How Do Political Parties Influence Public Policy

How do political parties influence policy making?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that policy making is impacted by political parties in a couple of ways.  The most basic element is that an elected representative who is loyal to their party must generate policies that reflect the overall platform of the party.  If not, they certainly must speak out against policies that go against party platform ideas.  In this, political party influence policy making because it forces representatives to make fundamental choices between what is advocated in the legislative sphere and what is embraced by the party.  It is essential for the representative to ensure that they have the support of the political party.  Losing this is almost as bad as losing the support of their represented people.  The political party influences the direction of policies advocated and initiated in that the legislation that comes out of the representative sphere of government is reflective of the party's belief system.  In the past summer, the United States political sphere saw this with the debate on the raising of the debt ceiling.  The Republican Party was committed to not raising the debt ceiling.  This became part of the party's belief system.  Members of the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party were committed to this idea.  In the end, this is a good reflection of how political parties can influence policy making.

raphaelmercy | Student

Political parties are relavent only in countries where they have  democratic form of govenment.In democracy the political party which wins  the largest/ majority of seats in the legislature will be allowed to form government.Every political party has their own manifestoes/agenda and it contains the vision and mission of the party.once  elected this document is the one which guide the party to formulate various policies of the government. The ruling party can get a law passed only if the new bill get majority vote in the legislature.

All political parties leadership will suggest new policies to its grass root members and at local level the members will discuss and deleberate upon the suggested policies. The recommendations from these party leadership will be discussed at higher levels of the party and then they decide to present it in the legislature to get it passed as law.A vote on the new bill will be conducted in the legislature and if the bill get majority votes it could be passed as new law by the executive arm of the government.Political parties are always tempted to suggest policies which are popular with the ordinary citizens and often this will lead to the creation of laws which may not be sound from the economic,religious,moral and social point of view!

Many of the economic problems like the recession in the U S and elsewhere are due the popular but wrong policies adopted by those governments. The US government allowed a lot of financial engineering which encouraged financial institutions to lend a lot more. This encouraged banks to lent a lot, borrowers to borrow a lot which they canot repay, discouraged people to save and encouraged them to spent more!

Of late, all  political parties have more or less same policies and hence they are neither Right nor Left!They look for policies wihich will attract more voters to vote for the party. It seems thay they believe " in the long run we are all dead"

One can come to the conclusion that all political parties want to be popular and their policies are to win votes in the short run and if this kind of policy making is allowed to continue,in the long run a prosperous country llike the US might become a failed state!