty, while political parties represent voters’ views on a wide range of political issues.

4. Pressure groups are a good place to find people for political jobs because many party leaders start out as activists in pressure groups.

5. Pressure groups may try to bring up controversial topics and help minorities that political parties don’t care about because they don’t want to lose votes. In the early days of campaigns for gay rights, for example, pressure groups were more busy than political parties, even though all of the major political parties are now committed to protecting gay rights.

6. People can have a say in what the government does between polls by joining a pressure group. This makes the democratic process stronger as a whole.

7. Pressure groups keep an eye on what the government is doing and spread the word about cases of mismanagement and actions that may be “ultra vires” [i.e., outside of what the government is allowed to do]. acts that go beyond what the law allows.] They are therefore an important way to keep the executive branch from having too much power.

8. Pressure groups may be able to give governments useful information, but governments will also want to be aware of any bias in this information.

9. Once policy decisions have been made through negotiations between the government and leaders of relevant pressure groups, the leaders may then encourage their members to accept these decisions. For example, Trade Union leaders in the corporatist 1970s encouraged their members to accept relatively small pay raises in exchange for government promises to protect jobs and expand the Welfare State. Even though these plans didn’t work out very well, it’s clear that they couldn’t have been made without the help of the trade union movement.

But more critical analysts have also said that pressure group action could sometimes hurt the principles of liberal democracy in different ways.

1. Conflict theorists, on the other hand, say that while some groups work for the poor and disadvantaged, most pressure groups work for the business leaders, lobbyists for multinational companies, rich professionals, and government leaders. They also say that these strong lobby groups make people less likely to get involved in politics. In a democracy, the interest groups have more of a say than they would in a totalitarian system.

2. Marxists, in particular, say that liberal democratic governments favour the interests of well-funded, well-organized groups that support capitalism more than they should. This is because governments depend on the profitability and efficiency of private capitalism for their own survival. In turn, employment, living standards, and economic growth rely on the profitability and efficiency of private capitalism. Because of this, governments aren’t likely to make policies that aren’t backed by private business.

3. Also, pro-capitalist pressure groups are likely to be given “insider” standing. This means that their talks with the government are often kept secret, which makes them and the government less accountable to the public.

4. Aside from work unions, most people who join pressure groups are from the middle class and have a fair amount of money. Most pressure group leaders, who may not be chosen in a very democratic way, are even more likely to be from the middle class. Even though we can’t be sure that middle-class members and leaders of pressure groups won’t try to serve the interests of other social groups.

5. But when you look at all of these points together, they do suggest that poor and other disadvantaged groups, like many disabled people and members of some ethnic minority groups, are less likely to be directly involved in pressure group activity and more likely to be represented by under-funded outsider pressure groups that, despite their best efforts, may not be able to have a big impact on the government. In fact, it has been said that the fact that there are so many pressure groups makes people think they have a lot of power when they really don’t.

6. People have said that, starting in the 1940s, national political decisions around the world were made in a way that has been called “corporatism” or “tripartism.” In this system, business and trade union leaders had much more impact on government decisions than leaders of other pressure groups. Critics of corporatism have said that it gave too much political power to business and trade union leaders who weren’t always elected fairly, that business and trade union leaders didn’t always have the best interests of the country in mind, that they each had a lot of veto power that allowed them to force governments to accept certain policies so they wouldn’t have to deal with things like a long strike or less investment in the private sector, and that there were too many of them.

7. Theorists who were affected by the ideas of the New Right in the 1970s agreed with the above criticisms of corporatism. They said, in particular, that the trade unions had too much power, which they used to hurt the economy through harmful restrictive practises, inflationary wage demands, and strikes. They also said that welfare-focused pressure groups like Shelter and the Child Poverty Action Group made unrealistic demands for more money to be spent on the welfare state, which made people lose faith in the government when they weren’t met. Fewer complaints were made about private business, even though there were sometimes big differences of opinion about economic policy. Critics of the New Right, however, didn’t agree with this assessment of either trade unions or welfare pressure groups.

8. Professor Finer said that they were like unknown countries. Lambert thinks of these as unwritten rules, which means that no government can work without taking them into account. It is put together based on what each part has in common.

The classification of different types of pressure groups:

Pressure groups have been put into different categories in a number of ways. In general, we can tell the difference between the following types of pressure groups, though some groups may fit into more than one. For example, trade unions are primary, sectional, and permanent pressure groups that sometimes, but not always, have insider status and can work at the local, national, and international levels.

1. There are first- and second-level pressure groups.

2. Sectional pressure groups, which are sometimes called interest groups or protection groups, cause or support pressure groups, and hybrid groups are all types of pressure groups.

3. Insider pressure groups and stranger pressure groups

4. Pressure groups at the local, national, and worldwide level

5. Both long-term and short-term pressure groups

Primary pressure groups and secondary pressure groups:

Even though political analysts are mostly interested in how pressure groups try to affect politics and how effective they are at doing so, we must also acknowledge that most pressure groups do a mix of “political” and “non-political” things. Primary pressure groups are organisations that do political things to try to change public policy. Secondary pressure groups, on the other hand, do mostly nonpolitical things and only rarely get involved in real political processes. Organisations like the Electoral Reform Society and India Against Corruption are examples of primary pressure groups. On the other hand, churches and many charities, but not all, would be seen as mostly secondary pressure groups. If the goals of a charity are seen as being too political, the charity could lose its tax-exempt status.

