Political Parties and Interest Groups - Political Parties...

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Political Parties and Interest Groups Reading Assignments: Efficacy of Group Participation: In the last chapter we saw that political participation involves any activity undertaken in an attempt to influence political decisions. While we can attempt to influence politics by individual actions, you are far more likely to be successful if you take those actions in concert with others. Group participation tends to be more efficacious than individual participation. Two Types of Political Groups: There are two types of political groups which people can join to attempt to influence the political process: (1) political parties and (2) interest groups. 1. Political Parties are organizations of people with like interest who mobilize to effect policy change by: (1) selecting candidates to run for a variety of political office and mobilizing support for their victory and (2) through these candidates in office (in Executive, Legislative, or Judicial branches), serving as a coordinating point for their efforts to make policy the members of that party favor (e.g. in Congress). 2. Interest Groups There is another type of group organization which mobilizes to effect policy, interest groups. IGs differ in that: (1) they tend to have a narrower range of interest which are their top priority (getting candidates elected from supportive parties is a secondary interest) and (2) they do not operate directly in the political system but must operate by finding sympathetic Political Officials of one party or the other who support them. Types of Interest Groups Variants of Interest Groups: There are different types of interest groups. Broad Ideological Interest Groups: Some interest represent people who share common values about a broad range of issues - such as the Christian Coalition representing Modern Conservative Views or Americans for Democratic Action representing Modern Liberal views. Broad Ideological Groups which Target a Particular Governmental Institution (e.g. Supreme Court) Some interest groups also deal with a broad range of issues but put their focus on either legislative OR judicial activity that
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impinge those interest. While the American Civil Liberties Union includes discussion of legislative issues its primary focus is on court cases affecting civil liberties/civil rights. It has a Classical Liberal viewpoint with respect to these issues. It is opposed on the right by the American Center for Law and Justice which takes a Classical Conservative perspective. Identified with Particular Countries and Ethnic Groups: Some are associated with promoting the interests of particular countries such as the AIPAC - the American-Israeli Political Action Committee, or LULAC , the League of Latin American Citizens or NAACP .
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Political Parties and Interest Groups - Political Parties...

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