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What are the five functions of a political party?

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Quick Answer

The five major functions of a political party are recruitment of candidates, fundraising, campaign support, advocacy of political issues and government organization. The Democrats and Republicans are the dominant political parties in the United States.

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What are the five functions of a political party?
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The primary function of a political party is the recruitment of qualified candidates to run for public office. In order to shape policy, parties need officeholders at the local, state and national levels. Parties seek out candidates with ties to the community and a deep understanding of the issues and concerns of the constituency. The candidate's ability to raise money is also critical, as fundraising is among the most time-consuming and important functions of the party. Political parties also provide a range of support services for candidates during their campaigns, including polling, opposition research, voter lists, position papers, strategic and legal counsel, and media buying. Voters look to political parties to define the issues of the day and advocate for positions consistent with their core values.

In the United States, government organization is primarily a function of political parties at the national level, where they handle responsibilities within each of the three branches of government. In the legislative branch, party members select the leadership, introduce legislation and confirm executive and legislative branch appointments. In the executive branch, the party in power is responsible for thousands of appointments to various positions.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are some functions of political parties?

    A:

    Some of the functions played by political parties include pre-selection of candidates for political office, providing organizational support for individual candidates and giving a structured channel to people with similar political ideas that allows them to meet and organize. Ultimately, political parties are responsible for the formation and operations of the government.

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  • Q:

    How does a political party act as a watchdog?

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    In political systems with two or more parties, less powerful parties assume a watchdog role by paying close attention to the actions of the party in power. They quickly bring suspicious behavior to the attention of the public. In this way, less powerful political parties help balance the scales of power.

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  • Q:

    What is an example of a political party?

    A:

    Examples of political parties include the Democratic Party (U.S.), the Conservative Party (U.K.), the Christian Democratic Union (Germany) and the Movement for Democratic Change – Tsvangirai (Zimbabwe). According to Merriam-Webster, a political party is a group of people organized to gain and use political power.

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  • Q:

    What are the disadvantages of a political party?

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    The disadvantages of a political party include placing the interests of the party over those of a nation, weak governance and fostering division. There is also the argument that a political party only reflects the views of the most extreme members of that party alone and not the sentiment of the average person.

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