How do political parties influence policy making?

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Political parties influence public policy precisely because that is why they exist: to influence public policy. Political parties are large groupings of like-minded individuals who collectively seek to influence public policy through the election of candidates for political office from that party and through pressure placed on governing institutions for changes in or support of existing policies and practices.

Political parties are formed around shared convictions regarding the role of government in society and the perceived requirement for legal structures intended to protect favored policies or, conversely, to change those policies with which they disagree. In the United States, the two major political parties have fundamental disagreements on a wide range of policies, from reproductive and gun rights to the role of government in the provision of basic services like health care. There is considerable overlap in many of these issue areas, but generalizations can be made for the...

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Last Reviewed by eNotes Editorial on December 10, 2019