Final Chapter 6 - Political Parties Political Parties In...

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Political Parties 71 Chapter 6 Overview In this tour of democracy we have come across political parties several times. In Class IX, we noticed the role of political parties in the rise of democracies, in the formation of constitutional designs, in electoral politics and in the making and working of governments. In this textbook, we have glanced at political parties as vehicles of federal sharing of political power and as negotiator of social divisions in the arena of democratic politics. Before concluding this tour, let us take a close look at the nature and working of political parties, especially in our country. We begin by asking two common questions: Why do we need parties? How many parties are good for a democracy? In the light of these we introduce the national and regional political parties in today’s India and then look at what is wrong with political parties and what can be done about it.
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72 Democratic Politics Why do we need political parties? Political parties are easily one of the most visible institutions in a democracy. For most ordinary citizens, democracy is equal to political parties. If you travel to remote parts of our country and speak to the less educated citizens, you could come across people who may not know anything about our Constitution or about the nature of our government. But chances are that they would know something about our political parties. At the same time this visibility does not mean popularity. Most people tend to be very critical of political parties. They tend to blame parties for all that is wrong with our democracy and our political life. Parties have become identified with social and political divisions. Therefore, it is natural to ask – do we need political parties at all? About hundred years ago there were few countries of the world that had any political party. Now there are few that do not have parties. Why did political parties become so omnipresent in democracies all over the world? Let us first answer what political parties are and what they do, before we say why we need them. Meaning A political party is a group of people who come together to contest elections and hold power in the government. They agree on some policies and programmes for the society with a view to promote the collective good. Since there can be different views on what is good for all, So, you agree with me. Parties are partial, partisan and lead to partitions. Parties do nothing but divide people. That is their real function! Election Commission has officially banned wall writing by parties during election times. Most political parties argue that was the cheapest way for their campaign. These election times used to create amazing graffiti on the walls. Here are some examples from Tamil Nadu.
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This note was uploaded on 01/19/2012 for the course SOCIAL 3so taught by Professor Stevejoyce during the Fall '09 term at Central European University.

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Final Chapter 6 - Political Parties Political Parties In...

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