Functions of a Political Party

?
  • Created by: Joyce M
  • Created on: 02-12-19 16:29

Participation and Mobilisation

Participation and Mobilisation

  • Parties:
  • Provide opportunities for citizens to join parties and therefore shape policy 
  • Help educate and mobilise the electorate through canvassing, public meetings, advertising, poster campaigns, broadcasts etc. 
  • HOWEVER
  • Voters’ loyalty towards parties has declined (in 1964, 44% had ‘very strong’ attachment to a party, 2005 10%)
  • Turnout has fallen since 1997 (59% voted in 2001 - lowest turnout since 1918)
  • Membership of major parties has fallen (from 3m in 1960s to 384,000 in 2015)
1 of 6

Representation

Representation

  • Parties link govt and the people by responding to and articulating public opinion
  • They develop policies that appeal to the electorate 
  • The winning party claims a mandate to carry out its policies - translates public opinion into govt policy
  • HOWEVER
  • The electorate isn’t always well informed and rational when choosing between parties 
  • FPTP(first past the post) means parties only need the support of 35-40% of the electorate to win 

 

2 of 6

Policy Formulation

Policy Formulation

  • This is where they set collective goals and formulate public policy.
  • They do this through manifesto and conferences, which is the delevopment of programmes of govt.
  • It also states the  and gives the electorate a list of achievable goals.
  • HOWEVER
  • Major parties have distanced themselves from their traditional ideologies and are less interested in formulating larger goals for society 
  • Parties are more eager to follow public opinion than shape it 
3 of 6

Recruitment of Leaders

Recruitment of Leaders

  • All senior political careers start with the decision to join a party.
  • Party members can gain experience by debating and help run a constituency party 
  • Party membership opens the door to political office.
  • Parties recruit and train the political leaders of the future.
  • HOWEVER
  • As govt are appointed from the ranks of the majority party, they rely on a small pool of talent.
  • Electioneering and other party activities may be poor training for running a large govt dept 
4 of 6

Organisation of Government

Organisation of Government 

  • Parties:
  • Help to form govts, meaning there is a system of party govt 
  • Give govts a degree of stability and coherence, especially as members of govt are usually drawn from a single party and therefor united by common sympathies and attachments
  • Facilitate cooperation between Parliament and the executive 
  • Provide a source of opposition/criticism to help scrutinise govt policy 
  • HOWEVER
  • Decline in party unity since 1970s has weakened the majority party’s control of the Commons.
  • E.g. In the 2010 general election, the Conservatives were 19 seats off a secure majority. Therefore, they had to form a coalition with the Lib Dems, to form a government.
5 of 6

functions of a party

Functions of UK political parties:

  • Offering voters a choice at elections
  • Recruiting politicians and promoting them to national leadership
  • Create policies they believe are in the national interest
6 of 6

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar Government & Politics resources:

See all Government & Politics resources »See all UK political parties resources »