Our governmental system is influenced by a number of “inputs” andfactors 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 wellas indirectly.
Not to mention, that our government also uses these”inputs” for its own benefit. The main issue that forms governmentaldecisions in a democracy is of course the public opinion. In order to beeligible to run for an office in our governmental system, one must be elected bythe people or a representative thereof, and to achieve this task one must listento and obey the public’s opinion. Therefore, the theory of democracy is mostpurely applied through election on behalf of the public opinion. Anotherimportant factor in our system of government are of course our politicalparties. Parties enable the citizen living in a democratic society to establisha connection to governmental action and lead policy-making to his benefit orliking. Furthermore, a citizen can participate in society quite easily, since 2party platforms which clearly indicate a parties goals and preferences.
However,this democratic ideal does not always prevail. Parties can be influenced or evenmanipulated by people who contribute great amounts of funds to the party to havetheir own personal political wishes fulfilled which do not necessarily have tobenefit society as a whole (power elite theory). Interest groups account for anadditional ‘mover’ in Washington. This political devise provides a supplement toour citizens broad area of interests.
Since the American People can only choosebetween two main parties. Therefore, certain issues might not come to politicaldebate. Interest groups fill this gap and thus withhold the theory of democracy.Yet, ‘Big Business’ has also found this devise to help fulfill its politicalneeds. Once again politics is influenced by a small amount of citizens, that ownabout two thirds of our nations worth.
Interest groups have grown moreinfluential over the years and created a pluralistic society, in which people’severyday issues and interests are brought to the attention of our governmentalsystem. However, since there is a rapid growth in interest groups and politicalaction committees, the competition among groups might become so extensive thatdemands on politicians might be to high and hence, our system would come to ahalt or gridlock and nothing would be achieved anymore. Last but not least massmedia provide another ‘input’ to our system of government. The media provide thepeople with information they need to be able 3 to make sensible politicaldecisions. In formation on election debates current poles help the public tostay in touch with the policy-makers in Washington.Government