Party connotations

What do you think of when you read or hear the phrase “ruling party”? Would you describe the Conservatives in Britain as the “ruling party”? Or the Socialists in France? What about Congress in India? (The situation in the USA is obviously complicated by the division of powers.)

The “ruling party” is one of those disarming phrases that is apparently neutral but comes loaded with additional implications. And yet, in my experience use of the term is not restricted to Western ‘cultural imperialists’, but is frequently used by local political observers.

I venture a conclusion: if contemporary commentary on a country regularly involves mention of the term “ruling party” then its democracy lacks a certain vigour.

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