Without doubts, political parties play an important role in the preservation of the democracy. Although, the first political parties appeared centuries ago, their significance remains quite high, even nowadays. At the same time, there is no unique opinion about their nature and functions. Some admit that political parties help to regulate and control the process of states governing while other suppose they do a little in order to preserve democratic standards and norms. Despite the controversies, it is possible to say that political parties are active participants in the democratic political system, and the impacts are noticeable for the whole society.
This research will dwell on the characteristics of the political parties, which are responsible of protection of democracy. It is not a secret that a multi-party system is the key element, which provides the pluralism of political thoughts and ideas. Correspondingly, the existence of parties prevents the formation of dictatorship and authoritarianism. The main objective of the research is to investigate the role of political parties in the maintenance of democracy and their influence on the political and social life of the country. Moreover, it will show the connection between the parties and democracy and its role in prevention of authoritarian methods of governing.
The research will apply to such scientific methods as content analysis of literature, generalization and synthesis.
The Main Characteristics of Democracy
The first democratic form of government appeared in the ancient Greece. Although, thousands of years have passed since that time, the importance of democracy remains high and topical, in the modern world, as well. Such a tendency is not surprising since democracy preserves the main human rights and orients on the creation of the most appropriate conditions of living for every individual. Generally, it is possible to determine the following features of democracy.
Firstly, it professes the supremacy of law, guaranteeing justice for every citizen. In the democratic society, law is equal for every individual and serves in order to protect human rights from the unfair and unjust treatment. When speaking about the issue of human rights, it is essential to mention that democracy pays special attention to the protection of civil liberties. It means that citizens can freely express their opinions, exchange ideas, join various social or professional groups or associations and profess different religions and beliefs. One of the important characteristics of democracy is the possibility to form the political party and represent personal political views and values.
In addition, democracy establishes the system of elections in order to determine the representatives of the government. In such a way, it enables the citizens to take an active part in the political life of the country and solve important political issues. In fact, it is common for the democracy to represent the great involvement of the population into the process of governing. People are not only observers, but also participants of the political process since they elect the representatives for the government to delegate their interests, demands and requirements.
Another interesting feature of democracy is the existence of opposition parties in the government. Usually, parties, which gain the minority of votes, form the opposition and control the process of governing. They help to represent the alternative point of view and protect the interests of the other part of society. In fact, the presence of opposition serves as the protecting mechanism against the dictatorship and authoritarianism.
Therefore, it is possible to conclude that democracy allows the considerable involvement of citizens into the process of governing by guaranteeing the freedom of speech, installing the electoral system and forming the opposition in the government.
The Role of Political Parties in Democracy
Naturally, democratic countries allow their citizens form political parties, according to their interests, requirements and values. As a result, it is common for such countries to have the multi-party system. Political parties, in their turn, do a lot in order to preserve the democratic form of government and avoid dictatorship. From this point of view, it is possible to say that democracy and political parties are mutually connected. In other words, they share the interdependent relations.
In fact, political parties perform a range of functions, which are helpful for the protection of democracy. To start with, political parties take active part in the formation of the public opinion. Different parties have a clear program of their demands and further actions. At the elections, the citizens vote for the party, which represents their own interests, in the most accomplished way. In such a manner, parties contribute to the creation of the political consciousness and formation of the alternative points of view.
In addition, it is impossible to overemphasize the role of political parties in the education of the society. As a rule, parties spread the information about their activities and ideas throughout media, printing leaflets, broadcasting ads campaigns and arranging meetings and briefings with citizens. In fact, the main aim of such strategy is promotion. Nevertheless, such actions usually contain topical information and explain different political phenomena, in a comprehensive way. As a result, people become more aware of political situation and events. Correspondingly, they can form their own ideas and participate in the political life of the country.
Indeed, political education is significant for maintenance of democracy. It is an obvious fact that the great amount of politically aware people makes it difficult to install dictatorial government. In addition, political literacy promotes the quality of life and contributes to the states prosperity. It is also possible to surmise that political parties evoke the public interest in political affairs.
Actually, political parties install a solid connection between the government and people. They always orient on the demands of the society and struggle for creating convenient living conditions for all social classes. As a result, the political parties try to implement the main requirements of democracy, which consist in the protection of human rights and civil liberties.
One of civil liberties, guaranteed by the democracy, is the freedom of speech and expressions. Political parties considerably contribute to the protection and implementation of this right. In the countries with the multi-party system, one can observe the pluralism of thoughts and ideas. In other words, the government, represented by various parties, protects the interests of different social groups and expresses various strategies for the further development of the state. Such a diversity of thoughts allows every citizen participating in the political process and expressing personal views and suggestions.
