However, the appearance of political structures and how they function in various types of civilizations can vary greatly. In ancient Greece, for example, politicians were usually elected by the people themselves. They would then serve a term of office and could be re-elected once. When their time was up, they would simply leave the political stage and make way for others who had been elected by the people.
In modern Europe, politicians are often chosen by professional electoral colleges (consisting of members of parliament or its equivalent) to represent them at national level. Electors vote for candidates, and the person receiving a majority of votes is declared the winner. Elections may be direct or indirect. In some countries, such as Germany, voters have the option of voting for individual candidates rather than parties. Parties can also be formed for specific elections; for example, Democrats or Republicans can be associated with particular presidential campaigns.
In North America, politicians are typically elected by popular vote to serve fixed two-year terms. Some nations, including Switzerland and Israel, have systems where certain positions must be held by someone from a certain party. In many countries, there are restrictions on when or how many times a person can stand for election. For example, in most countries, a person can only be elected president once.
Many distinct types of continuous political offices exist in large-scale cultures. They are structured into bureaucracies of roles with varying degrees of responsibility, influence, and authority, which are typically ranked in relation to one another. Political offices can also be divided into regular and temporary categories.
In ancient societies, political offices were often hereditary; today this is only true of the office of president. In most other countries around the world, politicians are not directly elected by their constituents but are instead selected by an electoral process that determines who will represent their party in legislative bodies like congress or parliament. Elections determine who will govern at any given time, while appointments fill in the gaps when voters do not have the opportunity to choose their leaders.
In modern democracies, many different kinds of political offices exist: there are offices that are responsible for running government programs (such as secretaries general in UN organizations), others that make policies by issuing directives (like directors of national intelligence agencies), and still others that regulate activities between governments and their citizens (like ambassadors).
Even within single institutions, different offices may have different responsibilities. For example, members of Congress take votes on issues before them, but they do not have direct access to information about what programs are being run by the federal government.
For analyzing political conduct in organizations, each discipline has its own premises and evidence criteria. Nonetheless, they imply that in today's corporate world, corporations are growing more political. Organizations have three degrees of political action: individual, alliance, and network (Kinicki, 2008, p.158). Individuals may take formal positions within the organization by becoming employees or officers. They can also remain silent about certain issues inside the organization by not joining any groups or committees. Alliances are groups of individuals who come together to take action on a particular issue. These alliances may be based on common values or interests. Networks are groups that include people from different organizations with whom there is no immediate relationship. They form between companies looking for specific skills or expertise. For example, one company might hire an external consultant to help it develop new products, while another company hires this consultant to provide such services.
Political actions can be positive or negative. When individuals support organizational policies by taking part in meetings or other processes, this is called "positive" politics. When individuals try to get others to agree with them so that they can change policies, this is called "negative" politics. Positive politics includes things such as joining committees or working groups. Negative politics includes things such as spreading rumors about colleagues or trying to block them from getting jobs elsewhere.
Individuals use positive politics to obtain benefits for themselves or their allies.
Political organizations include political parties, non-governmental organizations, advocacy groups, and special interest groups. Political parties are organizations that exist to promote one or more candidates for public office or to advance one or more issues. Parties may be national in scope (as with the Democratic Party or Republican Party) or focused on a single state or region (as with the Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus or New York State Conservative Party).
Parties can be either national or regional in scope. A national party will often have its own headquarters at which staff members are employed to manage all aspects of the party's election campaign. Regional parties may have their own offices in many states, but they usually rely on national organizations to handle most of the work involved in running an election campaign. The main difference between the two types of parties is that national parties can allocate funds from multiple sources throughout the country, while regional parties tend to receive most of their funding from local individuals or organizations.
Other factors should be taken into account when determining if an organization is a political party. For example, some legislative chambers in U.S. states grant certain rights and benefits to party organizations, such as the right to hire staff members who would otherwise be covered by civil service rules.