Sectional or protective pressure groups, cause or promotional pressure groups, and hybrid pressure groups

The goal of sectional or protection groups is to look out for their members’ best interests. For example, Trade Unions try to raise the wages and living standards of their members, while the Confederation of Indian Industry (the CII) tries to get the government to adopt policies that will help private industry in the economy, such as lowering taxes on businesses or giving more money to industry. Members of sectional or protective pressure groups are only those who are personally involved in the sector of activity that the pressure group represents. For example, the trade union movement only represents trade unionists, and specific trade unions only represent trade union members who work in specific industries or trades. Professional associations like the Indian Medical Association and the Royal College of Nursing only represent doctors and nurses.

Promotional or cause groups don’t try to look out for their members’ best interests. Instead, they try to move forward issues that their members think are important. Groups like Amnesty International, the Child Poverty Action Group, etc. are examples of groups with a cause or to promote something. Anyone who wants to join a group that promotes a cause or wants to get the word out about something is welcome to do so.

This is a useful distinction, but some groups may be seen as both sectional and cause groups. For example, the Trade Unions have in the past supported a wide range of causes, such as the end of Apartheid in South Africa and, in some cases, unilateral nuclear disarmament, as well as trying to protect the living standards of their members. Also, some pressure groups, like the Rural Associations or Caste Groups, might be seen by some as a sectional pressure group looking out for the interests of landowners, farmers, and other rural interests. However, they might say that they are a promotional or cause group fighting for local democracy in rural areas and against policies made by a political elite in the city that doesn’t understand country life. Obviously, if these groups are able to promote themselves as champions of local democracy, they will gain more support and maybe even more political power.

Insider pressure groups and outer pressure groups:

Insider pressure groups are the ones that governments are most likely to talk to regularly. Pressure groups are most likely to become Insider groups if they can show that they have at least some of the following qualities.

1. High membership and high membership density show that a pressure group is made up of a lot of people who care about a certain problem. Membership density is how many real members there are compared to how many people could join.

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2. Whether or not its own goals are in line with those of the government and the people.

3. Willingness to work through “normal political channels” instead of holding large protests or taking direct action.

4. The ability to give exact, reliable information that might not be available otherwise and that helps the government make decisions.

5. A big part in getting government plans approved and/or put into place.

6. They have economic influence and a say-so. Governments can’t ignore business interests because a strong economy is important to their success in many ways. Trade unions have also had veto power in the past, but not as much as they used to.

People say that secret groups with these traits are more likely to be able to change how the government runs. The Indian Medical Association, the CII, the Automobile Association, and so on are all examples of Insider groups.

Insider groups are the exact opposite of Outsider groups.

• Their size or number of people may often be small, but this isn’t always the case.

• Their goals and/or means may not be liked by most people, and the government may see them as wrong and illegal.

• Governments don’t see them as good sources of information or advice. They aren’t likely to be involved in making or implementing government policies, and they don’t have much economic power or veto power.

Outsider groups may want to stay outsiders because they know that governments aren’t likely to share their goals, and they may think that getting closer to the government will only make the groups’ main goals less important. Instead, they choose to take part in different kinds of direct action in the hopes of getting more people to support them, which they hope will finally lead to big changes in how the government runs. Outside groups like India Against Corruption, which has been able to organise very large protests in the recent past, have always stressed the need for transparency so as not to lose public support. Other groups, like PETA and Green Peace, are willing to use disruptive tactics.

Pressure groups on the local, national, and worldwide level:

1. Pressure groups can focus on local, national, or international problems and negotiations, or they can do a mix of all three. For example, a small local pressure group might try to get the local council to change its mind about a number of local issues, such as whether to licence the building of new supermarket branches, whether to allow the opening of new music venues, whether to put speed limits and/or “speed bumps” on roads near schools, or whether to make recycling more widespread.

2. Some of the time, a large national trade union may have to negotiate wages or working conditions with one company. Other times, it may have to negotiate with a national employer’s association, a national government, or the political institutions of the EU and multinational corporations.

3. Business pressure groups and large environmental pressure groups can both be involved in negotiations at the local, national, and foreign levels.

Permanent and temporary pressure groups, including fire brigade groups and groups that only meet once in a while(episodic groups) :

1. Some pressure groups are likely to be around for a long time because they were made to deal with issues that are expected to be at the top of the political agenda for the foreseeable future. Other groups, on the other hand, are made to deal with issues that are more or less temporary. So, it makes sense that in a capitalist society, there will always be economic problems that employees and employers see differently. This means that trade unions and business pressure groups are likely to be permanent parts of the political scene. Now that environmental problems and world poverty are on the political agenda more often, the same conclusions can be made about pressure groups like Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, Oxfam, and Action Aid. Even if a pressure group is thought to be permanent, it may go through major organisational changes. For example, unions have merged in recent years to protect their bargaining power in response to the general decline in trade union membership since the 1970s. Also, new environmental pressure groups have sprung up that are against what they see as the merger of the once radical Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace.

2. Other pressure groups are likely to be temporary because they were formed to deal with brief problems, like the closing of a hospital or school, the building of a road, or a building project on a green field site. Once final choices have been made for or against these specific projects, the pressure group will no longer have a reason to exist.

