Evaluate the claim that modern political parties are failing to perform their traditional functions
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To answer this question, we most identify the key roles of a political party in the political system.
Political Parties must identify their leaders who in turn, become the offered leaders to take control of the country. Skills of persuasion, organisation of support, public speaking, committee work, and public campaigning are all essential qualities for leaders of political parties. Currently, the leaders of the Labour Party, Conservative’s and Liberal Democrats represent a range of viewpoints, giving the UK voter a choice, depending upon their opinions.
Political parties nominate individuals to important positions in public services e.g. hospital trusts. They also choose the minister for that service; e.g. Education minister Jane Davidson for the Welsh Assembly. In general these choices are sensible and not overly radical. Therefore we can see that this traditional function is being performed accurately.
Political Parties also are responsible for creating legislation, a vital job involving producing coherent policy programmes. A recent example of British Government doing this, is the 2001 Terrorism Act and the soon to be announced 2005 terrorist legislation. Parties are creating necessary and modern legislation, so it cannot be said that they are failing in this aspect.
Parties also organise the timetable of Parliament whilst supplying members to the various committees, produced to reach decisions. Timetabling is obviously going ahead, or there would be no Parliament. The Neill committee, created in 1994 discusses the funding of political parties and the equality. Political Parties also scrutinise the other parties work in the Parliament successfully. By successful, I mean disputing other parties suggestions, arguing for changes in the law. Daily disputes break out in the House of Commons between MP’s, indicating a good scrutiny of legislation.