Pressure Groups 3

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Pressure Groups 3

How are pressure groups different to political parties?

- They don't seek governmental power.

- Usually have a narrow range of issues.

- Do not have to be accountable.

- Some pressure groups may act illegally or promote civil disobedience.

Methods of pressure groups

Lobbying - the process of influencing public and governmental policy.

Direct action - Obtaining the most publicity possible. i.e. Stunts - Fathers 4 Justice.

Mobilising public opinion - If support for the cause is widespread then MPs have to listen.

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Democratic Feature of Pressure Groups 

  • Educates public
  • Representation of people to the government
  • Provides political participation opportunities
  • Protects interests of miniority groups
  • Safeguards power of the State
  • Diserses power widely

Undemocratic Features of Pressure Groups 

  • Some groups are more powerful than others because of money or size of group
  • Insiders vs Outsiders
  • E-democracy can be dangerous
  • The leaders of pressure groups don't always have the same views as the rest of the members
  • Pressure groups are not held accountable for their actions
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Pressure Groups

Pluralism: A description of a political system where a wide range of beliefs, ideologies and ideas are torlerated and are allowed to flourish. It also implies a society where many different groups are active and are free to operate.

Elitism: A tendency for power to be monopolised by small groups of influential people. Elitism exists mainly within business and finance groups, some trade unions, government, the armed forces...

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