Party System

 

Welcome to class! 

In today’s class, we will be talking about the party system. Enjoy the class!

Party System

Functions of Political Parties - Political Science

 

Definition

It refers to a political arrangement in which government can only be constituted upon the election of a political party in a democratic electoral setting. A party system is a concept in comparative political science concerning the system of government by political parties in a democratic country.

Types of the party system
  • One party/single-party system:

It is an arrangement in which only one single party is legally recognized to converse for vote and present candidate for election. It is a common feature for communist or socialist country e.g. North Korea, Cuba, China, Kenya e.t.c

Types

  1. True single party: This effectively prevents the formation of any other active parties
  2. Hegemonic party: This enjoys unchallenged authority and the law does not operate formally against any opposition.
  3. Pre-dominant party: This is a party which is elected and continues to be elected.

Characteristics

  1. One officially recognized
  2. Recognized by the constitution
  3. No private control of the mass media
  4. There is only one ideology to the country
  5. Government policies are strictly enforced

Advantages

  1. It promotes unity as all politician are accommodated within the only existing party
  2. It makes use of the most competent people
  3. It is economical
  4. It makes the process of decision making faster

Disadvantages

  1. It is non-democratic as it does not present the voters with a choice
  2. It encourages violence of government
  3. It gives room for corruption
  4. There is limited political education for the people
  • Two-party system:

This is an arrangement in which only two political parties are recognized to contest for elected posts, a good example is the United States where they have a republican and democratic party which are dominant. Britain is another good example where they have labour and conservative party

Characteristics

  1. There is room for another contesting party
  2. It gives room for press freedom
  3. There is an opportunity for choice of candidate and parties
  4. It accommodates democratic principles and allows operation of the rule of law

Advantages

  1. It is more democratic than a one-party system because it allows for the choice of candidates and program
  2. It promotes political stability in the country
  3. It prevents dictatorship which can come up in a one-party system
  4. It facilitates the existence of an opposition party to check on the excesses of the ruling party and government

Disadvantages

  1. Division of the country into two fractions
  2. Decision-making sense to the slower
  3. It is more expensive to run
  4. It does not promote unity
  5. It may encourage electoral malpractices
  • Multi-party system:

This is an arrangement in which multiple parties exist with each producing a reasonable and good candidate to be elected into government. This party system is regarded as a democratic party system, for example, Since Nigeria’s second republic (1979-1985), it has recognized different political parties, a coalition government is usually formed in a multi-party system.

Characteristics

  1. Existence of many parties
  2. Legal recognition of all political parties
  3. Easy choice of individual parties and programs
  4. It enhances political education
  5. It gives room for a coalition government

Advantages

  1. It increases the scope of political participation
  2. It gives room for wider choice for the electorate
  3. It reduces the chances of the emergency of a single party dictatorship
  4. It encourages party organization through competition

Disadvantages

  1. It may aid political instability as different people/parties from a government one after the other in succession
  2. It brings bribery and corruption
  3. Forming a coalition government is usually weak and unstable
  4. It may lead to confusion due to too many political programs
  • Zero party system:

This has to do with a standard where party leaders are elected by people on an individual basis. There is no political party and candidates are mostly independent and elected according to their members.

Advantages

  1. Proper management of time
  2. Discourages electoral malpractices
  3. The conduct of the election is very simple to operate
  4. It reduces cost
  5. Decision making is quick and purposeful

Disadvantages

  1. It may encourage political instability
  2. There is an absence of a public manifesto
Evaluation
  1. Define party system and explain five (5) types of party systems.
  2. What are the characteristics of a multi-party system?
  3. What are the main advantages and disadvantages of a one-party system?
  4. Differentiate between a one-party and a two-party system.
  5. Define a zero-party system.

 

In our next class, we will be talking about Pressure Groups.  We hope you enjoyed the class.

Should you any further question, feel free to ask in the comment section below and trust us to respond as soon as possible.

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