3. Theorists sometimes make a difference between Episodic groups and fire company groups when they look at temporary pressure groups. Episodic groups are groups that were formed for reasons other than politics, but they may get involved in politics if they feel like their interests are being threatened [for example, if there is a threat to their jobs]. Local amateur soccer leagues may object to plans to sell off playing fields and then go back to their normal non-political positions once this “episode” is over.

4. Fire brigade groups are formed in response to a specific political issue. Once the issue has been resolved, the group may dissolve because it no longer has a reason to exist. However, the group may continue if, for example, some of its members decide to support similar campaigns, perhaps in nearby areas.

Anomic Pressure Group.

1. Modern democracies can also be broken, because groups that only look out for their own interests can push other concerns to the side. It’s possible that the interests of one group could be at odds with the interests of the whole country. Some pressure groups, like criminal organisations, have also formed through illegal means. Anomic pressure group is the name for these kinds of groups.

2. So, since pressure groups are an inevitable part of democracy, they have both helped and hurt it. Even though they have flaws and problems, pressure groups have become an important part of modern democracy. We could say that theorists influenced by democratic pluralism have been more likely to praise the democratic actions of pressure groups, while theorists influenced by Marxism, Elitism, Corporatism, and the New Right have been more critical. Even though these criticisms are important, all you have to do is picture a political system without independent pressure groups to see that they do, on balance, make a big difference in how a liberal democracy works.

Political party:

What is a political party?

1. Political parties are a special kind of group that brings people together. “A political party is a group of men who want to run the government by winning an election in the right way,” says Antony Downs.

2. Giovanni Sartori, an Italian scholar, said that a party is “any political group with an official name that runs candidates for public office at elections and has the power to do so.”

3. A political party is a group of people who work together to run for office and rule the country. In order to help the group as a whole, they agree on some policies and plans for society. Since people can have different ideas about what is best for everyone, parties try to show why their policies are better. They want to get the public behind these plans by doing well in these elections.

4. Even though these meanings show some differences in how political parties are seen, they all agree that voting and wanting to win public offices and mandates are important parts of what make political parties what they are. They have to meet a set of requirements, which can be summed up as follows.

5. In other words, a political party is a group of people who want to control or change the power structure of a community or society and work to do so in a way that they think is best for them and, presumably, for the community as a whole.

6. So, parties show the basic political differences in a society. Parties are about a part of society, so loyalty is a part of them. So, you can tell what a party stands for by what policies it backs and whose interests it looks out for. A political party is made up of three parts:

• The top people,

• The member who is working and

• Those who follow

7. One of the most obvious organisations in a democracy is the political party. Most people think that democracy and political parties are the same thing. If we go to less educated parts of the country and talk to the people there, we might meet people who don’t know anything about our Constitution or how our government works. But it’s likely that they would know something about our political groups. At the same time, being seen does not mean that someone is well-known. Most people have a lot of negative things to say about political groups. They tend to say that parties are to blame for everything that is wrong with our democracy and political life. Parties are now seen as symbols of social and political divides.

Criteria to identify political parties:

1. A party tries to change the way people think about politics and has an effect on politics in general. Actively shaping political opinions should not be limited to a single topic or a small area. Instead, it should be done over a longer period of time and in a wider area.

2. A party is an organisation of people who join on their own and must have a certain number of members to show how serious its goals are and how likely it is to succeed.

3. A party has to show that it is willing to consistently serve the people in politics during elections. So, it is different from unions, non-governmental organisations, and other groups that don’t want to take political responsibility for large groups but only want to have some impact and don’t run for office.

4. A party has to be its own body that will last for a long time. It can’t just be made for one election and then disappear afterward.

5. A person or group must be willing to go public.

6. A party doesn’t have to get a seat in government, but it does need to meet all the other requirements.

Parties can therefore be thought of as permanent groups of citizens with free membership and a plan. They want to get their leaders into the most important political positions in the country through elections so they can put their ideas for solving problems into action. The way elections work means that at least two groups have to compete with each other.

Parties don’t just try to influence how people think about politics. They also want to be a part of parliament and help serve the people. This is based on the idea that groups run for office. Elections have a lot to do with how much a party contributes to politics and how much “weight” it has in politics. The parties pay a lot of attention to what the people want. Parties usually have a “fighting spirit” and want to take over and keep power. This fight between parties is the way to get political power, and every part of a party is set up to work towards this goal. Only the political groups that do well in this competition will be able to get seats in the government. This is also the main reason why people join a party, and it makes a party even more interesting when it’s part of a government.

Even the less appealing role of the opposition has interesting ways to get involved. Reforms and changes in politics are always talked about and debated in the context of political groups. Most people who are interested in politics will find a party that agrees with them, whether that party is in power or not. In a democracy, parties in the opposition play an important role as a “watchdog” of government policy and as a possible political option for the future. People may not like opposition, but it is important for a government to work.

In contrast to interest groups, a party is expected to say what it thinks about all government-related topics. People expect parties to give their ideas on things like domestic and foreign policy, economic and social policy, youth and civil policy, and so on. To meet these requirements, each party should have a plan that stays true to its basic positions in different areas. Also, a party should be organised in a way that makes sense.

Why do parties exist?

1. In every society, people have different ideas, needs, expectations, and points of view about everyday things. There are also “big” questions about how society works, its rules, and its procedures. There is nothing like a shared will of the people or a set goal for the common good. On the other hand, every culture has different interests that sometimes clash very hard. So that conflicts can be solved calmly, people with different political views must be able to talk about them in the open. At least a little bit of agreement is needed. This is what makes democracy make sense. It is based on the idea that every person has the right to share his or her opinion and beliefs in a peaceful way.

