Political parties are the gateway into politics and a platform that allows one to compete for general election in a country. There are many things to consider when forming a political. Certain rules to must be followed for a political party becomes a legitimate organization.
Registering a Political Party in the UK
To register a political party in the UK, one can visit PEF Online which gives access to an online platform. [Source] An application form to must be completed with all party’s details. The form inquires about a party’s name, descriptions and emblems, its headquarters and a place where a political party intends to compete in. Declarations by party officers are also included. Requirements of a new party application will include [Source]:
- your completed application form
- a copy of your party’s constitution
- a copy of your party’s financial scheme that has been adopted by the party
- a non-refundable application fee of £150
Registering a Political Party in the US
Any new political party in the US has to register with the Federal Election Commission [Source].
Registering your party on the Federal Election Commission
The Federal Election Commission decides if a committee has done enough work to be considered a national (or state) party committee. After registration, the committee is given power and authority to carry out tasks such as budget and spending issues. For party organizations that are limited in state or local elections, then there is no need to register with the FEC. Under US law, “New party organization must register with the FEC when they raise or spend money over certain thresholds in connection with a federal election”.
Launching your party on the states ballot
A state law determines whether a political organization qualifies to be a political party. It determines if they are entitled to have its candidates’ names on general election ballot. These laws differ as per state. They do posit that a party must have enough voter support through filing a petition signed by a representative number of voters. Receiving many votes in an election and being included in a nominating petition by a candidate [Source].
Political party requirements
Choosing a party name – A political must have a distinctive name because a name is the identification element to all the people [Source]. Party founders should select a name that is not used by other political parties or popular organisations to avoid confusion. The name can also represent the party’s ideology such democratic, liberalism or capitalistic, and it must be short and easy to remember.
Choosing party colors – Every political party ought to have colours that represent it and they also have to be unique. Colours become part of a party’s regalia and may be included in selected symbols. One must also consider the meaning of colours, for instance, red can be associated with a revolutionary and green might linked with the environment.
Forming a Political Party – The initial stages of forming a party include organizing the support through holding meetings. This is done to generate interest in a political party. Those who share the same vision with you may join in if they know [Source]. Another important aspect will be to draft objectives that a party wishes to achieve and choose an ideology to run on. Then rules and regulations need to be doled out clearly, and they include the conduct in a party and how to deal with misconduct by any party members. One must also consider:
- naming the party,
- choosing a symbol and colours
- affiliating the party with some influencers,
- coming up with budgets issues, using technology to advertise the party and eventually registering.
Advantages of Being a Political Party
A political party “coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country’s election” [Source] so it gives people a platform to compete in elections. Parties are also useful in establishing ideologies so that members know exactly what they are fighting for. Election campaigns need money and a political party can fund candidates and register them on a ballot. Money is acquired collectively through donations and fund raising events. Other expenses such travelling and media coverage can be paid for by an established party. Also, it is easy to get donors as a party rather than as individuals, and a party instils confidence in voters as they can see an organized entity.
Political parties tend to influence public participation. They can distribute information across the country, and can create connections [Source].
Disadvantages of Being a Political Party
The downside of being a political party include abusive nature of other leaders which can be equated to dictatorship [Source]. Polarization is another negative effect of political parties. People are divided by different ideologies. Some political parties betray the supporters and start to focus on themselves. This often leads to misusing party’s funds. Other political parties push for dangerous propaganda that can harm the nation. Primary elections within a party are known to be corrupt with some candidates being denied opportunity to compete.
At the grassroot level of forming a party, founders must tap into the sectors of individuals they deemed eligible for their party’s ideology. A chosen candidate is supposed to be well vested in a party’s ideology and objectives. Also, it is wise to choose persons who are liked in a party and acceptable to the public in-order to increase their chances of winning. Influencers may also be chosen as candidates.
“It takes money to organize a political party and promote candidates for elections” [Source]. Funding can come from the first members of the party. These may include close friends and family members, and the founders can take some money out of their pockets. Other sources of funding including selling party merchandize, contributions from local businesses. Parties may also run fund raising events. Ideas include concerts held by influencers, especially if they are musicians.
Launching your Party
Before launching a party, there is need to attract as much attention as possible in a locality or country [Source]. An intense built up is needed and should cause a buzz in many platforms available on television and radio and on the streets. One should take advantage of the internet and social media. This allows them to spread the message and ensures that his or her party has a strong internet-based organisation. The launching should be streamed live on internet platforms and media houses must be invited and other socialites. But the priority stage must always be registering with the authorities and making sure they know about the party.