Introduction to Political Party
A political party is a group of people who come together to contest elections in order to hold power. It is a way to mobilize voters to support common sets of interests, concerns, and goals. The primary role of a political party is to fix the political agenda and policies. In this way, each party tries to persuade people by claiming that their policies are better than those of other parties.
In a broader perspective, a political party is a means via which people have a say in the governance of any country. Therefore, every political party must have three key components:
- Active Members
Functions of a Political Party
Every political party has several functions to perform. Here we have listed some of them:
- A political party contests elections by putting up candidates.
- In countries like the USA, the candidates are selected by members and supporters of a party.
- On the other hand, in countries like India, the candidates are chosen by top party leaders.
- Every party has different policies and programmes. Voters choose a party according to the policies and programmes liked by them.
- In a democratic country, a large group of people that have certain similar opinions group together and form a party. On being elected to power, they then give a direction to the policies adopted by the government.
- Those parties which lose election, form the opposition. They voice different views, mobilise the opposition, and criticise the government for its failures.
- Political parties shape public opinion. With the help of the pressure groups, the parties launch movements for solving problems faced by the people.
- Parties even offer access to government machinery and welfare schemes. The local party leader serves as a link between citizens and government officials.
In case, there are no political parties then:
Every candidate in the election would be an independent candidate. An individual candidate does not have the efficiency to promise any major policy change to the people. In such a scenario, no one will be responsible for how the country is run.
In the long run, only a representative democracy can survive. Political parties are the agencies that gather different views on various issues and present them to the government.
In case no party achieves a clear majority of the legislative seats, then several parties join forces and form a coalition government. Countries like India, follow a multi-party system. Some people are of the view that a multi-party system often leads to political instability in a country.
Let us learn more about the party system through this activity!
- To make the students understand how and why political parties are formed.
- To make the students understand the importance and functions of political parties.
- To acquaint the students with a party manifesto.
Plain sheets, chart paper/coloured paper to make banner and logo for the party (optional), glue, scissors, ruler, pencils, erasers, and sketch pen.
|S. No.||Activity Process||Time-taken|
Teachers kindly follow guided steps 1, 2 and 3
Reflection sheet and feedback form
Time required - 45 Minutes
Step 1- Introduction + Grouping up (10 min)
Step 2- Branding the party + Party manifesto (25 min)
Step 3- Presentation + Summary(10 min)
Step 1- Introduction + Grouping Up
- The teacher can introduce the concept with a quick discussion on the ruling parties in India.). She can discuss the names, political leaders, importance, and functions of the political parties.
- The teacher is requested to tell the students that in today's session we will create our mock parties and understand the process of party formation. So, let us get started by forming groups!
- The teacher can ask students to divide themselves into 4-5 groups depending on the class strength. Let students mutually form their groups. The teacher can guide students in case of any discrepancy.
- The next important thing is to identify your party leader or chairperson and the active members of the party.
- Students can mutually decide on their leader not based on loyalty to a political party but rather based on what is good and right and in the best interest of the nation. The group can also identify active members for other key responsibilities and the remaining students in the group can be the followers of the party.
Step 2- Branding your party & manifesto creation
Give the party a distinctive name and logo. A political party will be known everywhere by its name and logo, so give this some thought.
- Teachers kindly tell the students to choose one name and logo each that is not too complex but is distinctive in meaning.
- Select a name and a logo that captures the party’s core values.
- Try to keep the name short -- not more than a couple of words. That way, it will be memorable and easily identifiable.
- Also, the meaning of the logo should be about the party agenda.
Create a manifesto
A manifesto is a published declaration of the intentions, motives, or views of the issuer, group, political party, or government.
Please ask students to discuss with their party members and make their party manifesto on a sheet of paper.
Students can refer to the image given for guidance.
The teacher can take prints of the Manifesto Sample given below to be distributed during the session. If a print facility is not available, please draw it on the blackboard and students can then note it down in their notebooks or blank sheets manually.
