Influences On Government

Our governmental system is influenced by a number of "inputs" and
factors that shape the outcome of political movements and decisions. These
"inputs" include public pinions, political parties, interest groups,
and the influence of mass media. They influence our government directly as well
as indirectly. Not to mention, that our government also uses these
"inputs" for its own benefit. The main issue that forms governmental
decisions in a democracy is of course the public opinion. In order to be
eligible to run for an office in our governmental system, one must be elected by
the people or a representative thereof, and to achieve this task one must listen
to and obey the public's opinion. Therefore, the theory of democracy is most
purely applied through election on behalf of the public opinion. Another
important factor in our system of government are of course our political
parties. Parties enable the citizen living in a democratic society to establish
a connection to governmental action and lead policy-making to his benefit or
liking. Furthermore, a citizen can participate in society quite easily, since 2
party platforms which clearly indicate a parties goals and preferences. However,
this democratic ideal does not always prevail. Parties can be influenced or even
manipulated by people who contribute great amounts of funds to the party to have
their own personal political wishes fulfilled which do not necessarily have to
benefit society as a whole (power elite theory). Interest groups account for an
additional 'mover' in Washington. This political devise provides a supplement to
our citizens broad area of interests. Since the American People can only choose
between two main parties. Therefore, certain issues might not come to political
debate. Interest groups fill this gap and thus withhold the theory of democracy.

Yet, 'Big Business' has also found this devise to help fulfill its political
needs. Once again politics is influenced by a small amount of citizens, that own
about two thirds of our nations worth. Interest groups have grown more
influential over the years and created a pluralistic society, in which people's
everyday issues and interests are brought to the attention of our governmental
system. However, since there is a rapid growth in interest groups and political
action committees, the competition among groups might become so extensive that
demands on politicians might be to high and hence, our system would come to a
halt or gridlock and nothing would be achieved anymore. Last but not least mass
media provide another 'input' to our system of government. The media provide the
people with information they need to be able 3 to make sensible political
decisions. In formation on election debates current poles help the public to
stay in touch with the policy-makers in Washington.