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Politics and Power notes on the UK system

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Introduction

Politics and Power As majority of people don't understand the actual meaning of politics they have a negative view on it. By adopting a narrow view on politics we believe politics to be about elections, political parties, politicians, the government and parliament. The broad definition states Power There are a number of different ways of defining power; one is where an individual or group of people are able to get what they want, despite opposition from others. We have power so far as we can get others to do what we want and exercise power when we influence someone against their will. The difference between authority and coercion is: o Coercion involves the use of force. Eg: rapists or killers. o Authority is exercised over us willingly as we think it's the right thing to do. Eg police or teachers. UK Democratic UK Undemocratic In a democratic society our views count in the process of decision making. In Britain we can participate and make our views known by: o Voting, eg: in local, general and European elections. o Starting or joining a political party. o Starting or joining a pressure group and getting involved in its campaigns. o Writing to our MP, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) or local councillor. o Writing to the press. ...read more.

Middle

o Investing in the education system to ensure there are adequate resources to give every child the skills for legitimate work. o Empowering local communities to reduce crime in their own areas, including through locally accountable and responsive policing, local authority crime prevention, and lay participation in juries, magistrates, courts and restorative justice programmes. The role of pressure groups in decision making is to use its power to try to influence the government in order to get its views heard and its policies adopted. Pressure groups can vary enormously, which makes it very difficult to generalize about them. Broadly there are two types of pressure groups: protective and promotional. Protective groups seek o protect or defend their members' interests. Promotional groups seek to promote a cause to achieve a particular set of changes or to campaign on a specific issue. Eg: Greenpeace. An alternative way of looking at pressure groups is to distinguish between insider and outsider groups. Insider groups are those who are consulted by government departments, civil servants and ministers in the process of preparing new policies proposals. The automobiles association, for example is likely to be consulted on issues concerning road policy. Some groups are consulted automatically, for example the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) so they are in a strong position to influence government policy. ...read more.

Conclusion

the CBI is more influential than the Child Poverty Action The positive view of pressure groups: Pluralists argue that pressure groups play an important role in democratic society, meaning like minded people can group together and express their views. Which means our opinions and views are always heard. Such groups allow us to participate in the political process and to influence the decision making process. Pressure groups help politicians to keep in touch with the wishes of the grass roots and we can inform the government of our views between elections. The conservative party were forced to reconsider their policy on the poll tax once it realised the strength of popular feeling against that tax. Pressure groups also inform people of new issues, for example the environmental pressure groups raised awareness of the dangers of acid rain. Pressure groups often consist of people who are experts in their field. The Conflict view According to the conflict approach, society is based on conflicting views and interests between different groups. Some groups are much more powerful than others and can dominate the political process and decision making. Some groups' power is based on their property and wealth. This gives them greater status and they are therefore able to exert more influence on policy makers, possibly behind the scenes. It is argued that governments are more willing to listen to some groups rather than others e.g. the CBI is more influential than the Child Poverty Action Group. Natalie Ahluwalia ...read more.

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