Advantages and disadvantages of Zero party system: No doubt, the type of party system to be adopted in a country largely depends on the number of active political associations that meet the requirements for registration of political parties and the number of political parties specified in the law of the country. Where there is no active political association and the law provides that no political party should be formed, then a zero party system is practiced.
Simply put, zero party system exists where elections are conducted and contested based on personal attributes, capabilities and programmes presented by individual. Candidates do not contest elections under the banner or the platform of any political party. In other words, there is no political party in the country. Examples of countries where zero party system is practiced includes: Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Nauru, Federated States of Micronesia, etc. In this article, i will vividly explain the advantages (Merits) and disadvantages (demerits) of zero party system.
Merits or advantages of zero party system
1. Elections are based on merit: This is one of the major benefits of a zero party system. It ensures that elections are based on merit and not based on wealth or popularity. Knowing candidates well, the local electorates will not choose corrupt and incompetent politicians using party loyal as a facade.
2. It is cheap: Unlike a multi party system, zero party system is cheaper and faster because people are not required to join political parties before they can be elected into power. Much time is not wasted on primary elections and the cost of conducting election is substantially reduced.
3. Easy and quicker decision making: It is always easier and quicker to choose a leader in, zero party system because the electorates knows all the election candidates very well. They can rightly predict which candidate can serve them better than the other. This enhances making of purpose and quick decisions.
4. Less complicated: Some party systems like multi party system can be very complicated because of the fact that many political parties exist at the same time. But this is not so in a zero party system. It is simple to operate because it is not complicated.
5. Reduction in electoral malpractice: Since there is not political rivalries or clash of ideology, there is usually reduction in electoral malpractice in zero party system. In fact, it reduces electoral malpractice to the barest minimum.
Demerits or disadvantages of Zero party system
1. Slower national development: It is argued that the absence of any political party in a zero party system actually leads to slower national development in the country. This is so because political parties which can mobilise the people and harness their energies for national development are absent.
2. Elections are usually disorganized: Due to the large number of persons coming out to be elected into power, election may become rowdy, disorganized and confusing. This can also discourage popular participation in elections too.
3. Absence of a manifesto: One important advantages of one, two or multi party system is the manifesto which every political party discloses to the general public. It states the aims and objectives of the party. But this is not so in a zero party system. The absence of political parties and party manifesto does not make the programmes of the election candidates definite.
4. Leads to election of an irresponsible leader: In as much as a zero party system is based on charisma, popularity can also affect the decision of most people. Popular miscreants and irresponsible people may be elected as political leaders.
5. Lack of political education: In my article on the differences between political party and pressure group, I explained how political parties contribute strongly in enlightening the masses about their political rights and obligations.
Conversely, the absence of political parties in a zero party system is a problem because political education of the electorates may be non-existent or not well coordinated as the individual contestants may resort to money politics.
In conclusion, it is worthwhile to note that there is also instability in a zero party system because the richest among the people will want to use their money to influence elections. Hope this article was insightful? If it was, don’t leave without dropping a comment!