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Political party

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A political party is a political organization subscribing to a certain ideology or formed around special issues. In many democratic countries spurning the election of individuals, voting is centered around parties.

Among the most famous parties are the (former) Soviet communist party, role model for the whole of the former Eastern Bloc countries, and the Labour and Conservative parties of the United Kingdom.

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Single-party, two-party, and multi-party governments

Single-party state, Two-party system (See de:Politische Partei (http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politische_Partei) for good ideas, please.)

Parties and directions Traditionally, political parties are considered on a one-dimensional "spectrum": the Left associated with radical policies, socialism and communism; and the Right with conservative policies. This is far from a complete description, so modern analyses usually include other dimensions such as the political parties' acceptance to parliamentary democracy as opposed to authoritarian or totalitarian attitudes, and economic policies.

Parties and colors Generally speaking over the world, political parties associate themselves with colors, primarily for identification, especially for voter recognition during elections. Red usually signifies leftist, socialist, and communist parties. Conservative and Christian democratic[?] parties generally use blue. Yellow is often used for liberalism. Obviously, green is the color for green parties.

There are notable exceptions: In the United States, the (currently) conservative Republican is red, and the (currently) progressive Democrat is blue, stemming from southern Texas ballots helping illiterate voters in late 19th century and early 20th century thus colored [1] (http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/view/RR/pqrsu). In Taiwan, New Party uses yellow as its party color though its policies are conservative; Democratic Progressive Party uses green though its international alignment is with the Liberal International.

Color associations are useful for mnemonics when voter illiteracy is significant. Another use case is when it is not desirable to make rigorous links to parties, particularly when coalitions and alliances are formed between political parties and other organizations, for example: Red-Green Alliance, Blue-Green Alliance, Pan-green coalition, and Pan-blue coalition.

International organizations of political parties During the 20th century, many national political parties organized themselves into international organizations along similar policy lines. Notable examples are the International Workingmen's Association, the Socialist International (both red), the Liberal International (yellow), the International Democrat Union (blue), and the Worldwide green parties (green). The Socialist International, the Liberal International, and the International Democrat Union are all based in London.

See also: Political parties of the world, Party-list proportional representation

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