Defects of the Political Party System

It encourages disunity and disruption in the State. The main allegation against the political parties is that they disrupt national unity by dividing the people into two or more hostile camps. They create an atmosphere of bitterness in the country. “Even the best political party”, says Lord Halifax, “is a conspiracy against the nation.” Politics becomes an endless strife between the party-in-power and the party-in-opposition, a struggle between the ‘Ins’ and ‘Outs’, the latter misrepresenting and hwarting the action of the former. The party-out-of power views with alarm all the acts of its opponents.

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The legislature becomes a battle-field of party quarrels. In these quarrels, however, the interests of the nation are disregarded and even forgotten. It is, indeed, remarkable, says Dr. Finer, that a part of the parliamentary government, the opposition, should spend weeks and years to overthrow the government, in order to cater upon the government. It needs lot of self-restraint on the part of the people. In I backward countries, not accustomed to such a political self-control, the I party quarrels usually degenerate into a civil war, as the experience pf E several countries since the end of the World War II has demonstrated. This I is the reason why the parliamentary form of government in such countries I has been snuffed out and replaced by a sort of dictatorship

It leads to moral corruption. Party contests are waged not II on principles but for capturing political offices. As Belloc said, party B divisions are artificial and are only the fights for office. They are ‘arranged’ I for capturing political power by befooling the people. Victory is the first I law of party politics, no matter whether it is won by fair or by foul means. It I engenders bitterness and strife, rancour and hatred, especially at the time of H elections, when fighting and head-breaking may also occur. While the party  leaders incite bitter feelings by their spiteful and undignified speeches, their I followers frequently start brawls and quarrels among themselves.

Moreover, party system breeds favouritism, nepotism and other I evil practices, such as the ill-famed “spoils system” in the U. S. A., by I which posts and offices in the government were distributed among the H supporters of the victorious party. Gilchrist says, parties suppress truth and spread falsehood in order to impress upon the electorate that the one is right 11 and the other wrong. Perverted party propaganda chokes reason and! strangulates thought. It arouses popular emotions and generates mass hysteria on artificially created issues. But the rise of mass hysteria or herd* psychology is the death of democracy.

It is opposed to the spirit of democracy. Party system is  based on party loyalty and party discipline which does not permit members of a party to express their opinion freely and independently. They have to I toe the party line and abide by party decisions, made not by all but by it I handful of leaders at the top of the party hierarchy. The unanimity of I opinion in a party is artificial and injurious. It suppresses freedom of I thought and speech without \which democracy cannot exist. It encourages I loyalty to the party at the Expense of the loyalty to the State.

It reduces politics to a tug-of-war between two parties, in which, as Dr. Leacock says,  “each side remain^ iln a State of wilful inconvertibility, with individual I; judgment frozen tiglit in the shape of the party mould.” An independent I citizen is regarded as a ‘crank’ and is excluded from politics and a share in I the government while party members and voters are reduced to slavish I obedience to party behests. Anyone who does not obey is driven out of the party and even out of politics. This is contrary to the spirit of true democracy. On the contrary, it creates such tendencies as flattery, sycophancy, servility and the ‘gift of the gab’, while truth, justice and reason are thrown into the background.

 

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