Political parties are structured in line with an identified ideologies and thus, party members are expected to follow this given party ideologies. Party platform adopted by politicians goes to reflect on what their beliefs are and what interest they wishes to pursue. However, in contemporary times, many party followers and members are not interested in what ideologies their parties adopt. However, they are always in haste to find platforms where they can get their ‘selfish’ interest quickly actualize. Many party members are not able to differentiate between what ideologies their party is pursuing and those of opposition parties.
The identity a political party has is a picture or images that the public sees. For instance, Republicans are seen to be quick to embark on battles and display United States’ might at any given opportunity. They also are also strongly against abortions and have in many decades moved motions to sustain anti-abortion laws. These represent the party’s values and this is an identity that makes it different as a political platform. Hence, electorates and the citizens that are sympathetic to these identities will normally want to be affiliated with such party. According to Warwick, political parties’ ideologies differences in governance have important impact on how the party’s survival rates (p. 807). However, some modern politicians do not always follow their parties’ platforms, based on values and interests that will aid in shaping the general society, but mainly based on personal gain and quick rise to attaining such gain. According to Janda et al. “political parties identities are shaped based on those different faces that are presented to the public; whether while in power or not. Hence, party leadership and supporters go a long way in shaping a political party’s identity (p. 171).
Parties’ platforms or political parties’ manifestos are engineered to show to public what different parties will do or not do when elected. It is a documented guide, which electorates and party members can use to hold their parties when they failed in executing their responsibilities. Usually, the election manifesto of each party is different. The democrats’ philosophies and beliefs in certain national issues are different from those of the Republicans. For instance, the Democrats believe in strong support for free education of the public as a way of preserving people’s liberties and their rights. The party also has the belief that justice and democracy should be for all. Public safety is very essential, and people should be secured, safe and free from violence. Offenders and breaker of public laws should be punished accordingly. The party also has the belief that health care for the citizenry is a right and not a privilege. Though, some of these values and beliefs system operated by the Democrats maybe similarly in some instances with those of the Republicans, but the emphasis and determination in carrying out them will make a difference. “Some parties are known to have altered their party manifestos before an election period, in order for them to put on new identities” (Janda et al. p. 172).
The Republican Party manifesto, as reflected in Texas State, has a strong interest in preserving the family tradition; hence, it has provision that marriage should be for man and woman and oppose any form of assault in marriage. Motherhood is encouraged, and covenant marriage is proposed as a way of reducing divorce and acrimonies (p. 7). Similarly, the Republicans favor education for all. However, emphasis is not on free education like how the Democrats presented theirs. There is a similar stance between the Texas Democrats and Republicans for access to health care for all.
Hence, it is seen that political parties may have similar election manifestos in some fundamental issues. However, the difference is in how far each of them can go in implementing such policies and how well focused they are with ensuring such documented intended policies are attained.
Janda, K. et al. ‘Changes in Party Identity’, Party Politics, 1995. 1 (2): 171-196.Web.http://www.janda.org/bio/parties/articles/Janda%20et%20al,%201995.pdf(18-2-14).
Texas Democrats. ‘Our Values’, Web. http://www.txdemocrats.org/values(18-2-14).
Texas GOP.‘2012 Republican Party of Texas’ Report of Platform Committee, 2012.Web article http://www.texasgop.org/wp-content/themes/rpt/images/2012Platform_Final.pdf (18-2-14).
Warwick, Paul. Government Survival in Parliamentary Democracies, 1994. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.