Are pressure groups good for democracy?

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Are pressure groups good for democracy?

There are many differing views on the role of the pressure group within the

modern liberal democracy.  Some political commentators claim that pressure

groups led to an imbalance of democracy or a democratic deficit, because people

who are members of pressure groups receive more of a political voice than those

ordinary members of society whose access to democracy is their vote during

elections.  The opposite f this is the opinion which claims that pressure groups

are not a form of democratic deficit but merely a way of the public getting its

opinions herd and a form of communication between public and government.  

        I am now going to analyse the pluralist model, and begin by answering the

question what is a pluralist?  Pluralists uphold the principle that political power in

a liberal democracy is widely distributed, that continual competition between

groups and that new groups constantly emerge.   The pluralist would claim that the

pressure group system is good for democracy as it allows people access to

politics all the time as opposed to once every 4 years when an election is held.  

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The pluralist view has four main standpoints.  Firstly Pressure groups are an

important means of political representation.  By joining a pressure group people

are able to express their feelings on certain issues and help to influence

government decisions on that issue.  Secondly pressure groups complement

political parties.  By joining a pressure group the public can put pressure on

political parties to give priority to certain issues.  Thirdly Pressure groups ensure

that the minority views are heard by decision makers.  Fourthly Pressure groups

help to disperse power away from central institutions, thus giving more ...

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