Political parties can be termed as associations formed by citizens that enable individuals to have influence on government affairs and processes. Political parties therefore provide effective means through which individuals express themselves and make decisions on appropriate system of government. Political parties plays various roles in the society that includes offering individuals with alternatives and freedom of choice, check on the excesses of governments, give important information to citizens and ensure that the government fulfills its promises.
The first role of political parties is to ensure that individuals have alternatives and freedom of choice in a country. This role is accomplished through provision of opportunities for individuals to choose the best party and candidates that will serve their interest. This is ensured through competition by different political parties and allowing voters to elect best leaders as well as choose the best party. In a democratic society, this role is transparent and allows all the political parties to sell their policies to citizens through a free and fair process.
The second role of political parties in a democratic government is to check the excesses in the government by ensuring that the incumbent government does not abuse its powers. This role is played through constant monitoring of daily government activities to ensure that they are in accordance to the laws and regulations. This can be accomplished through making of appropriate policies in parliament so as to ensure that governments are able to effectively coordinate important activities such as operations of ministries, government spending and budget and public appointments among others.
The third role played by political parties is to provide important information to citizens. Political parties through their elected members make policies and legislations in a country. It is therefore the duty of political parties to inform citizens of various policies and regulations in a country. This can be achieved through briefing citizens on certain policies, regulations, government plans and any other matter of national interest. This role ensures that citizens are aware of all the important government and political operations in the country.
The last important role of political parties in a democratic government is to ensure that the incumbent government fulfills it promises to citizens. This role is accomplished through regular evaluation of the government performance based on the promise made to public. This requires political parties to keep constant pressure on government and ensure that they fulfill their promises.
These four roles are important for all political parties in a democratic society. The roles ensure that governments are able to meet their promises and deliver the necessary services to citizens. They also ensure that all government policies and regulations are in accordance to the stipulated law. Hence it can be argued that political parties are essential in the promotion of democratic governments in any society.