Arguably, citizens of a nation are very important in the running of the government. In fact, various factors give the public an opportunity to influence government activities. These factors include interest groups as well as political parties. Interest groups and political parties have strategies of articulating and representing the interest of the public. In the political arena, citizens are the crucial in all events; this is because they decide on who runs and manages the events of a nation through voting. There are tremendous ways in which the government is connected to the public. In the political global arena, the connectors between the government and the citizens are called the linkage institutions. They play a vital role in connecting and development of democracies.
Studies show that citizens do not feel the presence of government officials; hence, they believe that the views of the people are not put into considerations especially during decision-making. Furthermore, average citizens in a democratic nation are aware of government failures, but rarely focus on the benefits they provide. Interest groups and political parties form two fundamental links between the government and citizens. In fact, in and institutionalized framework, it forms the will of the public in making government decisions as well as communicating the interest of the public (Ethridge & Handelman, 2009 pp133-137).
Undeniably, political parties and its ideologies represent a broad point of view that present citizens with alternative approaches on how the government should be managed. Very political party seeks to connect citizen and establish political power by electing various individuals to office. This will ensure that the party philosophies and position in government become part of pillars of public policy (Bardes, 2010 pp218-219).
The relevance of political parties in connecting government and citizens becomes relevant only in nations with a democratic form of government. In democratic nations, political parties who win elections form the government (Ethridge & Handelman, 2009 pp140-143). Therefore, the winning political party is part of the public will. The political party manifestos elaborating on visions and missions act as a guide in formation of government policies. For example, the ruling party in a nation can get the law passed if the majority in the legislature supports the bill.
Interest groups are part of private organizations that connect the government and public through the shaping of public policy. Interest groups systematize citizens with common attitudes and interests to influence the ruling government to support their ideologies. In most cases, they represent closely related issues that affect the citizens (Bardes, 2010 pp220-224).. The interest groups organize its strength through corporations, professionals and businesses. The government has lost contact with the public in various ways. As the populations of citizens grow, the government representatives fail to be accountable, accessible, and less concern with the need of the citizens.
In the contemporary society, media have also plated tremendous role in boosting the activities of political parties and interest groups. Media enhances the opportunity of interest groups and political parties on citizens in influencing government. The media publicize the weakness of the government in serving the citizens; additionally, the public will in most cases learn about politicians and government progress though media (Ethridge & Handelman, 2009 pp148-150). Interest groups and political parties also make public their issues concerning government in relation to citizens. Generally, the existence of interest groups is very crucial. This is because they defend the interest of the citizens in the government.
Political parties articulate the interest of citizens through policy implementations, especially on issues affecting the public. Furthermore, political parties improve and develop a democratic government where each citizen enjoys rights and freedoms. Additionally, the competition among political parties is always at the interest of the citizens. Generally, interest political parties and interest groups play an important role in connecting the citizens with the government.
Bardes, B. (2010). American Government and Politics Today: The Essential. New York: Cengage.218-248
Ethridge, M & Handelman, H. (2009). Politics in a Changing World. London: Cengage.133-188