Article 21 par. 1 of the Basic Constitutional Law for the Federal Republic of Germany
Parties play an essential part in the political decision-making process, but do not have a monopoly. They merely are one factor among many, for instance the media, which influence the political decision-making of the citizens. In mass democracy, political participation mainly takes the form of co-operation in political parties because the citizen does not have much opportunity to influence the political decision-making process alone. Therefore the political parties act as intermediaries between the society with its manifold trends and interests on the one hand and the state, which has to act uniformly as an entity, on the other. So they channel the political decision-making process of the people. The Basic Law takes account of this specific role of the parties by defining their tasks and their status in Article 21.
©2013 The Federal Returning Officer
In parliamentary elections, the political parties compete for votes. All their actions have one goal: participation in elections and being as successful as possible there. In the conflict of trying to sharpen their own profile and mobilising a maximum number of followers, parties make a double integration effort by finding compromises and reconciling diverging interests and opinions within and by engaging in public debate and creating options which can be put to the ballot. Democratic elections cannot be held without political parties.