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Matt Glassman @MattGlassman312
, 10 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
Happy Election Day!

Elections don’t work they way the “folk theory” most people believe (see @jbview here…), but nevertheless they do have a huge impact on public policy.

A lot of people, however, still get wrong *how* they influence public policy. 1/
The most obvious way, of course, is that elections reconstitute the government with new political actors, who have different preferences about public policy.

That’s where the story starts and stops for most people. 2/
But elections also provide strong signals to both new and returning elected officials about what choices about public policy will likely succeed or fail in the public sphere, and/or reward and punish them in the future. 3/
Elections also create and destroy leaders, as elites struggle to understand and shape the probable political meaning of the blunt vote results. The thinking of these new leaders about public policy is also influenced by the elections. 4/
Other political actors come out of elections already looking forward to the next election, considering how they may run for president, for example, and what choices they should make about public policy between now and then. 5/
And then the non-elected actors, who greatly outnumber the elected officials. Appointed actors in the executive branch, interst groups, lobbyists, those who finance campaigns (large and small), party actors, and yes, even individual citizens; they will all look for signals. 6/
And the signal they receive will affect their strategies: what they push for (or don’t), who they support, who they fund, what they expend resources on, who they rely on, and how they operate. And, of course, they will not just receive the signal, but actively try to shape it. 7/
All of this sums to a public sphere of public policy fighting, where actors who existed before and after the election must reassess their strengths, weaknesses, possibilities, and resources as they plan new strategies in the world created by the election. 8/
At the individual voter level, elections barely matter. People don’t vote on issues. They can’t and don’t retrospectively hold pols accountable. But the aggregate election itself is a cataclysmic exogenous shock on the political system, and redefines the game for all players. 9/
This morning, we stand on one side of that cataclysm. Tomorrow, we will be on the other. As it does every two years, America is about to change. Forever.

That’s a good thing. See you on the other side.
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