2. Pluralism, or the “competition theory” of democracy, is the idea that there are different, but acceptable, interests in every society. According to this theory, political opinions in a society with many different kinds of people are formed through an open process of competition between different kinds of interests. There is no perfect answer to a problem because people have different ideas and there are conflicts in society. Decisions must be made with the agreement and support of the majority of the people. Still, there may not be a “tyranny of the majority” that goes against democracy rules and hurts people’s inalienable rights. Even majority decisions may suggest deficiencies or even injustice. So, this idea of democracy is based on the clear and constitutionally-guaranteed safety of minorities, on the one hand, and the recognition of the losing side’s vote or election loss, on the other, as long as the election was (mostly) free and fair.

3. When conflicts of interests are handled democratically, political parties serve certain interests. When parties agree on the rules of the game—for example, if they mostly agree on the democratic constitution—it becomes possible to solve conflicts and make political compromises in the right way.

4. We can also think about it by looking at how the Panchayats in many states are elected without parties. Even though the parties don’t compete in a formal way, most towns are split into more than one group, and each group puts up a “panel” of candidates. The party does this very thing. Because of this, political groups in almost every country are either big or small, old or new, and well-off or poor.

5. There is a straight link between the rise of political parties and the rise of representative democracies. As we’ve seen, representative democracy is important for big societies. As societies grew bigger and more complicated, they also needed a way to collect different points of view on different issues and give them to the government. They needed ways to bring together the different members so that a responsible government could be made. They needed a way to help or stop the government, make policies, defend them, or fight against them. Every representative government has these needs, which are met by political groups. We can say that parties are needed for a democracy to work.

Parties and party systems:

1. Of course, parties’ rights must be taken into account during the process. This means that there can’t be any political rules about how political groups are made. Still, it may be hard for people to start political groups that are openly against the democratic constitution of a country. In theory, though, individuals must have the right to start a party, join a party, and speak freely within it. Freedom of parties also means that no one can be made to join a party or stay in it against their will, which was and may still be the case in some countries. Recognising diverse democracy goes hand in hand with recognising the different types of parties.

2. This idea of competition in democracy goes against the idea of unity, which says that the will of the people is the same everywhere. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, a French political philosopher who lived from 1712 to 1778, came up with this idea. In theory, it says that conflicts are not legitimate and describes democracy as the identity of the government and the people. This idea doesn’t make room for more than one party. They aren’t seen as real because the way they act would always go against what the “common will” says.

3. This theory doesn’t allow deviations from the general good that is forced on everyone. But it’s clear that this idea is typical of totalitarian states, where different parties aren’t allowed and only a small group of people in power decide what the “common will” is. So, Rousseau is often associated with totalitarian states. Even Rousseau couldn’t explain exactly how this “common sense” would be found and chosen. We need to be aware that people in modern societies have a wide range of hobbies and points of view. They need political groups to be the main way that these different interests are represented in the political system.

Functions of political parties:

Political groups need to show that they have certain skills in order to take part in the political process and help make democracy stronger. “Functions” are what political scientists use to talk about these abilities.

The most important things that political groups do are:

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1. They speak up for and bring together people’s interests. Parties tell the political system what the public wants and what it expects from different social groups.

2. They hire people to work in politics and train the next generation of politicians. They choose people to run for office (=the role of selection).

3. They come up with political plans. Parties combine different interests into a general political plan and turn it into a political plan that they try to get a majority of people to agree with and back (=function of integration).

4. Parties connect people to the political system and give people and groups a chance to get involved in politics. (= the purpose of socialising and taking part).

5. They set up how the government works. They run for political office by voting in elections. In most party systems, a lot of the power in the government comes from political parties (whose job it is to exercise political power).

6. They add to the legitimacy of the political system by tying together citizens, social groups, and the political system. By doing this, they help the political order become rooted in the minds of citizens and social forces (legitimising function).

7. Parties fight elections. In most democracies, most of the candidates running for office come from political groups. Different ways are used by each party to choose its leaders. In some countries, like the USA, the leaders of a party are chosen by the people who belong to and support that party. This method is now being used in more and more countries. In other countries, like India, the top party leaders decide who will run for office.

8. Parties have different plans and ideas, and voters can choose which ones they like best. We may all have different ideas and thoughts about what laws are best for society. But no government could handle so many different ideas. In a democracy, a lot of people with similar ideas have to come together and agree on a direction so that the government can make decisions. The parties do these things. A party takes a lot of different ideas and boils them down to a few basic views that it supports. The policies of a government should be based on the direction taken by the party in power.

9. Parties have a big say in how laws are made for a country. In a formal way, the assembly is where laws are discussed and passed. But since most of the members join to a party, they do what the party leaders tell them to do, no matter what their own thoughts are.

10. Parties make up governments and run them. The big policy decisions are made by the political government, which comes from the political parties, as we said last year. Parties find leaders, train them, and then make them ministers so they can run the government the way they want.

11. When a party loses an election, it becomes the opposition to the party in power. It does this by expressing different views and criticising the government for things it does wrong or fails to do. Opposition groups also bring together people who are against the government.

12. Parties give people access to the government’s machinery and the aid programmes it runs. A neighbourhood party leader is easier for a regular person to talk to than a government official. That’s why they feel close to people even when they don’t trust them completely. Parties have to listen to what people want and need. If not, people can choose not to vote for those groups at the next election.

