What, in de Tocqueville's view, are the virtues and what are the vices of democratic government?
What, in de Tocqueville's view, are the virtues and what are the vices of democratic government? Democracy in America was written by Tocqueville to see how such a stable and prosperous democracy as America worked and to see why attempts at democratic government in France had failed so disastrously. The theme of the (often disorganised) book that emerges is how liberty is best preserved in the midst of the growing equality of conditions present in America. Tocqueville outlines many of the advantages he sees in democracy from the point of view of a French liberal. On the other hand, he also warns of the dangers of democratic government which manifests itself in many ways. Elements exist, however, within the American political system, that act against these dangerous democratic tendencies, and that is why, on the whole, Tocqueville is so admiring of American democracy. "Democratic laws tend to promote the welfare of the greatest number."1 It is clear that giving each citizen (which does not include certain groups, for example, slaves) the ability to choose the government that their interests will be served, rather than interests of an aristocracy or other minority. Therefore, from a utilitarian point of view, democracy helps establish what the interests of the majority are in society, and helps put those interests at the forefront of decision-making. Tocqueville refutes the
why have pressure groups become more important in recent years
Why have pressure groups become more important in recent years? In recent years, there have been great advances in the media with the advent of television and the internet. Pressure groups have been able to harness these new means of communication to their advantages waiting to spread their message to ordinary people. All pressure groups now have their own websites on the internet where people can learn more about their programmes and how to support the pressure groups. This can vary from a single click to a donation or taking part in a rally sorting a cause. E.g. green peace gas a full in-house studio where it produces television studio where it produces video and television documentaries highlighting it aims and ways to help. Many pressure groups such NSPCC also have TV advertisements with emotive pictures to urge people to donate and make people aware of their causes.In this way a greater proportion of the electorate are directly or indirectly mre active in pressure groups ,thus increasing their influence and profile. In the modern age, politics has become increasingly a single issue consensus. All parties now believe in similar issues like the environment , NHS and market economy. Hence pressure groups can lobby about such issues and attract a wide range of people. This means that people can express the stragnht of oppsitions to a particular issue. They can also allow
Analyse the ways in which US pressure groups are more significant than their UK counterparts.
Analyse the ways in which US pressure groups are more significant than their UK counterparts. (45 min exam question) A pressure group is an organised unit seeking to influence government without putting forward candidates for elective office. These groups employ many different methods in order to achieve their goals and have mass membership both in the US and UK political systems. The main reason for pressure (interest) group dominance in the US political system when compared to the UK is the abundance of access points in the US, caused by the separation of powers between State and Federal government, and the further subdivision of federal government into legislature, executive and judiciary departments, each constitutionally prohibited from encroaching on each other's power. In the US pressure groups exercise many powers which have become more significant over time. Many pressure groups have full-time offices in Washington and employ ex-politicians to lobby Congress on their behalf. Pressure groups, such as the National Rifle Association and the labour unions, actively seek to alter the composition of Congress itself by campaigning on behalf of, or against potential members of Congress. The Federal Election Campaigns Act (1974) had the effect of regulating the amount of money an interest group could donate to a presidential or congressional candidate. This led to
How has Pressure Groups contributed to Democracy?
In what ways do pressure groups contribute towards democracy? Pressure groups are organised groups of people that aim to influence the policies or actions of government. They are defined by three key features: they seek to exert influence from outside, rather than to win or exercise government power. They typically have a narrow issue focus. Usually, they focus on single issues concerning the society. Their members are united by a shared belief or a common set of interests. For some, pressure groups are a fundamental part of democracy. To others, pressure groups undermine the whole principle. Democracy is a political system of government where decisions are arrived by majoritarian principles with representative elected at periodic elections. This is where political equality and freedom allow for effective choice. How then do pressure groups fit in to contribute to the concept of democracy? Pluralism Firstly, in the pluralist model of democracy, pressure groups play an essential role. Pluralists uphold the principle that political power in liberal democracy is widely distributed rather than controlled by an elite or ruling body. Political parties cannot provide adequate representation for the full range of diverse interest and opinions. Hence, pressure groups enable particular interests and causes to be heard. They are therefore able to exert influence the government by
Important factors that effect the success and failures of pressure groups
Important factors that effect the success and failures of pressure groups There are many things that effect the success or failures of pressure groups. Since all the pressure groups are not the same size, they cannot be as successful as each other. Other things have to be used to measure it. Money is a very important factor that effects the success or failures of a certain pressure group. If a pressure group has lots of money then it has a number of benefits, which it could gain. For example, they could invest some money into advertising in newspapers or television which may get some new members involved which will mean overall that they will get more money. They can also use the money to by good legal services such as good solicitors and barristers. Pressure groups like Unison has an income of about £100 million whereas Liberty has an income of only £500,000. This means that the smaller pressure group will be less effective and less successful because it does not have the same sort of money to fund for it. The number of people can also have an effect on how a pressure groups works. Since there are lots of pressure groups aiming at different aspects, there is less democratic deficit. This means that the people have more power to make their views heard. If a group has lots of members such as Charter 88, they will be likely to be more successful than
Why Have Pressure Groups Become More Popular Than Political Parties?
