Political parties have no good purpose in modern society. by representing entire sets of unrelated beliefs, they make sure that most of the sets of beliefs it is possible to have are not only unrepresented but unrepresentable. For instance, gun control has nothing to do with abortion, which in turn has nothing to do with the war in iraq. but the political party system means that if I support gun control, I also have to support abortion and oppose the war. Or, if I oppose abortion, I have to oppose gun control and support the war, even though, practically the issues aren't connected at all. The big problem is that people like to represent the political spectrum as a line, where everybody sits (on all issues) somewhere between "far left" and "far right," but there is a completely different spectrum for every issue. (To put it in arcane mathematical terms, the "political spectrum" is not a line but an n-dimensional space where n is the number of issues being considered) Also, political parties make sure that people who don't hold the prescribed sets of beliefs established by the political parties cannot reasonably vote for third party candidates because the political parties funnel the electable candidates into their prepackaged ideology (both parties are guilty of this). Furthermore, political parties create a centralized place for bribery and corruption (it's easier to bribe a centralized political party than 500 representatives) and are powerhouses for manipulating the American people. Political parties aren't mentioned anywhere in the constitution, so IMO we should just get rid of them and have representatives that represent their constituents and not some powerhouse of manipulation and corruption.