Reference link: A Manifesto-Sample
Note: The teacher shall inform the students that the party leader will present the manifesto (Students should use their creativity and knowledge as a team for the presentation).
Step 3- Presentation + Summary (10 min)
The teachers are requested to call each party leader one by one to present the party manifesto in front of the audience/students.
The teacher is requested to make use of the blackboard to display the common points from manifestos presented in the session. Thus, depicting how the students have developed a common line of thinking towards the goal of a better national future.
She will then summarize the activity further and add lessons related to how parties are formed in India.
HOME ASSIGNMENT -
Discuss with your parents, which party or representative they vote for and why?
How the political party choose these manifestos for election campaigns?
How much they fulfil after winning the elections and how we can ask questions to our elected representatives after elections?
(If time permits teacher can refer to additional information given in Annexure).
Please ask the students to fill up the given reflection sheet.
HOW TO FORM A PARTY IN INDIA?
- An application for registration is to be submitted to the Secretary, Election Commission of India, Nirvachan Sadan, Ashoka Road, New Delhi-110001 in the Performa prescribed by the Commission.
- The application must be accompanied by the following documents/information:
- A demand draft of Rs. 10,000/- (Rupees Ten Thousand Only) on account of processing fee drawn in favour of Under Secretary, Election Commission of India, New Delhi. The processing fee is non-refundable.
- A neatly typed/printed copy of the memorandum/rules and regulations/Constitution of the Party containing a specific provision as required under sub-section (5) of Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 in the exact terms, which reads “—————(name of the party) shall bear true faith and allegiance to the constitution of India as by law established, and to the principles of socialism, secularism and democracy and would uphold the sovereignty, unity, and integrity of India”. The above mandatory provision must be included in the text of the party constitution/rules and regulations/memorandum itself as one of the Articles/clauses.
- A copy of the party Constitution should be duly authenticated on each page by the General Secretary/President/Chairman of the Party and the seal of the signatory should be affixed thereon.
- There should be a specific provision in the Constitution/rules and regulations/memorandum of the party regarding organising elections at different levels and the periodicity of such elections and terms of office of the office-bearers of the party.
- The procedure to be adopted in case of merger/dissolution should be specifically provided in the Constitution/rules and regulations/memorandum.
- Certified extracts from the latest electoral rolls in respect of at least 100 members of the party (including all office-bearers/members of main decision-making organs like Executive Committee/Executive Council) to show that they are registered electors.
- An affidavit duly signed by the President/General Secretary of the party and sworn before a First Class Magistrate/Oath Commissioner/Notary Public to the effect that no member of the party is a member of any other political party registered with the Commission.
- Individual affidavits from at least 100 members of the party to the effect that the said member is a registered elector and that he is not a member of any other political party registered with the Commission duly sworn before a First Class Magistrate/Oath Commissioner/Notary Public. These affidavits shall be in addition to the certified extracts of electoral rolls in respect of the 100 members of the applicant party.
- Particulars of bank accounts and Permanent Account Numbers, if any, in the name of the party.
- Duly completed CHECK LIST along with requisite documents prescribed therein.
- The application along with all the required documents mentioned above should reach the Secretary of the Commission within 30 days following the date of formation of the party.
- Any application made after the said period will be time-barred.
Once you are officially registered, you should be able to have candidates placed on ballots for elections.
Nomination of Candidates –
Any citizen who wants to be a candidate needs to be of a minimum age of 25 years (As we are having a mock party, the age of the students in the class is acceptable).
If anyone has a criminal background, then there are restrictions, but it is applicable in very extreme cases.
Those who get the party's nomination are said to hold a ‘party ticket.’
According to the direction of the Supreme Court, every candidate now must make a legal declaration consisting of following details:
(i) Any serious case pending against the candidate.
(ii) Complete details of assets and liabilities of the candidates and his/her family.
(iii) Educational qualifications.
How can a political party be funded?
There are various methods of getting a political party funded. The most popular methods of funding political parties, however, are funding by individual persons, open public funding, and corporate funding.