To What Extent Are Pressure Groups Good for Democracy

1118 WordsApr 16, 20135 Pages
Pressure groups are formal (Insider) and informal (Outsider) associations whose goals are to further the interests of a specific section of the society to promote a particular cause by influencing the decisions of the government. An insider group is a pressure group which is very involved in the decision making of policies e.g. Cancer Research UK. An outsider group is a pressure who is not associated with decision making as they like to assert their independence and lack political clout e.g. Greenpeace. However there are some outsider groups that want to be affiliated and become an insider, but they have not yet been asked by the government e.g. Association of British Drivers. These groups are also known as “Aspiring Insiders”. These…show more content…
As long as there is some form of influence they create an opportunity to the politically active part of our population to decision makers both directly and indirectly. Age UK and different unions represent public service workers and their different interests as they have an enormous membership and they are very effective. This is very good for democracy as it takes away authority from Government and gives power right back to the people, but indirectly. We are represented more equally and are represented more than just being part of our local constituency. This creates an opportunity of being represented very broadly. However, size of pressure groups can create a twist in the democratic process as well as how big your pressure group is in terms of numbers. The Countryside Alliance put out an amazing number of 300,000 sympathisers on the streets in 2003 for a protest on a ban on hunting with canines as well as issues in the rural areas. This caused an immediate panic of the government and which included an effort to run down the hunting bill in parliament generating a lot of scrutiny. But the large turnout did not reflect public opinion on the main issue of fox hunting, but they were in favour of a full ban. This represents a large population but it doesn’t necessarily mean they reflect the
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