This chapter begins by putting party government in context, relating it both to the election cycle and the legislative arena within which it functions – not too differently as between presidential governments and majority parliamentary government. It focuses on the three closely linked topics: government formation, policymaking and termination. Parties’ policy activity in government stirs up thermostatic reactions which cost them votes at the next election. Governments have a dual role in democracies: as directors of the state bureaucracy and military and as executors of the popular preferences expressed through general elections. Mandate theory assumes that voters decide between parties on the basis of the policy programmes for government which they present at general elections. The plurality party takes the lead and lays down the main policy targets for government. The chapter explores the questions of government formation and composition.