A political party makes a difference

The Netherlands is a parliamentary democracy with a wide range of political parties. National political parties can receive government grants to subsidize their activities under the Law on Political Parties (Grants). Citizens elect their representatives in a parliamentary democracy. This happens every four years in the Netherlands. The political parties nominated the candidates. Citizens can influence government policy by voting for the party of their choice.

Parties do this by identifying and aligning sets of issues that are important to voters in the hope of gaining support during elections. In this regard, parties offer choices to the electorate, which they do in stark contrast to their opposition. These positions on these critical issues are often presented in campaign materials or political advertisements. During a nationwide presidential campaign, they also frequently reflect the party’s platform, which is adopted at each party’s presidential nomination convention every four years.

Political parties are public access points / liaison institutions, although they are not government institutions themselves. Neither interest groups nor political parties are directly mentioned in the US Constitution. Where interest groups often work indirectly to influence our leaders, political parties are organizations that attempt to directly influence public policy by formally appointing and sponsoring members who seek to win and hold public office. This is a key difference. Interest groups do not formally nominate or nominate candidates for public office, although they may support them politically and even contribute dollars to their campaign.

If successful, a party can create an electoral coalition large enough to take control of the government. Once in power, the party is much more likely to be able to offer its constituents the political preferences they choose by electing its supporters to government. Political parties organize political campaigns to win public office for those they appoint.

The 2016 election offered a partial variation to this general pattern with a sizable number of people adhering to populist views voting for Republican Party flag bearer Donald Trump.

Political parties exist for the purpose of winning elections in order to influence public policies. This forces them to form coalitions across a wide range of voters who share similar preferences. As identified in a previous discussion of political ideology, the ideologies of liberalism and conservatism, although they do not represent the entire spectrum of American political ideologies, are primarily concentrated where conservatives find their primary focus in the Republican Party while the Liberals mainly associate with the Democratic Party. When considering libertarianism and populism, these ideologies historically add many libertarians to the Republican ranks and many populists to the Democratic ranks.

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  • A political party makes a difference
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