Political party systems:

1. The political party system is made up of all of the parties in a country. The pattern of how each party works with the other parties is reflected in the party system. Most of what makes up a party system comes from two things. On the one hand, it is the way that social goals and conflicts are set up. Some examples of classic clashes are those between capital and labour or between secular and religious parties. On the other hand, the party and electoral laws also have a big impact on how the party system is set up. This depends on how easy or hard it is to start a new party and whether or not the electoral system makes it possible for a larger number of parties to be represented in parliament. Yet, before democracy, the presence of one party caused at least one other party to form.

2. In general, party systems have grown along social and/or ideological lines of conflict throughout history. There are different ways to group party setups. Most of the time, a party system is defined by how many groups are fighting for power. So, one can tell the difference between one-party, two-party, and many-party regimes. In a “singleparty” system, only one party is in charge, and there isn’t much political competition between parties. As we’ve already said, a “single-party” government is a contradiction in terms, since a “party” should be part of a bigger group. Because of this, single-party systems make it hard for political competition and democratic freedom to happen. “Two-party system” means that only two parties really matter in politics, while smaller parties only play a minor role. In a “multi-party system,” the political competition is affected by more than two groups.

3. Whether a country has a two-party or a multi-party system relies on a number of things, including political traditions, the growth of political institutions, the country’s socioeconomic situation, and the importance of regional divisions and religious or ethnic conditions. The details of the electoral rule can have some, but not a major, effect on how the party system is made up. Most majority voting systems (called “first-past-the-post” systems) tend to lead to a two-party or few-party system, while a proportional voting system is more likely to lead to a system with more than two parties. But there is no clear link between voting systems and party systems.

4. The type of government affects how parties and party systems grow and change. For example, in a parliamentary system, political parties have more power because the government comes straight from the parliament, which is run by the parties. In a presidential system, the head of government, the president, is directly chosen by the people. This means that the parliament is not the main source of authority for the president.

5. Aside from the parliament, he usually also has legislative and other powers, and he usually has the right to block political decisions or even the power to get rid of the parliament. So, at first look, parties don’t seem to play much of a role in presidential systems. On the other hand, the separation of powers is generally clearer in presidential systems because the parties are not as close to the government. In parliamentary systems, on the other hand, there is a stronger connection between the government and the party or groups that are in power. In a presidential system, however, the president also needs the support of parliament and a majority of parliament. In a presidential system, it is very important that the parties have some freedom from the government. The form of government doesn’t have much of an effect on how many parties are in parliament. This is more a question of social divisions, and maybe also racial and other divisions in a country, the way conflicts and interests are set up, and the voting system.

Different kinds of political parties:

In the same way that there are different kinds of party systems, there are also different kinds of political parties. Typologies like these help to sort the different things that happen in society so that we can better understand them. To figure out who the people are, you can look at their distinguishing features to see what they have in common and what makes them unique.

Parties can be put into groups based on their level of organisation, their social and political goals, the social classes they want to serve and reach out to, or where they stand in the political system. Some parties can also be grouped by their names, which often show what they want to be known for in terms of social and political goals. Parties show how they want to be thought of through their names, which means how they want to be categorised. This proves that putting things into groups or making typologies is not just an academic exercise, but is part of the fight between political parties. The typologies were first made with Europe’s multi-party systems in mind, but they can also be used in other places. Here are some examples of different types:

  1. Parties are different based on how well organised they are:

• Electorate parties: These parties care less about having a lot of members, but they are very busy during elections. Most people who vote for such a party don’t feel very close to it.

• Parties with members: These parties want a lot of members, ideally from all over the country. Popular parties and labour parties are usually the ones that want a well-organized party structure and a lot of people (“mass political party”). At the very least, this makes it easier for the party to get money from membership fees.

2. Differentiation based on sociopolitical goals: Based on the sociopolitical goals that political parties want to achieve, you can tell the difference between parties that want to make social or political changes within the existing democratic order and parties that want to make changes through radical, extremist, or revolutionary means. The first group is made up of conservative, liberal, Christian democratic, social democratic, and partly socialist parties, as well as parties that define themselves by religion or confession as long as they don’t take extreme views. The second group is mostly made up of strong right-wing or left-wing parties, including communist parties.

• Conservative parties: These parties want to keep or recover the “approved” order. They are sceptical of new ideas and changes, such as how the family is seen and what its role is, and other ways of living (like same-sex marriages). They also don’t like giving national power to supranational organisations. However, they do agree that traditional ideas, values, and principles can’t be kept forever without some small changes.

• Liberal parties: These parties support the rights of each person to be free and stress that the constitution is a democracy document. They have always been against the church and most of them support a free market economy.

• Social democratic parties: These parties grew out of the labour movement and are based on the idea that everyone should have the same rights. They give the government a strong role in regulating the business and society.

• Socialist parties: These parties also grew out of the labour movement, but they take a more radical approach to making sure everyone has the same rights. Their main goals are to get rid of private ownership of the means of production and have the government run the business.

• Parties that are based on religion are different from other parties because of their social and political goals. A large number of groups around the world are based more or less on religious beliefs. There are Christian or Christian democratic, Islamic, and Hindu parties that base their plans on the values and standards of their faith or confession. This can make the political programmes and goals of these parties very different, depending on how each party sees where their faith stands on human rights, freedom, and political democracy. For example, the European Christian Democratic parties are dedicated to individual freedom, social solidarity and justice, self-responsibility of citizens, and a limited role for the state under the supervision of economic and social actors.

