chapter  14
UK party systems
Pages 21

In an ideal world of pluralist democracy, every state would include a wide range of political parties, all of which had a realistic chance of gaining at least token representation in the legislature. Such a situation would reflect the fact that people enjoying freedom of thought and expression are likely to hold divergent opinions on key issues and to associate with others of like mind. Indeed, if everyone did think alike on the most important issues, some people would still feel inspired to compete for the right to represent their fellow citizens, and find some grounds for arguing among themselves. In such circumstances, it is inevitable that political parties will develop (see Chapter 15).