Is one party system like that of China’s one-party system better than traditional multi-party democracies? Analyse. (15 Marks)

Mentors Comments:

  • Recently Xi Jinping has praised China’s one-party system and it has given rise to debate on merits and demerits of such a system. This topic is related to the GS-1 topic and is important. You should analyse if one-party system such as China’s is better than the democratic system like India and the US. Analyse both merits and demerits and conclude which one is better. 
  • In the introduction, give context by mentioning current event (Xi statement) and take a stand (whether you love democracy more or one-party system)
  • In the body, in 4-5 different parts (Stability, Peace, Rights, Governance, Development etc), analyse merits and demerits of both systems (in point format)
  • In conclusion, reiterate your stand and conclude by saying there is much to learn from China too (in case there is something to learn) for other democracies. Or end with some other thoughtful statement related to democracy or danger of China.


China’s one-party system has proven over time to be remarkably adaptable to changing times and a move to end presidential term limits, enabling Xi to remain in office indefinitely brought to light the discussion about one-party system and multi-party systems.


  • Narrow agendas:-
      • In multi-party democracies, competing parties confine themselves to their narrow agendas pursuing the interests of certain groups, regions or classes, and thus tearing society apart which is not the case in the one-party systems.
  • Politically stable government
      • In a one-party system, there is no change of government and one individual can lead the government for a long. Therefore the country remains politically stable.
  • Ensures national integration
      • In a one-party system, the entire nation is able to rally round the only party regardless of their ethnic, religious and cultural differences. In other words, the one-party system promotes unity and national integration.
  • Freedom to people:-
      • Democracy is fundamentally about the independence and forbearance of institutions (such as the judiciary and the press and other constitutional bodies), freedom of speech, decentralization of power, giving voice to the minorities, about checks and balances against the reign of brute majorities. His is what a multi-party system does and the one-party system is far from it. 
      • The rotation of political power gives the government the flexibility to make needed policy changes. In the one-party system there is an absence of the checks and balances provided by a democratic government. These dangers are corruption and the possible return to personalised dictatorship.
      • In the absence of the checks and balances provided by democratic government, local Party officials exercise enormous power over ordinary people’s lives. One of the most pervasive ways this has occurred has been through the illegal seizure of land for development.
      • According to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, forty million peasants have had their land forcibly taken from them for development.
  • Better representation:-
      • In the multi-party system, constituencies have a greater probability that their interests will be represented than in any other party system.
      • Multi-party system has a positive impact on the level of democracy in terms of party competition for gaining the support of voters.
  • Ensures continuous economic development
      • In a one-party state, since the government stays in power for a very long time, it is able to draw economic programmes for the state and implement them without any interference.
      • For instance, Chinese economic reforms have lifted hundreds of millions of people out of severe poverty, the greatest reduction in poverty ever.
      • China as a developmental state has successfully pursued the most ambitious strategy for economic modernisation in modern times, which has contained corruption as well
  • Quick decision making:-
      • China’s largely meritocratic one-party system allows the Chinese government to make decisions with a much longer-term horizon than democracies, which typically focus on the short term and the next election.
  • Useful in times of emergencies
    • In a one-party system, the government of the day can act swiftly to save the situation. For example, if there is an outbreak of war, the Commander-in-Chief can be held down by unnecessary delays as would have been the case in a two-party or multi-party system.

It could be argued that the existence of a multi-party system alone does not necessarily lead to “more” democracy. Many factors along with multipartism shape the level of democracy in a country.

In order for the multi-party system to lead for “more” democracy, there should be a strong political culture in the country, good coalition potential with parties having common interests and goals. The type of the electoral system, accountability, and party competition within the multi-party system affects the “level” of democracy as well. Thus, only the successful combination of all these factors within the multipartism may lead to the enhancement of democracy

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Dipanshu Sharma
Dipanshu Sharma
2 years ago

please review…
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Deepanshu Gulyani
Deepanshu Gulyani
2 years ago

Parth sir, please do tag that “questions belong to which GS paper”. Sorry for doing this again and again but i face problem because of this. And please mention for this question too.
thank you 🙂

Deepanshu Gulyani
Deepanshu Gulyani
2 years ago
Reply to  Parth Verma

thank you Parth sir