• Extremely right-wing parties: These parties teach nationalistic ideas that are often mixed with vague ethnic ideas and maybe even racist views.

• Communist parties: These parties spread the idea of the rule of the proletariat and believe that history has already been decided.

3. Differentiation based on which social groups they want to reach:

• Popular parties: These parties try to take into account the interests and needs of as many social groups as possible. They do this by trying to get as many people from different backgrounds to join their party and by putting together different social and political goals in their platform.

• Parties with special interests: These parties feel answerable for the interests of a very specific group (such as a social, religious, or regional group) and don’t claim to be just as good for everyone.

4. Differentiation based on where they stand in relation to the government system:

• Parties that work within the system: These parties accept the political system in which they are involved and want to either keep things stable or make small changes to make the system better over time.

• Parties that are against the political system: These parties don’t agree with the basic ideas of their political system and try to change it, usually through bold programme proposals.

Parties in politics rarely fit completely into one of these categories. There are smooth changes and a mix of styles. For example, a “mass” or “membership” party can also be a “interest party” if it only looks out for the interests of a certain social section or class, like the working class. There are also other factors that can be used, such as the party in power, the party in opposition, a regional party, a protest party, etc. Still, the divisions make it possible to figure out what a party is like in general, which is an important part of political competition.

Parties and ideologies:

1. For political parties, ideologies and unique worldviews are very important. Ideologies are big pictures of societies and how they change over time. They include explanations, ideals, and goals for the past, present, and future. Ideologies motivate and explain what people do in politics and society. They are a key part of figuring out where you stand politically. Leftist, communist, and socialist parties have been and still are the ones who use the word “ideology” to describe their worldviews and political stances. Still, other ways of thinking about politics, such as liberalism, conservatism, nationalism, or fascism, can also be called “ideologies.”

2. People sometimes talk about a claimed “des-ideologization” of politics. This is a reference to the fact that, in modern times, many parties put less emphasis on their ideological roots and more on how they deal with social and political problems in a practical way.

3. But the above ideas make it clear that ideologies are still very important for figuring out people’s worldviews and political stances. At the end of the Cold War, the American political scientist Francis Fukuyama said that we had not hit the “end of ideologies.” However, this was not true. He thought that liberal democracy would finally win out over all other types of government, and that this would end all ideological arguments.

4. Those who are publicly active or want to be should know about the different ideas. This is important not only for figuring out one’s own political stance, but also for judging other political stances and, finally, for fighting against them.

Problems that political parties face:

We’ve seen how important politics are to the way a society works. Parties are the most obvious part of democracy, so it makes sense that people blame them for anything that goes wrong with how democracy works. People all over the world are very upset that political parties don’t do their jobs well. Even in our country, this is the case.

No matter how democracy has been set up in a given country or situation, the key institutions of democracy are the political parties. There can’t be a government without parties. We’ve already talked about what political groups do on a basic level. But the parties don’t have a monopoly on doing these things, and today, more than in the past, they have to fight with other groups that do the same things, at least in some areas, and are therefore in competition with the parties. The most important thing that makes a party different is and will always be that it runs for office.

Even though parties are an important part of the political system and democracy, they face unique problems in modern societies. Political groups need to face and solve these problems if they want to keep being useful tools for democracy. The main reasons for these new difficulties for political parties are changes in society and how well (or poorly) political parties deal with the effects of these changes.

1. Political parties often have trouble because they can’t meet everyone’s standards at the same time. As political decision-makers, people expect them to have ideas and choices about problems and needs. Several groups, on the other hand, will always feel left out or come up with new demands that can’t usually be met in full. Just think about how people expect the government to provide internal and external protection, a well-developed road network, public schools, hospitals, and public housing or benefits without raising taxes or adding to the national debt. So, parties are always at odds with each other because their expectations haven’t been met and they think the answers aren’t good enough.

2. Changes in society and the growth of fragmented societies have brought about new problems. Fragmented societies are marked by the loss of traditional communities, the weakening of previously stable value systems and the commitments based on them, a higher level of education, a variety of information sources, and the way each person organises their own relationships. “Shifting values,” “individualization,” “event society,” and “fragmentation of interests” are all terms for social changes that show up directly in how people feel about the parties. When people lose contact with other people, they also lose interest in political parties. Parties feel this effect not only in the form of fewer members, but also in the form of less stable voter environments and less accurate election predictions and results.

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3. Changes in the mass media and the way they report, the growing competition for attention and audience, and the spread of “investigative” journalism have led to a new way of reporting on politics in which emotions, morals, scandals, and personalization are more important than ideas, values, and results. This is called “infotainment.” Politicians’ scams, bad personal habits, and wrongdoings are easier to find out about these days. This is a good thing for transparency and political control, but it can also make politics and its players seem less important and sometimes even silly. The parties will be the first ones to feel the bad effects of that.

4. Globalisation is the cause of the “modern” problem that political groups face. At the national level, globalisation and its effects have made it harder for politicians to move around and have given more power to supranational or international players in making decisions and running things. Even though people expect national political players to decide on their needs and wants, national political actors can’t solve important problems. So, people have less faith in the ability of political parties to make decisions on important issues of national interest.

