Political Parties And Political Politics

1859 Words Dec 14th, 2015 8 Pages
It would only make sense that half of this class is on political parties and the other half would be about interest groups. They are both inherently different and fundamentally similar at the same time. Both work to sway the pendulum of public policy in the direction they believe in (Alexander, 2015). The main difference is that political parties attempt to gain political office, where interest groups are not in that business. Interest groups are in a sense a key part of a pluralistic society. They allow for everyday people to lobby and petition government. While it is true that we have interest groups in existence today, it has not always been that way. Up until the 1960’s, the power of politics was in the hands of the parties (Cigler, 2015). Many factors, such as television, a more educated electorate, etc, contributed to the creation of a power vacuum in the 1960’s. Interest groups swiftly and aggressively took the role that had formerly been that of the parties. As we have seen this power shift, so have we seen an explosion in the number of organized interests. In 1900, there were 200 registered groups in Washington D.C. Today there are 15,000. It is reasonable to be both intrigued and horrified by the concept of these groups. On one side, they are like anybody else who cares about the direction of the country. On the other, they are unelected, unrepresentative impactors of the system I must live in. While I am not trying to say they are a god send or evil, my point is…
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