A government is a body of people that work to effectively and successfully guide a unit or community. One thing government does is set and administer policy. They use customs, laws, and institutions to exercise political, executive, and sovereign power with the intent of managing a state of wellbeing that benefits all aspects of the community or unit.
Governments tend to be dictated by many factors. The major influences are culture and history. While it can be a complicated structure, governments can be classified into types. There are democracies, republics, monarchies, dictatorships, and aristocracies—to name just a few.
A policy is a principle or course of action proposed or implemented by a governing body. Governing bodies are groups of people that act in unison to guide and support a community, unit, business, institution, etc.
Policies can take many forms depending on whether you’re looking at an institution, organization, government, or other body. Overall, policies do share some common features:
- Policies are authoritative declarations promoted by a person or body given the power to do so.
- Policies shape principles and laws.
- Policies state and influence ways to perform actions and sometimes by whom.
Under the best circumstances, policies are exceptional resources for making the lives of everyone in the community better.
So What Is Government Policy?
By now you’ve probably got a good idea of what a government policy entails. A government policy is a rule or principle that hopefully better guides decisions, resulting in positive outcomes that enhance the community or unit. Government policies contain the reasons things are to be done in a certain way and why. This leads to the development of procedures and protocols to see that policies are conducted in an appropriate manner. Procedures and protocols dictate the “how,” “where,” and “when” of how policies will be executed.
Government policy describes a course of action, creating a starting point for change. They can influence how much tax the community pays, immigration status and laws, pensions, parking fines, and even where you go to school. While policies are driven to be non-discriminatory, they can affect specific groups of individuals. Policies are not laws, but they can lead to laws.
The Complexity of Government Policy
Government bodies are constantly looking to develop and implement ways that change the lives of residents and communities for the better. Not surprisingly, it’s a daunting task, striving to harness ideas and resources that will effectively address society’s problems of which there can seemingly be no end. The degree of the issue can seem miniscule in the large scheme of things, but government is required to deal with them. This is why governments are always looking at a range of situations.
Policies have to be prepared carefully. Even in the smallest enterprise, creating policy can seem like an endless strip of red tape. That’s a necessary evil. Government policy will have a dynamic impact. While it may seem frustrating, everyone involved wants to be absolutely sure these changes will improve and not deter the community.
You & Government Policy
As members of society, we all play important roles in the development of government policy. From the president of your class to the lowest level of public office to the presidency of the United States, our power to vote determines who makes policy and how that affects our lives and the community.
Policy making is the process of taking an idea and transforming it into an action. And those ideas come from people like you. Your potential to influence policy development does not end at the voting booth. Every one of us has the power to affect policy. Our voices and actions can be heard by being actively involved in community groups and voicing our concerns.