A political party is defined as an organised group of people with at least roughly similar political aims and opinions, that seeks to influence public policy by getting its candidates elected to public office. 

Parties tend to be deeply and durably entrenched in specific substructures of the specific society in a sustainable and well functioning democracy. They can link the governmental institutions to the elements of civil society in a free and fair society and are regarded as necessary for any modern democratic system.

Political parties perform key tasks in a democratic society, such as

  1. aggregating and articulating needs and problems as identified by members and supporters
  2. socialising and educating voters and citizens in the functioning of the political and electoral system and the generation of general political values
  3. balancing opposing demands and converting them into general policies
  4. Activating and mobilising citizens into participating in political decisions and transforming their opinions into viable policy options
  5. Channeling public opinion from citizens to government

Recruiting and training candidates for public office

Political parties are often described as institutionalized mediators between civil society and those who decide and implement decisions. By this, they enable their members' and supporters demands to be represented in parliament and in government. Even though parties fulfill many vital roles and perform several functions in a democratic society, the nomination and presentation of candidates in the electoral campaign is the most visible function to the electorate. A political party is a political organization that typically seeks to attain and maintain political power within government, usually by participating in electoral campaigns, educational outreach or protest actions. Parties often espouse an expressed ideology or vision bolstered by a written platf with specific goals, forming a coalition among disparate interests.

Political parties are funded by contributions from party members, individuals and organizations which share their political ideas or who stand to benefit from their activities or governmental public funding. Political parties and factions, especially those in government, are lobbied vigorously by organizations, businesses and special interest groups such as trades unions. Money and gifts to a party, or its members, may be offered as incentives.  Some countries provide both direct and indirect public funding to political parties. Funding may be equal for all parties or depend on the results of previous campaigns or the number of candidates participating in an election. Frequently parties rely on a mix of private and public funding and are required to disclose their finances to the Electoral Management Body.The emblem of socialist parties is often a red rose held in a fist. Communist parties often use a hammer to represent the worker, a sickle to represent the farmer, or both a hammer and a sickle to refer to both at the same time. The emblem of Nazism, the swastika or "hakenkreuz", has been adopted as a near-universal symbol for almost any organized hate group, even though it dates from more ancient times.  Symbols can be very important when the overall electorate is illiterate. In the Kenyan constitutional referendum, 2005, supporters of the constitution used the banana as their symbol, while the "no" used an orange.

To perform the above mentioned tasks and functions, political parties and citizens need some rights and obligations guaranteed or ruled by constitution or law. These include

  • Freedom of organisation
  • Freedom to stand for election
  • Freedom of speech and assembly
  • Provision of a fair and peaceful competition
  • Mechanisms of plurality
  • Inclusion in the electoral process and contacts with the EMB
  • A level playing field and freedom from discrimination
  • Media access and fair reporting
  • Transparent and accountable political finance

The internal functioning of individual political parties is to some extent determined by forces that are external to political parties, such as the electoral system, political culture, legal regulations, etc. However, internal processes of political parties, such as the personality of leaders and staff, the ideological foundations, party history, and internal political culture are considered to be even more influential on the internal functioning. If a political party would like the democratic principles of electoral politics to be applied within the party, they may consider practices like internal information and consultation processes, internal (formal or informal) rules and structures for the organisation and decision-making within the party, and transparency in the party's functioning at all levels. Party members may also take on more formal roles in decision-making like participating in internal elections for leadership positions or in selecting the party's candidate(s) in the upcoming elections. Many parties also work actively to enhance the role of traditionally under-represented groups in their parties.

 

Academic Freedom.

Academic freedom, the freedom of teachers and students to teach, study and pursue knowledge and research without unreasonable interference or restriction from law, institutional regulations ,or public pressure . Its basic elements include the freedom of teachers to inquire into any subject that evokes their findings to their students, colleagues, and others; to publish their data and conclusions without control or censorship; and teach in the manner they consider professionally appropriate for students, the basic elements include the freedom to study subjects that concern them, to form conclusions for themselves, and to express their opinions

The   Academic  contribution.

Academics can invite the practitioners of diplomacy what good statesmanship will require to respect, on the basis of ordered historical experience, what good statesmanship is and what it is not. In disputes, it is the politicians and the public who are in control and whose attitudes and conduct are decisive. It is the way of reflection on politics, of growing more aware of disputes as a kind of human situation. The theme involves concepts like intellectuals and academics. Let me begin with the definition of an intellectual, which some of you are familiar with. The debate is on the role of the African intellectual in the African revolution. Then there is the typology of intellectuals, which will be followed by the definition of an academic and the typology of academics.

An intellectual is a person who has the capacity to be fascinated by ideas and has acquired the skills to handle some or these ideas effectively .A general intellectual enjoys series newspapers, appreciates philosophies and ideologies, and knows about poetry and other forms of literature. A public intellectual is in effective communication with disciplines other than one's own, he or she is an interdisciplinary intellectual. A political intellectual specialises on ideas of governance and policy options-this overlaps with policy-focused academics .An academic intellectual, the majority of academics are intellectuals but only a minority of intellectuals are professional academics Such an intellectual is fascinated by ideas and engaged in higher research or higher education.

 

Definitions of academician

An academic is a person who is professionally engaged in advanced research and/or advanced teaching and tries to be guided by universal scholarly standards. He seeks to influence societal change, for example, women's rights, environmental movements, human rights, civil liberties. Conventional academics work on their research and teaching-journals, books, and classroom sessions. Policy-focused academics seek to influence government or to enter government at least for a while.

Some  definitions of academician.

