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A political organization is any organization that involves itself in the political process, including political parties, non-governmental organizations, advocacy groups and special interest groups. Political organizations are those engaged in political activities (e.g., lobbying, community organizing, campaign advertising, etc.) aimed at achieving clearly-defined political goals, which typically benefit the interests of their members.
While parties are one type of political organization that may engage in some or all of those activities, they are distinct in that they typically focus on supporting candidates for public office, winning elections and controlling government.
The most well-known type of political organization is the political party. Political parties are directly involved in the political processes of countries with party systems, of which there are several types.
In democratic multi-party systems such as India, Pakistan, etc., there is no restriction on the number of parties allowed to be in operation at any given time. Under these types of systems, people are free to participate in the political process both through elections and by forming their own political parties as they please.
Examples of multi-party systems are:
Single party systems
In single-party systems, one political party exercises control over the government. Unlike under other systems, single-party systems do not necessarily extend democratic privileges to the citizens. This means that citizens have little say regarding political subjects.
Examples of single-party systems are:
Two-party systems are similar to multiparty systems in that power is not concentrated in one party and that parties have to consider the opinion of the general public in order to retain power by winning elections. However, two-party systems restrict the people's democratic rights by not authorizing the citizen's to found their own political parties.
Most two-party systems are technically multiparty systems but all power is effectively concentrated amongst two parties or coalitions.
Examples of two-party systems are:
Another type of political organization is the party coalition. A party coalition is a group of political parties operating together in parliament. Oftentimes, party coalitions are formed after elections have taken place and no party has clearly won a majority seat in parliament (e.g. the AAP-Congress Government in Delhi). Other coalitions are formed prior to elections and are effectively agreements between two or more parties to run jointly in elections and to pursue similar agendas (e.g. the National Democratic Alliance in India, and the Liberal/National Coalition in Australia).
A labor union (or trade union) is a political organization formed to promote the interests of workers.
Labour unions have various roles in modern politics, including:
- Organising strike actions and general strikes
- Negotiating with employers on behalf of workers
- Ensuring that workers aren't fired without severance pay
- Assuring that workers receive reasonable salaries
Unlike other political organizations, labor unions do not directly participate in elections, although they may campaign for parties and politicians supporting their positions. Labour unionization is a way for workers to maintain unity and preserve their rights. Often, major corporations antagonize the principle of labor unionization since it results in heavier employment regulations which restrict the powers of big business to fire workers at will, effectively causing economic difficulties for such companies.