Early on in your schooling, you probably learned about the four pillars of democracy: the legal system, the legislative assemblies, executive power, and a free press. But proper democracy consists of many more elements, including political parties and civil society, both of which are hugely important.
Civil society and political parties: A sometimes strained relationship
However, the relationship between political parties and civil society tends to fluctuate, from cooperation to competition, sometimes remaining close, sometimes drifting apart. In some cases, a political party can benefit from stepping back and leaving an issue to civil society. Stepping back does not mean abandoning a cause altogether, but giving a lead role to civil society in the process.