Media is a linkage institution between people and the policy makers. It serves a watchdog role and seeks to expose human injustices in a country. Media is also used as a political tool where political candidates appeals to the people directly. With the increased information society in America, a corresponding informed society has been partly established. The partial political awareness mainly emerges as the media stations seek to maximize their profit by playing a defensive role (Bimber, 2003).
It should be acknowledged that, the American political system has assumed a new direction as the behaviors of the citizens and policymakers in the political agenda continues to be shaped by technology. Both the masses and the elites have continued to use internet, televisions, radios, newspapers and other forms of media as a communication tool. The modern political success also largely depends on the media. Politicians therefore continue to make positive image through media as a campaign tool which increases their popularity. However, the eminent central regulation of the media by the government continues to limit its political impact. Leaders have continued to use their pocket size in media, to create a positive image to the public. But media has greatly boosted political transparency and accountability as it checks on the excess of powers in the government. The strategic role played by the media significantly boosts the criteria by which the public evaluates their political leaders (Leighley, 2004). But still, much remains unknown as far as the effects of media on the American political behavior are concerned.
Interest groups are linkage institution people and the government. They are made up of people’s organization with similar policy goals and who seeks to use their power to influence the political governance in a country. Interest groups may include lobbyists, political and human rights activists who check the operations of the government. They play a big role of advocating for just and equitable treatment for all in the society (Berry, 2008). Some interest groups campaigns for clean environment and therefore their core objective is to rise against the firms and activities which damages our environment. Their core duty still concentrates at influencing the decision making process in order to suit people’s demands. They also check the excessive use of power by the government officials.
Interest groups such as the civil right activists ensure government accountability at all times. They also enable the government to understand the opinion of the people on the ground. Interest groups have had a significant influence in the American governance and policy making systems through their eminent influence and power. Leaders such as Martin Luther King are still remembered for significant role in fighting racist regime in America. Interest groups have and are still positively impacting on the country’s democratic role, policy making system and good governance. They extensively use media to enforce their ideas on the government agenda. They also expose civil and other human injustices undertaken by the government officials to the public triggering change.
This is a linkage institution used by those seeking nominations in the political positions. Political parties picks candidate, coordinate campaigns, articulate policies and provide cues for voters. People use political parties to decide on whom to lead them and their policy guidelines. And as the rational choice theory dictates, political parties are guided by ideologies. These ideologies are the ones which influences the decision of the general public on who to choose. Party’s ideologies therefore ought to be appealing to the general public in order to succeed.
United States of America has a two-party system of governance the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. The difference between these two parties is based on their ideological differences (Hershey, 2009). However, they provide a platform where people decide on which ideologies should form the government. With only two parties in place, each seeks to maximize its appeal to voters. The system advocates for a winner-take-all system where the winner assumes office. It is because of this reason that the party’s candidates tend to vigorously campaign by blaming each other in order to win support from the public. However, we can conclude that people use political parties to express their opinions and ideas in the policy making and governance process. By electing candidates from either Democratic Party of Republican Party, they express their willingness to allow certain ideologies to make up the government.
Election gives people chance to express their opinion, by the way of voting. It is a democratic right that should be accorded to every citizen as it gives him or her power to participate in the country’s governance process. It is therefore a linkage institution between people and government. In the democratic regimes, elections enable people to freely participate in the running of the government through the voting process (Alvarez, 1999). In case people are unhappy with the current political leadership of a country, election gives people the power to replace it with leaders of their choice.
Election process is however done periodically due to the high cost that is involved in it. Here in America the process is run after every four year while in other nations it’s done after five years. Due to the sensitivity of the issue, the election schedule of all nations is stipulated in their constitutions. The same constitution defines the election candidates and the maximum term they should serve once voted in. election in America is governed by the Federal Election Commission which was enacted by the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1974. The commission foresees the presidential election process and ensures that it reflects a true and fair process. In America there is an electoral college which is stipulated in the constitution and given the mandate of selecting the president and his running mate. The core objective of this body is to ensure that candidates are qualified for the top job (Longley & Neal, 2000).
Linkage institutions are very critical in the daily running of the government since they encourage transparency, accountability and equal participation of people in the policy making process. Through such institutions the general public are empowered to equally contribute their ideas in the policy making process. Linkage institutions are also important tools for evaluating the country’s scope of governance. They encourage people to effectively use their freedom of expression, speech and choice which measures the democratic level in a country.