Definition of party:
A political party is defined as a group of people who believe in the same principles and wishes to capture political power in other to put in to practice their principles. we must examine this definition in the light of the practice of political parties. The definition presupposes that all political parties have principles (or ideology) this not true. Many political party have no ideology, they just want to capture political power in other that they may control political patronages and employments. a political party is a group, of people who may or may not believe in an ideology but who wish to capture political power. The main thing is that all political parties wish to capture political power.
Function of political party
The functions of political parties in democratic states are
Organization of public opinion on national issues:
in every country different people hold different opinion, some opinion are sensible and some are stupid, the parties formulate all these opinion into party programs and the different people find which program is nearer to their opinions. This crystallization of opinion prevents apathy and arouses the interest of the electorate. It enables an effective choice to be made between two different policies.
Education of the public: the arguments and counter arguments by the parties and their programs gives education to the people as to the way they are being governed
Provision of a link between parliament and the country:
the voters choose the party they want, the party they want from the government, thus indirectly the voters choose the government. The government will always give account of their stewardship to the electors in the country. The organization of parties in the country make this possible. Even before elections the constituency organization can put pressure on the member of the parliament and the electors can use mass communication media to check the government.
Provision of stability and cohesion in parliament:
the fact that those in parliament belong to parties make it possible for the majority parties to form government and the next large party to form opposition. The programmed of the majority will cover a wide range of nation issues and will be supported by members of the majority party. If M.P.S were all independents every independent member would be fighting for his own policy and forgetting national issues. It is easier to put pressure on an independent than the whole party, business of the house can be more arranged by parties than by independents fighting for individual gains.
The giving of consistency to government: since the cabinet is formed from people who all have the same political views there is consistency in policy.
Provision of effective means of changing government: the existence of parties makes it easy for the voters to change the government by voting for one party rather than the other, instead of the old clumsy method of withholding supply and impeachments.
Provision of responsibility for government:
since the government is run by a party the people know who to blame when something goes wrong with the affair of the state. If M.PS. are independent the people will not know which one among them is at fault
Provision of men to hold office: parties provide candidates who will fill the offices of the state, suppose there were no parties the people who want offices will be struggling for them through bribery and corruption, also if any incumbent of an office does wrong we know who to blame-his party of course.
Parties also perform welfare functions for their members, they build recreation clubs where party members converge and enjoy their leisure. Well organized parties always distribute patronage to its multi-party system.