What are the merits and demerits of political party?
Parties play a key role in engaging and mobilizing the
electorate in the political process.
There are three main reasons a person becomes active in
politics: First, they get something in return - a financial, social
or purposive benefit. Second, they have the ability and resources
to participate. Finally, they are asked to participate. This can
apply to just voting for president every four years or becoming
politically active to a much greater extent.
Political parties can help educate a person on why they should
care about an election by offering a social benefit and making the
financial and purposive benefits clear. Parties can assist those
who don't otherwise have the money, time or skills to participate.
One example would be offering form letters for a person to sign and
send to their congressperson, saving them time and allowing them to
communicate with their elected official even if that person lacks
the necessary writing skills. They also provide rides to the polls
and help with registering to vote. Just as importantly, parties
actively ask people to get involved in the political process
through direct mailings, commercials, signs and personal
Parties help simplify the electorate's voting decisions by
giving the voters a brand to associate with a candidate and/or
issue. That lowers the information gathering cost and provides the
electorate with a great deal of information without the voter
having to obtain information specific to that particular candidate
or that particular issue. Parties also simplify the process for
voters by limiting the number of candidates that are involved in a
In short, voters engaging and participating in the electoral
process is essential in a democracy. Parties lower the cost of
voting, raise the perceived reward and magnify the perception of
the importance of a citizens' vote in determining an elections
The most important thing a party does is to actually make
governance in a democracy work.