Do the political parties affect policy making and Implementation? The text explained the history of the Texas Party System and how much it has changed, how it will continue to change, and how these changes affect Texas Policymaking.
The Texas Political Party System and its supporting individuals have changed over the years. At one time the south was considered to be mostly Democratic. As the south began to become affected by the Civil War and continued on through the Reconstruction, the South became the one-party Democratic South. This situation changed drastically in the year 2002 when the “Grand Old Party (GOP)” captured the majority of the seats in the Texas House. Furthermore, the GOP was a nickname for the Republican Party in Texas. The GOP could continually count on the loyalty of African Americans, German Americans livining in the Hill Country who had opposed secession before the Civil War, and few others.
Additionally, the Republication Party more than doubled in Texas going from thirty-five members up to seventy-two members between the years of 1981 and 2001. Not only has the Texas Party System changed over the years, but the voting patterns have also shown differences in how individuals vote based on their ethnicity, race, region and place of residence. Currently, the African Americans and the Latinos of Texas tend to be primarily Democratic.
The voting patterns for East Texas and South Texas tend to be more Republican. Additionally, regional voting has shifted in Texas in the sense that the border region along the Rio Grande remains firmly Democratic, but east Texas is changing, resulting in Republican candidates for statewide and national office often running strong in the region. The text further stated the place of residence has also shifted over time with voting patterns resulting in the rural areas of the state going from solid Democratic to more Republican.
In Texas today, political parties do matter. For years political parties did not matter in Texas because Texas was a one party state. Now that Texas has become a two party state the political parties matter significantly. Although the political parties may not be the sole controlling power in the policymaking process, they still play a significant role in the agenda building, formulation, adoption, and policy implementation. As a result of the influence political parties have on policymaking, it is important for every citizen in the state of Texas to voice their opinion and support their party of choice.
Key concepts that assist in forming the concepts of the article are agenda building, policy formulation, policy adoption, policy implementation, and evaluation. Political parties in Texas play a significant role in building and sustaining agenda. Political parties also play a big part in policy formulation and adoption.
The parties suggest solutions to problematic policy. Additionally, party leaders can work together to adopt policy that is able to exemplify the parties position. For example, Governor Perry and the Republican legislative leadership worked together to pass the tort reform in 2003. Political parties can also do policy implementation. After elected officials are appointed to office they are responsible for, among other things, policy implementation. Once in office it is also the duty of the elected officials to evaluate the recent policy and make improvements if they see fit.
In addition to the key concepts the main assumptions underlying the text were that the statistics that were used in the text were still accurate based upon the surveys released in 2004 and that public opinion had also remained the same. Over time the economy and the government have evolved and changed drastically especially in the past few years and contrary to the assumption that public policy has remained the same, there is a strong possibility that many citizens may have changed their point of view on policies since the beginning of the 21st century. The author is also expressing the assumption that the Republican and Democratic parties are not the only two parties in Texas nor did the author take in to account that any other or independent parties.
If one accepts the assumptions presented by the author then one can expect that the policies in Texas will continue to be formulated, adopted, implemented, and evaluated based solely on the party of the elected officials. Furthermore, the party that is not elected constantly attacks the work of the governing party, potentially resulting in a state that is constantly in debate over issues and topics.
For example, in recent years, Texas Democrats have blasted the Republican controlled legislature for being more interested in holding the line on taxes rather than improving education, raising teacher pay, and extending health insurance coverage policies, just to name a few. If it continues that every member of society wants to voice and express his/her own opinion and vote according to the party that expresses their needs, then the Texas government will continue to govern its local society democratically and political parties will still play a key role in Texas Policymaking.
Not accepting the reasoning and implications that one would no longer have a voice in the policymaking process, this would mean that policies could possibly be made based on an elected officials morals, values, and ethical beliefs and not on public opinion. With the absence of citizens voicing their opinions or voting with purpose for a particular party, parties would cease to exist and society’s civil rights will be in jeopardy.
Therefore, whether it is a one-party Democratic South, or a two party state, or even a state with multiple parties, the elected officials will always have the upper hand over the policies that are being adopted, built, implemented, and evaluated. If one believes strongly in something, the individual should voice their opinion and strongly follow their beliefs, because as exemplified in the state of Texas over the past centuries, change can and will happen.
Works Cited David T. Canon, John J. Coleman, Kenneth R Mayer. The Enduring Debate, Fifth Edition Political Parties: 409. PrintEdward S. Greenberg, Benjamin I. Page, The Struggle for Democracy, NinthEdition Political Parties: 717-736 Print
Works CitedGreenberg, Edward S. and Benjamin I. Page. The Struggle for Democracy with Local Texas Government Policy and Politics: Custom Edition for Houston Community College Central. New York: Pearson, 2009. Print.