Political party

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A political party is a political organization that typically seeks to influence government policy, usually by nominating their own candidates and trying to seat them in political office. Parties participate in electoral campaigns, educational outreach or protest actions. Parties often espouse an expressed ideology or vision bolstered by a written platform with specific goals, forming a coalition among disparate interests.


Voting systems

The type of electoral system is a major factor in determining the type of party political system. In countries with first past the post voting systems there is an increased likelihood for the establishment of a two party system. Countries that have a proportional representation voting system, as exists throughout Europe, or to a greater extent preferential voting systems, such as in Australia or Ireland, three or more parties are often elected to public office.

Partisan style

Partisan style varies from government to government, depending on how many parties there are, and how much influence each individual party has.


In a nonpartisan system, no official political parties exist, sometimes reflecting legal restrictions on political parties. In nonpartisan elections, each candidate is eligible for office on his or her own merits. In nonpartisan legislatures, there are no typically formal party alignments within the legislature. The administration of George Washington and the first few sessions of the US Congress were nonpartisan. Washington also warned against political parties during his Farewell Address.[1] In the United States, the unicameral legislature of Nebraska is nonpartisan. In Canada, the territorial legislatures of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are nonpartisan. In New Zealand, Tokelau has a nonpartisan parliament. Many city and county governments[vague] are nonpartisan. Nonpartisan elections and modes of governance are common outside of state institutions.[2] Unless there are legal prohibitions against political parties, factions within nonpartisan systems often evolve into political parties.

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