Definition Of Political Party

A political party is an organization of people of like-minds united by the common desire to obtain the mandate of an electoral constituency to form and operate a government. A political party is defined as an association of people with same goals and objectives who organise themselves into a political group for the purpose of controlling political power and the administrative machinery of a state.

Types Of Political Party

  1. Branch/Mass parties: These are political parties that are structured to allow as many citizens as possible to take membership. Membership of mass parties are mainly composed of different sections of the society
  2. Caucus/Elitist parties: These parties either deliberately or otherwise limit membership to a few elitist in a society and these elitists are of the upper class.
  3. Ideological parties: Some parties are formed mainly to promote a particular ideological belief, a good example is Adolph Hitler national socialist party (NAZI).
  4. Religious Parties: Religious doctrines existing in a  country determines the formation of these parties
  5. Oligarchy parties: These are parties that are formed by and which invariably revolves around certain individuals.
  6. Charismatic Parties: Individuals with unique qualities can form these parties. People are attracted to these parties because of the charisma of those that formed them e.g. A.G. of Obafemi Awolowo

Functions Of Political Party

  1. Political parties unite the people on major issues affecting the states
  2. It serves as a link between the people and government
  3. They dramatise politics
  4. They provide machinery for recruiting political leaders
  5. It enables the government’s accountability to the people
  6. They are accountable to the electorates
  7. It provides an organization for running the government
  8. It serves as an avenue for changing government
  9. They bring together sectional interests
  10. They contest elections ans make change of government

Characteristics Of Political Party

  1. They are a highly organized group with procedure for electing party leaders
  2. Its primary function is to conduct election and being government
  3. They contest for electoral positions to be in Government
  4. Publicizing their manifesto
  5. They conduct primary elections to choose popular candidates for election
  6. They carry out nomination of candidates
  7. Publicizing their manifesto to the electorate through campaign
  8. Nomination of candidates to contest under the banner of the party
  9. Organization of primary election within a political party to present the candidates that would represent the party.

Demerits of Political Party

  1. Floating a party is costly and waste of public funds
  2. Division of the country into opposition camps
  3. Candidates nominated for election may not have the people’s consent
  4. Political parties are associated with evil practises, e.g. victimisation, nepotism
  5. Most appointments made are based on party support
  6. Communities that did vote for the ruling party may be neglected
  7. Carpet crossing is party dis-loyalty – camping with another party
  8. They do not live up to people’s expectations, making some people apathetic to politics