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A political party is a group of people with (broadly) the same opinions about politics. They have the same ideology. Political parties are led by politicians, take part in elections and can be represented in a parliament or council. Political parties have a political and social status and represented their voters and the opinions of those voters.
Nearly all countries have political parties. Most countries have much political, which represented in the country's parliament. For example Germany has 6 political parties in their parliament, while the Netherlands have 13 political parties. Countries like China and North Korea have only one party. They're an one-party system. Also former countries like Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union were one-party systems. The United States are called a two-party system, while they have two major parties. The States do have a few smaller parties. Unlike a one-party system in the States it isn't forbidden for more parties to take place in elections, parliaments and countries.
Left, centre and right[edit | edit source]
An political party can have different views on politics. Often a party is organized in the left-right spectrum. This is a summary of the views of a party on political debates. In you look at American politics, the Democratic Party is a leftwing party and the Republican Party is a rightwing party.
Leftwing parties are often progressive; they often want to change certain laws on social justice, fight for equality, limits on working hours, a minimum wage, free health care and more attention for LGBT rights, climate change and better education. Social democracy, green politics, socialism and social liberalism are viewed as leftwing ideologies. Communism is often called far left, while the others are often called centre-left.
Rightwing parties are often conservative; they often want to remain the laws to be the same, want to protect their culture and language and a strong immigration policy. Also, they want the goverment to take as less interference with the economy as possible. Conservative liberalism and in most countries christen democracy are viewed as centre-right. Right populism is viewed as far right.
Some parties have right as well as left opinions about political stuff. They're viewed as centred. Their (exactly) between the left and the right. In some countries christen democracy is a centred ideology.
An leftwing party can have rightwing opinions. For example Italian Five Star Movement is viewed as leftwing, but they're against the European Union, which is viewed as a rightwing opinion. In addition, rightwing parties can have leftwing opinions. The French Front National is viewed as rightwing, but is in favor of same-sex marriage, which is a leftwing opinion. Some big parties can have a leftwing and a rightwing. Both the Republican and the Democratic Party have those wings.
By the way, the political view of a party is different per country. Where the Democratic Party is an leftwing party in the United States, it would have been a rightwing party in most countries in Europe.