For a long time, I have thought that changing the mind of the public is a more reliable way to bring change than political tactics. One of the best examples I know is the invention and focus on the idea of second-hand smoke, which ultimately transformed tobacco policy in the US. Another great example was the decision to emphasize gay marriage in the effort to advance gay rights–which highlighted the commonalities between gays and lesbians and everyone else. This was combined with the powerful influence of popular TV shows such as “Will and Grace” in getting people to see gays and lesbians in their full humanity.
The link above is to a nice essay by Will Wilkinson on this process of changing the minds of people in general as a way to effect social change.