Why Have Pressure Groups Become More Popular Than Political Parties? The definition of a 'Pressure Group' is; "Any organisation which - normally working through lobbying rather than standing for office - seeks to influence public policy and decisions at local, national and European or International levels usually within a particular, quite limited sphere." (Coxall, B. & Robins, L. - Contemporary British Politics) Pressure groups, particularly within Britain are a fairly new concept. Since the post-war times of 1945 onwards we have seen the continuation and expansion of these groups. Although, not in the same way that we see today. There has always been more importance placed on these groups to represent the interests of its members within society, each in their different ways. Although, many pressure groups tend to have only one issue in which they stand for, others however represent more broader. The questions that I will attempt to answer for this essay is that are pressure groups more popular than political parties, and if so, why is this? I will use a number of academic texts and other sources to try to answer this question in both a factual and informative way. Pressure groups are not a political party. Nor are they seen by many, for example, the Government, the media and the public, as being so. The main differences between political parties and pressure groups
What was the importance of the Pisistratid tyranny for the development of Athens?
What was the importance of the Pisistratid tyranny for the development of Athens? The Pisistratid tyranny was important for the development of Athens as Pisistratus got the Athenian people to be more concerned in their own affairs then to be bothered by the government. However they did get a say in matters, one reason Pisistratus was so successful was because he kept Solons reforms intact. He could have, if he wanted to, to rule as a true tyrant, kill people who do not see his way, charge huge taxes and work the people to the bone. However he did not, this pleased the people as they, in the previous system, were under the rule of the nobles and had to do as they said. Pisistratus was a tyrant that we know for definite, however he was not like many of the other tyrants evil/bad. 'Pisistratus administered the cities affairs moderately, and more like a citizen then like a tyrant.' AthPol 16:2 He did kill his enemies, yet he still gave the people of Athens the chance to give their say in public matters, just as Solon had set up before the tyranny. The tyranny lasted for 35 years in total and including the time of Solon, the people saw a long time without aristocratic rule. "No one could compel him to rule constitutionally. That he did so from choice is a measure of his political intelligence and in the end its one key to his place in the evolution of Athens" Andrews
How do British Pressure groups exert influence?
How do British Pressure groups exert influence? The aim of British pressure groups is to exert influence through the people who actually held the power to make decisions. Pressure groups do not look for power of political office for themselves, but instead do seek to influence the decisions made by those who hold this power. Groups who enjoyed momentous "power has been greatly exaggerated" at particular periods of time, such as the trade unions can endanger democracy if sectional groups undermine the public interest or if the methods they use are corrupt or intimidating. A pressure group can be described as 'an organised group that does not put up candidates for election, but seeks to influence government policy or legislation' (Budge, Crewe, McKay & Newton, 1998, pp.286 & 287). They can also be described as 'interest groups', 'lobby groups' or 'protest groups'. Some people avoid using the term 'pressure group' as it can inadvertently be interpreted as meaning the group use actual pressure to achieve their aims, which does not necessarily happen. An indisputable definition of a pressure group, however, is very problematic, due to the several varying forms that they take, which perhaps explain why several definitions of pressure group appear ambiguous. The term 'pressure group' is relatively recent, yet 'voluntary organisations' have been attempting to influence
Do pressure groups enhance or threaten democracy?
Do pressure groups enhance or threaten democracy? Divergent arguments exist to suggest whether pressure groups enhance or threaten democracy, the process of politics and of policy making. Some argue that pressure groups are essential to democracy, a vital factor in deciding whether a country is truly a liberal democratic state. Others argue that the way they work and operate has little to do with democracy and in fact makes worse the in balance of power in the political system and inhibits the operation of Government. A pressure group can be defined as any organized group that does not put up candidates for election, but seeks to influence govt. policy, local govt. policy or even the policy of a political party. They seek to represent the interests of particular sections of society in order to influence public policy. General elections are too infrequent to be the sole means to influence policy. Once every 4-5 years is an inadequate public input and does not make the political system very democratic. However General Elections are not the be all and end all of the public's right to influence govt. This is where pressure groups come into play they seek to influence government throughout the term in office until their cause is met making the system more democratic. On top of this a limited choice exists in reality as to who should govern the country as the Labour and
Pressure Groups - Exam Questions
PRESSURE GROUPS - EXAM QUESTIONS Distinguish between sectional and promotional pressure group. Sectional groups protect the interests of a section of society and act on their behalf, they are sometimes referred to as 'self interest' groups, some examples of sectional groups include BMA (British medical Association) and the TUC (Trades union congress). However promotional groups promote and argue a cause that is for the greater good - rather than sel interest, examples of promotional groups include Greenpeace U.K, Amnesty international and shelter. What methods do pressure groups employ to influence the political process? When thinking of ways to influence the political process pressure groups have to be careful when discussing tactics. They can either choose to take a direct approach, using direct action which includes demonstrations or they can opt to take action which is not such high profile. Either way pressure groups take action in hope to gain influence in decision making. All pressure groups need to attract public support if they are to gain a large following to support their cause which usually had more influence over the government and political process. Some pressure groups, in fact nearly all pressure groups use some form of the media to gain publicity, this usually works well as the media ands pressure groups have a two way relationship whereby the pressure