Functions performed by political parties in a democracy:
Group together a large number of similar opinions, thereby providing a direction in which policies can be formulated
Contest elections, providing the voters a choice between different policies
Winning party forms and runs the government
Losing parties form the opposition, and keep a check on the working of the government
Play a decisive role in making laws, especially by debating them in the legislature.
Shape public opinion by raising and highlighting issues
Provide people a way to access government machinery and welfare schemes