Insight Turkey Volume 18 No. 4, 2016
Even though they are not the sole forms of organization in a democratic system, as the late French jurist Georges Bourdeau put long ago, political parties constitute the most effective bodies of people’s will. With these features, political parties prioritize the institutions envisioned by the Constitution; and modern democracies without political parties are unthinkable. In this respect, political parties both sustain democracy and owe their existence to democratic systems. For this reason, democratic systems are obligated to provide both a legal and a political ground necessary for political parties to represent people. On the other hand, political parties should not harm this base to which they owe their existence and should not see it as an instrument only to meet the demands of their partisans. Parties should have a democratic mindset and a democratic behaviour so that they equip the actual system with the requirements of democracy – the rule of law in particular – as a must for the existence of a strong democracy. In this context, political parties, first and foremost, unite people to accede government and while doing so, they must resort to statutory and legitimate means. Such a feature of political parties, at the same time, encourages competition, i.e. elections.