In this module, we will learn about the types of party system that are being followed widely in all countries and in India.
In general, there are three major types of the party system.
Single Party System: In this type of system, only one political party has the right to form the government. No opposition is permitted in this system.
Communist countries such as China, North Korea, Cuba and the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics).
Bi – Party System (Two-party system): In this type of system, the power is usually shared between two parties. Between the two parties, one becomes the ruling party, and the other becomes the opposition.
U.K. (Labour Party and Conservative Party), U.S.A (Republican Party and Democratic Party).
Multi-Party System: In this type of system, three or more parties compete for power.
India, France, Sweden and Norway
Party system in India:
In India, we follow the multiparty system; i.e. India has the largest number of political parties in the world. In India, the political parties are classified as National parties, Regional parties and Registered but unrecognized parties (Independent candidates). Every political party in India must register with the Election Commission. India has all categories of parties—left parties, centrist parties and right parties.
The Election Commission of India is an autonomous, constitutional authority responsible for administering elections. Its headquarter is located in New Delhi.
Criteria for Recognition:
The Election Commission of India recognizes political parties based on some criteria. The criteria to be recognized as a National or state party is discussed below.
Conditions for Recognition as a National Party:
  • A party that secures atleast \(6\% \)of the valid votes in the Lok Sabha election or assembly elections in four states.
  • They must win four seats in Lok sabha from any State/States
  • It has to win \(2\% \)of seats in Lok sabha from atleast three different states in the latest general election. 
Conditions for Recognition as a State Party:
  • A party that secures atleast \(6\% \)of the valid votes in the state legislative assembly election.
  • They must win one Lok Sabha seat for every \(25\) seats or atleast \( 2\) seats in the Legislative assembly.
  • Need to win a minimum \(3\% \)of the total number of seats in the Legislative Assembly.
Independent candidate:
A candidate who wishes to contest in Parliamentary, State Assembly but does not have an affiliation with the other parties may contest the election as an Independent candidate.
Recognized parties
Political parties which fulfil the above criteria are called recognized parties. Only recognized parties are given unique symbol by the Election Commission to contest elections.
As per the Election Symbols order \(1968\), symbols are either reserved or free.
  • A reserved symbol is meant for a recognized political party.
  • A free symbol is reserved for the unrecognized party.