Effects of Interest Groups, Political Parties and Public Process on Democracy
Democratic politics in the United States of America does not end with elections. Political parties and interest groups often run campaigns independently of candidates and most of the time their work begins before elections and could run for several months after the elections. These two groups act as a link between the voters, office bearers and the candidates and through them, many voters tend to know which party they will vote for even before knowing who the torch bearer of that particular party is.
It is important to note that there are quite a number of political groups in America and millions of American Citizens are members of one or two of these groups. By representing the interests of large numbers of people and encouraging political participation, organized groups can and do enhance American democracy, (Lowe, Shepsle,397). Organized groups provide information and education to their members on issues that affect them, both politically and economically. Lowe et al goes further to clarify that because not all interests are represented equally, interest group politics works to the advantage of some and the disadvantage of others.
The goal of electing public officials is what brings together the political parties and what differentiate them from other groups. The two main political parties in the United States – Democrats and Republicans, work differently but both strive to achieve the same electoral end. This shows that in as much as they may differ in principles, they are still guided by the same Constitution of the United States. But because of the two party system in the United States, it is...
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...eir support. Groups invest so much money and time in lobbying than in electoral politics.
Many question whether interest groups have an effect on government and policy, but an answer this question is very tough to find even after a lot of research has been carried out on the same topic. Lowe et al states that a survey of dozens of studies of campaign contributions and legislative decision making found that in only about 1 in 10 cases was there evidence of a correlation between contributors’ interest and legislators’ roll-call voting.
The institutions of American government embrace an open and democratic process in order to ensure that the government is responsive to the public’s preferences and needs to the society.
Lowi, Ginsberg, Shepsle and Stephen Ansolabehere. AMERICAN GOVERNMENT: POWER AND PURPOSE. New York: NY, 2014. Print.
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