How are political parties and interest groups alike? How are they different?
Although it may not seem to be once each of these two entities reaches maturity, political parties and interest groups do indeed have a great deal in common. Both of these entities come from a beginning social movement that evolves into a group that is focused on changing policies. In government changing policy can occur in a number of ways, and both political parties and interest groups seek to do this in different ways.
The way that a political party seeks to change the way that policy is enacte and affects the state is through representatives. This means that the political party elects candidates to serve in government in order to physically make changes to policies in order to live out the ideals of the part itself. A political party, particularly in discussing the major parties, has an agenda that is broad, and the party platform is where the party gets it all down officially. Issues span from personal liberty, to economics and taxation. The political party has a larger plan in affecting policy than the special interst group, which has, for lack of a better term, a special interest in affecting policy.
This measn that special interest groups focus much closer on a single or single grouping of issues. The ACLU is focused on protecting the rights of citizens granted in the Bill of Rights, and the AARP is committed to affecting policy that benefits retired citizens. It is clear to see how these issues would be difficult to run a candidate on, so interst group differ from parties in that they seek to affect policy through influence and persuasion. They are not the actual people changing the policies, but they are lobbying those who can have this direct effect.