Parties are associations of citizens who have common interests and political ideas. Through elections, parties can gain political power in parliaments and governments in order to achieve their political goals.  With their vote, citizens give parties the legitimation to participate in the formation of political will for a limited period of time. The more votes parties win, the greater their political influence.

 

What is a party?

A party is made up of people who have similar goals and values. Parties try to achieve their goals in politics. To do this, they stand for election. If a lot of people choose them, they get a lot of power.

Parties are important to democracy. Why?

Not every citizen has to represent his or her wishes and opinions individually. He or she chooses a party that suits him or her. The party then represents the views of its voters in politics.

Tasks and functions of parties

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Parties articulate the interests of the citizens.

They take up their wishes and needs and bring them into politics. This means that parties are an essential part of the democratic opinion-forming process. In addition, parties bundle the social pluralism of opinion and thus form a common will of larger parts of the population.

Parties have a socialization and mobilization function.

Regional associations and their local branches are particularly active here, because they offer their members and supporters the opportunity to work directly. But the parties also involve the citizens in the political system through political information events and public relations work on site. Election campaigns – regardless of the political level – would be inconceivable without the regional associations and their local branches.

Parties are therefore an essential part of political integration.

Parties provide staff in parliaments, governments and administrations.

In fact, they have a monopoly on sending representatives to parliament. Most of the prominent federal politicians have gained experience in state politics.

Parties have a function in forming a government.

Without the parties, the mediators and links between state and society, governments with a majority could not be formed. This function is fulfilled by parties at both the state and federal level.