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Access the view that pressure groups strengthen democracy.

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Introduction

Access the view that pressure groups strengthen democracy. Democracy is seen to act through the use of pressure groups, as they take action in attempting to influence the government on particular issues these pressure groups stand for. Arguments are present on either side of the debate on whether pressure groups are beneficial for the government, and democracy. These arguments are usually focused upon Elitist and Pluralist ideologies, which contrast each other in terms of ideas. Elitists believe that the use of pressure groups threaten democracy, with the opinion of parties becoming too extreme in their view of which they become involved in criminalised activities, exert forced influence onto the public, and the concept of innocent lives being harmed in the process of the pressure group's protests. Pluralists however, consider pressure groups to promote democracy; with the use of people participating more in politics, and the focus of particular issues raised by the group to the government. With the use of pressure groups in politics, links between political participation and the government are apparent through pressure groups. ...read more.

Middle

Alternatively, this elitist idea can be contrasted with the pluralist belief of insider groups with the acknowledgement of insider pressure groups being capable of communicating with the government. With these links, greater influence can be wielded onto the government to help support the cause of the group. For example, the National Farmers' Union is in regular contact with the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, as the government is in need of the group's expertise and cooperation. Pressure groups try to promote change and further their goals to the government with the use of such assets as media attention. A problem seen by this is that insider groups may have undue influence on the public. These opinions may not be specifically the correct ones, but the public are forced to play a part in politics in a different way other than voting. Pressure groups often represent viewpoints of people who are dissatisfied with the current conditions in society, and represent alternative viewpoints may not be well represented by the majority population. ...read more.

Conclusion

There are peaceful protests apparent, such as the pressure group CND managing to maintain a peaceful protest against the growing status of nuclear weapons in 1983. It is human rights to have the ability to protest what you believe in, and a pressure group strengthens democracy in the ability that you are able to protest in them with other people. Very few protests end in violent acts in the U.K., and it is apparent that only those that do end in violent action, gain attention from the media, making it inevitable for such acts to go unnoticed by the public. On my opinion of this issue, I believe that pressure groups do strengthen democracy. Despite issues such as the growth, wealth and media attention of pressure groups, each one of these arguments can be counteracted by the use ideas of freedom of expression and a need to the undermine authority to prove who democracy are really for, the people. It is basic human rights to have the ability to fight for what you believe in, and these conversing issues only strengthen democracy, as it shows competition between pressure groups, to provide a just society. ?? ?? ?? ?? Matthew Netto G & P Homework ...read more.

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