What is the role and importance of interest groups and political parties?

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Special interest groups are pretty self-explanatory: they are groups with a committed focus, specifically on one policy or issue. In politics, members of Congress or other ruling bodies will join these groups in an effort to expedite an issue to resolution. For instance, there may be a special interest group focusing on climate change, or one on immigration. Politicians, regardless of party, can join these groups and give them strength to force an issue through the political process to resolution.

Political parties are one of the interesting quirks of government that was entirely unexpected. When the founding fathers formed the nation, they assumed that elected officials would all fall on a varied spectrum of beliefs for every possible issue, making it impossible to delineate them and separate them into two groups. However, as the nation grew, certain groups joined together, agreeing on specific policy points, and formed political parties. Because of this, these parties tend to vote the...

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