Political party

The members of political parties coordinate to collectively achieve and use political power.

Parties can develop from existing divisions in society, like the divisions between lower and upper classes, and they streamline the process of making political decisions by encouraging their members to cooperate. Political parties usually include a party leader, who has primary responsibility for the activities of the party; party executives, who may select the leader and who perform administrative and organizational tasks; and party members, who may volunteer to help the party, donate money to it, and vote for its candidates. There are many different ways in which political parties can be structured and interact with the electorate. The contributions that citizens give to political parties are often regulated by law, and parties will sometimes govern in a way that favours the people who donate time and money to them.

Ideology of ruling party in legislative body at the regional or national level worldwide, or ideology of ruling body, as of May 2020. Dark red indicates far-left parties, light red indicates center-left parties, yellow indicates centrist or big tent parties, light blue indicates center-right parties, and dark blue indicates far-right parties. Based on identification from international recognition or self-proclaimed party ideology.
On this 2012 Mexican ballot, voters have more than two parties to choose from.
Campaign finance restrictions may be motivated by the perception that excessive or secretive contributions to political parties will make them beholden to people other than the voters.