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The political system is an assembly that consists of organizations and activities that involve the government, politics and the public policy. There are many components involved in a political system. When political issues develop citizens don’t always agree on the course of action that needs to be taken. As a result of the disagreement, political parties were formed. Political parties provide an important function known as a linkage institution. Linkage institutions are responsible for providing candidates for citizens to vote which ultimately connects citizens to all levels of the government.
They relate to the channels through which the citizen’s concerns become political issues on the government's policy agenda. The institutions include the media, interest groups, political parties, and elections. There are four main types of linkage institutions. These four include media, interest groups, political parties, and elections. Media influences the electoral process as a result of our protected first amendment right which, allows the media to emphasize specific issues and interpret those issues.
There are several different types of media that is used to communicate images. The different types of media include movies, television, advertising, newspapers, the internet, magazines, etc. Media is such a significant force in our culture that sociologists refer to our culture as a mediated culture. Mediated culture is process in which the media reflects and ends up contributing to the creation of the culture. The medias role has played such a huge role that sociologists have created three sociological perspectives to reveal the role on why media exists: the limited-effects, the class-dominant theory, and the culturalist theory.
The limited-effects theory argues that people generally watch, read, and believe creates an influence. The class-dominant theory argues that the media reflects the view of the minority which controls it.
The last theory is the culturalist theory. This theory is the combination of the two other. The culturalist theory claims people interact with the media to create and interpret their own meanings of images and messages. The second type of linkage institutions is interest groups. Interest groups provide information not only to the government but also to the public by working closely with the administration and members of congress. Interest groups closely work with the members of congress and the administration that elected officials often complain about the influence of “special interests”. Interest groups is an organization that involves members who share the same concerns, and attempt to influence government policies that impact those specific concerns. Interest groups represent most if not all people in debates. This allows the American political process to be open to a wide range of groups. The popularity of interest groups has increased rapidly thought the years. Political parties are an important part of our government. They perform a crucial role in our government. Groups of people are formed to regulate the control of the government and to form polices that coincide with their interests. The selection of political parties and the nomination of candidates for public office is the main purpose of political parties. Once elected the officials attempt to achieve the goals.
The goals are set by their parties through the legislation and program initiatives. It’s not well known but it makes a huge influence to register as a Democrat or Republican. Once registered you are a member of that political party. Although political parties are very influential and involved in our government at all levels they are not recognized as the government and the Constitution does not mention them at all. The United States is comprised of a two-party system. Both parties stem largely from election rules and regulations that provide for single-member districts and winner take all elections. The person who receives the most votes is the winner of the election, there’s only one winner in each “district”. The process of sustaining a two-party system includes the Electoral College. The Electoral college was created as a result of the concern of the trustfulness of the state legislators and the overall national interest. The electoral college is one of the most complicated rigmarole in the constitution. Each state selects electors- who the delegates hope are intelligent, well-known individuals with sound judgement, who choose the president. Though the public seems generally unhappy with the government, I feel as though there are many systems in place that clearly represents everyone’s opinions as a whole. There’s no perfect government or a perfect way to ensure everyone’s views and opinions are meet.
The way in which our government is set up and how we go through the process of voting an elected official gives not only our government but all of the citizens the opportunity to express who they want through their vote. Our government was founded on the first amendment right which, allows us the freedom of religion, press, petition, association and speech. With that being said I feel as though it can also be argued that we aren’t as represented as we thought. A lot of bribery, outside influences and manipulation come in to play thought every aspect. Manipulation is a big key player when introduced to the media aspect. Everything from what we watch to what’s on our cereal box is put there for a reason. Most of what we do day to day is influenced, we may not realize it but media surrounds us and influences our outcomes. The scary thing is media isn’t the only aspect of linkage institutions that influence us. Linkage institutions often are criticized to limit a reprehensive democracy because, since their goal is to influence public policy according to groups interest, policy may be adjusted due to their wants instead of due to the popular wants. Elected representatives may be influenced to satisfy interest groups because of certain incentives, such as money instead of satisfying the popular opinion.
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