Party factions, good or bad?

My Collier’s defines ‘faction’ as “a group of people inside a political party, club, government etc working in a common cause against other such groups or against the main body.” On the basis of this definition, factions whether mischievous or constructive, are inherent in political organisations.

It is difficult to picture any political party without factions. Human society is by nature riddled with factions; essentially as people, we hold different viewpoints at any time because we look at subjects, objects, issues , other people from different angles and perspectives. No two persons can have the same opinion on every subject they talk about, analyse, review or debate. This is natural, healthy and commendable. Why then are factions such a headache in political parties at all times? There are no think-a-likes in life, yet people want to invent them!

There are several reasons why differences or factions become a headache or tend to polarise political parties. One of the reasons is that some people are intolerant of other people’s viewpoints, they may profess to know more or better than others; another reason is that to every subject, issue, object, there are many sides, aspects, angles and we do not all see all the sides in a single cast of an eye, in addition, we tend to miss what the other person might see and we don’t see. This is not a bad thing because together, when we aggregate our various views, we are bound to see the complete picture and arrive at a consensus as how to exploit it to common advantage.            

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