Know the Functions of Political Parties, Understanding and History of Political Parties

Functions of Political Parties – The existence of political parties is something that cannot be avoided in a modern society with a complex structure. This is because political parties are considered to have the ability to channel complex societal political participation. The more complex a society is, the existence of political parties will be increasingly needed as a channel for aspirations and for channeling people’s political participation.

In a book entitled Fundamentals of Political Science written by Miriam Budiarjo, she defines a political party as an organized group and its members have the same values, orientation and aspirations to achieve. The main purpose of political parties is to gain political power and to seize political positions.

Then, what is meant by a political party? What is the function of political parties? To find out, Sinaumed’s can read this article to the end!

Definition of Political Parties

Political parties or commonly referred to as political parties are one of the components or organizations that have an orientation towards power. Therefore, political parties have a fairly important role in terms of politics in a country. Without political parties, the political system will not run well.

The merits of the political system of a country can be determined from the performance of the political parties themselves. The political system itself can be interpreted as a mechanism of a set of functions, where all of these functions are attached to a political structure in order to implement and make policies that bind the people of a country. So, establishing a political party is one of the rights of Indonesian citizens.

Definition of Political Parties According to Experts

In order to better understand the meaning of political parties, here are the definitions of political parties explained by experts.

1. Miriam Budiarjo

According to Miriam Budiarjo, a political party is an organized group and its members have the same values, orientation and aspirations with the aim of being able to gain political power and win political positions. To achieve this goal, usually political parties will try to achieve it by constitutional means to implement their policies.

2. Carl J. Friedrich

Friedrich expressed the opinion that a political party is a group of people who are organized in a stable manner with the aim of seizing or maintaining control of the government for their party leaders. Based on the mastery obtained by a political party, it can provide party members with benefits that are both material and ideal.

3. H. Soltou

The definition of a political party according to H. Soltau is a group of citizens who are more or less organized and act as a political unit by utilizing the power to vote. This power aims to control the government and carry out public policies designed by the party.

4. Sigmund Neumann

Political parties according to Sigmund Neumann are organizations of political activists who seek to control government power and win support on the basis of competition against other groups that do not share the same understanding.


The Purpose of Political Parties in Law

In Law Number 31 of 2002 Concerning Political Parties there is a purpose for the formation of political parties listed in Article 6, which reads.

Paragraph 1: The objectives of the general party are:

  • Realizing the national ideals of the Indonesian nation as referred to in the Preamble to the 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia;
  • Developing democratic life based on Pancasila by upholding people’s sovereignty in the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia; And
  • Realizing prosperity for all Indonesian people.

Paragraph 2: The specific objective of political parties is to fight for their ideals in the life of society, nation and state.

Paragraph 3: The goals of political parties as referred to in paragraphs (1) and (2) are realized constitutionally.

From the political goals based on Law Number 31 of 2002 Article 6 Concerning Political Parties, it can be said that political parties themselves have general goals and specific goals. The general objective is to realize the ideals of the Indonesian nation in accordance with the 1945 Constitution, develop democratic life based on Pancasila, and realize prosperity for all Indonesian people.
Meanwhile, the specific purpose of political parties is to fight for ideals in the life of society, nation and state.

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History of Political Parties

In the beginning, political parties were born in countries in Western Europe because there was an idea that the people should play a role and determine in the political process. Therefore, government power in the world of politics will not be too dominant and will not forget to prioritize the interests of its people. In essence, at that time the people wanted the aspirations of the people to be heard by the authorities.

Then, due to the influence of globalization, eventually Indonesia also co-founded political parties. The history of political parties in Indonesia is then divided into three periods, namely the Dutch colonial period, the Japanese occupation period and the period after the Proclamation of Independence. Here’s an explanation.

1. The Dutch Colonial Period

The Dutch colonial period is also known as the first period of the birth of political parties in Indonesia or at that time it was called the Dutch East Indies. The birth of political parties marked the presence of national awareness in society at that time.

At that time, all organizations, both those with social goals such as Budi Utomo and Muhammadiyah or those based on religious and secular politics such as the PNI, Islamic Unions and Catholic Parties also played a role in the national movement so that Indonesia could achieve independence.

The presence of political parties during the Dutch colonial period was a manifestation of national awareness to be able to achieve independence for the Indonesian nation. After the establishment of the People’s Council, this movement by several political parties was then continued within the People’s Council.

Around 1939, there were several factions in the People’s Council, including the National Fraction led by M. Husni Thamrin, the Association of Bestuur Bumi Putera Employees (PPBB) under the leadership of Prawoto and the Indonesische Nationale Groep under the leadership of Muhammad Yamin .

2. The Japanese Occupation Period

The second period of political parties is the period of the Japanese occupation. At this time, all political party activities were banned and only Muslim groups were given the freedom to form parties, namely the Indonesian Muslim Syuro Council Party (Masyumi Party). This party is more active in the social field than the political field.

3. The Post-Proclamation of Independence Period

The third period is the period after the Proclamation of Independence, namely several months after the Proclamation of Independence. At this time, there was ample opportunity to establish political parties, so that other Indonesian political parties began to appear. Thus, Indonesia returns to the pattern of a system of many political parties.

Elections in 1995 gave rise to four major political parties such as Masyumi, NU, PNI and PKI. Then, from 1950 to 1959, it is often referred to as the heyday of political parties. This is because political parties play an important role in the life of a state with a parliamentary system.

