What are the challenges of political parties?



(i) Lack of internal democracy:

(a) All over the world, there is a tendency of political parties towards the concentration of power in one or few leaders at the top.

(b) Parties do not keep membership register.

(c) They do not regularly hold organisational meetings.

(d) They do not conduct internal elections regularly.

(e) Ordinary members of the party do not have sufficient information on what happens inside the party.

(f) As a result, the leaders assure greater power to make decisions in the name of the party.

(ii) No transparency:

Since most political parties do not practise open and transparent procedures for their functioning, there are very few ways for an ordinary worker to rise to the top in a party.

Those who happen to be the leaders are in a position of unfair advantage to favour people close to them or even their family members.

In many parties, the top positions are always controlled by members of one family.

This is also bad for democracy since people who do not have adequate experience or popular support come to occupy positions of power.

(iii) Money and muscle power:

(a) Since parties are focused only on winning elections, they tend to use short cuts to win elections.

(b) They tend to nominate those candidates who have or can raise lots of money.

(c) Rich people and companies who give funds to the parties tend to have influence on the policies and decisions of the party.

(d) In some cases, parties support criminals who can win elections.

(e) Democrats all over the world are worried about the increasing role of rich people and big companies in democratic politics.

(iv) Meaningful choice:

(a) In order to offer meaningful choice, parties must be significantly different.

(b) In recent years, there has been a decline in the ideological differences among parties in most parts of the world.

(c) Those who want really different policies have no option available to them.

(d) Sometimes, people cannot elect very different people either, because the same set of leaders keep shifting from one party to another.