"About hundred years ago there were few countries that had hardly any political party. Now there are few countries that do not have political parties." Examine this statement.
Following are the factors that make political parties absolutely indispensable for modern democracies:
i) If there no political parties, every candidate is going to be an independent candidate. Such representatives might be responsible to their constituency, but no one can then be held accountable for the running of the country as a whole.
ii) As societies are becoming larger and more complex, there is a need for a general will that can be reached at through dialogue. Such a dialogue has to be facilitated by bringing together of representatives from different parts of a country. Only then can there be responsible government.
iii) Political parties allow the democratic machinery to function smoothly. They serve as both policy makers and opposition.
iv) Parties contest elections, they put forward various policies and programmes for the electorate’s consideration, they participate in parliamentary legislation process, they form and run governments, they provide people access to government machinery and welfare schemes and shape and articulate public opinion.