  • someone elected to honorary membership in an academy
  • a scholar who is skilled in academic disputation
  • an educator who works at a college or university

  • The title Academician denotes a Full Member of an art, literary, or scientific academy

  • A member of an academy, or society for promoting science, art, or literature, as of the French Academy, or the Royal Academy of Arts; A collegian - Chesterfield; A member of the faculty of a college or university

 

Academic men and intellectuals as major agents of political change, but relatively minor agents of economic change in post-colonial Africa. Decolonisation was the golden age of African nationalism of the post-colonial variety. African academic men with wider pool of African intellectuals helped to mobilise the masses against the colonial order. The African liberation was much faster than most people expected

 

Nation Building

 

. Because African intellectuals and academic men could not come to grips with viable strategies of economic development, nation building was extremely difficult to sustain in the post-colonial era. Intellectuals and academic men thought they could be effective agents of economic change by the ideology they adopted in the 1960s and 1970s. Socialism and even Marxism were popular on many campuses in Africa.

 

Marxism became the option of the post-colonial intelligentsia. . The campus intellectuals were to the left of the politicalintelligentsiaAs for Marxism as an ethic of distribution, it has continued to be attractive to all those who were appalled by the injustices economic inequality and gross inequalities between the haves and have-nots in post-colonial Africa.As for African elites who chose to pursue the capitalist path of development, many African economic strategies were similarly out of focus in their capitalism. They stimulated urbanisation without industrialisation, they sponsored capitalist greed without capitalist discipline, they activated Western consumption patterns without Western productivity technologies, they whetted Western tastes without cultivating Western skills.

 

.

Globalisation is a new word but it represents a long-drawn out historical process. Globalisation consists of the forces, which are pushing the world towards becoming a global village.

Many have become distinguished Vice-Presidents, ministers, scholars, scientists, diplomats, parliamentarians, administrators, entrepreneurs, Central Bank governors, politicians and statesmen and stateswomen.


The role of academics in public policy formation

. Some academics contribute well and importantly to public debate. Some do not.  It is believed that an important part of research is involvement and participation in public discourse. The profit motive doesn't make the best policy, nor the best society .To discount the role of statisticians, law academics, social policy academics etc. play in public policy debate would be a grave mistake indeed, they have a role, they in fact have several, and none of them are inferior (or for that matter) superior to those who garner their expertise from industry and commerce. The question to an academic is, "what is your experience, or understanding, based from what you have studied for the purposes of extending both your own knowledge - either purely for knowledge's sake or to participate in a greater pursuit of knowledge There are professionals who wish to participate in academia to further their own knowledge or the public sphere and there is everything in between that example and your original one. A professional would speak differently, from their own direct experience in testing the commercial viability (easily enough translatable into simply "viability", things which are not commercially viable tend to fade from status as evidence rather quickly) of various methods, plans and the like. They've likely put chips on the table on these issues and tested them in much larger, less controlled environments than perhaps the academic's evidence comes from (important not to conflate this with the mythical "real world" concept that actual anti-intellectuals propose).To my mind this leads academics generally, to be better suited to providing input on what is, was, and theoretically could be. It leads professionals to provide better input on what should be based on or compared to what is..

 

Academy

 

An academy is an institution of higher learning, research, or honorary membership.  In the western world "academia" is the commonly-used term for the collective institutions of hi As a rule these academies, all very much alike, were merely circles of friends or clients gathered around a learned man or wealthy patron, and were dedicated to literary pastimes rather than methodical study. They fitted in, nevertheless, with the general situation and were in their own way one element of the historical development. Despite their empirical and fugitive character, they helped to keep up the general esteem for literary and other studies. Cardinals, prelates, and the clergy in general were most favourable to this movement, and assisted it by patronage and collaboration.

National academies are bodies for scientists, artists or writers that are usually state-funded and often are given the role of controlling much of the state funding for research into their areas, or other forms of funding  .Because of the tradition of intellectual brilliance associated with this institution, many groups have chosen to use the word "academy" in their name, especially specialized tertiary educational institutions. Academies proliferated in the 20th century until even a three-week series of lectures and discussions would be termed an "academy." In addition, the generic term "the academy" is sometimes used to refer to all of academia, which is sometimes considered a global successor to the Academy of Athens.

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  • Guest - Dr. Peter Adwok Otto

    This acedemic piece of work is exellent from Dr. Thabo. Unfortunately the SPLM lacks by all measures think tanks to bring such ideas to the ground. The SPLM is at one end of the spectrum and the intellectual ideas at the other end. How, can intellectuals like Thabo be silent on such a crude constitutioal draft that affirms oligarchy in the 21st century and seeking to topple all norms of a civilize society. e.g. How would the president dismiss an elected parliament or governor?. where is the think tanks in SPLM?

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  • Guest - Dr. Daniel Thabo

    Dr.Peter Adwok Otto,thank you very much for your comment.We are not keeping quiet.you cannot say any thing you have not seen or read. In fact there are few things that can be corrected later.Why should other parties withdraw? To my opinion ,they would have continued making suggestions for the wrong articles to be put right instead of running away.I don't think so ,that a constitutional draft is crude.you wrongly take it to be oligarchic rule ,but it is not so because there a lot of processes still ahead.Please parties that withdrew they were in a hurry.IF the president is given right to dismiss an elected parliament or governor is okay.Whom do you think should have given that right?

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  • Guest - May Joy Namu


    nice work

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  • Guest - Joe

    Question: Do political parties claim a NON-PROFIT status?RSVP - ASAP . Thanks

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  • Guest - Joe

    Hoping that this site is a venue for asking questions, I wish a response to this question: DO POLITICAL PARTIES LEGALLY CLAIM NON-PROFIT STATUS/ rsvp - asap. tHANKS, jOE

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