The effects of these changes on parties and party systems are very bad:

1. Today, party systems are much more likely to change and are more scattered.

2. Big parties with a lot of people seem to be over. At the very least, even though some parties still have a lot of members, it is much harder to get a lot of people together for a big rally today.

3. In the past, parties were the only place to get political information and think about it. Now, with mass media, modern information tools like the internet, and other places to get involved in politics besides parties, this is no longer true.

4. Long-term, it is hard for parties to keep so-called loyal members from certain groups.

5. Overall, less people believe parties and politicians, and fewer people, especially young people, are interested in getting involved in politics.

6. More news stories are being written about political scandals, the real or alleged flaws of parties, and the inability of their top leaders to handle and solve problems. In the same way that globalisation of the economy, politics, and the environment has made it harder to run a government, technology has also made it easier to do critical reporting.

7. The more competition between TV stations and newspapers has also made it more common to report on lawmakers’ real or alleged mistakes.

8. The roles that the ruling party and the opposition party played in the past aren’t as clear as they used to be. This is because the big opposition parties don’t always benefit from voters’ dissatisfaction; instead, they sometimes lose votes to smaller or younger protest parties.

9. Parties don’t have enough internal freedom. Political groups tend to give most of their power to one or a few people at the top. This is true all over the world. Parties don’t regularly hold organisational meetings or run internal elections. Regular members of the party don’t know enough about what goes on inside the party. They don’t have enough money or connections to be able to change the choices. Because of this, the leaders have more power to make choices for the party. Few leaders in the party have the most power, which makes it hard for people who disagree with the leaders to stay in the party. It becomes more important to be loyal to the leader as a person than to be true to the party’s ideas and politics.

10. The first one has to do with dynastic rule. Since most political groups don’t work in an open and honest way, it’s hard for an average worker to get to the top. Those who are in charge have an unfair edge because they can help people close to them or even their own family. In a lot of groups, the top jobs are always held by people from the same family. This is also bad for democracy because it puts people in charge who don’t have enough knowledge or support from the people. This is a trend that can be seen around the world, even in some of the older countries.

11. How money and muscle power are becoming more important in parties, especially during elections. Parties usually use shot-cuts to win elections because they only care about winning. They tend to choose people who have a lot of money or can get a lot of money. Rich people and companies that give money to parties often have a say in what policies and choices the parties make. In some cases, parties help murderers run for office so they can win. Democrats all over the world are worried that rich people and big companies are getting more involved in democracy politics.

12. A lot of the time, parties don’t seem to give people a real choice. To give a real choice, the parties must be very different from each other. In most parts of the world, parties have become less ideologically different over the past few years. In Britain, for example, there isn’t much difference between the Labour Party and the Conservative Party. They agree on the most important things, but they have different ideas about how policies should be made and carried out. All of the big parties in our country have become more alike when it comes to their economic policies. Those who want ideas that are very different have no choice. People can’t always choose very different leaders because the same leaders keep moving from one party to another.

13. Oligarchy’s Iron Law: In 1911, Robert Michels showed the “iron law of oligarchy” (“Reign of a few”) in an important book about party study. According to the study, every organisation has to have a ruling class, which the organisation can’t control well over time. Since technology is getting better and politics is becoming more specialised, party leaders and party systems are also becoming more and more independent. Oligarchy is getting worse because more and more people are getting more and more power. This makes it hard for people in a party to form their own opinions in a fair way. Getting rid of rigid party structures can be helped by making democratic processes and the sharing of ideas better.

Criteria for a party to last and be successful

In a society that is always changing, parties have to keep working hard to do their jobs. There are a few things that every political party should do and follow, no matter what the local or national social norms are or how the voting and government systems work. This is so that they can compete in politics and win.

1. A party needs a large group of voters who know who they are. It should work to become rooted in the voter and interest groups it wants to serve, in line with its basic values and programmatic profile.

2. A political group needs to build a large organisation in order to be close to the people and get them to vote.

3. A party must build a group that anyone can join. Membership is important for finding its future leaders, and it should also be a key part of how it makes money. An active membership group, on the other hand, needs inner-party democracy, which means that members take part in politics and are able to decide who leads the party and what it will do.

4. A party needs to be able to talk to people both inside and outside of it. It needs a way for all of its members and members at all levels of the party to get information about what’s going on inside the party. Also, there needs to be a steady link to the media. In a mature media democracy, they are the “gatekeepers” of the political system and make people aware of what is going on.

5. Each party needs to come up with its own set of goals and ideas for how to solve the real problems of the time. This will set it apart from other parties. The goal of the programme work is to help the party meet the needs and wants of the public and to get more people to identify with the party.

6. A party has to show that it can be run well from within. This is the ability to strike a balance between presenting a united front to the public and having a debate within the party. Part of being able to run the country well is picking and supporting younger party members and leaders.

7. A party must be able to work with other groups. This is the real secret to success and to a party’s growth. This means that they are always trying to get more people to vote for them, to win over new voters with different hobbies and young voters with different ways of life, and to keep in touch with these voters.

8. A group must be able to run for office. It has to be able to talk to the public effectively about important issues and its own image, and it has to run flawless election campaigns with few issues and a clear message for “focused communication.”

9. A party must be able to work with other groups. Since it’s hard, if not impossible, for a party to get an absolute majority in parliament, especially with “first-past-the-post” voting systems, a party must be able to form stable coalitions with other parties to show that it can rule. The problems with being able to rule have a direct effect on the parties’ reputations. In order to make a coalition, it may be necessary to get past deep differences in policy and/or personality. This is a chance for politicians to show how smart they are.

