A high-level overview of the impact political parties have on the electorate and government.
The first two political parties in American history were the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans; today, the United States still has a two-party system made up of the Democratic and Republican parties.
Over the past 200 years, political parties have become more powerful and central to American democracy, providing opportunities for the electorate to participate in politics and influencing how people relate to the government and policymakers.
|Groups in society that connect people to the government and facilitate turning the people’s concerns into political issues on the government’s policy agenda.
|An organization of people with similar political ideologies that seeks to influence public policy by getting its candidates elected.
|A list of goals outlining a party’s positions on issues and political priorities.
How political parties impact the electorate and the government: The primary function of political parties is to link people to the government and its policies. Political parties are made up of three semi-independent teams: the party organization, the party in government, and the party in the electorate.
The party organization is the structure of national, state, and local parties that creates a platform, recruits candidates, and helps to manage candidates’ campaigns by providing a fundraising and media strategy. The party organization is also responsible for educating and mobilizing voters to support candidates.
The party in government consists of the elected officials who belong to the party. These politicians are responsible for proposing, debating, voting on, and signing legislation that meets the party’s platform goals.
The party in the electorate is made up of all citizens who identify with that party; it supports the party organization and its candidates by mobilizing voter support and turnout, and by donating to candidate campaigns.
What is a linkage institution?
What is one way in which political parties impact the electorate?
How do parties provide opportunities for citizen participation in government?