A political party is a formal faction that exists to contest leadership of a political unit, e.g. a country or region. It serves several important purposes:
- deliberative democracy: creating policy salons and other forums to hear out many views that the populace in general has little patience for, and agree on a list of policy terms
- representative democracy: to actually nominate candidates for office and choose the best of these to act as Issue Advocates
- consensus democracy: to gain the assent of at least some portion of the public for a set of difficult decisions that would otherwise lead to conflict, probably violent conflict - narrowing many possible platform proposals down to a few to be advanced in the media and election.
- participatory democracy: to coordinate and synchronize actions of many people at once to achieve a common goal, whatever that goal may be