Party leader

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In politics, a party leader is the most powerful official within a political party. He/She speaks to his/her political party and represents them.The party leader is typically responsible for managing the party's relationship with the general public. As such, he or she will take a leading role in developing and communicating party policy, especially election platforms, to the electorate. He or she is also typically the public face of the party and the principal media contact.

In many representative democracies, party leaders compete directly for high political office. For example, leaders of parties in presidential and semi-presidential republics will often run for President. In parliamentary systems of government, party leaders typically seek to become prime minister. It is thus typical in such states (e.g., in the Westminster system) for the party leader to seek election to the legislature, and, if elected, to simultaneously serve as the party's parliamentary leader.

United States[edit]

In the Gilded Age (late 19th century in the United States) there existed a system called Bossism which entailed powerful political machines, run by so-called "bosses" who awarded political positions to their associates (one example being Tammany Hall which was run by Boss Tweed) This kind of political system is also referred to as a particracy.

United Kingdom[edit]

The method of selection of the party leader varies from party to party, though often it will involve an election involving all or part of the party membership. In some parties, only current members of the parliamentary party, or particular party office holders, may vote; in others, such as the British Labour Party, though the entire membership is eligible to vote, some electors may have a much larger share of the vote than others (see also Superdelegate for a similar concept). If only one candidate emerges, he or she is said to have been "elected by acclamation" or "ratified" by the general membership (sometimes the term "anointed" is used informally or in media discourse). In Canada, all major parties elect their leaders at a leadership convention.

The current Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is David Cameron. David Cameron gained the position on May 11, 2010. David Cameron is the party leader of the Conservatives. David Cameron’s power was restricted because of the coalition government that was formed in the United Kingdom.[1] David Cameron is the prime minister of the United Kingdom. David Cameron has limited control as party leader because he formed a coalition government. The Conservative Party leader David Cameron formed a coalition government with the Liberal Democratic Party.[2] The United Kingdom has more influence in electing the party leader than other countries in the Westminster system.[3] Sometimes, a party leader will simultaneously hold the post of chairman. However, this is rare in the Westminster system. As the party leader David Cameron exercises his executive power to enforce the law.[4]


The leaders of communist parties often hold the title of General secretary (e.g. General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and General Secretary of the Communist Party of China). In November 2012 Xi Jinping was appointed General Secretary of the Communist Party’s 18th national congress.[5] Xi Jinping is the general secretary of Chinese Communist Party.[6] Xi Jinping is the party leader of the largest economy in the world. He is the party leader for the communist party in China and was elected by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.[7] Chinese party leader Xi Jinping has had less influence in the law making process, due to the increased participation of the executive and judicial branches in China. Xi Jinping’s influence on lawmaking process as a party leader has also been declining as a result of increased participation of open policy-making institutions.[8] He is the party leader of the Communist party in China.The only political party in China is the Communist Party of China. Xi Jinping is the party leader of the largest political party in the world with 85 million members.[9]

Increase of Members in the Communist Chinese Party (CCP) from 2002-2013 (in Millions)
2003: 68.23 million
2004: 69.60 million
2005: 70.80 million
2006: 72.39 million
2007: 74.15 million
2008: 75.93 million
2009: 78.00 million
2010: 80.27 million
2011: 82.27 million
2012: 85.13 million
2013: 86.69 million


See also[edit]