To what extent are pressure groups a threat to democracy?

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To what extent are pressure groups a threat to democracy?

There are many thousands of pressure groups in the UK. Pressure groups are formed to bring influence to bear on decision makers in accordance with the views of their members. Pressure groups do not seek to govern the country, instead they often seek to influence the government to take their views into account when formulating policy and enacting legislation.

        Many people argue that pressure groups are a threat to democracy. They say that insider groups, those who work closely with the government, often have the capacity to influence the government prior to formal proposals being made to the public. This is significant as insider status is often linked to political leverage and the resources available to an organisation. Therefore, it is argued that those groups which are well resourced and represent the privileged in society are often better placed to influence government decisions than others which attempt to protect the interests of the disadvantaged.

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        Some people also say that some of the most important decisions made by government involving insider groups take place behind closed doors which is not democratic as only certain people are involved.

        People with these views feel that the success of pressure groups in this regard can undermine democracy as the government may be required to compromise its programme in order to accommodate the views of a section of society when they may not be shared by the majority of the citizens.

        There are also a lot of people who feel that pressure groups are actually good for democracy. They ...

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