What are political parties?
Political parties can be described as a group of people who share distinctive ideas with regards to how they want the country to be governed. Their main aim is to win elections and become the government.
- Compete in elections
- Provide voters with a choice of representation
- Represent the views of their members and supporters in Parliament
- Scrutinise the work and policies of the government
We need political parties to represent the views of the people, as direct democracy would be impossible in a country with a population of almost 60 million. If everyone had a direct say in the formulation of new legislation the decision-making process would be lengthier and more time consuming that it currently is. It is through elections that political parties ensure a representative form of indirect democracy - the people confer legitimacy upon political parties and the government by virtue of participating in the electoral process and selecting representatives.
Main political parties in Scotland
Six main political parties exist within the political arena in Scotland:
All of the above political parties have differing or rival views with regards to issues as wide ranging as law and order, health, education and the economy.
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