Why is it important for political parties to be in power?

polity : Why is it important for political parties to be in power?
Recently after the Maharashtra elections, I read reports that being part of the government is very crucial for Shiv Sena which has been out of power for 15 years. Also, in another report, it was speculated that Shiv Sena is extending support to BJP at the state level only because it is afraid BJP may withdraw support from BMC(Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai) where BJP and Shiv Sena alliance is in power. The report went on to mention that BMC is the richest municipal corporation in India with annual budget more than many Indian states and that it is the reason of survival for Shiv Sena.

My question is, how being in power helps political parties? Does 'controlling' a rich municipal corporation or a rich state helps the party make windfall gains?Is it due to increase in donations to the parties or due to corruption? Is Shiv Sena benefiting from BMC because it can embezzle the money and get away with it?

I get it that winning elections and coming to power could be the aim of political parties but can they not survive if they are not in power? Does this power corrupt by giving control over finances and budger?

Answer by Balaji Viswanathan:

For those of us climbing to the top of the food chain, there can be no mercy. There is but one rule: hunt or be hunted.

                                    — Frank Underwood (House of Cards)

Why is it important for an athlete to win the medal? Why is it important for an entrepreneur to make profits? Why is it important for a lab researcher to bring discoveries?
Because, that is what they attempt to do. In the same way, the primary rationale for a political party is to capture power. That is their destiny.


A lot of people have random notions about power. They dramatically underestimate the effect of power. While money is often a means to get something, power can be an end in itself. It is the most addictive drug ever invented and the power to influence someone's destiny to too good to give up.

Sure, politicians might loot money while they are in power. But, a lot of that money is used to keep themselves in power. Because, it is power itself the most important thing since the start of our race. From the politics at home between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law to world wars, everything is about domination. Everything is about influencing another's person's destiny. That's what all politics, religion and warfare is about.

Such a waste of talent. He chose money over power. In this town, a mistake nearly everyone makes. Money is the Mc-mansion in Sarasota that starts falling apart after 10 years. Power is the old stone building that stands for centuries. I cannot respect someone who doesn't see the difference.

                                  —   Frank Underwood (House of Cards)

Why is it important for political parties to be in power?

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