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The Effects of Pressure Groups on the Government

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The Effects of Pressure Groups on the Government A pressure group is an organised interest group, which seek to influence the formulation and the implementation of public policy. In both the United Kingdom and the United States of America, membership to political parties has decreased, meanwhile membership to pressure groups have increased. Pressure groups differ from political parties in that they do not seek to win political office; in addition, they concern themselves with sectional policy rather than a wide range, and therefore pressure groups aim to protect or advance a shared interest. The first amendment of the US constitution claims citizens have the “right of speech, petition and association”. Seeing as the constitution is sovereign, it plays an essential role in protecting the rights of organised interests. Americans favour the term interest group to pressure group, as the word pressure implies force. In the USA, nine out of ten people belong to an interest group and on average an American belongs to four. The diverse and heterogeneous nature of the USA, the weak parties, fragmented government and the expansion of government activity have all led to the expansion and the success of pressure group activity. There is a misconception that the relationship between pressure groups and government is always adversarial, however in reality, they are advantageous in that, governmental ministers and civil servants often consult pressure groups for information in order to make good policies. They often seek information from several relevant groups, as an interest groups approval can help legitimise a policy or even enhance its ... ... middle of paper ... ...ew · Grant Jordan February 2004. “Groups and Democracy”-Politics Review · Ian Grant February 2001. “Pressure Groups and PACs in the USA”-Politics Review · www.historylearningsite.co.uk · www.usgovinfo.about.com --------------------------------------------------------------------- [1] Grant Jordan -“Groups and Democracy”-Politics Review, February 2004 [2] Wyn Grant “Outside In”- Politics Review- September 1999, pp10 [3] Ian Grant “Pressure Groups and PACs in the USA”-Politics Review-February 2001 pp11-14 [4] Ian Grant “Pressure Groups and PACs in the USA”-Politics Review-February 2001 pp11-14 [5] Source: The Centre for Responsive Politics. [6] Ian Grant “Pressure Groups and PACs in the USA”-Politics Review-February 2001 pp11-14 [7] www.historylearningsite.co.uk
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