Pressure Groups Being Good for Democracy

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Pressure Groups Being Good for Democracy

Pressure groups are organisations whose members share common interests

and seek to influence governments. They can be classified in several

different ways but the most important distinction is between insider

and outsider groups. They are organisations that want to change policy

but do not want to become the government. They focus on particular

issues or areas of concern and can become involved in policy making by

organising campaigns, sending letters, organising demonstrations and

signing petitions. People join pressure groups to show their support

for a particular issue and to join with other like-minded people in

trying to influence our politicians. Some people feel working in a

group like this means they have a louder voice in getting their

message across. There are many positive and negative factors of

pressure groups on a democracy.

Positive factors of pressure groups are they are effective channels of

communication between the people and the government, the groups

provide detailed and valuable information on areas of economic and

social activity and so help the government towards making better

decisions. They will listen to the views of different people and can

make a decision about what the general feeling is on the topic in

question. These pressure groups will then present their argument to

the government in a way that they think is suitable and which will get

the message across of the people’s feelings. An example of the

channelling of communication between the people and the government

would be the anti- war in Iraq protests. Although the government still

decided to go through ...

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... the British union leaders until the reforms of the


Another negative factor Is not all sections of the community are

represented equally. The influence groups can exercise depends on the

resources at their disposal and the relationships they can construct

with governments. This can lead to governments only listening to

larger pressure groups in favour of the smaller groups.

Some campaigners use money and other methods to influence elected

representatives activists may turn to illegal militant direct

action to get their own way. An example is the animal rights activists

who may use violence to scare people into making a decision in their


Insider groups are too active behind the scenes and may influence

civil servants in their discussions. An example of this is the British

medical asociation.
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