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Policy making is impacted by political parties in a couple of ways.  The most basic element is that an elected representative who is loyal to their party must generate policies that reflect the overall platform of the party.  If not, they certainly must speak out against policies that go against party platform ideas.  In this, political party influence policy making because it forces representatives to make fundamental choices between what is advocated in the legislative sphere and what is embraced by the party.  It is essential for the representative to ensure that they have the support of the political party.  Losing this is almost as bad as losing the support of their represented people.  The political party influences the direction of policies advocated and initiated in that the legislation that comes out of the representative sphere of government is reflective of the party's belief system.  In the past summer, the United States political sphere saw this with the debate on the raising of the debt ceiling.  The Republican Party was committed to not raising the debt ceiling.  This became part of the party's belief system.  Members of the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party were committed to this idea.  In the end, this is a good reflection of how political parties can influence policy making.

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