Then, the multi-party system did not work properly. Political parties cannot carry out their functions properly, so that the cabinet falls up and down and is unable to carry out its work program. As a result, development does not run smoothly and well. Then, during the democratic period, parliamentary ended with the Decree of July 5, 1959 which represented the period of guided democracy.

Then, after Indonesia’s independence, Indonesia also adopted a multi-party system, so many political parties began to form. Then, when entering the New Order era, namely around 1965 to 1998, political parties in Indonesia only numbered three parties.

The three political parties are the United Development Party, Golongan Karya and the Indonesian Democratic Party. During the reform period, Indonesia then returned to adopting a multi-party system. Then, in 2012, the People’s Representative Council (DPR RI) revised Law Number 2 of 2008 which discussed political parties.

The Functions of Existing Political Parties in Indonesia

In accordance with the contents of the Preamble to the 1945 Constitution and the Body of the Constitution which explains that Indonesia uses a multi-party system, namely a system in which the election of the head of state or people’s representatives is through general elections followed by many political parties.

This multi-party system is embraced by Indonesia, because of the diversity possessed by Indonesian society as a large archipelagic country. In it, there are various differences ranging from religion, race, ethnicity to social groups. Therefore, multi-party is embraced by Indonesia to be able to distribute racial ties or also known as primordial in Indonesia in one container.

In the existing democratic system in Indonesia, the formation of political parties has several functions. Here’s an explanation.

1. Parties as a Means of Political Communication

A political party has several tasks and one of them is to channel a wide variety of people’s inspirations and opinions and regulate differences of opinion in society, so that these differences can be reduced.

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Community opinions that have been channeled will then be accommodated and put together in order to create a common goal. The process of combining opinions and inspiration is known as merging interests.

On the other hand, political parties are the subject of discussion to disseminate a decision and policy from the government. Political parties also function as intermediaries between citizens and their governments. In this case, the intermediary acts as a listener for the government and a loudspeaker for the people.

2. Parties as a Means of Political Socialization

Political parties have a role as a means of political socialization. According to political science, political socialization is a process in which a person acquires an attitude and orientation towards political phenomena and usually applies in the community that lives in an area.

In general, the process of socialization runs gradually from childhood to adulthood. In this case, a political party can be regarded as a means of political socialization. To control the government through victory with general elections, political parties must get the widest possible support.

3. Parties as a Means of Political Recruitment

Political parties have the function of finding and inviting people who have talent to participate in political party activities as party members or what is called political recruitment.

That way, political parties will participate in expanding political participation. Through personal contact, persuasion and others, political parties also function to educate young cadres to be able to replace old cadres.

4. Political Parties as Political Participation

Political participation is an activity of ordinary citizens and will influence the process of making and implementing public policies and will also determine the implementation of government. Therefore, political parties have a role to increase political participation in an election.

5. Parties as a Means of Managing Conflict

In an atmosphere of democracy, competition and differences of opinion in society is a natural problem that occurs. If a conflict occurs, political parties must try to overcome the problem properly.

Party System

As additional information, in addition to the multi-party system adopted in Indonesia, the party system is divided into three, namely multi-party, single party and two-party.

1. Single Party System

The single party system has a non-competitive nature, because all groups must accept the party leadership and may not compete with that leader, competition in a single party system is considered a form of betrayal.

2. Dual Party System

Meanwhile, dual party is a political party system in which two parties are dominant in gaining voting rights. There are three conditions for this dual-party system to run smoothly, namely that society is homogeneous, society has a sufficiently strong consensus on socio-political principles and goals, and there is historical continuity.

3. Multi-party system

According to experts, the multi-party system adopted by Indonesia is considered the most effective party system, especially for representing the various wishes of the people.



Political Infrastructure Elements

The following will explain the elements of political infrastructure consisting of bureaucratic groups, mass groups and interest groups.

1. Interest Groups

Interest groups are groups that have the goal of fighting for interests and influencing political institutions, so that they will get profitable decisions while avoiding all decisions that can be detrimental.

This interest group will not try to determine their representatives in the DPR, but will simply influence one or several parties within it or even government agencies or ministers who have authority, in order to obtain favorable decisions as expected.

2. Bureaucratic Group

The bureaucratic group is a group that has a role in the process of creating a general policy that has been taken from the bottom up or from the top down which has become a useful decision.

An example is making SKCK, where the process for making it starts from the smallest level first, namely RT, then RW and continues to Kelurahan before finally SKCK is handed over to the Polsek or Polres.

3. Mass Groups

A mass group is a group of people who participate in a process of electing political leaders and participate directly or indirectly in the formation of a general policy which is the goal of forming a political party.

An example of this mass group can be seen in the elite group. Elite group is an organized group and its members have the same ideals, orientation and values. The goal is to gain political power and seize political positions, usually this goal can be obtained by constitutional means.

Usually, groups from the political elite have cadres in them. The group’s cadres will later be elected through the election of the general chairman of the party. To elect these cadres, all registered members have the right to vote on the cadres they wish to elect.

This is an explanation of the functions of political parties, understanding, history and the party system adopted in Indonesia. If Sinaumed’s is interested in finding information and adding insight into political science, then Sinaumed’s can get books on politics at

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Author: Khansa