10. A party has to show that it can run the country and solve problems at the local level. In local politics, the people of every country should have the most direct touch with the parties and their representatives. On a national level, people will only believe the parties if they can show that they know what they are doing and are close to the people.

11. A party must be able to find out what people want and then put in place political plans that meet those needs. Since social non-governmental organisations and interest groups are becoming more important, the parties need to work harder to stay in touch with them, understand what the people want, and turn that into policies.

12. There should be a rule about how political parties run their internal business. Political parties should be required to keep a list of their members, follow their own rules, have a neutral authority that can act as a judge in case of party disputes, and hold open elections for the top positions.

13. Political groups should have to give at least one-third of their tickets to women who want to run for office. In the same way, there should be a set number of women in the parts of the party that make decisions.

14. Elections should be paid for by the state. The government should give money to the parties to help pay for their campaign costs. This help could come in the form of gas, paper, a phone, etc. Or, it could be paid out in cash based on how many votes the party got in the last election.

15. Citizens can put pressure on political groups. This can be done by signing petitions, getting the word out, and making trouble. Normal people, interest groups, movements, and the media can all play a big part in this. If political parties thought that they would lose support from the people if they didn’t work on reforms, they would take reforms more seriously.

16. Political parties can get better if people who want change join parties that support reform. How much people take part in democracy determines how good it is. If regular people don’t take part in politics and just criticise it from the outside, it’s hard to change it. More and better politics can fix the problem of bad politics. But we have to be very careful when using the law to solve political issues. Too much government control over political parties can be bad. All sides would have to find ways to break the law. Also, political groups won’t agree to pass a law that they don’t agree with.

Quota for women and minorities:

1. Even though most constitutions around the world say that men and women should be treated equally, there aren’t enough women in political groups and in positions of power. In a lot of places, people are trying to get more women to get involved in politics. For this to happen, parties need to do more than they have been doing.

2. A legal limit of women has been set up in many countries, each with its own rules, so that women can have a bigger say in politics and be more involved. During elections, the goal is usually to set aside at least a certain number of party offices and roles for women. Experience has shown that these kinds of quotas, when they work, can actually lead to a higher number of women in politics.

3.However, history has shown that quota rules aren’t always followed, so there aren’t any more women in parliaments than there were before. So, work needs to be done to make sure that the quotas for women work and that the number of women in politics, including in parliaments, goes up. This is a question of political culture, and it will take time for it to grow.

4.Some parties use quotas to make sure that certain minority groups will work well with the rest of the party. There are two ways to make sure that people from different ethnic groups are represented: candidate selection quotas in political parties and legislative reservations. In legislative reservation, seats are set aside for certain groups, and only people in that group can vote for the person who will serve that group.

5. This means that there will be a different list of voters for people of colour. In a multicultural society, this method is not very good because it makes it harder for people from different groups to work together politically. When ethnic or racial communities are represented in legislatures, people often wonder how well these groups are represented in parties and legislatures and how much they can affect policy and decision-making.

6. Political groups have put in a lot of work to get more support from ethnic minorities. They are hired by political parties, which have set up ethnic liaisons teams to raise the parties’ profiles in the ethnic communities. This can be a big deal in local elections, because if ethnic communities don’t get their fair share of seats, no party that wants to be in charge won’t get their support.

Let’s look at some recent attempts and ideas in Indian society to change the way political parties and their leaders work:

1. The Constitution was changed so that MLAs and MPs couldn’t switch parties after being chosen. This was done because a lot of elected officials were switching sides to become ministers or get money. Now, the law says that an MLA or MP will lose their place in the legislature if they switch parties. This new law has made it harder for people to leave. At the same time, it has made it harder for people to disagree. MPs and MLAs must agree with whatever the party leaders say.

2. The Supreme Court made an order to make money and crime less powerful. Now, every person who wants to run for office must file an affidavit with information about his property and any ongoing criminal cases. This information is now out there for everyone to see. But there is no way to find out if what the candidates say is true. We don’t know yet if it has made the rich and crime less powerful or if it has made the rich less powerful.

3. The Election Commission passed an order that said political parties had to hold their organisational elections and file their income tax reports. Parties have begun to do this, but sometimes it’s just a routine. It is not clear if this step has made political groups more democratic on the inside or not.


1. Parties have flaws and problems, but democracy can’t work without them. In a democracy, parties are still the most important way for the government and the people to talk to each other. But they do have to adjust to the changes in society so they don’t get left behind.

2. In a mass democracy, forming political opinions and reaching an agreement is an endlessly hard, sometimes unsatisfying, and always risky process that takes place in the dull everyday life of committees, commissions, and assemblies. The political groups can’t be left out of forming political opinions, building consensus, or running the government for the good of society as a whole. They have to be a part of it.

3.Citizens’ initiatives and social movements are important for political innovation, opposition, and criticism, but in the end, they depend a lot on the parties to take on the long-term responsibility, and the parties are the ones who have to face the people in elections.

4. Parties play a leading role in politics that a modern democracy can’t do without. Even more so when things are changing, this political leadership must be responsible and obvious to the people and in touch with their needs and wants. “Each political party exists for the good of the people and not for itself,” said Konrad Adenauer, the first president and prime minister of the Federal Republic of Germany after World War II. So, political parties, their members, and their leaders have to take on this duty more than ever.”