Political parties play an important role in the political system of the world today. They play the role of bringing together people with similar political positions and interests. Through political parties, the power game in politics is executed because for one to become a political leader, the channel is via a political party.
Similarly, in most cases, voting by the elector is usually based on ideologies that are shared by a political party and not necessarily the individual contesting for a position. Usually there are two major political parties in any election contest in a two party system and the presence of third parties only has some effect on the entire process but can never win an election.
There has been substantial development of political parties with change in era and time. This paper highlights some of these developments with a detailed look at some of the major political parties of the world today and their policies on foreign affairs, economy and balancing of the budget.
It also touches on the role that third parties play and the impact they have to the political system. To support this, the focus will be on the political system and political parties of the US.
In the United States, the two major political parties are the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. The third parties in the US are several and the three major third parties include constitution Party, Green Party, and the Libertarian Party (Crane , 12).
Currently in the US, the federal government is administered by the Democratic Party with Mr. Obama as the president and head of state. The party shares several ideologies and beliefs of social liberalism.
It has ever supported minority groups that include farmers, labor workers and minority religions and minority ethnic groups. Most people of black American descent and Latino Americans share the same positions and interests with the party’s and therefore a huge number of them belong to the party.
The party also opposes ideas that create unregulated business operations in the US. They have sponsored several bills in the senate that supports increase in minimum wages.
The 2007 Fair Minimum Wage Act is one of the bills that have been supported by democrats and passed. The Democratic Party believes in a structured tax system that reduces inequality in the economy (Grigsby , 106). The republicans during the Bush regime, created cuts in taxation for rich and wealthy Americans including the middle class.
But to create equality and reduce the gap between the rich and the poor, the Obama administration has allowed tax cuts for the rich to expire so that they pay more tax. At the same time taxation cuts for the middle class has been allowed to continue.
There is a general support for more budgetary allocation to departments of social services such as health care, and welfare programs. Removing these services from American citizens is like bringing social injustice.
Attempts by the Republicans to remove these services were strongly opposed by the members of the Democratic Party (Thompson and Hickey , 89). If the government provides these services to the citizens, it creates an opportunity of freedom to everyone.
The PAYGO rule of budget was actually reinstated after a move by the democrats to push for its reinstatement. Democrats also have a liberal and progressive stand on issues to do with the environment, trade, education, the rights of the gay community, and research on embryonic stem cell.
Their foreign policy is based on internationalism of which intervention is permitted. They supported the use of military intervention in order to fight terrorism and bring to justice those responsible for the 9/11 attacks.
But in the recent past the president has opposed further involvement of the military in Afghanistan calling for a surge of the troops. There is however area where both Democrats and Republicans speak in one voice. This is the issue of Israel in the Middle East region.
The Republican Party on the other hand has a conservative nature of ideologies and principles. On the economy, they believe that capitalism and free market contribute greatly towards building the economy (Gienapp , 56).
To them the role of assisting the poor should be the responsibility of the private sector and not the government. And therefore they do not support government funding of social services such as health care and education.
On international policies, the republicans have always been in support of military intervention to bring stability within a region. It was during a republican regime that there have been most wars that the US military has involved itself in. The republicans also form the majority of the people in the US military.
The US has a two party political system with democrats and republicans being the main one. However there are other third parties that usually only play the role of a spoiler during elections (Thompson and Hickey , 67).
Candidates from these parties rarely do win elections and at the moment there have only been two senators from third parties who have won election since 1990. Whenever there are big issues that are overlooked by the two big parties, they can cause and force attention in these issues.
Crane, Michael. The Political Junkie Handbook: The Definitive Reference Books on Politics . New York: McGraw Hill, 2004.
Gienapp, William. The Origins of the Republican Party. New York: Harvard University Press, 1989.
Grigsby, Ellen. Analyzing Politics: An Introduction to Political Science. Florence: Cengage Learning, 2008.
Thompson, William and Joseph Hickey. Society in Focus. Boston: Pearson, 2005.