Parties and Parliamentary Groups
In a representative democracy decisions are not taken directly by the people but by elected representatives. Essential constituents of a representative democracy are political parties, which unite people who harbour similar ideas concerning the state, its economy and society. These parties solicit popular votes in elections to the legislative bodies (parliaments), where, depending on the election returns, they may form what are called parliamentary groups.
The very life of a representative pluralist democracy depends on the existence of parties with different aspirations. For this reason the Party Act states that the existence and variety of political parties is an essential element of the democratic order in the Republic of Austria. It is one of their fundamental tasks to participate in the political decision-making process. More
Campaigning parties are for the most part identical with political parties, although they are clearly distinct from each other in juridical terms. More