Furthermore, democracy provides the existence of opposition parties. Thus, the government includes many parties and not only those, which have obtained the majority of votes. The opposition, the parties with the minority of voices, has the possibility to take part in governing, as well. This feature of democracy depends exclusively due to the presence of different political parties. The democracy could not guarantee the justice in the governing process but for the diversity of political parties.
To sum up, it is possible to say that political parties make a great contribution to the protection of the democracy and human rights, as well. Political parties help to control the governing process and express the interests and ideas of the whole society. They serve as a connection between people and federal authorities. The multi-party system is especially beneficial and suitable for the democracy as it is responsible of formation of opposition in the government. Generally, political parties guarantee and support democracy, to a very great extent.
Political Parties and Dictatorship
Dictatorship is the opposition to the democratic form of governing. It excludes the pluralism of thoughts and freedom of expressions. Dictatorship, similar to authoritarianism, does not guarantee the supremacy of court and applies to various oppressive mechanisms in order to suppress the diversity of opinions and ideas. In fact, dictatorship presupposes the existence of one person or single party, which is responsible of the governing and possesses the control over the whole state.
Without doubts, such a position is very subjective, prejudiced and unfair. Dictatorship as a form of tyranny gives no opportunities for the formation of political consciousness, education and the variety of opinions. Modern world condemns the dictatorship in all its manifestations and makes attempts to overcome its, completely.
As a rule, dictatorship appears, when there is one strong party in the country, which takes the control over all spheres of social life. Moreover, dictatorship is the result of the lack of competition between various parties and absence of alternative points of view. All historical examples of dictatorship and authoritarianism show that these forms of governing include single-party system. In such case, it is impossible to guarantee the development of the political consciousness and political pluralism. Correspondingly, dictatorship neglects and ignore all the civil liberties and rules of law.
Therefore, it becomes obvious that the first step on the way of dictatorship overcoming is the creation of multi-party system. The emergence of the diverse system of political views and ideas help to assure the democratic regime and guarantee the fulfillment of civil liberties and basic human rights.
The Disadvantages of Political Parties
Although, the advantages of political parties are obvious and indisputable, there are some drawbacks to single out. Without doubts, multi-party system is not totally beneficial for the society. It contains some hidden threats and drawbacks, as well. To begin with, multi-party system involves a great competition between different parties. As a result of such competition, parties tend to launch great advertising campaigns, apply to different methods in order to get the broader audience, give implausible promises and even provide misinformation. All these actions lead to the reduction of trust among people and decrease of the political competence and interest, in the society.
In addition, the desire to get more voices and, respectively, more places in the government may distract parties from the fulfillment of their obligations and promises. Very often, political parties find them unable to meet the requirements and satisfy the demands of their followers and supporters. In the long run, such a situation ruins the power of the whole country and leads to the general decline.
Secondly, in terms of multi-party system, the weaker parties may not stand the competition with the stronger ones. In other words, weak parties tend to lose their positions and reputation under the influence of the strong ones. However, it will be wrong to admit that weak parties are useless in the governing process of any country. They help to establish the pluralism of thoughts and protect the alternative point of view. All parties are essential for the normal functioning of the democratic state. Even those, which gain a little support from the public, should remain their positions and take part in the political life. Furthermore, it is essential to remember that weak parties prevent the strong ones from taking the complete control over the state. They serve in order to balance the political powers and regulate the political situation within the country.
Finally, the other drawback of the multi-party system consists in the difficulties of finding the compromise in the political issues. Obviously, different parties create various programs of development and follow various plans. In their programs, they may implement certain methods and introduce some reforms or innovations. Since political parties orient on various classes of people, their strategic plans may differ and do not coincide. As a result, it may be difficult to reach a consensus and suggest the most appropriate way of development.
Thus, a multi-party system is not accomplished, and it contains some drawbacks, as well. Nevertheless, the right governing and controlling over their work may help to eliminate their negative impacts and make them helpful and useful for the whole country.
To sum up, political parties play a significant role in the protection of the democratic form of governing. They help to assure the fulfillment of basic democratic norms and standards and guarantee the human rights and civil liberties. Multi-party system provides the citizens with enormous benefits and possibilities. Due to their existence, people can actively participate in the governing process and express their political views and opinions freely. Political parties guarantee the pluralism of thoughts, the connection between government and citizens and the protection of all social classes.
At the same time, multi-party system is the effective method in the fight against dictatorship and authoritarianism. Such system excludes the subjectivity of governing and orients on people in making important decisions.