Political party is an organized group of people who control or seek to control a government. In democratic countries, political parties compete against one another in elections to keep or gain control of a government. In the United States and Canada, political parties are active on the national, state or provincial, and local levels. .
Political parties are absolutely necessary to democratic government. Most modern democracies are representative democracies. That is, the people elect representatives to act as their agents in making and enforcing laws. In a representative democracy, some means is needed for nominating candidates for public office and for selecting issues for public debate. Political parties perform these functions. At election time, the people vote into office the candidates of their choice. Political parties are voluntary organizations and want as many members as possible. Some of these parties have rules and membership dues. Others have practically no rules and require no dues. .
Most dictatorships allow only one political party "the party that controls the government. That party also tightly controls who may run for election. .
In democratic countries, political parties perform several important tasks. (1) They select candidates to run for public office. (2) They help organize the government. (3) They provide opposition to the party in power. (4) They raise funds to conduct election campaigns. Other functions of parties in democratic countries include informing voters about public affairs and about problems that need government action. In one-party nations, the chief functions of political parties are to select candidates for office and organize the government. .
Selecting candidates. In one-party nations, the candidates the party selects to run for office automatically win election because they have no opposition. In China, for example, the Communist Party "the only party allowed "chooses the candidates for office.