Political agenda

Political agenda

The political agenda is a set of issues and policies laid out by either the executive or cabinet in government which tries to dictate existing and near-future political news and debate. The political agenda while shaped by government can be influenced by grass-roots support from party activists at events such as a party conference and can even be shaped by non governmental activist groups which have a political aim. Non-governmental organisations such as Make Poverty History and environmental groups such as Greenpeace have been able to shape the political agenda at international conferences.

Increasingly the mass media can have an effect in shaping the political agenda through its news coverage of news stories. Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver was able to shape the political agenda by running a series of programs which criticized the quality of school dinners in the United Kingdom. This led to government action by education secretary Ruth Kelly to improve the quality of meals which would not have occurred if it was not for such prominent and vocal criticism.

A political party can be described as “shaping the political agenda” or “setting the political agenda” if its promotion of certain issues gains prominent news coverage, for example at election time a political party wants to promote its polices and gain prominent news coverage in order to increase its support.

Individual people with strong opinions on social or political issues are also often referred to as "having an agenda" or "pushing an agenda," such as homosexuals for LGBT rights.

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