A political party platform or platform is a list of the values and actions which are supported by a political party or individual candidate, in order to appeal to the general public, for the ultimate purpose of garnering the general public's support and votes about complicated topics or issues. "Plank" is the term often given to the components of the political platform – the opinions and viewpoints about individual topics, as held by a party, person, or organization. The word "plank" depicts a component of an overall political platform, as a metaphorical reference to a basic stage made out of boards or planks of wood. The metaphor can return to its literal origin when public speaking or debates are actually held upon a physical platform.
A party platform is sometimes referred to as a manifesto or a political platform.
The first known use of the word platform was in 1535. The word platform comes from Middle Frenchplate-forme, literally meaning "flat form". The political meaning of the word to reflect "statement of party politics" is from 1803, probably originally an image of a literal platform on which politicians gather, stand, and make their appeals.