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9.0 Introduction

As R.G. Gettell says in his Political Science, "a political party consists of a group of citizens, more or less organized, who act as a political unit and who, by the use of their voting power, aim to control the government and carry out their general policies." Differences of opinion on political and related matters are bound to arise in a political structure. Those holding common or similar views, organize themselves into units, called political parties. Though there is no constitutional provision for the compulsory formation of political parties, they have come to be accepted as a legitimate and valuable part of American democratic life.

Among the important functions that political parties perform is to organize people to form a group that will manage the government. Besides, they are in charge of forming policies that would be favorable to the people. And of course they need to convince the people into electing their candidates. However, though political parties are engaged in the functioning of the government, they cannot be called the government itself.

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9.0 - Introduction
9.1 - The Functions Of Political Parties
9.2 - The Development Of Political Parties
9.3 - Third Parties In American Politics
9.4 - The Structure Of Political Parties
9.5 - The Strength And Weaknesses Of Political Parties

Chapter 10

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