Civil so­ci­ety and po­lit­i­cal par­ties

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS - By Saadula Aqrawi

In Iraq pol­i­tics is the process of how to or­ga­nize the dif­fer­ent eth­nics groups to live to­gether in a so­ci­ety. To build a demo­cratic sys­tem, ev­ery cit­i­zen should par­tic­i­pate in the process by freely ac­quir­ing in­for­ma­tion about po­lit­i­cal is­sues, by openly ex­press­ing their own opin­ions on pub­lic af­fairs, by for­mu­lat­ing ex­pec­ta­tions, pro­pos­als or re­quire­ments with­out fear of re­pres­sion, by vot­ing in elec­tions, by en­gag­ing in free or­ga­ni­za­tions or po­lit­i­cal par­ties, or by stand­ing up as a can­di­date in demo­cratic elec­tions. In this way, democ­racy can be con­sid­ered as the govern­ment of the peo­ple.

Pol­i­tics in Iraq and in the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion re­quires ideas and val­ues that set the goals and stan­dards of po­lit­i­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions. Free­dom, jus­tice, lib­er­al­ity are such prin­ci­ples that can guide the po­lit­i­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions of the so­ci­ety.

Pol­i­tics in Iraq re­quires so­cial or­ga­ni­za­tions that de­fend peo­ple's in­ter­ests and com- mu­ni­cate them to the po­lit­i­cal and gov­ern­men­tal in­sti­tu­tions to be re­al­ized prac­ti­cally. The po­lit­i­cal par­ties, busi­ness and work­ers as­so­ci­a­tions as well as other non- gov­ern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tions of the civil so­ci­ety are such or­ga­ni­za­tions that col­lect and ag­gre­gate so­cial in­ter­ests. Pol­i­tics must take in pro­pos­als to dis­cuss, de­cide upon and im­ple­ment. The par­lia­ment and the govern­ment which nor­mally are the prod­uct of po­lit­i­cal par­ties are the most im­por­tant in­sti­tu­tions in a demo­cratic state. Pol­i­tics re­quires ac­tive cit­i­zens who take part in po­lit­i­cal dis­cus­sions, par­tic­i­pate with ideas, de­mands and ex­pec­ta­tions, and ac­tively con­trib­ute to the func­tion­ing of the po­lit­i­cal in­sti­tu­tions.

In Iraq, most if not all cit­i­zens should be in­volved in po­lit­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties. How­ever, in a di­rect democ­racy where ev­ery cit­i­zen is di­rectly in­volved in all po­lit­i­cal de­ci­sions is not pos­si­ble. This is why a mod­ern democ­racy needs in­sti­tu­tions and or­ga­ni­za­tions that rep­re­sent the will and the in­ter­ests of the cit­i­zens as au­then­ti­cally as pos­si­ble. These can be as­so­ci­a­tions, in­for­mal groups or non-gov­ern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tions. In par­tic­u­lar, the po­lit­i­cal par­ties carry out such a rep­re­sen­ta­tive func­tion. They of­fer the cit­i­zens the pos­si­bil­ity to in­flu­ence pol­i­tics and the po­lit­i­cal de­ci­sions. They are an im­por­tant in­stru­ment.

With­out po­lit­i­cal par­ties, a mod­ern rep­re­sen­ta­tive democ­racy is not con­ceiv­able. The po­lit­i­cal par­ties en­sure that the cit­i­zens are per­ma­nently ca­pa­ble of in­flu­enc­ing the pol­i­tics of the coun­try. They ar­tic­u­late and in­te­grate dif­fer­ent in­ter­ests, vi­sions and opin­ions. They are also the main source for the recruitment of the po­lit­i­cal elites. There are par­ties that are con­form­ing to the sys­tem, such par­ties ac­cept the po­lit­i­cal sys­tem in which they are ac­tive and try to ei­ther sta­bi­lize the po­lit­i­cal order or im­prove it grad­u­ally by re­forms. The par- ties that are op­posed to the po­lit­i­cal sys­tem do not ac­cept the ba­sic prin­ci­ples of their po­lit­i­cal sys­tem and pur­sue a change of the sys­tem, mostly through ag­gres­sive pro­gram­matic pro­pos­als. Ide­olo­gies and spe­cific world­views are of par­tic­u­lar rel­e­vance for po­lit­i­cal par­ties. Ide­olo­gies are com­pre­hen­sive vi­sions of so­ci­eties and so­cial de­vel­op­ments, which con­tain ex­pla­na­tions, val­ues, and goals for the present and fu­ture de­vel­op­ments. Ide­olo­gies in­spire and jus­tify po­lit­i­cal and so­cial ac­tion. They are an es­sen­tial el­e­ment for po­lit­i­cal ori­en­ta­tion.

Iraqi po­lit­i­cal par­ties rarely cor­re­spond com­pletely to one of these clas­si­fi­ca­tions. There are flu­ent tran­si­tions and mixed forms. A mass party for in­stance can also be an in­ter­est party if it rep­re­sents only the in­ter­est of a cer­tain so­cial sec­tor.

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