By Using the Structural Functionalist Approach, Discuss Zambia Political Parties and Their Contribution to Liberal Democracy.

Topics: Democracy, Representative democracy, Elections Pages: 5 (1921 words) Published: July 4, 2013
Rule by the people is what a democracy is made of, this might be achieved by having the party in power elected into office into office by the majority, the term democracy and the practice itself is diverse in each country but it has similar features which characterize all forms. This essay explains the impact or contributions of political parties in a Liberal Democracy using the Structural functionalist Approach. It will also converse the important roles that these political parties play in every political structure, specifically in Zambia. To start with, it will explain what the terms Liberal, Liberal Democracy and Political Parties are; it will also explain the Structural functionalist Approach. Thereafter, the works and critiques of having Political parties will later be discussed. According to Emerson (1920), Liberal is that mind or attitude which wills to understand and respect other people`s behavior, opinions it implies vigorous convictions, tolerance for the opinions of others and a persistent desire for sound progress, Democracy is Rule by the people, especially as a form of government; either directly, as in Ancient Greece, or through elected representatives as in many modern societies (representative democracy). François (1998). Therefore Liberal Democracy refers to a broad array of related ideas and theories of government that consider individual liberty to be the most important political goal. Partridge, 1866). A political party According to Schlesinger (1992) is a group organized to gain control of government in the name of the group by winning election to public office. The Structural functionalist Approach is an approach that studies, analyses and views structures and systems in any social setting with regards to the role or functions they play in the development of any society. A political party being a structure in a political system has a vital role or function it plays in society. A liberal democracy may take various constitutional forms: it may be a constitutional republic, such as France, Italy, or USA in which Liberal democracy is a form of government in which representative democracy operates under the principles of liberalism. In a Liberal Democracy they are many prominent features that exist these are usually written down and these are the fundamental principles or established precedents (Constitution) of that country, some of the most common aspect is the Majority Rule, this is where a leader is elected by the majority of votes in an election, Liberal democracies around the world allow all adult citizens the right to vote regardless of race, gender or property ownership. There may also be qualifications such as voters being required to register before being allowed to vote. The decisions made through elections are made not by all of the citizens, but rather by those who choose to participate by voting. (ibid) Each government is supposed to offer security to all citizens, security from government (that's where most civil liberties get their justifications from) entails that the government should protect every citizen regardless of their race or gender political another feature is Regular Elections with wide choice of candidates who are vying for public offices. Another feature is Representative Democracy where voters elect reps to represent views; in Zambia we elect members of Parliament (MP) who represent us in Parliament. Others are Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Association to pressure groups, political party, religious affiliation etc. Pluralism where Power should be distributed between competing groups, Equality equal opportunity to develop potential, equal opportunity to have a say in Government and Rule of Law notions application of law should be consistent, everyone should be treated equal by the system and Constitutionalism this implies that the ruling party or those in power should be open for checks and balances put on government (Federal system is a check on power); Consultation and...
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