• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Do pressure groups strengthen or weaken democracy?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Do pressure groups strengthen or weaken democracy? From animal rights to women's right, not t5o mention trade unions there are hundreds of pressure groups operating in today's society. They work in different way to influence government policy and are subject to few controls so do they undermine or support democratic government? Freedom of association in a fundamental principle of a liberal democracy, therefore, it could be deemed that pressure groups must be supporting democratic government as they are upholding people's rights. It can be argued that, as elections are a legitimate process allowing society's participation pressure groups are unnecessary, however opportunities for involvement are no more than every five years so pressure groups provide a vital opportunity for participation and access to thaw political system between elections thereby enhancing the quality of democracy. ...read more.

Middle

There is also 'unequal competition' between business and labour groups the former enjoying control of economic resources, a public status and level of access to government that the latter cannot match. The idea that influences commensurate with the size of the group is seriously flawed as small, tightly knit associations, for example the BMA often have a degree of influence entirely out of proportion to their democratic weight. The insider-outsider distinction demonstrates that there is no true equality of access. Some groups enjoy privileged respectable relations with government and are often consulted on policy whilst others have top rely on media and public opinion to get government to listen to their views. Neo-pluralism highlights the privileged position that business groups enjoy in the western world, whilst acknowledging that this seriously compromises the claim that such societies are democratic. ...read more.

Conclusion

All of whom have been elected as legitimate representatives of the people of Britain. The strength of single-issue pressure groups raises a number of questions about democracy. Too much focus on one issue pushes others from the agenda, which can lead to debate that dominates politics, focusing attention on one issues to the detriment of others which could be as important. Democracy is not about responding to the demands of any one groups but arriving at a balanced judgement, which takes account of all perspectives to make a decision that is best for society as a whole. Whilst I acknowledge the valuable expertise of they have to offer and the representation they provide I feel that due to the unavoidable inequality of access and influence, the fact that they are anti-parlimentary democracy and are totally unaccountable to the public that they serve only to inhibit the process of democratic government. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Pressure Groups section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Pressure Groups essays

  1. In what ways do pressure groups strengthen democracy?

    Through this they might inherit some of the ideas. They may do this by making sure people know what's going on. By getting them more involved, getting them to take an interest in politics. A more knowledgeable public will probably lead to people realising what they believe strongly in.

  2. In What Ways Do Pressure Groups Influence The Government? Consequently, Do Pressure Groups Strengthen ...

    Insider groups have strong links with decision makers and are regularly consulted. They are the groups that the government - local and national - considers to be legitimate and are, therefore, given access to decision makers. This category includes the Church of England and the police force, as they are

  1. Are pressure groups good or bad for democracy?

    years of demonstrations, protests and 'tax-strikes' the tax was finally abolished in 1991 and the Iron Lady was displaced. Perhaps, if she had listened to people she would have saved her position as the Prime Minister. But who knows. A lot of pressure groups, especially insiders, can also bring expert

  2. The wealthier and the closer the pressure group is to the government, the more ...

    their views taken into account by the government simply because of their large amount of wealth. This would reduce democracy, as it promotes false representation of the public, as those with high levels of wealth are not always the ones who have the public's interests at heart.

  1. Access the view that pressure groups strengthen democracy.

    In spite of this, it can be seen that there are other pressure groups that are also powerful organizations which represent narrow distinctive interests that prefer to have their activities and influence go unnoticed by the public at large, for example Outrage!.

  2. Why are some pressure groups more successful than others?

    When this happens, pressure group activity becomes battle of wills and the result is uncertain. (Where a group is lucky enough to have no serious opposition, such as old-age pensioners, poor families and financial establishments, there is a greater chance of success.)

  1. The existence of pressure group makes government more democratic; the activities of pressure groups ...

    Insider groups "abide by the political rules of the game to obtain better access to government and therefore have more chances of achieving their objectives"2 For a group to gain insider status, not only do they need to want it, the government have to grant them it.

  2. A Cabinet Minister once described Pressure Groups as Creatures which strangle efficient government. Discuss ...

    Margaret Thatcher though wanted to open shops to keep money coming into economy. As a result, a huge argument ensued about whether the nation should keep Sunday sacred or not.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work