6.2.6 Political Parties and Policies

(This is a current page, from the Patterns of Power Edition 3 book contents.  An archived copy of this page is held at https://www.patternsofpower.org/edition03/626.htm)

Previous sections in this chapter have identified different ideologies and implementation approaches, described as four possible directions of change away from the status quo (6.2.1).  They correspond to different ideas about the political structures that enable people to live together peaceably.

Politicians in democracies tend to form political parties around shared ideologies and approaches to change.  The following sub-sections examine how party policy is formed:

  • Political parties set overarching policies, from which individual voters choose (6.2.6.1).
  • Governments, and opposition parties, have to react as situations develop (6.2.6.2). They steer, as if with a joystick, and in some political systems the population is allowed to influence decisions: having a hand on the ‘joystick’.

Changes in course should be carefully considered.  Ideally, politicians should also persuade the population to accept the decisions taken.  It is wise to examine each specific issue from the perspective of each of the possible directions of change (6.2.6.3).

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