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The functions of political parties

Definition of Political Parties
A Political Party can be described as a group of people with the same aim and ideology whose main goal is to capture political power so that they can implement the contents of their manifesto. A party could be either classified as an elite party or can also be called a mass party.

Provides the personnel of government
One of the functions of a Political Party is to make available the human resource that is needed for the execution of government policies and the making of laws. Under the 1992 constitution of Ghana, half of the appointees of government must come from Parliament. Before they become available in parliament, they must have been presented by the political parties for election.

Constructive criticism of government
Another function of political parties is to ensure that the government in power performs its functions always having the interest of the nation in mind. This function is especially performed by the party in opposition. They constantly keep the government on its toes with criticism.

Provides alternative government
Political parties exist with the sole of forming the new government. When there is another party in power, one of its functions is organize themselves in such a way that when the people are disgruntled with the party in power, they can vote for another party to replace it. Political parties can be described as governments in waiting.

Educates the public
Another function of political parties is to educate the mass of the people on the policies of the existing government and what their party would do if they were elected into office. Especially during elections, political parties use rallies, meetings and more recently, health walks in Ghana as a medium to give political education tot eh people.

Provides a link between government and the people
The views and grievances of the people are channeled through the party structure to the government. On the other hand, when the government wants to explain its policies and manifestos to the people, it uses the party structure.

Ground for training political leaders
Another function of political parties is that it acts as a training ground for training future political leaders of the state. As the members serve in their various capacities in the party, they receive training that becomes useful for them in the future when they are appointed to serve the nation in a national capacity.

1. a. What is a political party? [2 marks]
    b. Highlight five functions of a political party. [10 marks]

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