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In what ways do pressure groups strengthen democracy?

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Introduction

In what ways do pressure groups strengthen democracy? Pressure groups play an important role in the current political system in that it is these organisations who attempt to influence public opinion and shape policy in relation to a particular issue. An example of a way in which a pressure group strengthens democracy is by providing more freedom to the public, which is what a democracy is essentially about, a self-governing community. Pressure groups give this power to the citizens by organising minorities into larger groups, by bringing together people with similar interests and political views (interest aggregation) and not only that but they defend these opinions in the political arena (interest articulation). Without pressure groups democracy would be weaker because many voices would go unheard. Pressure groups try to help strengthen the voice of the minorities to work with the political parties and influence them. ...read more.

Middle

Pressure groups will rally people and get them to voice their opinion to the governments. This might be through many things. After all the last thing the government would want was public support to start waning.Pressure groups can also effect legislation by consultation with the government. This is quite an important one, but there is no certainty that when you get access as an insider that you will succeed with whatever you set out to do. They can also affect such matters by using their expertise in whatever it is they do to inform the MPs. They don't just help inform them but these MPs might already share the same political ideas as the pressure group as quite a lot of MPs start off at pressure groups. This might be because they are easier to get in to and they think they can work their way up the ladder. ...read more.

Conclusion

They do not fight general elections, they do not produce manifestos and nor do they take the responsibility of the government. Another weakness is that the pressure group involved is usually poorly represented and dominated by extreme views. The groups usually lack legitimacy and are poorly attended. There is also no equal standing ground and any pressure group that has more money is bound to make a bigger impact than that with less. So is this fair that maybe a more valid subject is being sidelined through another because it has more funding. Another weakness is that some law breaking pressure groups undermine the rules and laws and respect of the laws. If someone is breaking the law to get across their opinion is this right? Another point is that they can compromise MPs. ?? ?? ?? ?? James Molloy 12SRE October 2001 ...read more.

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